The Anglo-Zanzibar War on the 27th of August 1896 is the shortest in British history, but to the people of Zanzibar it meant everything.
ZANZIBAR is an island territory off the east coast of Africa, now part of Tanzania.
Relations with Britain had been good ever since the island gained independence from the Sultanate of Oman in 1858. However, the British were keen to use their influence to eradicate slavery, and not every Zanzibari was happy with that.
On the 25th of August 1896, the Sultan of Zanzibar died suddenly, and his pro-slavery nephew, Khalid bin Bargash, took his place. The British demanded that he step down, but he refused, and two days later the first shots were fired in the Anglo-Zanzibar War.
Inside forty minutes, Khalid’s palace was in ruins, and the war was over. On the British side, just one sailor was injured. Nine hundred Zanzibaris fought for the British.
The upstart Sultan was exiled, and a few months later his replacement, Hamud bin Muhammed, abolished slavery in all its forms.