Wars and battles are often fought for honor, liberation, and revenge and history is full of stories of such conflicts that make sense. But what we don’t often get to read is that there have always been wars on the sideline that were fought for most pointless reasons that make one question the intelligence and reasoning capability of humans.
This list is about 3 such most pointless wars ever fought that prove humans are stupid and insane.
1. The war over the death of a pig.
After the Oregon Treaty signed between the United State of America and British North America (now Canada) in the year 1846, it was believed that the treaty would end the border disputes between the two countries. While it pretty much did solve most of the problems, the two countries locked their horns in San Juan Island due to the strategic location of the island. Both the countries claimed ownership over it and soon citizens from both the countries started to migrate and settle there.
This though sounded like an obvious call for war, settlers from both the countries got along rather very well until June 15, 1859, when a pig belonging to a British employee wandered into the land of an American farmer and ate some of his potatoes. Lyman Cutlar, the farmer, instantly shot the pig dead.
Charles Griffin, the owner of the pig was so enraged that he refused a monetary compensation by Cutler and reported against Cutler to the British authority. The British wanted now to arrest Cutlar, but meanwhile, the angry Americans on the island wrote a petition to the US for military protection.
On July 27, a 66-man company of US infantry reached the island. When the British Columbia governor James Douglas learned about the infantry, he sent three warships to the island and this went on and on. Both the countries kept increasing their military presence in the area resulting in a long standoff and involvement of 3 warships, 84 guns, and 2,600 men. Fortunately, when Douglas asked Admiral Robert L. Baynes to attack the US infantry, he refused to fight over the issue of the death of a pig.
The tug of war was finally settled in the year 1872 after an international commission decided that the island should belong to the USA.
2. The war over a dog crossing a border mistakenly.
Post World War I and after the Balkan War, when the Ottoman Empire had finally ceased to be and Bulgaria and Greece were at last independent countries, a new problem had arisen between them on the issue of where exactly the borders between them were and this led to a lot of tensions between the two countries.
Both Greece and Bulgaria claimed Thrace. Adding to the headache of Greece, Bulgaria was believed to be helping the separatist movement in Macedonia, which was marred with guerilla warfare. Understandably, both the sides were itched by each other and were always ready for fights, but little did anyone imagine that the reason for which the two countries would be eventually killing each other would be a dog.
On October 18, 1925, a Greek border guard’s dog got away from him and ran into the Bulgarian territory. The guard, trying to recover the dog, ran after it and ended up on the Bulgarian soil only to be shot at by a trigger-happy Bulgarian. This quickly escalated to an exchange of fire from both the sides. When a Greek captain tried to calm the situation by waving a white flag, he too was shot and killed by the Bulgarian.
The Greeks were enraged and decided to invade Bulgaria with the help of Serbia. The Bulgarians meanwhile ran to the League of Nations, an equivalent of present-day United Nations formed after the First World War, for help. The League asked Greece to move out of Bulgaria and pay 45,000 pounds as compensation. To make sure that the League is serious about its decision, military forces were called from Italy, France, and Britain. Greece had no option but to comply.
The war, which lasted for ten days, claimed about 150 lives, all for a dog crossing the border.
3. The unnecessary war that caused the death of half of Scotland’s population.
The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague, was a devastating plague that had created havoc in Asia and Europe in the mid 14th Century that killed anywhere between 70 to 200 million people in these two continents in just five years. It is regarded as one of the worst plagues that had ever occurred in human recorded history.
The plague was supposed to have originated in Central Asia and spread through Silk Route to Crimea, from where it was carried by black rats and through regular merchant ships the disease-causing bacteria traveled to the Mediterranean and Europe. Even before it had reached Europe in 1347, it had already killed an estimated 20 million people in Asia. It is believed that there was more than one point of introduction of the disease to Europe, but once it had entered the continent, it couldn’t be contained until it had killed more than half of the population. The population of the world was reduced to such an extent that it would take the world another 200 years after its outbreak to recover and reach the same level of population.
Now about the pointless war, even before the plague could reach Scotland, it was destroying England and Scots assumed that it was the wreath of God that had befallen on England. Identifying it as an opportunity as England had become significantly weak, Scotland declared war on England in 1349 and gathered Selkirk. But contrary to their expectations of conquering the realm of England, they were invaded by the plague and more than 5000 of the soldiers died there. The remaining decided to retreat but were attacked by the English soldiers causing further deaths. The few that survived and did make it back to Scotland took with them the plague which went on to wipe out more than half of the country’s population besides crippling the economy that would take Scotland centuries to recover from.
If only had Scotland has stayed in the home, the Scottish history would be a different one today.