Steamroller conquests?

Malcolm Redfellow

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Catapulta (post #17) may have missed a trick by not looking at the causes (or consequences) of the Anglo-Zanzibar War.

As far as I can see, the War was two Omani sheikhs, one British-backed, the other German-supported, squabbling over who got the late Sultan's harem. OK: dress that up as pro- and anti-slavery factions.

Start with why the British were there in the first place.

Portugal had been at odds with the British over Mashonaland, Nyasaland and so the Zambezi basin. This would have bridged the Portuguese colonies on the Atlantic and Indian Ocean shores — blocking the British attempt to build a north-south, Cape-to-Cairo corridor. Lord Salisbury was having no such nonsense, dismissed the Portuguese claims as 'archaeological', and issued an ultimatum (January 1890). The result was an agreement (August 1890) endorsed by a formal convention (11 June 1891). Mashonaland and Nyasaland went to Britain, and Portugal got the Zambezi basin (I.e. modern Mozambique). For the British the bonus was a 'protectorate' of the sultanate of Zanzibar, but more significantly a freer hand in East Africa, checking the growing German interests in Tanyanika (and so towards the Upper Nile). That involved the grant to Germany of a strip in West Africa, from Kamerun up towards Lake Chad — which, not uncoincidentally, queered the pitch for French expansion in the same area, plus another strip (the 'Caprivi strip') connecting German South-West Africa (modern Namibia) towards the Victoria Falls.

Clever stuff? You betcha. But the clincher was a land-swap. Germany had been building the Kiel Canal since 1887. About thirty miles out of the Elbe and Weser estuaries, and the coast of Holstein stood the rocky outcrop of Heligoland. Heligoland had been annexed by Britain, from Denmark, in 1807. The small population of Heligoland — who would be Frisian rather than German — apparently quite liked being British; but the Royal Navy had not been using the island for any real purpose. So Salisbury traded Heligoland for Zanzibar (apparently to the disgruntlement of Queen Victoria, British public opinion, and the folk of Heligoland). The potential snub to the French was bought off by recognition of their influence in Madagascar.

The story of Heligoland almost ends with the biggest non-nuke bang of WW2. From the back-end of 1944 until 1952, the RAF was using Heligoland as a way of disposing of surplus high explosive. In April 1947, in one go, the Royal Navy detonated 6,700 tons of munitions in Heligoland. Only in 1952 were the uninhabited remains of Heligoland, with large quantities of UXB still lying around, returned to West Germany. The West Germans issued a stamp.


DBP_1952_152_Helgoland.jpg

Now, for a real joke of a war, there's the 1859 Pig War between the US and Britain ...
 


galteeman

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Here is an example of what people can do when they get going:
pacifism is not a good strategy in this world!
Only 101 Moriori out of a population of about 2,000 were left alive by 1862
 

recedite

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The Anglo-Zanzibar War was a military conflict fought between Great Britain and the Zanzibar Sultanate on 27 August 1896. The conflict lasted between 38 and 45 minutes, marking it as the shortest recorded war in history.
Terrible damage to the royal harem there. Looks like the rogue Sultan just gave up when he saw the facility was gone.
 

Catapulta

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Catapulta (post #17) may have missed a trick by not looking at the causes (or consequences) of the Anglo-Zanzibar War.

As far as I can see, the War was two Omani sheikhs, one British-backed, the other German-supported, squabbling over who got the late Sultan's harem. OK: dress that up as pro- and anti-slavery factions.

Start with why the British were there in the first place.

Portugal had been at odds with the British over Mashonaland, Nyasaland and so the Zambezi basin. This would have bridged the Portuguese colonies on the Atlantic and Indian Ocean shores — blocking the British attempt to build a north-south, Cape-to-Cairo corridor. Lord Salisbury was having no such nonsense, dismissed the Portuguese claims as 'archaeological', and issued an ultimatum (January 1890). The result was an agreement (August 1890) endorsed by a formal convention (11 June 1891). Mashonaland and Nyasaland went to Britain, and Portugal got the Zambezi basin (I.e. modern Mozambique). For the British the bonus was a 'protectorate' of the sultanate of Zanzibar, but more significantly a freer hand in East Africa, checking the growing German interests in Tanyanika (and so towards the Upper Nile). That involved the grant to Germany of a strip in West Africa, from Kamerun up towards Lake Chad — which, not uncoincidentally, queered the pitch for French expansion in the same area, plus another strip (the 'Caprivi strip') connecting German South-West Africa (modern Namibia) towards the Victoria Falls.

Clever stuff? You betcha. But the clincher was a land-swap. Germany had been building the Kiel Canal since 1887. About thirty miles out of the Elbe and Weser estuaries, and the coast of Holstein stood the rocky outcrop of Heligoland. Heligoland had been annexed by Britain, from Denmark, in 1807. The small population of Heligoland — who would be Frisian rather than German — apparently quite liked being British; but the Royal Navy had not been using the island for any real purpose. So Salisbury traded Heligoland for Zanzibar (apparently to the disgruntlement of Queen Victoria, British public opinion, and the folk of Heligoland). The potential snub to the French was bought off by recognition of their influence in Madagascar.

The story of Heligoland almost ends with the biggest non-nuke bang of WW2. From the back-end of 1944 until 1952, the RAF was using Heligoland as a way of disposing of surplus high explosive. In April 1947, in one go, the Royal Navy detonated 6,700 tons of munitions in Heligoland. Only in 1952 were the uninhabited remains of Heligoland, with large quantities of UXB still lying around, returned to West Germany. The West Germans issued a stamp.
Now, for a real joke of a war, there's the 1859 Pig War between the US and Britain ...
In fairness to Lord Salisbury the island of Helgoland was indefensible from a British perspective

Have the descendants of the islanders ever sued for compo from the Brits for destroying their lovely island?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
That would be a somewhat dubious principle to advance before a court. That Heligoland is a 'lovely island'. It is basically a bog with sea-water. Probably gets lots of sea-birds.

It would be a bit like the Saltees sue-ing the British Government for failing to designate the Saltees an area of outstanding natural beauty during their adventures in government in Ireland.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
There is famously some thousands of tons of explosives, bombs and other trash from WWII dumped in the sea round about where you might think a bridge between the two islands or a tunnel might eventually be managed.

Some Health and Safety concerns over that watery building site. Denis O'Brien would want to dig out the old snorkel he got for christmas that time when he secures contracts via an open and transparent bidding process which only his company is in reality involved. Get a few for'dners to put in bids to cover the whole shebang and Bertie's yer uncle.
 


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