Want to learn more about Italy invading Ethiopia? Read on for a historical overview of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935…
The Italian invasion of Ethiopia was initiated in the month of October 1935. It was a brief colonial war that is also remembered in history as the second Italo-Abyssinian war. Mussolini, who was the leader of Italy, had his eye set on annexing Ethiopia into Italy’s newly created colony of East Africa. Although the Italian military was successful in occupying Ethiopia, the Abyssinians did not capitulate or surrender to the Italian forces.
In the context of political history this colonial war is remembered for exposing the weak bond on which the League of Nations was found. It was quite clear following this event that the League of Nations was a total failure in terms of accomplishing the objectives for which it was established. This is because both Italy as well as Ethiopia were members of the League of Nations yet the League was not able to prevent Italy from forcefully violating the rights of Ethiopia as well as acting outside of the League’s articles.
Another important element of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia is the fact that it was the first time that mustard gas and phosgene was used as illegal weapons by the Italian armed forces. The invasion did bear fruit. People respected the fact that Mussolini’s fascist regime has reached its zenith and the new era which is known as the age of consensus in Italian history was born. Mussolini attracted the praise of notables like Churchill for achieving his objectives despite the fact that much social, political and human loss had been caused in the process.
The fact that Mussolini wanted to rebuild an Italian Empire reminiscent of the glorious Roman Empire of the past was no secret by this point in time. In order to do this Italy would have to take over the Mediterranean and the North African regions. This was one of the primary objectives of invading Ethiopia. Mussolini also wanted to settle the score with Ethiopia as the latter had defeated the Italians in the past during the battle of Adowa that took place in 1896.
Then Italy invaded Ethiopia based on the promise by Mussolini that he would acquire a place in the sun for his country so that the Italian Empire could match the colonial giants like France and Britian.
There were a number of factors that made the country of Ethiopia a prime candidate for the expansion of the Italian empire. The European imperialists had already engaged in the scramble for Africa as a result of which only a few places were left for the taking. Ethiopia was one of these countries. Furthermore by taking over Ethiopia Italy would be able to draw a unified connection between Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. Along with this it was believed that Ethiopia had a relatively weak army that consisted of indigenous tribal forces that were still making use of basic weapons such as spears and shields, whereas their air force consisted of only 12 fighter planes.