By this I mean has there ever been a major military conflict from the time periods of 1500 ad to present (I disregard civil wars and weird things like say the Pig War etc...) where if you had a map made one day before the war started of the countries / kingdoms / empires involved, that map would be the exact same as a map made one day after the war ended.

By change I mean there would be no territory lost or gained by either side, no change of country, state, or city names, also the war can not have resulted in a regime change (other than in a democracy) i.e. the king, tyrant, dictator (or his family/faction) remained in power on both sides.

The only one that I could think of is possibly the Soviet-Afghan war (but I could be mistaken,) but are there any others?

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    i think you should search on the internet for the shortest wars in history or those that ended in stalemate. There you'll probably find what you're after
    – Notaras
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 0:51
  • Do civil wars count?
    – user13123
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 1:43
  • Nope no civil wars, also the war can not have resulted in a regime change (other than in a democracy) ie the king, dictator, etc... remained in power on both sides.
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 1:49
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    None at all, or very little? I'm thinking of the Korean War.
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 4:56
  • None at all, the post war map needs to be the exact same as the pre war map. There was territorial change after the Korean War. "Not only had the North Koreans failed to conquer the South, but they had actually suffered a net loss of 1,500 square miles of territory as the price of their aggression" - history.army.mil/brochures/kw-stale/stale.htm
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 14:55

5 Answers 5


Status quo ante bellum

It's a Latin phrase that describes exactly what you're after - that territories reverted to what they were before the war. It's actually very common; a modern example is the Iran-Iraq war which was brutal and lasted 8 years.

Usually this is a result of a treaty, and where one side holding more territory but also wants peace, and as an enticement, offers the other side a restoration of territory.

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    Ahhhh... thank you for the terminology and that war definitely fits the definition. Now that you pointed out there is a wiki already devoted to this I will probably delete the question.
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 1:37
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    @ed.hank Don't delete it! That's like saying "I've got what I came for, gotta make sure no-one else benefits from it."
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 7:42
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    I don’t think questions that have an upvoted answer can be deleted by the OP (only by moderators).
    – chirlu
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:59
  • @chirlu That's correct. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 11:40
  • Check, I will leave it then. Thank you everyone for your input, I find this topic very fascinating!
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 15:11

War of 1812? US failed to invade Canada, Canada/Britain failed to invade US.

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    Why the question mark? This answer is correct. There was no border change as a direct result of the war. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 13:38
  • Intresting. There were absolutely no changes to the US/Canadian border after the war of 1812? Or any changes to the west Florida border?
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 15:04

The Falklands war 1982 would be one.

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    No need to sign up your answers; your avatar is displayed anyway. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 10:29
  • This was not a major war. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 16:52
  • @IanRingrose -I am sort of torn on whether this would count as a major war too. It was a small affair but there were 1,000 casualties, several ships sunk, and territory was occupied and then re-occupied. I am sort of leaning towards allowing it but I am open to changing my mind if others agree with you.
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 20:03

The Peninsular War (1807–14) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and the allied powers of Spain, Britain and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, its ally until then.

It was a grand conflict which involved hundreds of thousands of troops and the whole population of Spain in a generalized guerrilla warfare.

After the war no borders between France and Spain, between Spain and Portugal or between Spain and Britain (Gibraltar) were changed.

Map of Peninsular War

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    I think this one fits the bill too. I am doing some more research on it now. thanks for the idea!
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 15:09
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    There were liberal uprisings in Spain and Portugal after the Peninsular War, leading to a new French (Bourbon) invasion. And yes, there were no changes on this map, but South America map changed big time.
    – Brasidas
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 15:48
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    @Brasidas Liberal uprisings lasted for decades and didn't change any border. Independence of Spanish and Portuguese South American Empires were triggered by Napoleonic wars, but they were not simultaneous, but some years later, so they are not part of the same conflict. India and Pakistan's independences were triggered by WW2 but they are not part of it.
    – Ginasius
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 16:01
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    Question says: "also the war can not have resulted in a regime change", that's why I commented about liberal revs.
    – Brasidas
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 16:06
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    @Brasidas Spain was a absolutist monarchy with Charles IV before this war and reverted to an absolutist monarchy with his son Ferdinand VII in 1814, the same year the Peninsular War ended. After Ferdinand's death in 1833 (near 20 years later!) there were a long series of political changes and several civil wars that lasted decades.
    – Ginasius
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 16:10

Without going into the reasons for the animosity, there are some examples of this in the conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors:

Several other smaller conflicts are listed on Wikipedia that didn't lead to any formal border changes.

  • I dont feel like the War of Attrition would count as it doesnt seem to meet the scale of a major conflict (I read your link but please correct me if you feel I am wrong) The Yom Kippur war now definitely qualifies as an answer, but I read that Isreal occupied 2/3 of the Sinai peninsula and areas around the Golan heights. Did they give all of these lands back at the end of the war?
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 20:58
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    @ed.hank Ah, I wasn't really sure how you were defining 'major.' Israel already occupied Sinai and the Golan Heights prior to the Yom Kippur War (as a result of the Six-Day War.) Egypt and Syria (respectively) were trying to take them back. At any rate, according to wiki, "Eventually Arab forces were defeated by Israel and there were no significant territorial changes." Though I'm admittedly not sure if "no significant changes" means "no changes at all." I'm not able to find any changes, though.
    – reirab
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:40
  • yeah i figured there could be some confusion on it, major is a rather subjective word. Let me do some research on the Yom Kippur war tonight to see if I can find anything that would disqualify it, so far it looks like it is a good answer to me but when they use words like no "significant" changes it sort of makes me there could be "insignificant" changes that would be reflected on a map.
    – ed.hank
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:49

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