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Interesting History: The Kettle War, With Only a Gallon of Soup for Casualties
Throughout history there have been numerous strange wars fought, like the campaign where the Austrian army defeated itself or the conquest of a rock then commissioning it as a ship in the Royal Navy. However, there was a battle lasting no more than a single shot of a cannon in the 18th century.
The Kettle War
In 1784, Joseph II. of the Holy Roman Empire demanded that the Netherlands return several provinces to Imperial rule, with their intentions backed by the military might of Great Britain. Joseph II. hoped that the Netherlands would surrender, facing the full might of the Empire, he sent out three ships to the Scheldt.
On the 9th of October, a Dutch ship approached the three Imperial vessels and fired one single shot. This shot hit a kettle filled with soup, terrifying the Austrians on board the flagship. They surrendered immediately.
With the Imperial offensive stopped, Joseph II. needed time to recuperate. However, as the other nations took notice, diplomatic pressure became too overwhelming to commence with an invasion of the United Provinces.
Considering the fact that the Imperial flagship was a newly commissioned one, much greater and with more firepower than any of the Dutch ships around, the three ships could have easily forced the Dutch into a treaty possibly leading to giving up territories.
But history has its funny moments, and the war was turned upside-down. And because the only casualty of the confrontation was a kettle of soup, it is referred to nowadays as "The Kettle War".
Other entries in my Interesting History series:
- Interesting History: Secret Police during the Totalitarian Dictatorships of Hungary
During the Soviet occupation, Hungary was governed by a dictatorship closely interwoven with Soviet agents. This article aims to provide a glimpse on how the secret agencies functioned in Hungary.
- Interesting History: How a Rock Became the Heaviest Ever Ship in the Royal Navy
An article on HMS Diamond Rock, a cliff in front of a French port that was taken and commissioned as a British ship in the navy. Even today, British navy laws still apply to the rock.
- Interesting History: How the Austrian Army Defeated Itself at Karánsebes
This article tells the story of a battle derived from debatable sources, in which the Austrian army accidentally attacked itself and suffered a defeat in 1788.
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