The 335 Year War (as it is now known) was a bloodless conflict between the Netherlands and the tiny Isles of Scilly which began as far back as 1651 during the English Civil War.
The Dutch, seeing an opportunity to recoup some of their losses from the Royalist raids, immediately sent a fleet of twelve warships to the Isles of Scilly to demand reparations. After receiving no satisfactory answer from the Royalists, the Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp subsequently declared war on the Isles of Scilly on the 30th March 1651.
In June 1651, soon after the declaration of war, the Parliamentarian forces under Admiral Robert Blake forced the Royalist fleet to surrender. The Dutch fleet, no longer under threat, left without firing a shot. Due to the obscurity of one nation’s declaration of war against a small part of another, the Dutch did not officially declare peace.
It is said to have been extended by the lack of a peace treaty for 335 years without a single shot being fired, which would make it one of the world’s longest wars and a bloodless war.
The Dutch Ambassador to Britain flew to the Scilly Isles off the English coast in 1986 to proclaim an end to the Netherlands’ 335-year state of war with the islands, The New York Time reported on 17 April 1986.
Ambassador Jonkheer Huydecoper made the 28-mile journey from the southwest tip of England to the tiny cluster of islands by helicopter, carrying a lavish scroll declaring the state of war terminated.
The Dutch ambassador joked that it must have been awful to the Scillonians “to know we could have attacked at any moment.”