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» Economics » Colonial war » Topics begins with I » Italian hiopi war

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The Italian war lasted from 3 October 1935 up to 9. May 1936 and ended with the Annexion Ethiopia (the Empire of at that time Abessinien) by fascist Italy.


The Italians had a first, apparently promising, approach for subjecting Ethiopia already end 19. Century undertaken. After the collapse of the rule of Egypt over Eritrea because of the Mahdi rebellion in the Sudan Italy had occupied 1882 Assab and 1885 Massaua and had provoked with it a first war with Ethiopia. The defeat with Dogali 1887 arranged Italy, 1889 the peace treaty of Wetschale (Italian: To agree Ucciali). Since of Ethiopia was fallen against the Sudan emperor Johannes IVTH however straight in the war, above all the present Treaty meant successors for its Menelik II. a substantial assistance with the acknowledgment as Negus. Italy regarded Meneliks Ethiopia therefore as protectorate, still annektierte in the same year Somaliland and organized 1890 the colony Eritrea. Thereupon Menelik II. quit the protectorate contract, which 1893 or 1894 for the renewed idea of Italian troops and to their renewed, this time heavy-weighing defeat in the battle of Adwa at the 1. March 1896 led.

The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini dreamed since his seizure of power to let the Imperium Romanum revive again and be received as realm founders into the historical books. For the implementation of its ideas above all the empire offered itself Abessinien, since Italy kept anyway already the coastal strip occupied here with its colonies Eritrea and Somaliland and thus a good marching-up basis had. In addition the Empire of Abessinien was at this time (beside Liberia however under protection of the USA) the only free country of Africa after the race around Africa. Already 1932 let Mussolini explore by Emilio De Bono, veterans of the First World War, the impact force of the army. In December 1934 it decided after the incident of whale whale (Ogaden), with which 30 Somali Askaris in Italian services by border troops had been killed, to the assault on Ethiopia.


On 3 October Italian troops (330,000 soldiers and 87,000 Askaris) penetrated 1935 in Ethiopia. Italy had set up thereby the largest armed force, which was active on the African continent ever. On 10 October the imposes sanctions against Italy.

That already took over the instruction as a scout used general Emilio De Bono. The Italian troops succeeded it fast the important cities Adwa and Aksum to conquer, when penetrating into the gebirgigeren part of Ethiopia turned out the attack however unexpectedly in coming to a hold. On 10 October the sanctions imposed the been subject troops (large parts fought barefoot!) against Italy-partial went even to the counter attack over. Because of the failures Mussolini relieved general de Bono after only 45 days of its office. As replacement it appointed field marshal Pietro Badoglio. Badoglio regrouped the troops and instructed now nonstop attacks.

The decision fell however only, after Italy expanded not back-frightened and the Bombardements from air also before the employment of poisonous gas. Under break of Italy every now and then-drawn of Geneva minutes it came to substantial air raids with mustard gas. This was the first air war with gas in the history of mankind. Italy used the poisonous gas not only against soldiers, but also against the civilian population; likewise the agricultural cultivated areas with mustard gas were attacked. Whole villages were it came to mass shooting under the native population. The Italian federations bombarded besides aimed military hospitals of the red cross and the red Halbmondes. The Italians used in addition cartographic material, which had conveyed the red cross with beginning of war at Rome, in order in such a way to prevent (inadvertent) attacks on hospitals.

Although thereby a new dimension of colonial force was reached, the western world of it hardly took to note. Emperor Haile Selassie arose in vain personally before the and demanded support; Italy had withdrawn because of the protests short hand from the world community. To 5. May 1936 drew the Italian field marshal Pietro Badoglio finally into the capital Addis Abeba and terminated so the war. On 4 July 1936 main headers the its sanctions against Italy up, which left the on 11 December 1937 nevertheless.


Announcing the victory to 9. May 1936 of the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia, solved with the Italian population - to who the was concealed - joy storms out. Thus the Duce Benito Mussolini 42-mal was recalled by the population, in order to celebrate it because of the victory. The Italian king Viktor Emanuel III. was appointed the emperor by Ethiopia and the commanders of the south army in Ethiopia, Rodolfo Graziani, received the title of the viceroy. Also Winston Churchill joined the number of the Gratulanten. In the future it came again and again into Ethiopia to Guerillaangriffen against the Italian rule. Italy used also after official end of war still poisonous gas against rebels and murdered numerous prisoners. The Italian fright rule ended only in the Second World War, when British troops Ethiopia conquered and the emperor Haile Selassie drew into May 1941 again in Addis Abeba.


  • We whistle on all negroes of the present, past and future and their possible defender. It will not for a long time last and the five continents will become its head before the fascist will to bend to have. Benito Mussolini on 6 July 1935 in a speech at its soldiers
  • "We work with God together in this national and catholic mission of the good one - particularly in this instant, in on the battlegrounds of Ethiopia the flag of Italy in the triumph the cross Christi forward-carries." Alfredo Ildefonso cardinal shoemaker, archbishop of Milan, to 9. May 1936 with the Segnung of the returning soldiers. This bishop became of Pope Johannes Paul II. to 12. May 1996 blessedly spoken.
  • The Italians showed daring courage, which is in the history of mankind without-same. Winston Churchill in its diary.


  • Aram Mattioli: Experimentation field of the force - the Abessinienkrieg and its international meaning 1935-1941, Orell publishing house 2005, ISBN 3-280-06062-1

See also

  • Faccetta Nera
  • Italian East Africa
  • Italian war crimes in Africa

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