Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Start of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War

It was on this day in 1935 that the Second Italo-Abyssinian War began when Italian forces under General Emilio De Bono invaded the Abyssinian empire. Contrary to what you have probably heard, it was not a war that the Kingdom of Italy started, although, without doubt, Mussolini was ready to pounce at any chance to avenge the defeat of Adowa and to retaliate for the slights of the Abyssinian government against Italy. It started as a result of a dispute in which there was a clash over an Italian outpost that had been standing for years without protest (or perhaps even the notice) of the Abyssinian government. The Italian garrison of a few hundred Somali troops clashed with an Abyssinian (Ethiopian) column of over a thousand. Later, the Ethiopians claimed the Italian-Somali troop had attacked them -which would seem not only unnecessary but suicidal. There is also no doubt that the Ethiopians had been modernizing and building up their military strength for years and, after obtaining Italian support in joining the League of Nations when no one else thought they should be allowed in, Ethiopia had shunned Italy and dealt with all foreign powers except the Italians. A clash of arms was simply inevitable.

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