As if taking cue from the monarchs’ historians can be quite bad at naming events. Why come up with a new name when you can just name your newborn Louis the fourteenth? Today I would like to take a look at some of the names of wars for their strange names, misleading titles, and other such oddities.
The Hundred Years’ War
The obvious fact wrong with this title is that the war did not last for one hundred years. It in fact lasted for one hundred and sixteen years. This may be a result of rounding off for simplicity or convenience, but other fields would be less forgiving. Just try rounding off numbers to that degree in chemistry or with temperature.
The French and Indian War
This one appears simple enough. It implies that the French and Indians were fighting each other. Well yes and no. The French were fighting the Indian allies of the British and their colonists. But the French also had Indian allies. What I find most curious is that the title would omit the British, as they would be France’s major antagonist. But perhaps this is a way to distinguish itself from the innumerable wars the two have fought against each other.
The Continuation War
This title is completely devoid of meaning or context if you know nothing about the Winter War. And even then, the Winter War gives no clue to its combatants. Being a small war it would need to be able to stick out more on its own compared to The Second World War, which most people already know the major combatants. The Winter War was between the Soviet Union and Finland and after 3 months, despite the remarkable performance of the Finnish, the Soviet Union annexed parts of Finland. The Continuation War was, as you might be able to guess, a resumption of the war as Finland sought to regain lost land by the opportunity Operation Barbarossa provided. Finland failed to regain land and instead lost further ground.
The Pastry War
This title sounds like a joke, but I can assure you such a conflict actually took place. Displaying that even historians can have a sense of humor. A French bakery in Mexico sent a complaint to the King saying that Mexican officers had looted his shop. With more complaints of French citizens arriving the King demanded Mexico pay 600,000 pesos, an outrageous sum at the time. (The average daily wage was just one peso.) Mexico refused and thus war broke out.