“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

–African proverb

The Anglo-Zanzibar War was a military conflict fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate on August 27, 1896. The conflict lasted between 38 and 45 minutes, marking it as the shortest recorded war in history. The immediate cause of the war was the succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash to the throne. The British authorities preferred Hamud bin Muhammed. In accordance with a treaty signed in 1886, the candidate required the permission of the British for accession, and Khalid had not fulfilled this requirement.

On August27, the British and Zanzabari troops faced each other for war. A bombardment opened at 09:02 set the palace on fire and disabled the defending artillery. A small naval action took place, and the flag at the palace was shot down and fire ceased at 09:40.

The sultan’s forces sustained roughly 500 casualties, while only one British sailor was injured. The British quickly placed Sultan Hamud in power at the head of a puppet government. This ended the dynasty and started a period of British influence.