Spotted this on Learn Something Every Day. I was intrigued to know there was actually a war that lasted all of 38 minutes, and fairly easily found out which one it was – the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, the shortest war in history. From Neatorama:
The whole thing started when the Sultan of Zanzibar, who had willingly cooperated with the British, died on August 25, 1896, and his nephew Khalid bin Bargash seized power in a coup. Thinking that another candidate would be easier to deal with, the British delivered an ultimatum to force the Bargash to abdicate.
…and so a war began, which wrapped up fairly soon, as we know now.
The longest war lasted 335 years, on the other hand! That is just crazy!