From about 9:00 AM to 9:40 AM on Thursday, August 27, 1896 the shortest international war in history took place as several ships of the British Royal Navy bombarded the tiny state of Zanzibar one day after sudden death of its sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini. Thuwaini was succeeded under somewhat dubious circumstances by his cousin Khalid bin Barghash. The new Sultan Khalid’s rise to power enraged the British who had signed an unequal treaty with the small sultanate giving the British consul the authority to approve any new sultan that came to the throne. The British authorities would veto Sutlan Khalid’s reign in a very emphatic way.
In the morning on the day after Sultan Hamad’s death British naval forces under Rear Admiral Harry Rawson issued an ultimatum for Khalid to stand down and when he received no response from the palace proceeded to bombard the defenses of Zanzibar along with the royal palace. Sultan Khalid’s brief reign ended as he sought refuge in the German consulate. The British then put Hamud bin Muhammad on the throne since he was more amicable towards British interests. The Anglo-Zanzibar War ended up with about 500 causalities on the side of the sultanate and with one British sailor suffering a minor injury.