Second Italo-Abyssinian War
Overview
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War (also referred to as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War or just the Ethiopian War) was a colonial war
Colonial war
Colonial war is a blanket term relating to the various conflicts that arose as the result of overseas territories being settled by foreignpowers creating a colony...

 that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 (Regno d'Italia) and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

 (also known as Abyssinia
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...

). The war resulted in the military occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 of Ethiopia and its annexation
Annexation
Annexation is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity . Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size...

 into the newly created colony of 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...

 (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI).

Politically, the war is best remembered for exposing the inherent weakness of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

.
Encyclopedia
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War (also referred to as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War or just the Ethiopian War) was a colonial war
Colonial war
Colonial war is a blanket term relating to the various conflicts that arose as the result of overseas territories being settled by foreignpowers creating a colony...

 that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 (Regno d'Italia) and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

 (also known as Abyssinia
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...

). The war resulted in the military occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 of Ethiopia and its annexation
Annexation
Annexation is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity . Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size...

 into the newly created colony of 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...

 (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI).

Politically, the war is best remembered for exposing the inherent weakness of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. Like the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged event that was engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China known as Manchuria in 1931....

 in 1931 (the Japanese
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 annexation of three Chinese
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 provinces), the Abyssinia Crisis
Abyssinia Crisis
The Abyssinia Crisis was a diplomatic crisis during the interwar period originating in the "Walwal incident." This incident resulted from the ongoing conflict between the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Ethiopia...

 in 1934 is often seen as a clear example of the ineffectiveness of the League. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations and yet the League was unable to control Italy or to protect Ethiopia when Italy clearly violated the League's own Article X
Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations
Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations is the section calling for assistance to be given to a member that experiences external aggression.-Text of Article X:-Republican opposition in the United States:...

.

The positive outcome of the war for the Italians coincided with the zenith
Zenith
The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e...

 of the international popularity of dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's Fascist
National Fascist Party
The National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism...

 regime, in a phase called "the age of consensus" during which foreign leaders praised him for his achievements. Historians like James Burgwyn
H. James Burgwyn
H. James Burgwyn is an American historian. He is a West Chester University of Pennsylvania emeritus Professor of History, and an authority on the foreign policy and military strategy of Italy in the period from World War I to World War II....

 called the victory of Mussolini "a capital achievement", but he was forced to accept the Anschluss
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 between Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and to begin a political tilt toward Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 that finally destroyed him and Fascist Italy in World War II
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...

 .

Indeed this Italian victory, that brought the creation of the Italian Empire
Italian Empire
The Italian Empire was created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "scramble for Africa". Modern Italy as a unified state only existed from 1861. By this time France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands, had already carved...

 with Ethiopia included, was short-lived as Abyssinia
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

 regained its independence only five years later during World War II at the end of 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....

 with the help of Allied forces.

Italian incursion

The Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of 1928
Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of 1928
The Italo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1928, also known as the Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of Friendship and Arbitration, was a treaty signed between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ethiopian Empire on 2 August 1928....

 stated that the border between Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

 and Ethiopia was twenty-one league
League (unit)
A league is a unit of length . It was long common in Europe and Latin America, but it is no longer an official unit in any nation. The league originally referred to the distance a person or a horse could walk in an hour...

s parallel to the Benadir
Benadir
Benadir is a coastal region of Somalia. It covers most of the Indian Ocean coast of the country, from the Gulf of Aden to the Juba River, containing the capital of Mogadishu. The name comes from Persian bandar, which means port , a fact that reflects the region's importance to Persian and Arab...

 coast (approximately 73.5 miles). In 1930, Italy built a fort at the Welwel oasis (also Walwal, Italian: Ual-Ual) in the Ogaden
Ogaden
Ogaden is the name of a territory comprising the southeastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The title "Somali Galbeed", which means "Western Somalia," is often preferred by Somali irredentists.The region, which is...

 and garrisoned it with Somali dubats
Dubats
Dubats was the designation given to armed irregular bands employed by the Italian Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali in Italian Somaliland from 1924 to 1941...

 (irregular frontier troops commanded by Italian officers). The fort at Welwel was well beyond the twenty-one league limit and the Italians were encroaching on Ethiopian territory.

In November 1934, Ethiopian territorial troops, escorting the Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission, protested against Italy's incursion. The British members of the commission soon withdrew to avoid embarrassing Italy. Italian and Ethiopian troops remained encamped in close proximity.

Border clash at Wal Wal

In early December 1934, the tensions on both sides erupted into what was known as the "Wal Wal incident." The resultant clash left approximately 150 Ethiopians and 2 Italians dead and led to the "Abyssinia Crisis
Abyssinia Crisis
The Abyssinia Crisis was a diplomatic crisis during the interwar period originating in the "Walwal incident." This incident resulted from the ongoing conflict between the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Ethiopia...

" at the League of Nations.

On 4 September 1935, the League of Nations exonerated both parties for the Wal Wal incident. The United Kingdom and France, keen to keep Italy as an ally against Germany, did not take strong steps to discourage an Italian military buildup. Italy soon began to build its forces on the borders of Ethiopia in Eritrea and Italian Somaliland.

Italy was able to launch its invasion without interference primarily due to the United Kingdom and France placing a high priority on retaining Italy as an ally in case hostilities broke out with Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. To this end, on January 7, 1935, France signed an agreement with Italy
Franco–Italian Agreement
On January 7, 1935, the French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed the Italo-French agreements in Rome.Pierre Laval succeeded Louis Barthou as Foreign Minister after his assassination in Marseilles at the side of the Alexander I King of Yugoslavia on...

 giving them essentially a free hand in Africa to secure Italian co-operation. Next, in April, Italy was further emboldened by being a member of the Stresa Front
Stresa Front
The Stresa Front was an agreement made in Stresa, a town on the banks of Lake Maggiore in Italy, between French foreign minister Pierre Laval, British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, and Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini on April 14, 1935...

, an agreement to curb German expansionism. In June, non-interference was further assured by a political rift that had developed between the United Kingdom and France following the Anglo-German Naval Agreement
Anglo-German Naval Agreement
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18, 1935 was a bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and German Reich regulating the size of the Kriegsmarine in relation to the Royal Navy. The A.G.N.A fixed a ratio whereby the total tonnage of the Kriegsmarine was to be 35% of the total tonnage...

. A last possible foreign ally of Ethiopia to fall away was Japan, which had served as a model to some Ethiopian intellectuals; the Japanese ambassador to Italy, Dr. Sugimura Yotaro, on 16 July assured Mussolini that his country held no political interests in Ethiopia and would keep neutral in Italy's coming war. His comments stirred up a furor inside Japan, where there had been popular affinity for the African Empire. Despite popular opinion, when the Ethiopians approached Japan for help on 2 August they were refused completely: even a modest request for the Japanese government to officially state its support for Ethiopia in the coming conflict was denied.

Ethiopians/Abyssinians

With an attack appearing inevitable, Emperor
Emperor of Ethiopia
The Emperor of Ethiopia was the hereditary ruler of Ethiopia until the abolition of the monarchy in 1974. The Emperor was the head of state and head of government, with ultimate executive, judicial and legislative power in that country...

 Haile Selassie ordered a general mobilization of the Army of the Ethiopian Empire
Army of the Ethiopian Empire
Armies of the Ethiopia have existed since earliest times. Ethiopia maintained a sizable contingent of her forces in her Sabbean Garrisons which expanded out to project power over colonies in Yemen and to protect Caravans or trade routes....

. His new recruits consisted of around 500,000 men, many of whom were armed with nothing more than spears and bows. Other soldiers carried more modern weapons, including rifles, but many of these were from before 1900 and were badly outdated.

According to Italian estimates, on the eve of hostilities the Ethiopians had an army of 350,000-760,000 men. But only about one-quarter of this army had any kind of military training and the men were armed with 400,000 rifles of every type and in every kind of condition.

In general, the Ethiopian armies were poorly equipped. They had about 200 antiquated pieces of artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 mounted on rigid gun carriages. There were also about 50 light and heavy anti-aircraft guns (20 mm Oerlikon
Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
The Oerlikon 20 mm cannon is a series of autocannons, based on an original design by Reinhold Becker of Germany, very early in World War I, and widely produced by Oerlikon Contraves and others...

s, 75 mm Schneider
Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is a French global company. It was founded in 1836 by two brothers, Eugène and Adolphe Schneider.In the first part of the 20th century, Schneider et Cie associated itself with Westinghouse Systems, a major international electrical group at the time. The group began manufacturing...

s, and Vickers
Vickers
Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 1999.-Early history:Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor &...

). The Ethiopians even had some Ford truck-based armored cars and a small number of Fiat 3000
Fiat 3000
The Fiat 3000, whose design was based on that of the French Renault FT-17, was the first tank to be produced in series in Italy. It was to be the standard tank of the emerging Italian armored units in World War I.-History:...

 World War I-era tanks.

The serviceable portion of the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

 included three outmoded Potez 25
Potez 25
|-See also:*Aerial operations in the Chaco War-References:Heinonen, Timo Heinonen: Thulinista Hornetiin, Keski-Suomen ilmailumuseon julkaisuja 3, 1992. ISBN 951-95688-2-4.-External links:* *...

 biplanes. A few transport aircraft were also acquired between 1934 and 1935 for ambulance work. In all, the air force consisted of 13 aircraft and four pilots at the outbreak of the war. The Ethiopian Air Force was commanded by a French pilot, Andre Maillet.

The best Ethiopian units were the Emperor's "Imperial Guard
Kebur Zabangna
Kebur Zabagna or Zebenya was the Ethiopian Imperial Guard. Also known as the First Division, this unit served the dual purposes of providing security for the Emperor of Ethiopia, and being an elite infantry division...

" (Kebur Zabangna). These troops were well-trained and better equipped than the other Ethiopian troops. The Imperial Guard, however, wore a distinctive greenish-khaki uniform of the Belgian Army, which stood out from the white cotton cloak (shamma) worn by most Ethiopian fighters. Unfortunately for its wearers, the shama proved to be an excellent target. The skills of the Rases, the generals of the Ethiopian armies, ranged from relatively good to incompetent.

Italians

In April 1935, the build-up of the Italian Royal Army
Royal Italian Army
The Regio Esercito was the army of the Kingdom of Italy from the unification of Italy in 1861 to the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946...

 (Regio Esercito) and the Royal Air Force
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

 (Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

) in East Africa (Africa Orientale) started in earnest. In a few months, eight regular, mountain, and blackshirt infantry divisions arrived in Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 and four regular infantry divisions arrived in Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

. These units alone represented 680,000 soldiers. This number does not include the Italian units already in East Africa, colonial units, or units arriving during the war. For example, there were 400,000 Italian soldiers in Eritrea and 220,000 in Italian Somaliland before the new divisions arrived. The huge army forming up in East Africa also included a great number of logistical and support units. The Italian force also included 200 journalists.

The equipment for the build-up alone included 6,000 machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s, 2,000 pieces of artillery, 595 tanks, and 390 aircraft. Before these arrived, the Italians had 3,300 machine guns, 275 artillery pieces, 200 tankettes, and 205 aircraft. Thanks to the Royal Navy
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...

 (Regia Marina
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...

), the Italians had tons of ammunition, food, and other necessary supplies. The Italians also had motor vehicles to move supplies and troops while the Ethiopians carried supplies in horse drawn carts.

During this campaign the Italians placed considerable reliance on their Royal Corps of Colonial Troops (Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali, or RCTC) - indigenous regiments recruited from the Italian colonial possessions of Eritrea, Somalia, and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. The most effective of these Italian officered units were the Eritrean native infantry (askaris) who were often used as advance troops. As advance troops, the Eritreans often suffered heavy casualties accordingly. The Eritreans also provided cavalry and artillery units. The "Falcon Feathers" (Penne di Falco) was one prestigious and colorful Eritrean cavalry unit. Other RCTC units employed in the invasion of Ethiopia included irregular Somali frontier troops (dubats
Dubats
Dubats was the designation given to armed irregular bands employed by the Italian Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali in Italian Somaliland from 1924 to 1941...

), regular Arab-Somali infantry and artillery, and Libyan infantry.

In addition to their own colonial troops from Eritrea, Somalia, and Libya, the Italians had a variety of local semi-independent "allies" who fought for them. In the north, the Azebu Galla
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

 were one of several groups induced to fight for the Italians. For many reasons, the Galla were willing to sweep down on the fleeing Ethiopians. In the south, Sultan Olol Diinle
Olol Diinle
Sultan Olol Diinle was the last sultan who ruled at Kelafo as a sultan of the Ajuran Somali clan lineage to rule an independent kingdom.-Historical Context:...

 commanded a personal army that advanced into the northern Ogaden
Ogaden
Ogaden is the name of a territory comprising the southeastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The title "Somali Galbeed", which means "Western Somalia," is often preferred by Somali irredentists.The region, which is...

 alongside the forces of Italian Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Luigi Frusci
Luigi Frusci
Luigi Frusci was an officer in the Italian Royal Army during World War II.Frusci fought on the southern front for General Rodolfo Graziani during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War...

. The Sultan was motivated by his desire to take back lands that the Ethiopians had taken from him. The Italian colonial forces even included some Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

is recruited from across the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

.

Italian invasion

On March 28, 1935, General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Emilio De Bono
Emilio De Bono
Emilio De Bono was an Italian General, fascist activist, Marshal, and member of the Fascist Grand Council . De Bono fought in the Italo-Turkish War, World War I, and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.-Early life:De Bono was born in Cassano d'Adda...

 was named as the Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of all Italian armed forces in East Africa. In addition, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the forces invading from Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, the "northern front". De Bono had under his direct command a force of nine divisions in three Army Corps: The Italian I Corps, the Italian II Corps, and the Eritrean Corps.

General Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani, 1st Marquis of Neghelli , was an officer in the Italian Regio Esercito who led military expeditions in Africa before and during World War II.-Rise to prominence:...

 was De Bono's subordinate. He was the Commander-in-Chief of forces invading from Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

, the "southern front". Initially he had two divisions and a variety of smaller units under his command. His forces included a mix of Italians, Somalis, Eritreans, Libyans, and others. De Bono regarded Italian Somaliland as a secondary theatre that needed primarily to defend itself and possibly aid the main front with offensive thrusts if the enemy forces there were not too large.

As the invasion began, aircraft of the Royal Italian Air Force scattered fliers asking the population to rebel against Haile Selassie and support the "true Emperor Iyasu V
Iyasu V of Ethiopia
Iyasu V , also known as Lij Iyasu was the designated but uncrowned Emperor of Ethiopia . His baptismal name was Kifle Yaqob...

". Forty-year-old Iyasu had been deposed many years earlier but was still in custody.

De Bono's advance

At precisely 5:00 am on October 3, 1935, De Bono crossed the Mareb River
Mareb River
The Mareb River , is a river flowing out of central Eritrea. Its chief importance is defining part of the boundary between Eritrea and Ethiopia between the point where the Mai Ambassa enters the river at to the confluence of the Balasa with the Mareb at .According to the Statistical Abstract of...

 and advanced into Ethiopia from Eritrea without a declaration of war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

. In response to the Italian invasion, Ethiopia declared war on Italy. At this point in the campaign, roadways represented a serious drawback for the Italians as they crossed into Ethiopia. On the Italian side, roads had been constructed right up to the border. On the Ethiopian side, these roads often transitioned into vaguely defined paths.

On October 5, the Italian I Corps took Adigrat
Adigrat
Adigrat is a city in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Located in the Misraqawi Zone at longitude and latitude with an elevation of 2457 meters above sea level, below a high ridge to the west, Adigrat is the last important Ethiopian city south of the border with Eritrea, and is considered to be a...

 and, by October 6, Adwa
Adwa
Adwa is a market town in northern Ethiopia, and best known as the community closest to the decisive Battle of Adowa fought in 1896 with Italian troops. Notably, Ethiopian soldiers won the battle, thus being the only African nation to thwart European colonialism...

 was captured by the Italian II Corps. Haile Selassie had ordered Duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

 (Ras) Seyoum Mangasha
Seyum Mangasha
Seyum Mangasha KBE was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.-Biography:...

, the Commander of the Ethiopian Army of Tigre
Tigray Province
Tigray was a province of Ethiopia. The Tigray Region superseded the province with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995. The province of Tigre merged with its neighboring provinces, including Semien, Tembien, Agame and the prominent Enderta province and towards the end of 19th century it...

, to withdraw a day's march away from the Mareb River. Later, the Emperor ordered Commander of the Gate (Dejazmach) Haile Selassie Gugsa
Haile Selassie Gugsa
Haile Selassie Gugsa was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.- Biography :Haile Selassie Gugsa was the son of Leul Ras Gugsa Araya Selassie...

, also in the area, to move back fifty-five and thirty-five miles from the border.

On October 11, Dejazmach Haile Selassie Gugsa and 1,200 of his followers surrendered to the commander of the Italian outpost at Adagamos. De Bono notified Rome and the Ministry of Information promptly exaggerated the importance of the surrender. Haile Selassie Gugsa was Emperor Haile Selassie's son-in-law. But less than a tenth of the Dejazmach's army defected with him.

On October 14, De Bono issued a proclamation ordering the suppression of slavery
Abolition of slavery timeline
Abolition of slavery occurred as abolition in specific countries, abolition of the trade in slaves and abolition throughout empires. Each of these steps was usually the result of a separate law or action.-Ancient times:...

. However, after a few weeks he was to write: "I am obliged to say that the proclamation did not have much effect on the owners of slaves and perhaps still less on the liberated slaves themselves. Many of the latter, the instant they are set free presented themselves to the Italian authorities, asking 'And now who gives me food'?" The Ethiopians themselves had attempted to abolish slavery, but only in theory. Each Ethiopian Emperor since Tewodros II
Tewodros II of Ethiopia
Tewodros II was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death....

 had issued "superficial" proclamations to halt slavery, but always without real effect. Only with the Italian proclamation of their Empire in summer 1936, slavery was totally and effectively abolished in Ethiopia.

By October 15, De Bono's forces advanced from Adwa for a bloodless occupation of the holy capital of Axum
Axum
Axum or Aksum is a city in northern Ethiopia which was the original capital of the eponymous kingdom of Axum. Population 56,500 . Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from ca. 400 BC into the 10th century...

. General de Bono entered the city riding triumphantly on a white horse. However, the invading Italians he commanded looted the Obelisk of Axum
Obelisk of Axum
The Obelisk of Axum is a 1,700-year-old, 24-metres tall granite stele/obelisk, weighing 160 tonnes, in the city of Axum in Ethiopia. It is decorated with two false doors at the base, and decorations resembling windows on all sides...

.

De Bono's advance continued methodically and, to Mussolini's consternation, a bit slowly. On November 8, the I Corps and the Eritrean Corps captured Makale
Mek'ele
Mek'ele , also transliterated as Makale, is a city in northern Ethiopia and the capital of the Tigray Region. It is located some 650 kilometers north of the capital, Addis Ababa, at latitude and longitude with an elevation of 2084 meters above sea level...

 welcomed by the local population.

This proved to be the limit of how far the Italian invaders would get under the command of De Bono. On November 16, De Bono was promoted to the rank of Marshal of Italy
Marshal of Italy
Marshal of Italy was a rank in the Italian Royal Army . Originally created in 1924 by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini for the purpose of honoring Generals Luigi Cadorna and Armando Diaz, the rank was granted to several other general officers from 1926 to 1943...

 (Maresciallo d'Italia), but by December he was replaced with Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio, 1st Duke of Addis Abeba, 1st Marquess of Sabotino was an Italian soldier and politician...

 because of the slow, cautious nature of De Bono's advance. In November the imprisoned former emperor Iyasu also died, in undetermined circumstances.

Ethiopian Christmas Offensive

Haile Selassie decided to test this new Italian commander with an offensive
Offensive (military)
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational or tactical goal...

 of his own. What became known as the Ethiopian "Christmas Offensive" had as its objectives the splitting of the Italian forces in the north with the Ethiopian center, crushing the Italian left with the Ethiopian right, and invading Eritrea with the Ethiopian left. Ras Seyoum Mangasha
Seyum Mangasha
Seyum Mangasha KBE was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.-Biography:...

 held the area around Abbi Addi
Abiy Addi
Abiy Addi is a town in north central Ethiopia, and was capital of the former province of Tembien before that province was incorporated into Tigray...

 with about 30,000 men. Ras Imru Haile Selassie
Imru Haile Selassie
Leul Ras Imru Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian noble, soldier, and diplomat. He was also the cousin of Emperor Haile Selassie.-Biography:...

 with approximately 40,000 men advanced from Gojjam
Gojjam
Gojjam was a kingdom in the north-western part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Debre Marqos. This region is distinctive for lying entirely within the bend of the Abbay River from its outflow from Lake Tana to the Sudan...

 toward Mai Timket to the left of Ras Seyoum. Ras Kassa Haile Darge
Kassa Haile Darge
Ras Kassa Haile Darge GCVO, GBE , was a Shewan nobleman, the son of Haile Wolde Kiros of Lasta and Tisseme Darge, and grandson of Ras Darge Sahle Selassie the brother of Menelik II's father....

 with approximately 40,000 men advanced from Dessie
Dessie
Dessie is a city and a woreda in north-central Ethiopia. Located on the Addis Ababa - Asmara highway in the Debub Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region, this city has a latitude and longitude of with an elevation between 2,470 and 2,550 meters above sea level.Dessie has postal service , and telephone...

 to support Ras Seyoum in the center in a push towards Warieu Pass. Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu
Mulugeta Yeggazu
Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu, was an Ethiopian government official. He served as Imperial Fitawrari, Commander of the Mahel Sefari of the Ethiopian Army during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.-Biography:...

, the Minister of War, advanced from Dessie with approximately 80,000 men to take positions on and around Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam is a mountain in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debubawi Zone of the Tigray Region, between Mek'ele and Addis Abeba, it has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation of...

 to the right of Ras Seyoum. Amba Aradam was a steep sided, flat topped mountain directly in the way of an Italian advance on Addis Ababa.

The four commanders had approximately 190,000 men facing the Italians. Ras Imru and his Army of Shire
Shire, Ethiopia
Shire , also known as Inda Selassie , is a town in northern Ethiopia. The administrative center of the Mirabawi Zone of the Tigray region, this town has a latitude and longitude of with an altitude of 1953 meters above sea level...

 were on the Ethiopian left. Ras Seyoum and his Army of Tigre
Tigray Province
Tigray was a province of Ethiopia. The Tigray Region superseded the province with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995. The province of Tigre merged with its neighboring provinces, including Semien, Tembien, Agame and the prominent Enderta province and towards the end of 19th century it...

 and Ras Kassa and his Army of Beghemder
Begemder
Begemder was a province in the northwestern part of Ethiopia. There are several proposed etymologies for this name...

 were the Ethiopian center. Ras Mulugeta and his "Army of the Center" (Mahel Sefari) were on the Ethiopian right. A force of 1,000 Ethiopians crossed the Tekeze river and advanced toward the Dembeguina Pass. The Italian commander, Major Criniti, commanded a force of 1,000 Eritrean Infantry supported by L3 tanks
L3/35
The L3/35 or Carro Veloce CV-35 was an Italian tank used before and during World War II. Although designated a light tank by the Italian Army, its turretless configuration, weight and firepower make it closer to contemporary tankettes....

. When the Ethiopians attacked, Criniti's force fell back to the pass, only to discover that 2,000 Ethiopian soldiers had occupied it. Criniti's force was encircled and taking fire from all directions. In the first Ethiopian attack, two of Major Criniti's officers were killed, and Criniti himself was wounded. Criniti's force attempted to use their L3 tanks to break out, but the rough terrain immobilized the vehicles. The Ethiopians slaughtered the infantry, then swarmed the tanks and killed their two-man crews. Italian forces organized a relief column made up of tanks and infantry to relieve Major Critini, but it ran into an Ethiopian ambush on the way. The Ethiopians occupying the high ground rolled boulders in front of and behind the several of the tanks, immobilizing them. The Ethiopians picked off the Eritrean infantry, and swarmed the tanks. The other tanks were immobilized by the terrain and unable to advance further. The Ethiopians set two of these tanks on fire. Meanwhile, Major Critini achieved a breakout, having ordered his men to fix bayonets and charge. Although half of the Major Critini's force was killed in the fierce fighting, they managed to break out of the Ethiopian encirclement. The Ethiopians claimed to have killed 3,000 Eritreans troops during the Christmas offensive.

Black period of the war

The ambitious Ethiopian plan called for Ras Kassa and Ras Seyoum to split the Italian army in two and isolate the Italian I Army Corps and the Italian III Army Corps in Makale. Ras Mulugeta would then descend from Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam is a mountain in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debubawi Zone of the Tigray Region, between Mek'ele and Addis Abeba, it has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation of...

 and crush both corps. According to this plan, after Ras Imru retook Adwa, he was to invade Eritrea.

In November, the League of Nations condemned Italy's aggression and imposed economic sanctions.

Hoare-Laval

In early December 1935, the Hoare-Laval Pact
Hoare-Laval Pact
The Hoare-Laval Pact was a December 1935 proposal by British Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare and French Prime Minister Pierre Laval for ending the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Italy had wanted to take Abyssinia as part of its empire, and have an empire like the Romans had, and also to avenge...

 was proposed by Britain and France. Under this pact, Italy would gain the best parts of Ogaden
Ogaden
Ogaden is the name of a territory comprising the southeastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The title "Somali Galbeed", which means "Western Somalia," is often preferred by Somali irredentists.The region, which is...

 and Tigray
Tigray Province
Tigray was a province of Ethiopia. The Tigray Region superseded the province with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995. The province of Tigre merged with its neighboring provinces, including Semien, Tembien, Agame and the prominent Enderta province and towards the end of 19th century it...

. Italy would also gain economic influence over all the southern part of Abyssinia. Abyssinia would have a guaranteed corridor to the sea at the port of Assab
Assab
Assab is a port city in the Southern Red Sea Region of Eritrea on the west coast of the Red Sea. In 1989, it had a population of 39,600. Assab possesses an oil refinery, which was shut down in 1997 for economic reasons...

; however, the corridor was a poor one and known as a "corridor for camels". Mussolini was ready to agree to the pact, but he waited some days to make his opinion public. On December 13, details of the pact were leaked by a French newspaper and denounced as a sell-out of the Abyssinians. The British government disassociated itself from the pact and both the British and the French representatives associated with the pact were forced to resign.

Poison gas

The Ethiopian offensive was ultimately stopped due to the superiority in modern weapons like machine guns and heavy artillery of the Italian forces.

However, after the December 26 murder of downed Italian pilot Tito Minniti
Tito Minniti
Tito Minniti was an Italian pilot who was killed after he was captured by Ethiopians during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935 near Degehabur. His death and alleged torture became an atrocity story justifying the use of mustard gas against the Ethiopians...

, Badoglio asked for and was given permission to use chemical warfare agents
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 such as mustard gas. Mussolini stated that the gas used was not lethal, but only a mixture of tear gas and mustard gas (this gas was lethal in only about 1% of cases; its effectiveness was as an incapacitating agent
Incapacitating agent
The term incapacitating agent is defined by the U.S. Department of Defense asLethal agents are primarily intended to kill, but incapacitating agents can also kill if administered in a potent enough dose, or in certain scenarios....

)
The Italians delivered the poison gas by special artillery canisters
Shell (projectile)
A shell is a payload-carrying projectile, which, as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage sometimes includes large solid projectiles properly termed shot . Solid shot may contain a pyrotechnic compound if a tracer or spotting charge is used...

 and with bombers of the Italian Royal Air Force
Airstrike
An air strike is an attack on a specific objective by military aircraft during an offensive mission. Air strikes are commonly delivered from aircraft such as fighters, bombers, ground attack aircraft, attack helicopters, and others...

. While the poorly equipped Ethiopians experienced some success against modern weaponry, they did not understand the "terrible rain that burned and killed." The permission was given because the Ethiopians used Dum-dum
Dum-dum
An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. They are informally known as a Dum-dum or dumdum bullets...

 bullets (the Hague Convention
Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)
The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907...

 of 1899, Declaration III, prohibited the use in international warfare of bullets called "Dum-dum", which easily expand or flatten in the body) against the Italians from the start of the war: this provoked the retaliation of the Italians, who used gas against the Ethiopians in the last months of the war. However, some historians (for example, Anthony Mockler) consider the effect of this gas weapon in battle negligible, like in the report written by the US Major Norman Fiske.
Furthermore, many Italians (like Indro Montanelli
Indro Montanelli
Indro Montanelli was an Italian journalist and historian, known for his new approach to writing history in books such as History of the Greeks and History of Rome....

, who as a war correspondent noted that the Italian soldiers had no gas masks during the war) argued that there was no use of gas (that was useful only to anti-Italian propaganda by the Ethiopians and by their emperor), and - if it was used - it was only in very small amounts

Renewed Italian advance in the north

As the progress of the Christmas Offensive slowed, Italian plans to renew the advance on the northern front got under way. In addition to being granted Mussolini's permission to use poison gas (but not "iprite"), Badoglio received additional ground forces. The elements of the Italian III Corps and the Italian IV Corps arrived in Eritrea during early 1936.

In these months there were 3 bloody battles and happened that:
  • from 20 January to 24 January, the First Battle of Tembien
    First Battle of Tembien
    The First Battle of Tembien was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Kassa Haile Darge...

     was fought. The outcome of this battle was a decisive Italian victory, but the threat Ras Kassa posed to the I Corps and III Corps wasn't neutralized.
  • from 10 February to 19 February, the Battle of Amba Aradam
    Battle of Amba Aradam
    The Battle of Amba Aradam was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu...

     was fought. The outcome of this battle was a decisive Italian victory and the destruction of the army of Ras Mulugeta.
  • from 27 February to 29 February, the Second Battle of Tembien
    Second Battle of Tembien
    The Second Battle of Tembien was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks by Italian forces under Marshal Pietro Badoglio on Ethiopian forces under Ras Kassa Haile Darge and Ras Seyoum Mangasha...

     was fought. The outcome of this battle was a decisive Italian victory and the destruction of the armies of Ras Kassa and Ras Seyoum.


Indeed on January 20, the Italians resumed their northern offensive at the First Battle of Tembien
First Battle of Tembien
The First Battle of Tembien was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Kassa Haile Darge...

 in the broken terrain between the Warieu Pass and Makale. The fighting proved inconclusive and, on January 24, the battle ended in a draw, with the Italians having suffered 10 casualties and the Ethiopians 8,000 casualties. But, for all intents and purposes, the threat posed by the Christmas Offensive was over. The Ethiopians were never to split the Italian army and they were never to invade Eritrea.

While Graziani had already done so during the Battle of Genale Doria
Battle of Genale Doria
The Battle of Genale Doria was a battle on the "southern front" fought during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted almost entirely of air attacks by the Italian Royal Air Force against an advancing and then withdrawing Ethiopian army under Ras Desta Damtu...

 on the southern front, it was during the First Battle of Tembien that Badoglio unleashed on the northern front the use of phosgene as a weapon. The supposed Ethiopian "threat" to Italian-held Makale and the resultant use of poison gas, Haile Selassie said:
It was at the time when the operations for the encircling of Makale
Mek'ele
Mek'ele , also transliterated as Makale, is a city in northern Ethiopia and the capital of the Tigray Region. It is located some 650 kilometers north of the capital, Addis Ababa, at latitude and longitude with an elevation of 2084 meters above sea level...

 were taking place that the Italian command, fearing a rout, followed the procedure which it is now my duty to denounce to the world. Special sprayers were installed on board aircraft so that they could vaporize, over vast areas of territory, a fine, death-dealing rain. Groups of nine, fifteen, eighteen aircraft followed one another so that the fog issuing from them formed a continuous sheet. It was thus that, as from the end of January 1936, soldiers, women, children, cattle, rivers, lakes, and pastures were drenched continually with this deadly rain. To systematically kill all living creatures, to more surely poison waters and pastures, the Italian command made its aircraft pass over and over again. That was its chief method of warfare.


In early February, the Italians captured Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam is a mountain in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debubawi Zone of the Tigray Region, between Mek'ele and Addis Abeba, it has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation of...

 and destroyed
Ras Mulugeta's army in the Battle of Enderta
Battle of Amba Aradam
The Battle of Amba Aradam was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu...

. The battle on the ground was lopsided in the Italians' favor, the Ethiopians suffered massive losses. The use of poison gas destroyed a small part of
Ras Mulugeta's army, according to the Ethiopians. During the slaughter following the attempted withdrawal of his army, both Ras Mulugeta and his son were killed. The Italians lost 800 killed and wounded while the Ethiopians lost 6,000 killed and 12,000 wounded.
In late February, the Italians destroyed the armies of
Ras Kassa and Ras Seyoum at the Second Battle of Tembien
Second Battle of Tembien
The Second Battle of Tembien was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks by Italian forces under Marshal Pietro Badoglio on Ethiopian forces under Ras Kassa Haile Darge and Ras Seyoum Mangasha...

. Ethiopians again argued that poison gas played a role in the destruction of the withdrawing armies.

In early March, the army of
Ras Imru was attacked, bombed, and defeated in what was known as the Battle of Shire
Battle of Shire
The Battle of Shire was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Imru Haile Selassie...

. Despite resistance, the Italians successfully crushed his army. The Italians had suffered 10 casualties and the Ethiopians 10,000 casualties.

On March 31, 1936 at the Battle of Maychew
Battle of Maychew
The Battle of Maychew was the last major battle fought on the northern front during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted of a failed counterattack by the Ethiopian forces under Emperor Haile Selassie making frontal assaults against prepared Italian defensive positions under the...

, the Italians defeated an Ethiopian counteroffensive by the main Ethiopian army commanded by Emperor Haile Selassie. The outnumbered Ethiopians could not overcome the well-prepared Italian defenses. For one day, the Ethiopians launched near non-stop attacks
Frontal assault
The military tactic of frontal assault is a direct, hostile movement of forces toward the front of an enemy force . By targeting the enemy's front, the attackers are subjecting themselves to the maximum defensive power of the enemy...

 on the Italian and Eritrean defenders, until the exhausted Ethiopians withdrew while successfully counter-attacked. The Italian Royal Air Force
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

 (Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

) finished off what was left of Haile Selassie's army by attacking the survivors at Lake Ashangi with some mustard gas. The Italians had 400 casualties, the Eritreans 873, and the Ethiopians 11,000. On April 4, Haile Selassie looked with despair upon the horrific sight of the dead bodies of his army ringing the poisoned lake.

Southern front

On October 3, 1935, Graziani implemented his "Milan Plan". The limited objectives of this plan were to remove Ethiopian forces from various frontier posts and to test the reaction to a series of probes all along the southern front. While incessant rains worked to hinder the plan, within three weeks the villages of Kelafo
Kelafo
Kelafo is a town in eastern Ethiopia. Located in the Gode Zone of the Somali Region, this town has a longitude and latitude of and an elevation of 233 meters above sea level....

, Dagnerai, Gerlogubi, and Gorahai were in Italian hands.

Late in the year, the initiative on the southern front went over to the Ethiopians as it had gone over to them on the northern front. Ras Desta Damtu
Desta Damtew
Ras Desta Damtew was an Ethiopian noble, an army commander, and a son-in-law of Emperor Haile Selassie I.-Biography:...

 formed up his army in the area around Negele Boran
Negele Boran
Negele Borana is a town in southern Ethiopia. Located in the Guji Zone of the Oromia Region on the road connecting Addis Ababa to Dolo Odo, it has a latitude and longitude of with an altitude of about 1,475 meters above sea level. It is the administrative center of Liben woreda...

 with the goal of advancing on Dolo
Dolo, Ethiopia
Dolo is a town in southeastern Ethiopia, within 30 kilometers of the Ethiopia-Somalia border. Located in the Liben Zone of the Somali Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of...

 and invading Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

. Between January 12 and January 16, 1936, the Italians defeated his advancing and then withdrawing army during what became known as the Battle of Genale Doria
Battle of Genale Doria
The Battle of Genale Doria was a battle on the "southern front" fought during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted almost entirely of air attacks by the Italian Royal Air Force against an advancing and then withdrawing Ethiopian army under Ras Desta Damtu...

. In reality there was very little fighting on the ground as Graziani primarily used the Italian Air Force and (according to Ethiopians) some poison gas to destroy Ras Desta's army.

After a lull in February 1936, the Italians in the south prepared a major thrust towards the city of Harar
Harar
Harar is an eastern city in Ethiopia, and the capital of the modern Harari ethno-political division of Ethiopia...

. On March 22, the Italian Air Force bombed Harar and Jijiga
Jijiga
Jijiga is a city in eastern Ethiopia and the capital of the Somali Region of that country. Located in the Jijiga Zone approximately 80 km east of Harar and 60 km west of the border with Somalia, this city has a latitude and longitude of with an elevation of 1,609 meters above sea...

 as a prelude. Both cities were reduced to ruins even though Harar had been declared an "open city
Open city
In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the nation that controls the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts....

".

On April 14, Graziani launched his attack against
Ras Nasibu Emmanual
Nasibu Emmanual
Nasibu Emmanual, also Nasibu Zamanuael, was an army commander of the Ethiopian Empire. Along with his brother Wasane, historian Bahru Zewde groups Nasibu "among the most colourful of the first-generation intellectuals" of Twentieth-century Ethiopia...

 to defeat the last Ethiopian army left. This attack was known as the Battle of the Ogaden
Battle of the Ogaden
The Battle of the Ogaden was battle fought in 1936 in the southern front of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted of attacks by the Italian forces of General Rodolfo Graziani, the Commander-in-Chief of the forces on the "southern front," against Ethiopian defensive positions...

. The Ethiopians were drawn up behind a defensive line that was termed the "Hindenburg Wall", which was designed by the chief of staff of Ras Nasibu, Wehib Pasha
Mehmet Vehib Kaçi
Vehib Pasha also known as Wehib Pasha, Vehip Pasha, Mehmed Wehib Pasha, Mehmet Vehip Pasha , was a general in the Ottoman Army. He fought in the Balkan Wars and in several theatres of World War I...

, a seasoned ex-Ottoman commander. Ten days after the battle began, the last Ethiopian army had totally disintegrated. 200 Italian soldiers and 15,000 Ethiopian soldiers were killed or wounded.

On May 2, Graziani requested permission from Mussolini to bomb Haile Selassie's train when he found out that Haile Selassie had left Addis Ababa on the Imperial Railway
Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia
Rail transport in Ethiopia currently consists only of a line from Djibouti to Dire Dawa. The line continues from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa, but is no longer operational...

. But Il Duce ("The Leader") refused his request, allowing Selassie's escape to Europe.

March of the Iron Will

On April 26, 1936, when Badoglio launched his "March of the Iron Will" from Dessie
Dessie
Dessie is a city and a woreda in north-central Ethiopia. Located on the Addis Ababa - Asmara highway in the Debub Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region, this city has a latitude and longitude of with an elevation between 2,470 and 2,550 meters above sea level.Dessie has postal service , and telephone...

 to Addis Ababa, he faced no meaningful Ethiopian resistance. Because of the lack of resistance, he risked an advance with a mechanized column.

Very early on May 2, Haile Selassie boarded a train from Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 to Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 on the Imperial Railway
Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia
Rail transport in Ethiopia currently consists only of a line from Djibouti to Dire Dawa. The line continues from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa, but is no longer operational...

, with all the golden treasure of the "Ethiopian central Bank". From there he fled to England (he was allowed to do so by the Italians who could have bombed and blocked or destroyed his train) and into exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

. Prior to his departure, Haile Selassie ordered that the government of Ethiopia be moved to Gore
Gore, Ethiopia
Gore is a town in southwestern Ethiopia. Located south of Metu in the Illubabor Zone of the Oromia Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation of 2085 meters....

, he ordered that the mayor of Addis Ababa maintain order in the city until the Italian arrival, and he appointed Ras Imru Haile Selassie
Imru Haile Selassie
Leul Ras Imru Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian noble, soldier, and diplomat. He was also the cousin of Emperor Haile Selassie.-Biography:...

 as his Prince Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 during his absence. The city police, under Abebe Aregai
Abebe Aregai
Ras Abebe Aregai was Prime Minister of Ethiopia from 27 November 1957 until his death. During the Italian occupation, he led a group of resistance fighters that operated in Menz and Shewa...

, and the remainder of the Imperial Guard did their utmost to restrain a growing and ever more restless mob. But, on the first day, attempts to maintain order were abandoned. Soon rioters took control. They rampaged throughout the city; looting and setting fire to shops owned by Europeans.

The end

Badoglio's force marched into Addis Ababa on May 5 and restored order. While there never was a formal surrender, the Second Italo-Abyssinian War was over.

Italian perspective: "Will you be worthy of it?"

King-Emperor
King-Emperor
A king-emperor, the female equivalent being queen-empress, is a sovereign ruler who is simultaneously a king of one territory and emperor of another...

 Victor Emmanuel III waited for the crowds in the Quirinal Palace
Quirinal Palace
The Quirinal Palace is a historical building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome...

 on Quirinal Hill
Quirinal Hill
The Quirinal Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome, at the north-east of the city center. It is the location of the official residence of the Italian Head of State, who resides in the Quirinal Palace; by metonymy "the Quirinal" has come to stand for the Italian President.- History :It was...

. Months earlier, when the Ethiopian adventure first started, he told a friend: "If we win, I shall be King of Abyssinia. If we lose, I shall be King of Italy."

"Emperor! Emperor! Salute the Emperor!" ("Imperator
Imperator
The Latin word Imperator was originally a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic. Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empreur...

e! Imperatore! Salute Imperatore!") chanted the crowd when Victor Emmanuel, in full Army uniform, showed himself on a balcony. The first Emperor
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 in Rome in 1,460 years raised his withered hand to the visor of his cap and said nothing. Elena
Elena of Montenegro
Elena of Montenegro was the daughter of King Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro and his wife, Milena Vukotić...

, his Queen-Empress did not appear. She was in bed with a broken toe from falling off a stepladder in her library while reaching for a book.

While the Italian King-Emperor was silent, the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 was not. When victory was announced by Mussolini from the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia
Palazzo Venezia
The Palazzo di Venezia is a palazzo in central Rome, Italy, just north of the Capitoline Hill. The original structure of this great architectural complex consisted of a modest medieval house intended as the residence of the cardinals appointed to the Church of San Marco...

 in Rome, the Italian population was jubilant.

From his balcony, Mussolini proclaimed:
"During the thirty centuries of our history, Italy has known many solemn and memorable moments -- this is unquestionably one of the most solemn, the most memorable. People of Italy, people of the world, peace has been restored."

The crowds would not let him go—ten times they recalled Mussolini to the balcony and cheered and waved while the boys of various Fascist youth organizations sang the newly composed 'Hymn of the Empire' (Inno dell'impero)."

Four days later, the same scene was repeated when
Il Duce in a speech about the "shining sword" and the "fatal hills of Rome" announced:
"At last Italy has her empire." And he then added: "The Italian people have created an empire with their blood. They will fertilize it with their work. They will defend it against anyone with their weapons. Will you be worthy of it?"


This was Mussolini's hour of glory. He knew that the Italian nation was united around him as it never was before. He knew that the exultation that he witnessed was genuine. And the Italian people appeared to have good cause for rejoicing. Italy gained a vast territory and untold mineral riches... riches much magnified by Italian propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

. Fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 was never so popular and the shouts of military victory drowned out the muttered grumbles about some underlying economic ills.

Ethiopian perspective: "It will be you tomorrow"

While the Italian people were rejoicing in Rome, Haile Selassie was crossing the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 in the British cruiser . On May 4, he had sailed from Djibouti. The British Mandate of Palestine was his destination on his way to England via Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

. Two days after his arrival in Jerusalem, Haile Selassie sent a telegram to the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 in which he wrote:
"We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence... we now demand that the League of Nations should continue its efforts to secure respect for the covenant, and that it should decide not to recognize territorial extensions, or the exercise of an assumed sovereignty, resulting from the illegal recourse to armed force and to numerous other violations of international agreements."

The Ethiopian Emperor's telegram caused several nations to temporarily defer recognition of the Italian conquest.

On June 30, Haile Selassie spoke at the League of Nations and was introduced by the President of the Assembly
Leaders of the League of Nations
The leaders of the League of Nations consisted of a Secretary General and a President of the Assembly selected from member states.-Secretaries Generals: — Sir James Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth — Joseph Avenol — Seán Lester -Presidents of the Assembly: - Léon Bourgeois 1920 — Paul Hymans ...

 as "His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Ethiopia" ("Sa Majesté Imperiale, l'Empereur d'Ethiopie"). In response, a group of jeering Italian journalists began yelling insults and had to be ejected before he could speak. The Romanian
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 Chairman, Nicolae Titulescu
Nicolae Titulescu
Nicolae Titulescu was a well-known Romanian diplomat, at various times government minister, finance and foreign minister, and for two terms President of the General Assembly of the League of Nations . He was a member of the Freemasonry.-Early years:...

, famously reacted to the buffoonery exhibited by the Italian journalists. He jumped to his feet and shouted: "To the door with the savages!" ("
A la porte les sauvages!")

Haile Selassie then gave a stirring speech denouncing Italy's actions and criticizing the world community for standing by. At the conclusion of his speech, which appeared on newsreel
Newsreel
A newsreel was a form of short documentary film prevalent in the first half of the 20th century, regularly released in a public presentation place and containing filmed news stories and items of topical interest. It was a source of news, current affairs and entertainment for millions of moviegoers...

s throughout the world, he warned that:
"It is us today. It will be you tomorrow."

International response

The international response to the Italian invasion was mixed. As stirring as Haile Selassie's speech before the League of Nations was, his resolution for the world body to deny recognition of the Italian conquest was defeated. In addition, he was not granted a loan to finance a resistance movement. On 4 July 1936, the League of Nations voted to end the sanctions imposed against Italy in November 1935. By 15 July, the sanctions were lifted.

On 18 November 1936, the Italian Empire
Italian Empire
The Italian Empire was created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "scramble for Africa". Modern Italy as a unified state only existed from 1861. By this time France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands, had already carved...

 was officially recognized by the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

. Italy in turn recognized the Japanese occupation of Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

.

The Italian invasion of Ethiopia meant that the Stresa Front
Stresa Front
The Stresa Front was an agreement made in Stresa, a town on the banks of Lake Maggiore in Italy, between French foreign minister Pierre Laval, British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, and Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini on April 14, 1935...

 was at an end. German dictator Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 supported the Italian invasion before it was launched. By contrast, France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 and Britain recognized Italian control over Ethiopia in 1938. When Britain and Italy signed an agreement that recognized Italian control, Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 politician Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 called it a complete triumph for Mussolini.

Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 was the only country to strongly condemn Italy's sovereignty over Ethiopia, respecting Ethipian independence all throughout. Mexico was amongst only five nations which did not recognize Italy's occupation, along with China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, and The United States. But three years later only Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's USSR was officially recognizing Selassie, while the US government was considering to recognize the Italian Empire with Ethiopia included.

Aftermath

On May 10, 1936, in Ethiopia Italian troops from the northern front and from the southern front linked up at Dire Dawa
Dire Dawa
Dire Dawa is one of two chartered cities in Ethiopia . This chartered city is divided administratively into two woredas, the city proper and the non-urban woreda of Gurgura....

. In Dire Dawa, the Italians found the recently released Ethiopian Ras, Hailu Tekle Haymanot
Hailu Tekle Haymanot
Hailu Tekle Haymanot, KBE , also named Hailu II of Gojjam, was an army commander and a member of the nobility of the Ethiopian Empire. He represented a provincial ruling elite who were often at odds with the Ethiopian central government...

, who boarded a train back to Addis Ababa and approached the Italian invaders in submission.

Elsewhere, loyal Ras Imru Haile Selassie fell back to Gore
Gore, Ethiopia
Gore is a town in southwestern Ethiopia. Located south of Metu in the Illubabor Zone of the Oromia Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation of 2085 meters....

 in southern Ethiopia to reorganize and continue to resist the Italians. Graziani was recalled in November and was replaced by the civilian Duke of Aosta. Tigray was made part of Eritrea and Ogaden part of Somalia.

Britain and France recognized Italy’s sovereignty over Ethiopia by treaty in April 1938 (during the occupation the Italians built 4,000 kilometers of roads in Ethiopia; Italy’s occupation army of 150,000 was spread thin in vast Ethiopia, and by 1941 they had 250,000 soldiers there including 75,000 civilians
Italians of Ethiopia
Italians of Ethiopia are the colonists from Italy who moved to colonize Ethiopia in the 20th century, and their descendants.-History:The 1880s were marked by the Scramble for Africa in Ethiopia and Eastern Africa, when the Italians began to vie with the British and French for influence in the area...

). The former police chief of Addis Ababa, Abebe Aregai, was the most successful leader of the Ethiopian guerrilla movement after 1937, using units of fifty men.

Badoglio and Graziani

In early June, Rome promulgated a constitution bringing Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland together into a single administrative unit divided into six provinces. This administrative unit was known as 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...

 (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI). Marshal Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio, 1st Duke of Addis Abeba, 1st Marquess of Sabotino was an Italian soldier and politician...

 was proclaimed as the first Viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 and Governor General of the new Italian colony. But Badoglio held these positions only briefly and on 11 June, newly promoted Marshal Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani, 1st Marquis of Neghelli , was an officer in the Italian Regio Esercito who led military expeditions in Africa before and during World War II.-Rise to prominence:...

 replaced him in AOI.

In July, some Ethiopian forces still intact after the war, gathered together and launched an attack on Addis Ababa. The various attacking forces and the commanders fled after the attack ended in failure (even because the local populace supported the Italians, who had brought food and ended definitively slavery by law). Numerous members of Ethiopian royalty were taken prisoner. Other members were executed soon after they surrendered. Three sons of Ras Kassa were executed as rebels. On 19 December, Wondosson Kassa
Wondosson Kassa
Wondosson Kassa, also known as Wond Wossen Kassa, was a member of the royalty of the Ethiopian Empire, an army commander, and a patriot.- Biography :Leul Wondosson Kassa was the eldest son of Ras Kassa Haile Darge...

 was executed near Debre Zebit
Debre Zebit
Debre Zebit is a village in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region, about 240 kilometres north of Addis Ababa, this village has a has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation of 2928 meters above sea level. The Central Statistical Agency has not published an...

. On 21 December, Aberra Kassa
Aberra Kassa
Aberra Kassa was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.-Biography:Leul Dejazmach Aberra Kassa was the second son of Ras Kassa Haile Darge. Kassa Haile Darge was a loyal ally of Negus Tafari Makonnen, who ultimately was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I of...

 and Asfawossen Kassa
Asfawossen Kassa
Asfawossen Kassa was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.- Biography :Prince Asfawossen Kassa was the third son of Duke Kassa Haile Darge...

 were executed in Fikke
Fiche
Fiche is a town in central Ethiopia. The administrative centre of the Semien Shewa Zone of the Oromia Region, located about three km off the main Addis Ababa-Debre Marqos road, Fiche has a latitude and longitude of and an elevation between 2738 and 2782 metres above sea level.Notable landmarks in...

. In late 1936, after the Italians tracked him down in Gurage,
Dejazmach Balcha Safo
Balcha Safo
Balcha Safo , also known by his title as Dejazmach Balcha, was an accomplished Ethiopian general, who served in both the First and Second Italo-Ethiopian Wars. He came from a non-aristocratic background...

 was killed resisting to the end. Also on 19 December,
Ras Imru Haile Selassie
Imru Haile Selassie
Leul Ras Imru Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian noble, soldier, and diplomat. He was also the cousin of Emperor Haile Selassie.-Biography:...

 surrendered after being pinned down on the north bank of the Gojeb River
Gojeb River
The Gojeb River is eastward-flowing tributary of the Omo River in Ethiopia. It rises in the mountains of Guma, flowing in almost a direct line its confluence with the Omo at....

. His capture meant the end of his role as Prince Regent and the end of the government in Gore. The capture of
Ras Imru also meant the end of an early resistance movement known as the "Black Lions
Black Lions
The Black Lions was a resistance movement formed to fight against Italian occupation of the Ethiopian Empire.-Details:The Black Lions dominated the early resistance movement in Ethiopia. Members of the Black Lions included students from the Oletta Military Academy and foreign-educated Ethiopians...

."
Ras Imru was flown to Italy and imprisoned on the Island of Ponza
Ponza
Ponza is the largest of the Italian Pontine Islands archipelago, located 33 km south of Cape Circeo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It also the name of the commune of the island, a part of the province of Latina in the Lazio region....

.

By December, Graziani declared the whole country to be pacified
Peace
Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

 and under effective Italian control. Ethiopian resistance
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 continued nevertheless. The occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 was marked by recurring guerrilla campaigns against the Italians and Italian reprisals. The reprisals, according to Ethiopians, included mustard gas attacks against rebels and the summary execution of prisoners. But, on the Italian side, after the beginning of 1937 was growing the number of Ethiopians who were enrolling in the colonial Italian forces.

On 18 February 1937, a failed assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 attempt against Graziani occurred. During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace in Addis Ababa (the former Imperial residence), Abraha Deboch and Moges Asgedom attempted to kill Graziani with a number of grenades. The Italian security guard fired indiscriminately into the crowd of civilian onlookers. Over the following weeks the colonial authorities executed about 30,000 persons in retaliation—including about half of the younger, educated Ethiopian population.

On 24 February, Ras Desta Damtew
Desta Damtew
Ras Desta Damtew was an Ethiopian noble, an army commander, and a son-in-law of Emperor Haile Selassie I.-Biography:...

 was executed after his capture. In December, he had been flushed from his base of operations in Irgalem
Irgalem, SNNPR
Irgalem is a town in southern Ethiopia...

.
Dejazmach Beyene Merid
Beyene Merid
Beyene Merid, Beine Merid, was an Ethiopian army commander, a patriot, and the son-in-law of Emperor Haile Selassie I.-Bibliography:...

 had just joined forces with him and he too was killed.

On 11 December, the League of Nations voted to condemn Italy and, as a result, Mussolini declared his country's withdrawal from the organization. In addition to causing condemnation on the world stage, the new colony was proving to be highly expensive to maintain. The budget for Italian East Africa from 1936 to 1937 required Italy to provide 19.136 billion lire
Lira
Lira is the name of the monetary unit of a number of countries, as well as the former currency of Italy, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican City and Israel. The term originates from the value of a Troy pound of high purity silver. The libra was the basis of the monetary system of the Roman Empire...

 to create the necessary infrastructure for the colony. At the time, Italy's entire annual revenue was only 18.581 billion lire.

Duke of Aosta

In the end, the harsh policies of Graziani did not pacify the country. Therefore, on 21 December 1937, Rome appointed Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta
Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta
Prince Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta was the third Duke of Aosta and a first cousin, once removed of the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III. His baptismal name was Amedeo Umberto Isabella Luigi Filippo Maria Giuseppe Giovanni di Savoia-Aosta...

, as the new Viceroy and Governor General of Italian East Africa and instructed him to adopt a more flexible line. Accordingly, large-scale public works projects were undertaken. One result was the construction of the country's first system of improved roads. All in all, the Duke brought a program of progressive improvement that included 2000 miles (3,218.7 km) of new paved roadways, 25 hospitals, 14 hotels, dozens of post offices, telephone exchanges, aqueducts, schools, and shops.

The Italians decreed miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 to be illegal. Racial separation, including residential segregation, was enforced as thoroughly as possible. In addition, the Italians showed favouritism to non-Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 ethnicities such as the Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

, the Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

, and other Muslims (many of whom had supported the Italian invasion). In an attempt to isolate the dominant Amhara
Amhara people
Amhara are a highland people inhabiting the Northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19.8 million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population, according to the 2007 national census...

 rulers of Ethiopia, who supported Haile Selassie I, the Italians granted the Oromo, the Somali, and other Muslims autonomy and rights. The Italians also definitively abolished slavery
Abolition of slavery timeline
Abolition of slavery occurred as abolition in specific countries, abolition of the trade in slaves and abolition throughout empires. Each of these steps was usually the result of a separate law or action.-Ancient times:...

 and abrogated feudal laws
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 previously upheld by the Amharas.

Early in 1938, a revolt broke out in Gojjam led by the Committee of Unity and Collaboration, which was made up of some of the young, educated elite who had escaped the reprisal after the attempt on Graziani's life. But in 1939 ras Sejum Mangascià, ras Ghetacciù Abaté and ras Kebbedé Guebret accepted the Italian Empire and the Ethiopian guerrilla petered off to a minimum level. The last area of Ethiopian guerrilla in early 1940 was around the lake Tana
Lake Tana
Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia...

 and the southern Gojjam
Gojjam
Gojjam was a kingdom in the north-western part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Debre Marqos. This region is distinctive for lying entirely within the bend of the Abbay River from its outflow from Lake Tana to the Sudan...

, under the leadership of the degiac Mangascià Giamberè and Belay Zelleke.

Anyway the invasion of Ethiopia and the general condemnation of it by Western democracies (weak as it was) tended to increasingly isolate Mussolini and Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. From 1936 to 1939, after Ethiopia, Mussolini and Hitler joined forces in Spain during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. In April 1939, Mussolini launched the Italian invasion of Albania
Italian invasion of Albania
The Italian invasion of Albania was a brief military campaign by the Kingdom of Italy against the Albanian Kingdom. The conflict was a result of the imperialist policies of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini...

. In May, Italy and Nazi Germany joined together in the Pact of Steel
Pact of Steel
The Pact of Steel , known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939, by the foreign ministers of each country and witnessed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop...

. In September 1940, both nations signed the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 along with the Empire of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

End of Italian East Africa

On June 10, 1940, Mussolini entered World War II and joined Hitler as his Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 ally. As a result, the colony of Italian East Africa proved to be short-lived. Initially, the Italians attacked British and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 forces in the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, and British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

. In August, the Italians even overran all of British Somaliland and forced the British and Commonwealth forces there to flee
Italian conquest of British Somaliland
The Italian conquest of British Somaliland was a military campaign in the Horn of Africa, which took place in August 1940 between forces of Italy and those of Great Britain and its Commonwealth...

. But, by the end of 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....

, Ethiopia was liberated from Italian control by a combination of British, Commonwealth, Free French, Free Belgian
Free Belgian Forces
The Free Belgian Forces were members of the Belgian armed forces in World War II who continued fighting against the Axis after the surrender of Belgium and its subsequent occupation by the Germans...

, and Ethiopian forces
Gideon Force
The Gideon Force was a small British-led African regular force which acted as a Corps d'Elite amongst the irregular Ethiopian forces fighting the Italian occupation forces in Ethiopia during the East African Campaign of World War II...

.

While in exile in England, Haile Selassie had sought to gain the support of the Western democracies for his cause. But he had little success until World War II broke out. During that war, the British and the Ethiopian Emperor sought to cooperate with Ethiopian and other local forces in a campaign to dislodge the Italians from Ethiopia. Haile Selassie went to Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

, where he established closer liaison with both the British headquarters and the resistance forces within Ethiopia.

On January 18, 1941, Emperor Selassie crossed the border into Ethiopia near the village of Um Iddla. Two days later the Emperor joined Gideon Force
Gideon Force
The Gideon Force was a small British-led African regular force which acted as a Corps d'Elite amongst the irregular Ethiopian forces fighting the Italian occupation forces in Ethiopia during the East African Campaign of World War II...

, a small British-led African regular force. The standard of the Lion of Judah
Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible .-Lion of Judah and Judaism:...

 was raised again. By May 5, the Emperor and an army of Ethiopian Free Forces entered Addis Ababa. Following the Italian defeat, the victorious forces faced a guerrilla war
Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia
The Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia was as an armed struggle fought from the summer of 1941 to the autumn of 1943 by remnants of Italian troops in Italian East Africa, following the Italian defeat during the East African Campaign of World War II.-History:...

 carried out by remnants of Italian troops and their allies that only ended in last quarter of 1943 after the formal surrender of Italy.

Among other things, the Treaty of Peace with Italy
Treaty of peace with Italy (1947)
The Treaty of Peace with Italy was a treaty signed in Paris on February 10, 1947, between Italy and the victorious powers of World War II, formally ending the hostilities...

 signed between the Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (Repubblica Italiana) and the victorious powers
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 of World War II on February 10, 1947 in Paris, included Italy's formal recognition of Ethiopian independence and an agreement to pay $25,000,000 in reparations
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

. Ethiopia became an independent nation again, and Haile Selassie was restored as its leader. At the time of this treaty, Ethiopia presented Italy with a bill of its own for damages inflicted during the course of Mussolini's colonial adventure. Claimed were the loss of 2,000 churches, the loss of 525,000 houses, and the slaughter and/or confiscation of six million beef cattle, seven million sheep and goats, one million horses and mules, and 700,000 camels. The bill for this presented to the Economic Commission for Italy came to £184,746,023.

In addition, these human losses were recorded by the Ethiopians:
  • 275,000 - combatants killed in action; 78,500 - patriots killed during the occupation (1936–1941); 17,800 - civilians killed by bombings; 30,000 - massacre of February 1937; 35,000 - persons who died in concentration camps; 24,000 - patriots executed by Summary Courts; 300,000 - persons who died of privations due to the destruction of their villages.
  • The Total was 760,300 human losses. Of course the Italians complained about this huge amount, arguing that real Ethiopian casualties were half those losses

Atrocities

The first atrocities were made by Ethiopian troops, who used to mutilate (often with castration
Castration
Castration is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which a male loses the functions of the testicles or a female loses the functions of the ovaries.-Humans:...

) their prisoners: the Eritrean ascari
Askari
Askari is an Arabic, Bosnian, Urdu, Turkish, Somali, Persian, Amharic and Swahili word meaning "soldier" . It was normally used to describe local troops in East Africa, Northeast Africa, and Central Africa serving in the armies of European colonial powers...

 suffered from these medieval treatments since the first weeks of war After December the Ethiopians started to do the same even to the Italians with the murder of captured pilot Tito Minniti
Tito Minniti
Tito Minniti was an Italian pilot who was killed after he was captured by Ethiopians during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935 near Degehabur. His death and alleged torture became an atrocity story justifying the use of mustard gas against the Ethiopians...

 (followed by other massacres like the one in Gondrand ).

In addition to conventional weaponry, Badoglio's troops also made substantial use of mustard gas, in both artillery and aerial bombardments. Use of mustard gas, which was violated the 1925 Geneva Protocol
Geneva Protocol
The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, usually called the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons. It was signed at Geneva on June 17, 1925 and entered...

 that Italy had signed, was justified by the deaths of an Italian Air Force pilot, Tito Minniti
Tito Minniti
Tito Minniti was an Italian pilot who was killed after he was captured by Ethiopians during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935 near Degehabur. His death and alleged torture became an atrocity story justifying the use of mustard gas against the Ethiopians...

, and his observer in the Ogaden. "Heroic death of our comrade in barbaric enemy land requires exemplary reprisal punishment," general Graziani ordered on learning of their deaths. In total, the Italians deployed between 300 and 500 tonnes of mustard gas during the war, despite having signed the 1925 Geneva Protocol
Geneva Protocol
The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, usually called the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons. It was signed at Geneva on June 17, 1925 and entered...

. The deployment of gas was not restricted to the battlefield, however, as civilians were also targeted by the Italians, as part of their attempt to terrorise the local population. Furthermore, the Italians carried out gas attacks on Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 camps and ambulances.

The armed forces disposed of a vast arsenal of grenades and bombs loaded with mustard gas, which they dropped from airplanes. This substance was also sprayed directly from above like an "insecticide" onto enemy combatants and villages. Mussolini himself authorized the use of the weapons:
Mussolini and his generals sought to cloak the operations of chemical warfare in the utmost secrecy, but the use of gas was revealed to the world through the denunciations by the International Red Cross and of many foreign observers. The Italian reaction to these revelations consisted in the "erroneous" bombardment (at least 19 times) of Red Cross tents posted in the areas of military encampment of the Ethiopian resistance.

The orders imparted by Mussolini after the war, with respect to the Ethiopian population, were very clear:
The predominant part of the work of repression was carried out by colonial troops of the Italians who, according to the Ethiopians, besides the bombs laced with mustard gas, instituted forced labor camps, installed public gallows, killed hostages, and mutilated the corpses of their enemies. Many Italian troops had themselves photographed next to cadavers hanging from the gallows or hanging around chests full of detached heads.

Church statements

Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 reaction was mixed to the Italian conquest of Ethiopia. Fearing retribution from the National Fascist Party
National Fascist Party
The National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism...

, some bishops
Bishop (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church....

 gave praise. For instance, in the book The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators
Bibliography on Church policies 1939-1945
This bibliography on Church policies 1939–1945 includes mainly Italian publications relative to Pope Pius XII and Vatican policies during World War II...

, Anthony Rhodes reports:
In his Pastoral Letter of the 19th October [1935], the Bishop of Udine [Italy] wrote, ‘It is neither timely nor fitting for us to pronounce on the rights and wrongs of the case. Our duty as Italians, and still more as Christians is to contribute to the success of our arms.’ The Bishop of Padua
Carlo Agostini
Carlo Agostini was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Patriarch of Venice from 1949 until his death, and died shortly after the announcement for his elevation to the cardinalate in 1952....

 wrote on the 21st October, ‘In the difficult hours through which we are passing, we ask you to have faith in our statesmen and armed forces.’ On the 24th October, the Bishop of Cremona consecrated a number of regimental flags and said: ‘The blessing of God be upon these soldiers who, on African soil, will conquer new and fertile lands for the Italian genius, thereby bringing to them Roman and Christian culture. May Italy stand once again as the Christian mentor to the whole world.’


Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

 (who had previously condemned totalitarianism in the encyclical Non Abbiamo Bisogno
Non Abbiamo Bisogno
Non Abbiamo Bisogno is a Roman Catholic Church encyclical published on 29 June 1931 by Pope Pius XI. This encyclical begins with the Pope's protest against the Mussolini's closing of Italian Catholic Action and Catholic Youth organizations. In that same year...

) continued his implicit criticism of the Italian regime. This coincided with Mussolini's increasing anti-clericalism, of which he stated that "the papacy was a malignant tumor in the body of Italy and must 'be rooted out once and for all', because there was no room in Rome for both the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 and [himself]."

Ferenghi

Most of the relative success achieved by the Ethiopians was attributed by the Italians to foreigners or "ferenghi". Many of these elusive individuals were military advisers, pilots, doctors, or just well wishers of Haile Selassie's "cause." While never numbering more than a hundred, the Italian propaganda machine magnified the number to thousands so that Rome could account for the virtual standstill of the Italian Royal Army after De Bono's first rapid advances. According to Ethiopian historians, something had to explain the Ethiopian's ability to launch the "Christmas Offensive
Ethiopian Christmas Offensive
The Ethiopian Christmas Offensive took place during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The Ethiopian offensive was more of a counteroffensive to an ever slowing Italian offensive which started the war.-Background:...

" of late 1935.

The following are a few of the foreigners who came to Ethiopia or who supported the Ethiopian people:
  • Bill Deedes
    Bill Deedes
    William Francis Deedes, Baron Deedes, KBE, MC, PC, DL was a British Conservative Party politician, army officer and journalist; he is to date the only person in Britain to have been both a member of the Cabinet and the editor of a major daily newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.-Early life and...

     - Journalist and possibly the inspiration for William Boot
    William Boot
    William Boot is a fictional journalist who is the protagonist in the 1938 Evelyn Waugh comic novel Scoop.-Character:Boot is the young author of a regular column on country life for a London newspaper named the Daily Beast; his affected style is typified in the notorious sentence "Feather-footed...

     in Waugh's Scoop.
  • Andrew Fountaine
    Andrew Fountaine
    Andrew Fountaine was a veteran of the far right scene in British politics.Born into a land-owning Norfolk family, Fountaine was educated at the Army College in Aldershot and was the son of Vice Admiral Charles Fountaine who had been naval ADC to King George V...

     - Ambulance driver
  • Hubert Julian
    Hubert Julian
    Hubert Fauntleroy Julian was a Trinidad-born African American aviation pioneer. He was nicknamed "The Black Eagle".-Biography:...

     - Pilot
  • Marcel Junod
    Marcel Junod
    Marcel Junod was a Swiss doctor and one of the most accomplished field delegates in the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross...

     - Red Cross
    International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
    The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human...

     doctor
  • Webb Miller
    Webb Miller (journalist)
    Webb Miller was an American journalist and war correspondent. He covered the Pancho Villa Expedition, World War I, the Spanish Civil War , the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the Phoney War, and the Russo-Finnish War of 1939...

     - Journalist
  • Wehib Pasha
    Mehmet Vehib Kaçi
    Vehib Pasha also known as Wehib Pasha, Vehip Pasha, Mehmed Wehib Pasha, Mehmet Vehip Pasha , was a general in the Ottoman Army. He fought in the Balkan Wars and in several theatres of World War I...

     - Military advisor
  • Count Carl Gustaf von Rosen
    Carl Gustaf von Rosen
    Count Carl Gustaf Ericsson von Rosen was a Swedish pioneer aviator. He flew relief missions in a number of conflicts as well as combat missions for Finland and Biafran rebels...

     - Swedish Red Cross pilot - Red Cross facilities were bombed regularly by the Italians.
  • John Spencer
    John Spencer (historian)
    Dr. John H. Spencer was an American historian. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa and Harvard College in Massachusetts...

     - Advisor
  • Linton Wells
    Linton Wells
    Linton Wells was an American foreign correspondent, world traveler and pioneer broadcaster.-Early life and education:Born in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 1, 1893, he attended the US Naval Academy with the Class of 1914, but left before graduation...

     and Fay Gillis Wells
    Fay Gillis Wells
    Fay Gillis Wells was a pioneer aviator, globe-trotting journalist and distinguished broadcaster. In 1929 she was the first woman pilot to bail out of an airplane to save her life and helped found the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of licensed women pilots...

     - Journalists
  • Karl von Wiegand
    Karl von Wiegand
    Karl Henry von Wiegand was a German born American journalist and war correspondent.-Career from 1911:Von Wiegand worked from 1911 until 1917 for the United Press and from 1917 for Hearst Newspapers....

     - Journalist


While the majority of non-Italian foreigners in Ethiopia were with the Ethiopians, there were others who saw the war from the Italian lines. An example:
  • Matthews, Herbert Lionel
    Herbert Matthews
    Herbert Lionel Matthews was a reporter and editorialist for the New York Times who grew to notoriety after revealing that Fidel Castro was still alive and living in the Sierra Maestra mountains, though Batista had claimed publicly that he was killed during the 26th of July Movement's...

     - A reporter and historian. Wrote "Eyewitness in Abyssinia: With Marshal Bodoglio's forces to Addis Ababa" in 1937
  • Pedro del Valle
    Pedro del Valle
    Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle was a United States Marine Corps officer who became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of Lieutenant General...

     - Observer (USMC
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

    )
  • Evelyn Waugh
    Evelyn Waugh
    Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...

     - Sent by Daily Mail
    Daily Mail
    The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

    as a reporter; later wrote the novel Scoop
    Scoop (novel)
    Scoop is a 1938 novel by English writer Evelyn Waugh, a satire of sensationalist journalism and foreign correspondence.-Plot:William Boot, a young man who lives in genteel poverty far from the iniquities of London, is contributor of nature notes to Lord Copper's Beast, a national newspaper...

    based on experiences

Other personalities of the war

  • Giacomo Appiotti
    Giacomo Appiotti
    Giacomo Appiotti was Lieutenant General of the Italian Army during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.He was the commanding officer of the 12th Brigade from 1929 to 1933. In 1935 he was the general commanding the 3rd Black Shirt Division XXI Aprile in Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War...

     - Commanded 3rd "21st April" Blackshirt Division
  • Menen Asfaw
    Menen Asfaw
    Empress Menen Asfaw was the wife and consort of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Empress Menen was the daughter of Asfaw, Jantirar of Ambassel...

     - Empress of Ethiopia
  • Ettore Bastico
    Ettore Bastico
    Ettore Bastico was an Italian military officer before and during World War II. He held high commands during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War , the Spanish Civil War, and the North African Campaign....

     - Commanded the 1st "23rd March" Blackshirt Division
    Italian 1 Blackshirt Division 23 Marzo
    The Blackshirt Division 23 March was an Italian MVSN Blackshirt militia unit formed for the Second Italo-Abyssinian War....

     and III Corps
  • Galeazzo Ciano
    Galeazzo Ciano
    Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. In early 1944 Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini under pressure from Nazi Germany.-Early life:Ciano was born in...

     - Mussolini's son-in-law, commanded a bomber squadron nicknamed "The Reckless" (La Disperata)
  • Makonnen Endelkachew
    Makonnen Endelkachew
    Ras Betwoded Makonnen Endelkachew was an Ethiopian aristocrat and Prime Minister under Emperor Haile Selassie. Makonnen was born in Addisge, the nephew of the noted Shewan general and politician Ras Betwoded Tessema Nadew, who introduced him to Emperor Menilek II...

     - Commander of the Army of Illubabor
    Illubabor Province
    Illubabor was a province in the south-western part of Ethiopia, along the border with Sudan. The name Illubabor is said to come from two Oromo words, "Illu" and "Abba Bor". "Illu" is a name of a clan, and "Abba Bor" was the horse name of Chali Shone, who founded the ruling family of the area when...

  • Roberto Farinacci
    Roberto Farinacci
    Roberto Farinacci was a leading Italian Fascist politician, and important member of the National Fascist Party before and during World War II, and one of its ardent anti-Semitic proponents.-Early life:...

     - Served as a member of the Voluntary Militia for National Security
    Blackshirts
    The Blackshirts were Fascist paramilitary groups in Italy during the period immediately following World War I and until the end of World War II...

     (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN) and eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant General
    Lieutenant General
    Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

    , he lost a hand while fishing with a grenade
  • Italo Gariboldi
    Italo Gariboldi
    Italo Gariboldi was a senior officer in the Italian Royal Army before and during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross...

     - Commander of the 30th "Sabauda" Infantry Division
    Italian 30 Infantry Division Sabauda
    30th Division "Sabauda" participated in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and was reorganized as a binary division prior to the start of the East African Campaign during World War II.- Order of Battle Oct. 1935 :30th Division "Sabauda" - Gen...

  • Marcus Garvey
    Marcus Garvey
    Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League...

     - Supporter of Ethiopia
  • Oliver Law
    Oliver Law
    Oliver Law was an African American communist and labor organizer, who fought for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. He was the commander of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade for four days.-Background:...

     - Supporter of Ethiopia
  • Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariyam
    Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariyam
    Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariyam was an Ethiopian politician and intellectual of russophile. He was the primary author of Ethiopia's July 16, 1931 constitution, which was influenced by the Japanese Meiji Constitution.- Life :Bahru Zewde includes Tekle Hawariat in the first generation of Ethiopians...

     - Ethiopia's Representative at the League of Nations
    League of Nations
    The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

  • Vittorio Mussolini
    Vittorio Mussolini
    Vittorio Mussolini was an Italian film critic and producer. He was also the second son of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. However, he was the first son of Mussolini with his second wife Rachele.-Biography:...

     - Mussolini's son, he and his younger brother Bruno
    Bruno Mussolini
    Bruno Mussolini was the second son of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Mussolini's wife Rachele.-Biography:Bruno Mussolini was born in Milan in Lombardy. His father, Benito Mussolini, was the editor of "The People of Italy" newspaper before the birth and, on 22 April, needed to be away for...

     crewed Italian bombers
  • Sylvia Pankhurst
    Sylvia Pankhurst
    Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst was an English campaigner for the suffragist movement in the United Kingdom. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism.-Early life:...

     - Supporter of Ethiopia
  • Alessandro Pavolini
    Alessandro Pavolini
    Alessandro Pavolini was an Italian politician, journalist, and essayist, notable for his involvement in the Fascist government during World War II and also for his cruelty against the opponents of fascism....

     - President of the Fascist Confederation of Professionals and Artists, served as a Lieutenant
    Lieutenant
    A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

  • Balcha Safo
    Balcha Safo
    Balcha Safo , also known by his title as Dejazmach Balcha, was an accomplished Ethiopian general, who served in both the First and Second Italo-Ethiopian Wars. He came from a non-aristocratic background...

     - An aged Ethiopian fighter and former Governor of the Sidamo Province
    Sidamo Province
    Sidamo was a province in the southern part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Irgalem, and after 1978 at Awasa. It was named after an ethnic group native to Ethiopia, called the Sidamo, or more particularly, Sidama, who are located in the south-central part of that country...

  • Achille Starace
    Achille Starace
    Achille Starace was a prominent leader of Fascist Italy prior to and during World War II.-Early life and career:Starace was born in Gallipoli in southern Italy near Lecce. He was son of a wine and oil merchant....

     - Party Secretary of the National Fascist Party, commanded the East African Fast Column (Colonna Celere de Africa Orientale) - See Battle of Shire
    Battle of Shire
    The Battle of Shire was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Imru Haile Selassie...

  • Asfaw Wossen Taffari
    Amha Selassie of Ethiopia
    Amha Selassie, GCMG, GCVO, GBE was the last Emperor of Ethiopia. First proclaimed Emperor during the unsuccessful coup attempt by the Imperial Guards against his father Haile Selassie I in December 1960, he initially went along with this proclamation under duress. The coup collapsed within days...

     - Crown Prince of Ethiopia and the commander of the Wollo
    Wollo
    Wollo was a historical region and province in the northeastern part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Dessie. The province was named after the Wollo Oromo, who settled in this part of Ethiopia in the 17th century...

     provincial forces
  • Wolde Giyorgis Wolde Yohannes
    Wolde Giyorgis Wolde Yohannes
    Wolde Giyorgis Wolde Yohannes was an important government Minister during the reign of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia...

     - Haile Selassie's private secretary

See also

  • League of Nations
    League of Nations
    The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

    , the Abyssinia Crisis
    Abyssinia Crisis
    The Abyssinia Crisis was a diplomatic crisis during the interwar period originating in the "Walwal incident." This incident resulted from the ongoing conflict between the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Ethiopia...

    , and Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations
    Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations
    Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations is the section calling for assistance to be given to a member that experiences external aggression.-Text of Article X:-Republican opposition in the United States:...

  • Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
    Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
    The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Egypt; it is officially known as The Treaty of Alliance Between His Majesty, in Respect of the United Kingdom, and His Majesty, the King of Egypt...

  • Military history of Ethiopia
    Military history of Ethiopia
    The Military history of Ethiopia dates back to the formation of the modern nation in 980 BC. Ethiopia has been involved in most major conflicts in the African region.-First Italo-Abyssinian War:...

  • First Italo-Ethiopian War
  • Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)
    Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)
    The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907...

  • Tito Minniti
    Tito Minniti
    Tito Minniti was an Italian pilot who was killed after he was captured by Ethiopians during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935 near Degehabur. His death and alleged torture became an atrocity story justifying the use of mustard gas against the Ethiopians...

  • Timeline of the Second Italo–Abyssinian War
    Timeline of the Second Italo–Abyssinian War
    The following is a timeline relating to the Second Italo–Abyssinian War to the end of 1936. A number of related political and military events followed until 1942, but these have been omitted.-1930:...

  • Italian Colonial Empire
  • 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....

  • Treaty of peace with Italy (1947)
    Treaty of peace with Italy (1947)
    The Treaty of Peace with Italy was a treaty signed in Paris on February 10, 1947, between Italy and the victorious powers of World War II, formally ending the hostilities...

  • Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
    Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
    The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

  • Freedom of the press in the Kingdom of Italy
  • International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  • Giovinezza
    Giovinezza
    "Giovinezza" is the official hymn of the Italian National Fascist Party, regime, and army, and was the unofficial national anthem of Italy between 1924 and 1943...

     - Fascist anthem
  • Faccetta Nera
    Faccetta Nera
    Faccetta Nera was a popular marching song of Italy's Fascist regime.-History:The hymn is said to have been inspired by a beautiful young Abyssinian slave girl, who was found by the Italian troops at the beginning of the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia.Faccetta Nera talks about how the brunette will...

     - A marching song of the Italian soldiers
  • Fascist Legacy
    Fascist Legacy
    Fascist Legacy is a documentary film about Italian war crimes during World War II. It was recorded by the BBC in 1989 and consists of two parts.----Fascist Legacy, UK 1989, 2x50 minutes...

     - A BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     documentary film
  • Black Lions
    Black Lions
    The Black Lions was a resistance movement formed to fight against Italian occupation of the Ethiopian Empire.-Details:The Black Lions dominated the early resistance movement in Ethiopia. Members of the Black Lions included students from the Oletta Military Academy and foreign-educated Ethiopians...


Videography

Fascist Legacy, Ken Kirby, Royaume-Uni, 1989, documentary 2x50min Italo-Ethiopian war Italian videos of the Italian conquest of Ethiopia

External links

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