List of wars extended by diplomatic irregularity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cartoon by Puck magazine celebrating the "resumption" of diplomatic relations between Greece and Persia in 1902, interrupted after the outbreak of the Greco-Persian Wars in 490 BC

There are different claims of wars extended by diplomatic irregularity, sometimes by a small country named in a declaration of war being accidentally omitted from a peace treaty concerning the wider conflict. These "extended wars" have only been discovered after the fact, and have no impact during the long period (often hundreds of years) after the actual fighting ended.

The discovery of an "extended war" is sometimes an opportunity for a ceremonial peace to be contracted by the belligerent parties. This can boost tourism and the relations between states involved by providing interaction not before engaged in, and in some cases, starting relations that have not occurred for historical or geographic reasons. Ceremonial peace, in these cases, is often good natured and for this reason can involve the highest levels of government or foreign affairs offices.

Such a situation is to be distinguished from that of parties deliberately avoiding a peace treaty when political disputes outlive military conflict, as in the Kuril Islands dispute between Japan and Russia.

Extended wars[edit]

Combatants Historical conflict Declaration of war De facto peace Ceremonial peace Status of claim
Punic Wars 264 BCE 146 BCE 1985
Ancient Rome and Ancient Carthage never signed a peace treaty after the Romans seized and destroyed Carthage in 146 BC. In 1985 the mayors of modern Rome and Carthage signed a peace treaty and accompanying pact of friendship.[1]
Isles of Scilly
Dutch Republic
First Anglo-Dutch War 1651 1654 1986 The Dutch Republic under Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter declared war on the Council of the Isles of Scilly which still administers the islands under the British Crown (under the Duchy of Cornwall). The pirates from the islands were a menace during the English Civil War between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. When the Dutch and English republics signed the Treaty of Westminster (1654), this separate state of war was not mentioned and thus not included.
Peninsular War 1809 1814 1981 Huéscar was at war with Denmark, as a result of the Napoleonic wars over Spain, where Denmark supported the French Empire. The official declaration of war was forgotten until it was discovered by a local historian in 1981, followed by the signing of a peace treaty on 11 November 1981 by the city mayor and the Ambassador of Denmark. Not a single shot was fired during the 172 years of war, and nobody was killed or injured.
Principality of Montenegro
Empire of Japan
Russo-Japanese War 1904 1905 2006[2] Montenegro declared war in support of Russia but Montenegro lacked a navy or any other means to engage Japan. After Montenegro (independent in 1904, but united with Serbia by 1919) had voted in 2006 to resume its independence, it concluded a separate peace treaty in order to establish diplomatic relations with Japan. See Japan–Montenegro relations.
German Empire
World War I 1914 1918 1958[3] Andorra was not invited to the Paris Peace Conference.
Costa Rica
German Empire
World War I 1918 1918 - Due to a dispute over the legitimacy of the government of Federico Tinoco Granados, Costa Rica was not a party to the Treaty of Versailles and did not unilaterally end the state of war.[4] The technical state of war never ended. Costa Rica did not issue a declaration of war against Germany in World War II.
Allies of World War II
World War II 1939 1945 1990
At the time World War II was declared over, there was no single German state that all occupying powers accepted as being the sole representative of the former Reich. The "war" technically did not finish until German reunification in 1990. However, in 1949 some technicalities were modified to soften the state of war between the U.S. and Germany. The state of war was retained since it provided the U.S. with a legal basis for keeping troops in Western Germany.[citation needed][5] As a legal substitute for a peace treaty[6] the U.S. formally ended the state of war between the U.S. and Germany on October 19, 1951 at 5:45 p.m. According to the U.S., a formal peace treaty had been stalled by the Soviet Union.[6] It was not until the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany was signed in 1990 that peace was formally established.
Peoples Republic of Korea
South Korea
Korean War 1950 1953 -
The conflict between South and North Korea, beginning with Korean war in 1950, ended in armistice. A peace treaty was never signed and the countries are still technically at war.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Better Late Than Never' Category: Rome, Carthage Finally Make Peace". Los Angeles Times. January 20, 1985. 
  2. ^ "Montenegro, Japan to declare truce". United Press International. 
  3. ^ "World War I Ends in Andorra", UPI story in the New York Times, Sep 25, 1958. p. 66. A number of sources say 1939, but there is no period confirmation for this.
  4. ^ United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations (1919). Treaty of peace with Germany: Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, sixty-sixth Congress, first session on the Treaty of peace with Germany, signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, and submitted to the Senate on July 10, 1919. Govt. Print Off. pp. 206–209. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  5. ^ "THE NATIONS: A Step Forward". Time. November 28, 1949. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "National Affairs: War's End". Time. July 16, 1951. Retrieved May 11, 2010.