Myth: The war was won very quickly. This, it would seem, is hinted at by the very name. Chanukah. חנו כ”ה, which means that they rested on the fifteenth.
Fact: The war began in 168 BC or 167 BC. And, as the now famous song has it, it went “on and on and on.” The first stage of the war might have ended by 160, a year in which the valiant Judas Maccabeus was killed in battle (by itself, six years is a not inconsiderable length). There were interludes of war and peace, assassinations and nation building, but the greater struggle for independence from the Seleucids continued. In fact, in the year 129 BC—thirty-eight years later— the Jews were fighting against the Seleucids. It was a long war, and expensive, and we shouldn’t forget it.