Battle of Gondar
The Battle of Gondar was the last stand of the Italian forces in Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa was an Italian colonial administrative subdivision established in 1936, resulting from the merger of the Ethiopian Empire with the old colonies of Italian Somaliland and Italian Eritrea. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa...

 during the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The battle took place in November 1941, during the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

. The Italian garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 of 40,000 was commanded by Generale
Italian Army Ranks
This chart represents the Italian Army rank insignia used on the slip-on of winter service uniforms. The color of the uniforms is khaki.Officers who are assigned to a position acting in a higher rank than their own wear the insignia of the higher rank but the highest star of the insignia is trimmed...

 Guglielmo Nasi
Guglielmo Nasi
Guglielmo Ciro Nasi was an Italian General who fought in Italian East Africa during World War II.-Biography:Nasi was born in Civitavecchia, Latium...



After the defeat of the Italian forces at Keren
Battle of Keren
The Battle of Keren was fought as part of the East African Campaign during World War II. The Battle of Keren was fought from 5 February-1 April 1941 between the colonial Italian army defending it's colonial possession of Eritrea and the invading British and Commonwealth forces. In 1941, Keren was...

 on 1 April 1941, many of the remaining Italians withdrew to three strongholds: Amba Alagi
Amba Alagi
Amba Alagi is a mountain, or an amba, in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debubawi Zone of the Tigray Region, Amba Alagi dominates the roadway that runs past it from the city of Mek'ele south to Maychew. Because of its strategic location, Amba Alagi has been the location of several battles...

, Jimma
Jimma, also Jima, is the largest city in southwestern Ethiopia. Located in the Jimma Zone of the Oromia Region, it has a latitude and longitude of . The town was the capital of Kaffa Province until the province was dissolved. Prior to the 2007 census, Jimma was reorganized administratively as a...

, and Gondar
Gondar or Gonder is a city in Ethiopia, which was once the old imperial capital and capital of the historic Begemder Province. As a result, the old province of Begemder is sometimes referred to as Gondar...

. Amba Alagi fell in May and Jimma fell in July.


On 13 November, a mixed force from the British 12th (African) Division under Major-General
Major-General (United Kingdom)
Major general is a senior rank in the British Army. Since 1996 the highest position within the Royal Marines is the Commandant General Royal Marines who holds the rank of major general...

 Charles Fowkes
Charles Christopher Fowkes
Major-General Charles Christopher Fowkes, DSO was an officer in the British Army during World War II. His nickname was "Fluffy."...

—supported by Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

n patriots—attacked the key defensive position of Kulkaber and were repelled. However, a renewed attack a week later on Kulkaber was successful.

Mountain passes captured

There were two mountain pass
Mountain pass
A mountain pass is a route through a mountain range or over a ridge. If following the lowest possible route, a pass is locally the highest point on that route...

es that overlooked the town which were controlled by the Italian troops. They were invested by the two brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

s of the British 12th (African) Division and the two Italian groups in the passes were cut off and were forced to surrender
Surrender (military)
Surrender is when soldiers, nations or other combatants stop fighting and eventually become prisoners of war, either as individuals or when ordered to by their officers. A white flag is a common symbol of surrender, as is the gesture of raising one's hands empty and open above one's head.When the...

 when their supplies
Material is anything made of matter, constituted of one or more substances. Wood, cement, hydrogen, air and water are all examples of materials. Sometimes the term "material" is used more narrowly to refer to substances or components with certain physical properties that are used as inputs to...

 ran out.

Gondar town surrenders

Once the Allied troops had taken the passes, they gained control of the heights overlooking the town, and the Italian garrison under Generale Nasi in the town itself was attacked on 27 November and surrendered after the Kenya Armoured Car Regiment had penetrated the outerskirts of the town.

See also

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