On August 27, 1896, the shortest war in history was fought between the British Empire and rebel forces of the Zanzibar Sultanate (now Zanzibar, Tanzania). The Anglo-Zanzibar War was fought between 9:02 and 9:40 a.m., and ended in a victory for the British, who strengthened their influence over the tropical archipelago. The Zanzibar Sultanate remained a protectorate of the United Kingdom until 1964.

Despite the short duration, about 500 Zanzibaris were killed or wounded, and one British soldier was injured. One of the most affected areas of Zanzibar was its Indian quarter, populated by immigrants from India, “the jewel in the crown” of the British Empire and less than 4,615 kilometers (2,868 miles) across the Indian Ocean. Many of these immigrants worked for the British authorities, and the British recruited Indian (Sikh) soldiers to help restore order after the half-hour war.

Noun

a group of closely scattered islands in a large body of water.

immigrant
Noun

person who moves to a new country or region.

protectorate
Noun

territory controlled by another state or nation but not a part of it.

rebel
Verb

to resist or reject.

recruit
Verb

to work to supply a group with new members.

Sikh
adjective, noun

people and culture that believe in one God, equality, freedom of religion, and community service 

tropical
Adjective

existing in the tropics, the latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south.

war
Noun

large-scale armed conflict.

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