Wars That Were Fought for Utterly Ridiculous Reasons

No one likes war. It’s dirty and bloody and the loss of life is often felt by thousands, if not millions. The reasons for these feuds almost never make sense, but none take the cake like these do. The wars in our article today detail the absolute dumbest reasons why people gathered to fight, and the reasons include stray dogs, pastries, kettles, ears and oak buckets. Don’t believe us? Keep reading. 

1. The Kettle War (1748)

Of all the war names in this article, this one really has nothing to do with what actually happened. At the time, the northern Netherlands functioned as an independent republic, while the south was ruled by the Holy Roman Empire. Out of nowhere, the emperor decided that he needed certain south ports open for trade on the River Scheldt- it was cut off by the north for about 100 years. He could have asked nicely, but he didn’t. Instead, he sent a group of ships to the north, including the technological marvel and flagship, Le Louis. The Dutch sent out a single ship, the Dolfijn, which fired one shot at Le Louis. The shot didn’t hit anyone, but it did puncture a soup kettle, which resulted in the prompt surrender of the emperor’s men. 

 2. The War of the Stray Dog (1925)

The War of the Stray Dog saw 10, 000 Bulgarians meeting 20, 000 Greeks on the battlefield. Why? Because a stray dog had gotten away from a Greek soldier and ran across the Bulgarian border. The soldier followed him across and was promptly shot for being on foreign territory. And so the Greek invaded, setting up shop in border towns, while preparing for an attack on the city of Petrich. Before things got too out of control, the League of Nations intervened and arranged a ceasefire. 

3. The Pastry War (1838 – 1839) 

French pastry chef Monsieur Remontel wrote a complaint to King Louis-Philippe requesting assistance after his shop had been looted on the outskirts of Mexico City. The chef requested a whopping 60,000 pesos, even though his shop was only valued at 1,000. His complaint, along with that of other French citizens who had experienced similar incidents prompted the king to ask that Mexicans pay the French back. In the end, no one cared about the shops- it was all about the money. The French stayed in Mexico until they agreed to pay. 

4. The War of Jenkin’s Ear (1739 – 1748)

Back in 1931, a British trader by the name of Robert Jenkins had his ear cut off after being stopped by Spanish authorities who accused him of smuggling. Eight years later, the British, who were trying to force Spain out of South America and the Caribbean, decided to launch a war to avenge the trader’s ear. Nearly 5, 000 ships were lost and approximately 25, 000 were killed or hurt. The war ended in a stalemate and a peace treaty was signed. 

5. The War of the Oaken Bucket (1325)

The War of the Oaken Bucket resulted from a feud between the Italian states of Modena and Bologna. It was a proxy war that took place because of the conflict between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire- Modena supported the emperor while Bologna supported the Pope. So it probably wasn’t a good idea that some Modenese soldiers stole a bucket from Bologna’s town’s well. The two states went to war; Bologna had 32, 000 men, while Modena had a measly 7, 000. Two thousand men died that day, before Modena chased the Bolognese from the battlefield. To this day the bucket remains on display in the Torre della Ghirlandina, in Modena.

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