Military and Defence World Records

The Shortest War

The shortest war was that between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar, from 9:02 am to 9:40 am on 27 August 1896, after only 38 minutes of bombardment. The UK ships of war under Rear-Admiral Harry Rawson (1843 - 1910) delivered a final statement to the self-appointed Sultan Said Khalid to evacuate his palace and surrender.

The Longest War

"Hundred Years War" between England and France was the longest war. It lasted for 116 years from 1337 to 1453. It may be said the ninth Crusades, comprised a single holy war, extending over 195 years, from First (1096 - 1104) to the Ninth (1270 - 1291).

The Earliest Conflict

A broken wooden spear found by S. Hazzledine Warren in April 1911 at Clacton-on-Sea is believed to be the oldest known offensive weapon. It is estimated to have been fashioned before 200,000 BC.

The Bloodiest Civil

By far the bloodiest civil war was the T'ai-P'ing rebellion. From 1851 to 1864, peasant sympathisers of southern Ming dynasty fought the Manchu government troops in China. Hung Hsiu-Ch'uan (executed) led the rebellion. He imagined himself to be a younger brother of Jesus Christ.

The Bloodiest War

The most costly war in terms of human life was the World War II (1937 -1945). The total number of fatalities of all countries is estimated roughly 72 million people. The civilian toll was around 47 million including death due to war related famine and disease. Poland was the country that suffered most with 6,028,000 of her population of 35,100,000 killed. In World War I, the total military death toll was 9.7 million. The figure rouses to 25 million in world war II.

The Most Costly War

The most costly war in history was the World War II. The material cost of the war has been estimated at US$1.5 million million. The total cost to the United States of America was estimated at US$530,000 million.

The Bloodiest Battle

The bloodiest battle fought on earth was the first Battle of the Somme, France from 1 July to 19 November 1916. The battle recorded the greatest number of military casualties at 1,043,896. 623,907 were Allied and the rest German.

The Greatest Naval Battle

In the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, 231 ships and 1996 aircraft were involved making it the greatest number of ships and aircraft in a sea-air action. 6 US and 26 Japanese ships were sunk. The battle raged from 22 to 27 October 1944.

The Greatest Invasion Airborne

The largest ever airborne invasion was the Anglo-American assault of three divisions near Arnhem, Netherlands on 17 September 1944. 34,000 men, 2,800 aircraft and 1,600 gliders were involved.

The Greatest Invasion Seaborne

The Allied land, air and sea operation against Normandy coasts of France on D-day, 6 June 1944 was the greatest invasion in the military history. On the first 3 days, 38 convoys of 745 ships moved in. That was supported by 20,000 vehicles, 347 minesweepers, carrying 185,000 men and 4,055 landing crafts.

The Greatest Evacuation

The evacuation carried out by 1,200 Allied naval and Civil from beach-head at Dunkerque, France between 27 May and 4 June 1940 was the greatest in military history. A total of 338,226 French and British troops were taken off.

The Longest Sieges

The longest siege in history was that of Azotus, Israel. According to Herodotus, the siege was invested by Psamtik I of Egypt for 29 years in the period 664 - 610 BC.

The Worst Sieges

880 day siege of Leningrad, USSR by the German Army from 30 August 1941 until 27 January 1944 was the worst siege in history. It was estimated that 1.3 and 1.5 million defenders and citizens died.

World Records