10 Wars Started For Stupid Reasons

10 Wars Started For Stupid Reasons 10) The Pig War World War 1 started with the assassination of the HEIR to the Austro-Hungarian throne The French Revolution was caused by HUGE political unrest

And the 1859 Pig War started with… the killing of a pig Yep in 1859, San Juan Island, between mainland United States and Vancouver Island, was home to American AND British settlers – with both parties having laid claim to its soil In June that year an American farmer shot a British-owned pig after catching it on his patch The pig’s owner reported the incident to the local British authorities and the farmer was threatened with arrest The Americans then reported the incident to THEIR military who dispatched troops to San Juan, provoking the Brits to dispatch THEIR troops, too

Following a month-long stalemate, word had FINALLY reached Washington and London about the escalating crisis Officials on both sides were flabbergasted that a dispute over a PIG had grown into a standoff involving as many as 3 warships, 84 guns and 2,600 men! The two nations FINALLY struck a deal in October 1859 before things got worse, meaning the only casualty of the war was one unfortunate hog 9) Chincha Islands War Believe it or not, in the 19th century petrified bird droppings were a KEY economic resource Its high nutrient content made it an excellent agricultural fertilizer and it could even be used to make explosive materials, such as gunpowder, making it important in warfare At the time, the western coast of South America contained the world’s largest deposits of such a substance, and, inevitably, wars were fought for control of where there was

bird excrement The Spanish army was one such perpetrator THEY occupied Peru’s Chincha [chin-cha] Islands in April 1864 in a bid to profit from the large deposits of faeces there

But fearing that this was Spain’s first step in trying to reclaim its former South American colonies, the neighbouring countries of Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador joined forces with the Peruvians and declared war on Spain in 1865 The resulting 2-year naval conflict saw ships captured, cities bombarded, ports blockaded, economies destroyed and led to around one THOUSAND casualties ALL for poo Spain eventually gave up on the war without having captured ANY more ground from when they first started That meant the Islands and, of course, the bird excrement, remained with their original owners

8) The Cod Wars Just as they sound, the Cod Wars were a series of naval wars between Britain and Iceland caused by cod You see, back in 1958 Iceland wanted to make sure that no other country got their hands on all that fish in the waters around them

So they began extending an Icelander-only fishing zone around their island The zone was first set at 4 miles Then it increased to 12, to 50 and then finally to 200 miles over the next 18 years But Britain totally ignored these boundaries and carried on fishing in the Icelander-only zone anyway, resulting in the Cod Wars Now, while no one was killed or seriously injured, the conflict was still pretty violent

Both the Icelandic Coast Guard AND the British navy deployed their respective vessels which led to a number of boats being rammed, vandalised and fired upon in violent confrontations All for a few fish In the end, Iceland threatened to close the NATO base in Keflavik [kef-lu-vik] to force Britain to oblige Not wanting to leave the strategic waters open to a possible Soviet presence, Britain finally agreed in 1976 to abide by 200-mile limit 7) The War Of Jenkins’ Ear Yep

A war… over the ear… of a man named Robert Jenkins OK so that’s not what the whole war was ABOUT but it’s largely acknowledged to have been the trigger In the 18th century Britain’s relations with Spain had, since the Armada almost two centuries earlier, been problematic and fragile At the time it was particularly because of the illicit trade that British merchants conducted with the Spanish colonies in America and the Caribbean After YEARS of hostility, the excuse to go to war didn’t need to be a great one

And it wasn’t In 1739 British Captain Robert Jenkins appeared before Parliament in London and presented to them his own dismembered EAR in his hands He claimed that a few years earlier a Spanish captain had come aboard his ship and CUT OFF his ear as a punishment for smuggling Naturally, such an offense warranted declaring war on Spain – which is exactly what happened The War of Jenkins’ Ear lasted for 9 YEARS before eventually being subsumed by the War of the Austrian succession

All in all 20,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing and 407 ships were lost 6) The Battle of Karansebes The Austro-Turkish War which occurred between 1787 and 1791 was part of the larger Ottoman-Habsburg wars involving hundreds of thousands of men One battle that broke out during the war in 1788 in the Austrian ranks, however, had NOTHING to do with the enemy Turkish army at all The Battle of Karansebes, as it’s known, denotes the time the Austrian Army actually fought ITSELF The story goes that one particular division of the Austrian army bought a stash of alcohol in the town of Karansebes in what is now Romania

Soon after, a second Austrian division came onto the scene wanting a little tipple too But the finders were NOT for sharing In a state of rage, a single gunshot was fired It was enough to convince both sides of the SAME army that the OTHER side was in fact the Turkish ENEMY trying to occupy the town It led to a full scale battle in which there were 10 THOUSAND casualties

When the Turks eventually DID arrive 2 days later, they found the thousands of dead and wounded Austrians and easily took the town of Karansebes 5) The War Of The Oaken Bucket Yep, seriously THIS ridiculous war started over a stolen bucket OK so back in the medieval period, there was huge tension in Italy caused by religious politics People living in the city of Bologna believed that the Pope was the true leader while the people of nearby city Modena [moh-din-ah] maintained that it was the Roman Emperor

After an attack in 1296, fighting tensions seriously increased over the next 30 years In 1325, Modenese [moh-din-ease] soldiers crept into a fort that had just been won by Bologna where they stole an oak bucket filled with loot The Bolognese were furious and demanded its return The Modenese refused, so you know, that was enough reason for the Bolognese to declare war on the city The War of the Oaken Bucket, as it came to be known, had just one battle

Bologna had an army of 32,000 men while Modena [moh-din-ah] had an army of just 7,000 Despite the odds not numerically being in their favour, it was the Modenese who won the battle, the war and, most importantly… the bucket In fact it's STILL on display today in the Palazzo Comunale as a taunting reminder to Bologna 4) The Soccer War If you thought fighting over a stolen bucket was silly, well, it is, but at least THAT war had the excuse of being in medieval times A war over a SOCCER game that happened in 1969, however, certainly doesn’t have that excuse

At the time the neighbouring countries of El Salvador and Honduras had been bickering for AGES over economic issues – meaning that tensions were already pretty high Add to that that they were pitted against each other in the qualifier’s game for the 1970 FIFA World Cup Whoever won would become the first Central American side EVER to participate in a World Cup After winning a match each, the teams played a winner-take-all playoff game Ultimately, though, El Salvador won the match and a very unhappy Honduras ended diplomatic relations on the VERY day that they lost

From thereon in, tensions soared Salvadoran immigrants were expelled from Honduras and within a couple weeks, El Salvador declared WAR on Honduras and began bombing raids The war lasted for 5 days, resulting in around 3,000 casualties, and some could say it was all triggered by the goals scored that fateful day 3) The Pastry War The 19th-century Pastry War between Mexico and France really took the cake, so to speak In the years following Mexico’s 1821 independence from Spain, rioting and looting by rebels plagued the country

One such incident was that of the ransacking of a bakery near Mexico City owned by a French-born pastry chef The chef sought compensation from the Mexican government but to no avail As a result, he took his case directly to his native country and to French King Louis-Philippe Now, the French government was already angered over unpaid Mexican debts from the Texas Revolution of 1836 They demanded compensation of 600,000 pesos, including an astronomical 60,000 for the pastry shop which, by the way, had a value of LESS than 1,000 pesos

When the Mexican Congress refused to do so, the French navy decided to blockade key seaports along the Gulf of Mexico, provoking the country to declare war on France It lasted 4 months with over 300 casualties British diplomats brokered a peace agreement in 1839 in which Mexico agreed to pay the 600,000 pesos… and the cost of the pastry shop 2) The War Of The Stray Dog In one of the most bizarre conflicts of the 20th century, a dog inadvertently triggered an international crisis The incident was the culmination of a long period of hostility between Greece and Bulgaria, countries that had been at loggerheads since the Second Balkan War in the 1910s

Tensions, however, finally boiled over in October 1925 A Greek soldier was manning his post near the border town of Petrich [pet-rick] in Bulgaria when he stepped into Bulgarian territory to go after his dog that had strayed over the border The border was manned by Bulgarian guards, one of whom shot and killed the Greek ‘imposter’ It was an action that caused outrage, leading Greece to issue Bulgaria with an ultimatum In the space of 48 hours they had to punish those who were responsible, make an official apology, and pay 2 million francs in compensation to the victim’s families

Bulgaria refused, so Greece invaded the country, occupying the town of Petrich and nearby villages The League of Nations later negotiated a ceasefire between the two nations, but not before the incident had resulted in the deaths of some 50 people and 100 more casualties The lesson to learn here – always keep your dog on a leash 1) The Honey War To resolve a lingering spat with Iowa over its boundary, Missouri decided to resurvey its borders in 1837 Smelling an opportunity, the state’s governor approved a plan that saw it gain a 13-mile strip of Iowa’s territory

Needless to say, Iowans were furious When Missourian officials went to collect taxes from their newly acquired patch, they were met by a mob which took one official HOSTAGE and chased the rest out of the state On their way out, however, the officials chopped down 3 trees that were home to honey bees Honey was a valued commodity on the frontier, so the honey inside the trees would serve as partial payment Or so they thought

The loss of the honey trees instead set off a political firestorm Missouri sent 800 of their militia to occupy the disputed region while Iowa sent 300 of theirs… but not a single shot was fired and there were no casualties After a month-long standoff, both sides withdrew their troops and appealed to the federal government for a solution In 1849 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Iowa and restored the original borderline, a border that continues to this day

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