Sei sulla pagina 1di 3

Abyssinian War

Basic Facts about the Abyssinian War

It was the second war Italian-Ethiopian War (COLONIAL WAR MUSSOLINIS AIMS TO CREATE A COLONY)
It lasted from October 1935 May 1936
The Italians won the war they won the military occupation of Ethiopia, consequently leading to the newly
created colony of Italian East Africa
Abyssinia regained its independence five years later during WWII (SHOWS THAT ITALIAN POWER WAS SHORT LIVED
AND THAT MUSSOLINI COULD NOT MAINTAIN IT)

Italians
Resources in
the War
Impacts of the
War

Ethiopians

400, 000 soldiers


595 aircraft
795 tanks
1, 500 killed
144, 000 wounded

800, 000 soldiers


3 aircraft
3 tanks
275, 000 killed
500, 000 wounded

Timeline of Events Surrounding the Abyssinian War 1934 - 1936


Date
1934

1935

Events
An incident took place at Wal Wal on
the Ethiopian border with Italian
Somaliland where by 30 Italian soldiers
were killed (initiated by the Italian
troops)
Mussolini asked for a formal apology
and compensation from the Ethiopians,
however he did not wait instead he
issued a secret order for the total
conquest of Ethiopia with the
intentions of building up his military
forces
Mussolini ensured that neither Britain
nor France would block the Italian
invasion of Ethiopia, therefore he tried
to ensure his success in the invasion he
was planning on Ethiopia AIDED BY THE

Actions Taken by Mussolini


Propaganda was used by Mussolini after
the incident at Wal Wal to persuade
Italian people into supporting the
decisions which he was planning to
make about invading Ethiopia
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PUBLIC

Since the event at Wal Wal Mussolini


was keen on building up the Italian
forces for war, and war like
preparations were given maximum
publicity within Italy RELATIONSJIP WITH
THE ARMY

FACT THAT SINCE 1914 BRITAIN AND FRANCE


HAD AGREED TO THAT FACT THAT ETHIOPIA
WAS ACTUALLY UNDER ITALIAN INFLUENCE

Mussolini used the favourable


international climate at the time to
ensure his success when getting Britain
and France to side with him in his plans
on Ethiopia whilst also ensuring that
their plans were not disrupted by the
major powers at the time- at the time
Britain was more concerned about the
rising extremism in Germany to act
against any movements made my Italy
RELATIONSHIP WITH FOERIGN COUNTRIES AS
WELL AS PERSONAL SUCCESS

October
1935

The war started with Italian military


attacks on Ethiopia following the
incident in Wal Wal in 1934
Events of the War
Ethiopian troops were poorly prepared,
disorganised and not equipped; they
were not prepared to fight in a modern
day war. Their only defence was the

He intercepted messages from the


British to decide when best to attack
whilst also to see if the British were
being truthful in what they said (if they
supported Mussolini or not) ENSURED HIS
SUCCESS IN BATTLE AND ENSURED LITTLE
INTERFERENCE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

500, 000 soldiers were needed in six

April
1936
May
1936

natural barrier of the mountainous


terrain
400, 000 Italian troops were deployed
with a large amount of equipment
leading to a poorly ordered army
The second Commander of the
Invading Forces was Marshal Badoglio
who used crueller methods of attack
such as dropping poisonous gas from
planes and aerial bombing
The Ethiopian army was defeated at
Lake Ashangi
Italian troops reach and occupied the
capital of Ethiopia Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie fled
to Britain causing the defeat of the
Ethiopians
However military attack by the Italians
continued despite their success and a
campaign to repress Ethiopia was
started by Mussolini

months, with more people employed as


engineers and road builders who were
efficient in the jobs they carried out
MUSSOLINI WAS TRYING TO BUILD UP AN
EMPIRE BEFORE SUCCESS IN WAR, WHILST
ROADS ETC. ALSO HELPED TRANSPORT
SOLDIERS AND RESOURCES ETC. AROUND

Mussolini grew in confidence as a result


of winning the war COULD BE DANGEROUS
He used the idea of having an empire to
his advantage, to show strength and
power, increasing the rising sense of
nationalism HILIGHTED THE POLITICAL
SUCCESS OF THE COUTNRY WINNING HIM
MORE SUPPORT

Attitudes towards War Nationally and Internationally


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 Mussolini from his speech to the crowds in May
1936 after their defeat of Ethiopia
Italy

King

He had initially opposed the war and told Mussolini to be cautious in his
attempts to capture and occupy Ethiopia
Backed the war once the League of Nations introduced its sanctions and
the initial difficulties had been overcome and the Addis Ababa (the
capture of Ethiopia) was presented in a positive light TO ENSURE THAT ITALY
WAS STILL PERCIEVED IN A POSITVE LIGHT BY FOREGIN POWERS

Army

1, 500 men were killed perhaps showing that the army was not as safe and
secure as it was portrayed by the Fascist government
Troops still had to be stationed in Ethiopia to control the smaller recently
united tribes which were rebelling the occupation
Troops had to remain there for the 5 year period that Italy occupied
Ethiopia due to the continuous revolutionary fighting which at times meant
Italy only had control of a few main towns

A lot of faith was put into the armed forces:


we ask you to have faith in our statesmen and armed forces Bishop of
Padua
the blessing of God be put on these soldiers whowill conquer new and
fertile lands Bishop of Cremona

Italian

Mussolini became over confident in the capability of the army and his
military judgement, leading to more dangerous decisions being made on
Mussolinis part as to the actions of the army
Leaders of the armed forces were against war and even Mussolini himself
admitted that the war was an unpopular prospect
Money had gone into the over-provision of men and equipment for the

People

war (the equivalent to two years normal state spending), not to address
the needs of the growing peasant population
The war had forced government borrowing and diverted industrial
production to armament production
It also contributed to the poor state of the Italian economy up until 1940

20 million people listened to Mussolinis radio broadcast in May 1936 after


the victory in Ethiopia (implying there was a lot of public attention)
Due to the large amounts of propaganda at the time people were
becoming for patriotic therefore we can imply that this meant people
supported the war that had taken place
Seen in the fact that the fascist party reached its peak after the success in
war in terms of popularity and support

Foreign
Attitudes

Britain
and
France

However the peasants in the south did not agree with the war, they felt
even more isolated than they did before, with all the preparations and
support of war coming from the north
People thought the war was a joke, and did not take it seriously saying it
was far more of a sports event than a page in military history
Britain and France were not against the Italian occupation of Ethiopia and
therefore created the HOARE LAVAL PACT with France, whereby a large
part of Ethiopia would have been handed over to Italy
The pact had to be abandoned however due to public outcry especially in
Britain from pro-Ethiopian groups (shows that the people of Britain had
different views to the government)

Both countries were not keen to oppose Italy to strongly out of the fear of
war, which Mussolini threatened to in his public speeches
Some Britons were conscious of the war in Abyssinia
In the end we should find a terrible momentin which it might be that
Abyssinia would be destroyed altogether as an independent State Sir
Samuel Hoare

Other

Due to the fact that Ethiopia was in The League of Nations, its members
voted for sanctions to be introduced in November 1935 as a result of
Italys actions
Economic sanctions were applied to force Italys withdrawal from Ethiopia,
by The League of Nations stopping the import of Italian goods and stopping
the sale of arms to Italy
The League of Nations later failed due to its credibility being undermined
by its failure to protect one its members, which had already been damaged
by its inability to defend China against Japan and by Hitler rearming
Germany

Certain countries such as Germany, Japan and the USA, did not support
the sanctions, therefore Italy could still trade with them

Understandably Ethiopia was against the war in the first place, however after their defeat in 1936, their
main issues seem to lay with The League of Nations and the lack of intervention in the war. In a speech
by Ethiopias ex-emperor Haili Selassie I to the Assembly of The League of Nations he stated:
I thought it impossible that fifty-two nations could successfully be held in check by a single
aggressor [How can a] strong government find that it can without risk destroy a weak peopleI ask
these fifty-two nations, what are they willing to do for Abyssinia? What answer am I to take back to
my people?