On this day in 1466, the Thirteen Years’ War ended. It was fought between the Prussian Confederation and the State of the Teutonic Order. In other words: the Germans. The Prussians were trying to get out from under the thumb of the Teutonics. And in this regard, they got the help of the Kingdom of Poland, and they won the war. But here’s the funny thing: it set up the War of the Priests, which I don’t entirely understand, but pitted Poland against the Prussians. There were many other parties. It was a mess. It lasted almost as long the Thirteen Years’ War.
The only reason I bring this up is because the Thirteen Years’ War didn’t actually last 13 years. It was close — certainly close enough to call it that. But there are two other conflicts that are at least as deserving of the name. First, there was the Long Turkish War, which took place from 1593 to 1606. It is often called the Thirteen Years’ War, but also the Fifteen Years’ War because of skirmishes for the two years prior to that. It was a much more impressive war regarding the number of people involved.
The second was the Russo-Polish War from 1654 to 1667. Russia defeated Poland decisively. This war marks the beginning of the rise of Russia as a major military and political force in the world. But we don’t care. The Germans had their war first, so I suppose they deserve the name of the war. But the other two wars are super important. And I’ll bet there are other wars that ran this long. If only we had withdrawn from Afghanistan last year, that could have been another Thirteen Years’ War.