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Inspired by Last death caused by World War I.

Even as recently as 2013, we still have had casualties from abandoned munition stockpiles and the likes from WW1. I'm wondering if there are any wars from before WW1 which caused recent casualties. As a ridiculous example or 2: a collector who was killed while cleaning their Civil War era rifle which was still loaded; or someone who falls into a trap pit dug during the American Revolution. I'm specifically talking about remnants of past wars which are still out there in the world, like boobytraps or unexploded munitions.

Is the longest period between the start of a war and their most recent casualties really 99 years? or have there been even longer periods?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Lohoris, Anixx, Pieter Geerkens, jwenting, Tea Drinker Apr 4 at 8:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I'd argue that this could only really be limited to wars which featured explosives. Only because calling a historian who died from tetanus from a Napoleonic era sword a casualty of that conflict is a bit of a stretch, where as someone killed by a delayed explosion from expended ammunition died as a direct consequence of that conflict. –  Kobunite Apr 2 at 16:01
    
@Kobunite The Napoleonic example is indeed a stretch, but I do think that the misfire of a still loaded Civil War era rifle is fairly similar to the delayed explosion. –  called2voyage Apr 2 at 16:12
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I would disagree with the loaded civil war rifle. It's extremely unlikely that a rifle from that long ago had it's original load and much more likely that the collector had loaded the weapon recently and it went off when cleaning. Which, imo, wouldn't qualify. @called2voyage: this article comes to mind: bbc.com/news/world-asia-25772192 Japanese soldier who was still fighting ww2 until 1974 –  Chris Lively Apr 2 at 16:15
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If we're accepting decades-delayed weapons effects as casualties "caused by" a conflict, why do we not count the political effects? Could we say that the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 helped set the stage for the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s? Or that the 12th century Norman invasions of Ireland set the stage for The Troubles? I'm not clear why we would draw the line to include inanimate weapons from a period (including weapons recovered by academics) but exclude the obvious geopolitical and social effects. –  NL7 Apr 2 at 17:29
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Agreed, it becomes endlessly recursive. So I guess I'm commenting both that the question is somewhat arbitrary (though still intriguing, clearly) and that its parameters are somewhat fuzzy. Does it have to be specific inanimate objects? What about rump fighters who continue the fight, like FARC after the Colombian civil war or equivalent forces in the African Great Lakes region? –  NL7 Apr 2 at 18:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not sure, but here is a good candidate:

Experts suspect White was killed while trying to disarm a 9-inch, 75-pound naval cannonball, a particularly potent explosive with a more complex fuse and many times the destructive power of those used by infantry artillery.

Biemeck and Peter George, co-author of a book on Civil War ordnance, believe White was using either a drill or a grinder attached to a drill to remove grit from the cannonball, causing a shower of sparks.

Because of the fuse design, it may have appeared as though the weapon's powder had already been removed, leading even a veteran like White to conclude mistakenly that the ball was inert.

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