Abraham Lucey

Major Players:

1. Abyssinia (Modern Ethiopia-newly created monarchy-Victim)


2. Italy (Under Mussolini-Fascist-Aggressor)


3. League of Nations/United States (Moral and Other Embargos)


Executive Summary:

1. Ethiopia is one of only two countries, the other being Liberia, in Africa that had not been colonized by a European power.[1]
second_italo-abyssinian_war_1935-1936_war_map.jpg.jpeg
Italy's two pronged attack lead by Mussolini's Generals--De Bono and Graziani
2. Ethiopia was the only country to repel a foreign European invasion, the first Italian invasion in 1895-1896. This invasion was defeated at the battle of Adwa in northern Ethiopia on the border of Eritrea by a force of 100,000 under Menelik II.[2]
3. Subsequent to the first Italo-Ethiopian war, Italy sponsored Ethiopia’s application to the League of Nations (LON), as well as signing a treaty of friendship with Ethiopia in 1929.[3]
4. Ethiopia During the Italian Invasion of Abyssinia (1935-1936) was under the rule of Emperor Haile Selassie (translated into: Power of the Trinity)[4], whereas Italy was under the rule of Mussolini. It was sparked by a small border conflict 80 miles within the Italian Somaliland-Ethiopian border (Ethiopian Side) at an Italian outpost of Welwel in the Ogaden desert [5]
5. Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 from both Eritrea and Italian Somaliland which meant that Ethiopia was caught in a north-south pincer movement, where both Italian armies ended up capturing Addis Ababa on May 5, 1936 ending the war [6] (Victory for Italy)
6. The invasion was a total war for both sides, Italy’s generals used mustard gas on civilians [7] and had a ‘ten eyes for one eye’ policy [8], as well taxes grew to record proportions in Italy creating unrest on the common man. It was also a guerilla war after the official annexation of Ethiopia by Italy.
7. This invasion proved the ineffectiveness of the LON, as the LON condemned Italy’s actions and attempted to impose universal sanctions on Italy but they failed, as the United States would impose nothing more than “Moral Embargos,” and actually increased trade with Italy during the war. [9]
8. Italian forces were forced to surrender in Ethiopia to a joint Ethiopian-British force near Gondar in northern Ethiopia in January 1942 nearly 2 ½ years after the beginning of World War Two. [10]

War From Point Of Ethiopia and its Citizens
second_italo-abyssinian_war_1935-1936_haile_selassie.jpg.jpeg
Ethiopian Head of State during the Second Italian Invasion, Haile Selassie

Ethiopia fought a total and guerilla war during the Italian invasion. When Italy invaded from two fronts [11] Haile Selassie fought a number of battles against the Italians in the northern front with the Eritrean border and in the Ogaden desert to the east on the border with Italian Somaliland. Unfortunately for the native Ethiopian forces they were no match for the technology of the Italians, especially under Marshal Badoglio who used planes to bomb Ethiopian forces at Adwa and was authorized to used mustard gas against civilians[12]. After the official annexation of Ethiopia (although it was never accepted by Haile Selassie and the government of Ethiopia[13]) there were small uprisings, which were totally crushed, and the remaining forts held but official native forces fell quickly to the invaders [14].

War From Point Of Italy and its Citizens
To the country of Italy, its invasion of Ethiopia was close enough to the term to be called a “total” war. Although there was no food rationing the people of Italy suffered greatly because of this war as taxes were raised to record levels to pay for the army, navy, and air force detachments sent to the front. This was partially a open-field war and partially a guerrilla war with the Ethiopian Monarchy under Haile Selassie and its government, roughly one million soldiers were mobilized in Italy and sent to Eritrea and Italian Somaliland (and passed unchallenged by the British through the Suez Canal) at which point they invaded from two fronts and met in Addis Ababa on May 5 1936.[15] The Italian army met pockets of resistance around Adwa and Addis Ababa where open field battles took place but the majority of the fighting occurred after the “official” annexation of Ethiopia (e.g., with the capturing of major forts and suppression of minor guerilla war by the native peoples following the “’ten eyes for an eye’” policy[16]).
Origins And Causes Of The Invasion Of Abyssinia (1935-1936):
1. Long Term Causes:
The course of events culminating in the Italian invasion of Abyssinia began in 1896 with the battle of Aduwa on the northern border between Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Italian controlled Eritrea. Menelik II was the Emperor of Ethiopia during the 1896 invasion; he initially gained power from his domain in central Ethiopia (Shoa) with the help of the Italian government economically and militarily. He (Menelik II) signed the Treaty of Uccialli in 1889, but after realizing that the agreement included a clause that made Ethiopia a protectorate of Italy, he rejected it immediately. During the inter-war period between the unification of Ethiopia (ended in 1889) and the invasion of “Abyssinia” Menelik II continued to bring new lands into his domain as well as modernizing the land that was already included within it. He built an extensive railroad network crisscrossing the country with all major lines connecting at the newly named capital of Addis Ababa in central Ethiopia. He brought southern Ethiopia, which was predominantly Muslim and bordered Italian Somaliland into the newly unified country creating a more modern and increasingly powerful country.
2. Short Term Causes:
Italy during this time period was lacking behind Her European counterparts in almost every way. Italy was a mainly agrarian state with enough manufacturing capabilities to maintain an army but a significantly smaller one than Her peers such as Germany. Italy needed to gain land in Africa to be an International power and in order to wield influence in European affairs. By 1889 there was not much land unconquered in Africa and the last un-protected (by foreign powers) country was Abyssinia. When Mussolini completed his takeover of Italy and his dominance over the Catholic Church on February 11, 1929[17] he began to create an Italy independent of other countries, he began to drain swamps in central and southern Italy for more farms, while industrializing the rest of the nation. Italy had been forced to take a backseat in European politics to the greater members of the Entente after WWI and Mussolini was eager to show that Italy was as powerful as dominant powers of Europe by obtaining land and colloquially “flexing its muscles.” The Italian invasion was the perfect chance to assert Italian strength in Africa and open a number of political doorways to the fledgling power. When Italy invaded and conquered Ethiopia (1935-36) She gained huge tracts of land, and roughly 28 million people, and now held all the land on either side of the Franco-British controlled straight that connected the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden , which on the larger scale was controlling a large portion of the chokepoint of the Suez-East shipping routes.
3. The Catalyst:

The now nascent country of Ethiopia shared a loosely defined border with the neighboring territory to its southeast (Italian Somaliland) and the Italian military held an outpost 80 miles within the border at a town by the name of Welwel or modern day Ualval. Forces of the Ethiopian Army skirmished with the Italians briefly at this outpost and as the minor conflict subsided the Italian government demanded indemnities to the sum of ~100 000 dollars [18], and when he did not receive them the minor skirmish was used as justification for mobilizing for a much larger-scale conflict. [19]

Nature Of 20th Century Warfare:
1. Technology in the Military and in Society
Italy:
Italy was known to have 3,296 fighters, 6 completed battle ships, numerous destroyers and light auxiliary vessels, along with the worlds largest submarine fleet at its disposal [20]. Coupled with the known 1 million mobilized soldiers in Italian Controlled Eritrea and I. Somaliland was an overwhelming force compared to the Ethiopian army which was estimated to be, albeit, possibly compromised sources (Ethiopian Crown Council), around 210,000 soldiers [21] The Italian regular army’s armaments were on the whole far more technologically advanced than the Ethiopian’s, but the African divisions created by Italy were equipped mainly with obsolete rifles awarded to Italy after WWI. Despite the technological advancements of Italy’s regulars compared to the Ethiopian Army’s regulars, all soldiers involved used generally less technologically advanced weapons and vehicles when contrasted with the Allies’. [22]
Ethiopia:
Ethiopian Forces maintained proficiency with rifles and artillery pieces since unification in 1889, Menelik II used modern weapons in his conquering of neighboring fiefdoms to create Ethiopia (or Abyssinia as the region was called). Unluckily for the Ethiopians however, even though they had mastered the rifle and larger guns, the armaments of the regulars in the army were outdated and anti-aircraft weapons were scarce at best.[23]

Economic and Social Repercussions in the Belligerent Nations:
Italy:
Italy during the period 1935-1936 underwent a period of heavy taxation to pay for the supplies, such as pig (crude) iron, steel and oil, meaning things needed to make war upon a nation. This caused considerable unrest, but unrest that could be offset by the massive propaganda campaign that Mussolini launched regarding the creation of “Italian East Africa” .[24]Economic gains were minimal from the invasion, as by 1939 or about 2 ½ years after Italy conquered Ethiopia and created Italian East Africa trade from the colonies only made up 2% of all foreign trade with Italy.[26]
Ethiopia:
Ethiopia gained almost nothing economically and socially from the invasion. It could have provided for a reason for cementing the nascent country into a united front, but as they were conquered and continued to engage in small-scale warfare for an additional six years until liberation in 1942 the toll economically was extreme.

Effects and Results of the Italian Invasion of Ethiopia
The End of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War:
The end of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia is impossible to pinpoint as one day because a peace treaty was never signed. Addis Ababa the capital was occupied on May 5 1936 and the entire country was annexed four days later. Although, Haile Selassie and the major heads of Government had already fled to Great Britain, only to return in 1942 to “finish” the war with a Anglo-Ethiopian coalition army.[27]


Political Effects:[28] [29]
On the larger scheme of the world the political repercussions from this conflict would reverberate around the delicate
"The Rabbit. 'My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye.'" (Caption and Cartoon Courtesy of The Gutenberg Project)
"The Rabbit. 'My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye.'" (Caption and Cartoon Courtesy of The Gutenberg Project)
European peace until its destruction in 1939. The Second Italo-Ethiopian war showed the futility of the League of Nations as an international justice and peacekeeping body.
o Italy sponsored Ethiopia’s bid to join the LON
o After the altercation at Welwel (Ogaden Desert, Ethiopia), and subsequent to the demands of Italy for indemnities and an apology from the monarch of Ethiopia, Ethiopia demanded that the case be brought before the LON for investigation.
o The investigation was granted, but Italy under Mussolini prepared for war and launched its campaign long before the League finished its investigation.
o After the assault on Ethiopia by Italy the LON declared and condemned Italy as the aggressor and began to initiate sanctions on it.
o As the LON attempted to stop the flow of all goods to Italy, the sanctions excluded pig iron, steel, and oil, the three chief supply necessities for running a war.
o Later the LON reconsidered and began to attempt to impose bans on the three exclusions but without the United States this was an impossibility because the U.S. controlled 50% of the oil in the world, as well as being the largest exporter of Pig Iron and Steel in the world.
o The entire affair showed that the LON had no pull or weight in the world without the United States as a member, it had no ability to discourage superpowers in Europe from doing as they pleased.


Problems with foot not citation Apologies
[1] White, Matthew. "African Maps | Map Africa." Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources. Stanford University Libraries. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://library.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/africa/map.html>.
[2] "Menelik II." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 6 Sep. 2009 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
[3] Flaherty, Thomas H., ed. Italy At War. New York: Time-Life Books Inc.
[4] "Haile Selassie." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 6 Sep. 2009 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
[5] "Ethiopia invaded by Mussolini." History web pages. University of San Diego. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww2timeline/Prelude05a.html>.
[6] "ITALIAN CONQUEST OF ETHIOPIA 1935-1936." Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Mount Holyoke College. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/WorldWar2/italy.htm>.
[7] "Ethiopia invaded by Mussolini." History web pages. University of San Diego. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww2timeline/Prelude05a.html>.
[8] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added
[9] "Ethiopia invaded by Mussolini." History web pages. University of San Diego. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww2timeline/Prelude05a.html>.
[10] "Ethiopia - Ethiopia in World War II." Country Studies. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://countrystudies.us/ethiopia/20.htm>.
[11] William, Langer L. An Encyclopedia of World History (1948). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948.
[12] "Ethiopia invaded by Mussolini." History web pages. University of San Diego. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww2timeline/Prelude05a.html>.
[13] "History." The Crown Council of Ethiopia. The Crown Council of Ethiopia. 08 Sept. 2009 <http://www.ethiopiancrown.org/>.
[14] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added
[15] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added
[16] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added
[17] "The Rise of Benito Mussolini." History web pages. University of San Diego. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/WW2Timeline/Prelude05.html>
[18] Flaherty, Thomas H., ed. Italy At War. New York: Time-Life Books Inc.
[19] Peter N. Stearns, William Leonard Langer. The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern
[20] Flaherty, Thomas H., ed. Italy At War. New York: Time-Life Books Inc.
[21] "History." The Crown Council of Ethiopia. The Crown Council of Ethiopia. 08 Sept. 2009 <http://www.ethiopiancrown.org/>.
[22] Flaherty, Thomas H., ed. Italy At War. New York: Time-Life Books Inc.
[23]The Crown Council of Ethiopia. The Crown Council of Ethiopia. 08 Sept. 2009 <http://www.ethiopiancrown.org/>.
[24] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added
[25] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added
[26] The Crown Council of Ethiopia. The Crown Council of Ethiopia. 08 Sept. 2009 <http://www.ethiopiancrown.org/>.
[27] "Ethiopia invaded by Mussolini." History web pages. University of San Diego. 06 Sept. 2009 <http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww2timeline/Prelude05a.html>.
[28] "ITALIAN CONQUEST OF ETHIOPIA 1935-1936." Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Mount Holyoke College. 06 Sept. 2009
[29] Reading Number 8, proper footnote to be added