Guinness World Records & the Military

In the 2020 edition of the Guinness World Records there are a range of military and military-orientated records:

  • Shortest War (p.176):
    • On 27 August 1896, Britain and Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) officially went to war at 09.00 am.
    • The conflict ended after 45 minutes with Zanizbar having suffered approximately 500 casualties.
  • First Use of Aircraft in Warfare (p.208):
    • On 22 October 1911, during the Italo-Turkish War, Captain Carlo Piazzo (Italy) flew a Bleriot monplane from Tripoli to El Azizia in Libya to reconnoitre Turkish forces.
  • First Landing on a Moving Ship (p.138):
    • On 02 August 1917, E.H. Dunning (UK) achieved the first landing on a moving ship when he brought down his ship on the aircraft carrier HMS Furious in Orkney, UK.
    • He died on the 07 August attempting the same feat.
  • Worst Airship Disaster (p.63):
    • On 04 April 1933, the USS Akron was ripped apart in a storm off the coast of New Jersey, USA, killing 73 passengers and crew.
    • There were only three survivors.
    • THe USS Akron was a helium-filled rigid airship of the US Navy, which operated between September 1931 and April 1933. She was the world’s first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier, carrying F9C Sparrowhawk fighter planes, which could be launched and recovered while she was in flight.
  • First Submarine Circumnavigation (p.78):
    • On 25 April 1960, the USS Triton, a nuclear-powered submarine, reaches Saint Peter and Saint Paul Rocks in the Atlantic Ocea, having completed the fitst submarine circumnavigation in 60 days and 21 hours.
  • First Murder on Live Television (p.227):
    • On 24 November 1963, TV audiences watch as Lee Harvey Oswald (a former US Marine), the accused assassin of US President John F Kennedy, is shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
  • Fastest Rocket-Powered Aircraft (p.199):
    • On 03 October 1967, US Air Force test pilot William ‘Pete’ Knight reaches Mach 6.7 (7,274 kmh or 4,520 mph) over California, USA, in the experimental X-15A-2.
  • Most Burpees in One Hour (p.25):
    • On 04 February 1994, Paddy Doyle (ex-Para), achieved 1,840 burpees in one hour at the Bull’s Head pub in Polesworth, Birmingham, UK.
  • Deepest Shipwreck (p.229):
    • On 28 November 1996, Blue Water Recoveries locates the deepest shipwreck.
    • The SS Rio Grande, a World War II blockade runner, lies 5,762 metres (18,904 feet) at the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean.
  • Farthest Flight by an Uncrewed Aircraft (p.160):
    • On 22-23 April 2001,a US Air Force Northrop Grumman Global Hawk called Southern Cross II covered 13,219.86 km (8,214.44 miles) in a single flight.
    • The high altitude long endurance (HALE) surveillance plane took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California, USA, and landed at RAAF Base Edinburgh in Adelaide, Australia, 23 hours and 23 minutes later.
  • Fastest Aircraft with an Air-Breathing Engine (p.160):
    • On 16 November 2004, the X-43A reached a top speed of Mach 9.6 (c. 10,000 kmh or 6,200 mph) during a flight test.
    • The X-43A was an experimental drone designed to test an engine called a scramjet.
  • Fastest Marathon in Armour (p.193):
    • on 21 September 2008, Peter Pedersenran the fastest marathon in armour in a time of 6 hours, 46 minutes, and 59 seconds.
    • The armour included helmet and gauntlets.
  • First Aircraft Carrier Landing by an Autonomous Drone (p.161):
    • On 10 July 2013, the X-47B prototype made the first aircraft carrier landing by an autonomous drone on the USS George H.W. Bush off Virginia, USA.
    • The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) has been designed to operate at sea.
      • Its wings can fold up, reducing its width from 18.0 m (62 ft) to 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in).
      • Althougg never armed, it has a weapons bay that can hold 2,041 kg (4,500 lb) of armaments.
      • Has a high subsonic top speed and altitude of 12,000 m (40,000 ft).
  • Highest Defence Budget (p.145):
    • In 2017, the US Department of Defence received $609.758 billion (£451.878 billion), up from $600 billion (£487.6 billion) in 2016.
  • Fastest Horizontal Speed in a Wingsuit (p.114):
    • On 22 May 2017, Fraser Corsan (UK) flew at 396.88 kmh (246.6 mph) in a wingsuit over Davis, California, USA.
    • He attempted the feat to raise awareness of the armed forces charity SSAFA.
  • Fastest Time to Pull a Tank over 10 metres (p.85):
    • On 17 March 2018, Eddie Williams (Australia) won the “World of Tanks PC Tank Pull” at the Arnold Strongman Australia Championships in Melbourne, Victoria, when he pulled an 8-tonne (17,630 lb) FV102 Striker 10 metres (32 feet 9 inches) in 36.65 seconds.


Guinness World Records. (2020) Guinness World Records 2020. London: Guinness World Records Limited.


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