There are a lot of claims that there have only been 26 days of peace since 1945.

For example: How many days peace has the world had since 1945?

I believe none, because there has always been some form of war at sometime, in some place. No, in total 26 days of peace sine 1945. A little sad

Is there evidence for this claim?

  • 1
    Definition of peace is "absence of war", however there is not good definition of war. – vartec May 4 '15 at 4:48

It is difficult to give a straight answer to the question, because if we define peace as the absence of war (example), we still have the problem of the nebulous definition of war. Does war include guerilla wars, civil wars, insurgencies and other forms of conflict? Does war have a clearly defined start and end date?

For example, when did World War II end? While the Japanese ceased-fire and announced surrender in August 1945, signed the paperwork in September 1945, signed the peace treaty in 1951, and were no longer occupied by the US in 1952. Some argue that some countries never signed a peace treaty, but just stopped fighting, so are technically still at war. [Reference - not a strong source, but this isn't controversial.]

Notwithstanding that, I am taking advantage of the looseness of the quote in the question, which uses a very broad "some sort of war", to include Civil Wars and Rebellions. The following conflicts overlapped each other, leaving no days where the entire world was at peace.

These are, by no means, the only conflicts during that time, but I picked some of the longer conflicts to cover the entire period.

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    @Oddthinking Your link for Hukbalahap rebellion say "In September 1945, Luis Taruc and other Huk leaders were freed from prison. Luis Taruc formally announced the end of the resistance movement." There may have been peace until the August 24, 1946 murder of Juan Feleo. – DavePhD May 2 '15 at 19:43
  • It's easier to prove when you include 'civil war' and 'rebellion' as "war". Admittedly they're not "peace". – ChrisW May 2 '15 at 19:53
  • @DavePhD: Thanks, I've reinforced the evidence of continuous violence during that period with more ongoing conflicts. – Oddthinking May 3 '15 at 1:05
  • @ChrisW: Yeah, the definition of 'war' is disputable. The quoted claim says 'some form of war', and the question asks about peace, so I think this is a legitimate answer. – Oddthinking May 3 '15 at 1:06
  • @Oddthinking: as for anti-soviet resistance, the ending date is kind of doubtful, because things did deescalate rather quickly. – vartec May 4 '15 at 3:08

This claim is made in REGIONAL CONFLICTS IN THE THIRD WORLD: DIMENSIONS, CAUSES, PERSPECTIVES (1988) by MIR A. FERDOWSI of Third World Research Section at the Geschwister - Scholl Institute University of Munich, published in Law and State: A Biannual Collection of Recent German Contributions to These Fields.

The claim is at page 32

since the Second World War the globe has only been without a war for a few days, to wit, for 26 days in September 1945

Also, a 1974 version of the claim is Proceedings of the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs at page 287:

there were only 26 days (between 2 and 29 September 1945) during these thirty years when there was no war waged the whole world over

The significance of 2 September 1945 was the formal surrender of Japan.

However, Ho Chi Minh also declared Vietnam independent 2 September 1945.

And, conflict in Viet Nam had started by 13 September 1945

Furthermore revolution in Indonesia started 17 August 1945 and continued through 1949.

It depends where you draw the line between war and peace, but it seems there was significant conflict during September 1945, rather than 26 days of world peace.

  • This deals with 1945-1949. What about the rest of the time? – Oddthinking May 2 '15 at 15:44
  • FYI, footnote 1157 of this book cites "War institutes" as the source of this 1986 statistic. Following up on Berger–Levrault might lead to something more substantial. – user7920 May 2 '15 at 19:00
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    @Oddthinking right, I was only trying to address the specific 26 days during September 1945 of supposed peace. – DavePhD May 2 '15 at 19:13
  • @coleopterist Some cite the book "Kriege nach 1945 Eine empirische Untersuchung" (1982) Istvan Kende (or earlier work by Kende) as the source. dadalos.org/frieden_int/grundkurs_2/krieg.htm and forum.skalman.nu/viewtopic.php?t=30993 – DavePhD May 2 '15 at 19:31

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