Trivia Minute April 17, 2015

Episode 48: The 335 Years War

by Marcus Michelson
Looking across Tresco, one of the 5 inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly. (Photo by Tom Corser)
Looking across Tresco, one of the 5 inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly. (Photo by Tom Corser)

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the end of the 335 Years War; a bloodless war of questionable origin between The Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly off southwestern England.

Here are a few facts about this obscure war:

One: The conflict had its origins in the Second English Civil War in 1651. Cromwell’s Parliamentarians had driven the Royal Fleet off of the mainland of Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly. The Netherlands, which had sided with Cromwell’s Parliamentarians against the Royalists, declared war on the Islands. The Royalists surrendered without a shot fired.

Two: Because of the odd circumstances surrounding the declaration of war, The Netherlands never thought to formally end the war. Experts also disagree as to whether a country can declare war on a specific part of another country.

Three: In 1985 The Netherlands determined that, technically speaking, the country remained at war with the Isles of Scilly and signed a peace treaty to end the quote-unquote conflict in 1986.

Our question: The 335 Years War is regarded by some as the one of the longest declared wars in history. What was the shortest war?

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