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Name an unusual War

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PDR
272546.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:00 am Reply with quote

Well "The War Against Terrorism" has a great acronym, but my favourite candidate would be the UK vs Finland - formally declared and accepted by both sides but nobody ever turned up to do any actual fighting. It was an extension of Finland's "Winter War" and "Continuation War" as part of a long-term dispute with Russia over some homeland areas. It was also (I believe) the only time that two democracies have ever declared war on eachother.

PDR

 
suze
272586.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:34 am Reply with quote

That's an interesting one, and the suggestion has been made by people including Jeremy Clarkson. We discussed this topic before (F for Finland) and discovered that while the UK was not the only country to declare war on Finland that day, it seems that it was the only country upon which Finland declared war back.

post 194958 et seq.

That post contains a link which is relevant here - http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/demowar.htm, which considers a number of wars that could be considered as having between democracies.

Having looked through the 24 possibilities listed, I'd have to consider #10, 11 and 14 in particular as having been between two democracies. Another which is not listed there comes to mind as well - the so-called Cod War between the UK and Iceland in the 1970s. Tis true that war was never officially declared, but then neither has it been in Iraq so that argument has little meaning. All the same, there were armed hostilities between two countries which would usually come in a top ten of world's most democratic nations.

 
RICKY66
272601.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:54 am Reply with quote

The Phoney War.
Name given to the relatively inactive phase of World War 2 between the fall of Poland in Sept 1939 and the German invasion of Norway in April 1940.
It was far from Phoney if you served at sea:

September 3, 1939 U.30 sinks the SS Athenia:112 died.

September 17, 1939 U.29 sinks the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Courageous: 518 died.

October 14, 1939 U.47 sinks HMS Royal Oak: 833 died.

November 23, 1939 Scharnhorst sinks the British armed merchant vessel Rawalpindi: 283 died.

Between Sept 3 1939 to April 1940 Allied ships lost 310

Not really a 'Phoney War' then!

 
96aelw
272615.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:29 am Reply with quote

RICKY66 wrote:
The Napoleonic War must have been the first big none religious war I guess. I have heard it called The First European War as well.
It's like the English Civil War, really that was the second one!
Most people forget that The War Of The Rose's happend before, although this was a period of many civil wars fought over the throne of England.


Not even the second by my reckoning. Obviously, it all depends on what you mean by civil war, and the distinction between that and rebellion can be quite tricky at times, but that business with Stephen and Matilda in the 12th century must count, I think.

As to your first point, there's an element of Joad disease again, but on the whole I think not. Depending on your definition of "big" (and, more contentiously, on your definition of "non-religious"), there's a number of wars that predate the Napoleonic ones in that category. The Seven Years War would be a pretty safe candidate on both scores, probably, and I think the Hundred Years War should be as well (albeit that it was several wars). Including the Crusades would, perhaps, be to incite needless controversy, and the Punic Wars may fail the bigness criterion for some, but such is Life.

 
mr2mk1g
272620.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:39 am Reply with quote

I don't rate the "Cod War" as being anywhere near a war. It certainly defies comparison with Iraq!

There was no real armed conflict. No one actually shot at anyone with intent to kill. There were a couple of rammings and a couple of shots fired over bows (usually blanks)... but that's it. The vast majority of any "conflict" was done by civilians on civilians in any event.

Itís certainly an interesting series of events though. There are records of a hilarious, (in hindsight), encounter between an Icelandic coast guard ship and a British trawler. The Captain of the Icelandic ship was in radio contact with the trawler and warned them of their intention to fire and to clear the area of the ship that was being targeted, which was disclosed. In between shots the Icelandic Captain allowed a trawler man out to inspect the damage done by the hit before retiring so the Icelandic ship could fire again. Non-explosive rounds were chosen so as to minimise the risk to life and the Icelandic ship deliberately avoided targeting areas which would sink the ship.

There is even one occasion when an Icelandic trawler was lost (not due to conflict) and all British ships in the area joined in the search for the crew.


An interesting couple of conflicts to add to the list could be the Opium Wars though. Open conflicts fought between China and the British Empire (via the East India Company, and financed by the British Govt.) where we were seeking to force China not to prevent against the import and sale of Opium to their citizens.

Can you imagine that happening today? What if Columbia declared war on the US for refusing to allow the import and sale of cocaine?

 
risby
272626.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:52 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
I give you: the War of Jenkin's Ear.


I'll see your War of Jenkin's Ear and raise you one War of Jennifer's Ear in which Neil Kinnock used the example of five year old Jennifer having to wait a year for treatment for her "glue ear" to portray the mismanagement and underfunding of the National Health Service under the Conservative government.

The wikipedia wrote:
The War of Jennifer's Ear did no good - and probably some damage - to the Labour party, which had been leading in opinion polls before election day ... Labour leader Neil Kinnock resigned three days afterwards.

 
RICKY66
272674.  Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:07 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Not even the second by my reckoning. Obviously, it all depends on what you mean by civil war, and the distinction between that and rebellion can be quite tricky at times, but that business with Stephen and Matilda in the 12th century must count, I think.


Your right of Course, The Anarchy! But thats a point I made in an earlier reply about wars being given different titles, so in the end people are confused and wars are forgotten about!
But if anything else it will hopefully get people interested about the conflicts mentioned and this forum will have servred its purpose!

 
Guest
274202.  Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:48 pm Reply with quote

Wasn't there once a war that only lasted half an hour? I can't recall the name of it but I'm sure there was.

 
suze
274256.  Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:28 pm Reply with quote

There was, and indeed it's already been mentioned on this thread.

It was the Anglo-Zanzibar War which lasted for 38 minutes on 27 August 1896 - see post 143466.

 
Hugo Rune
274839.  Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:18 pm Reply with quote

1812.... what was that really about?

What did the Treaty of Tilset have to do with it?

 
maiden
276957.  Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:55 pm Reply with quote

The Falklands War was a bit of an odd one ... neither side (Britain or Argentina) actually declared war against each other and it was technically over within 56 days.

The war was triggered by the occupation of South Georgia by Argentina on 19 March 1982 followed by the occupation of the Falklands, and ended when Argentina surrendered on 14 June 1982.

 
samivel
276965.  Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:10 pm Reply with quote

And, according to top Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, it was like 'two bald men fighting over a comb'.

 
RICKY66
277014.  Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:10 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
And, according to top Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, it was like 'two bald men fighting over a comb'.


The Falkland War
Casualties and losses

Argentina

649 killed
1,068 wounded
11,313 taken prisoner
75 fixed-wing aircraft
25 helicopters
1 light cruiser
1 submarine
4 cargo vessels
2 patrol boats
1 spy trawler

United Kingdom

258 killed
777 wounded
115 taken prisoner
6 Sea Harriers
4 Harrier GR.3
24 helicopters
2 destroyers
2 frigates
1 LSL landing ship
1 LCU amphibious craft
1 containership
4 ships withdrawn

More UK veterans of the Falklands War have killed themselves in the years since the 1982 conflict ended than died during hostilities, according to The South Atlantic Medal Association. And the suicide toll is greater than 255. The association estimates the total could be as high as 264 probably due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Well that was some fight over a comb!!

Anyone out there who thinks it was a little war miles away and of little interest, should make an effort to read some of the accounts of the conflict. The fighting was brutal, hand to hand combat in some cases. Many good books have been written over the years, many by surviving veterans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands_War

 
Sergei
277568.  Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:38 am Reply with quote

I think Borges's point was not that it wasn't a serious fight, but that it was a serious fight over something of little use to either side. Though that depends of course on the value one places on the seabed.

 
RICKY66
277674.  Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:03 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I think Borges's point was not that it wasn't a serious fight, but that it was a serious fight over something of little use to either side.


Yes most of us would agree on that point in the UK, but the Falkland Islanders would argue that point! As would Argetina.

If peaceful talks about who owns a piece of land are going nowhere and one side decides without provication to commit an agressive act, the other side is going to react if they can!

Britain in the past has been just as guilty for doing the same sort of thing through history as Argentina did in 1982.

 

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