The Longest War in History
Yesterday, I made a post about the shortest war in recorded history, the Anglo-Zanzibar War. Today, I shall provide its exact opposite, the longest war in history: the Reconquista. This conflict lasted seven hundred eighty one years, from 711-1492 C.E. This will be but a very brief rundown of only the basic causes of the conflict and how it ended, as I am not quite familiar with this particular war. My specialty in history centers around that of Europe from the late Middle Ages to the early 1900s, so I had to do some light research to even write the few paragraphs that you are about to read. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.
This conflict primarily took place in the Iberian Peninsula, but it branched out a little occasionally, I believe. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that this was a religious conflict. By the early 700s C.E., tensions along and within the Iberian Peninsula between the Christian and Muslim populations had become quite dire, and this all came to a head no earlier than 718 (historians are not sure exactly when this battle took place).
The Battle of Covadonga kicked off this great conflict, and it is actually quite complicated. Several groups of Christian refugees attacked a Muslim army in Northern Hispania, in the mountains, which they defeated. They then formed the (independent and Christian) Kingdom of Asturias.
Keep in mind, back then, the large nations that exist today did not exist. Technology was simply not advanced enough to keep large nations well regulated, so the entire world was dotted with thousands of small kingdoms, city states, principalities, duchies, countenances, electorates, republics, and (I could really go on for a while) so forth. That noted, when the Reconquista began, it dragged dozens of little nations into the fray.
Over the course of the war, the Muslim and Christian armies would battle, more or less pushing each other back and forth in no particular pattern across Western Europe. I am unsure how many nations fought on each side, but there were quite a few of them. On the Christian side, I know of the Kingdoms of Castile, Navarre, and Portugal, the Crown of Argon, and the Castile-Argon Union. On the Muslim side, I know of the Emirate of Cordoba, the Band Qasi, The Taifas of Zaragoza, Toledo, and Granada, and the Marinid Sultanate. There were plenty more than these, but I am unfamiliar with them.
The most important battle in this war, in my opinion, was the Battle of Navas de Tolosa (1212, I believe), in which the Christian forces won a massive victory after they crushed Muslim Moorish fortifications. The great conflict ended in 1492, but it still took years after that before the entirety of the Iberian Peninsula was controlled by the Christians.
Unfortunately, this is all I can tell you about the Reconquista, as that is all I know. But this is an extremely complex war with many components, so if you are interested in it, I highly recommend looking into it yourself, as my summary is meager at best. Ultimately, the Christians won the seven-hundred-eighty-one-year war, somewhat unifying the Iberian Peninsula for decades to come. I apologize that I can not give more of the specifics about this war. But, regardless, it stands that this conflict was a major part of history, and in any respect, I would not want to be a POW in the first seven hundred fifty years of it.