28. History’s Longest War?
The longest war in history reportedly lasted for 335, and pitted the Isles of Scilly off England’s southwest coast against the Netherlands. Its origins date to the English Civil War, when the Parliamentarians forced the Royalist Navy to retreat to the Isles of Scilly. The Netherlands were allied with the Parliamentarians, so the Royalists preyed upon Dutch ships. Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp arrived in Scilly to demand reparations, but the Royalists failed to offer satisfaction. So he declared war on April 17th, 1651. Since most of England was in the hands of their Parliamentarian allies, the Dutch declaration was limited specifically to the Isles of Scilly.
Soon thereafter, the Parliamentarians forced the Royalist fleet to surrender, and took over Scilly before the Dutch had fired a shot. The Dutch never got around a peace declaration, so technically, a state of war continued to exist between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly. In 1986, a historian contacted the Dutch Embassy in London to double check if a peace had ever been signed. None had been. So the Dutch ambassador visited Scilly on April 17th, 1986, the 335th anniversary of the declaration of war, to officially end the bloodless conflict.