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First Italo-Ethiopian War

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First Italo-Ethiopian War
Part of the Scramble for Africa

Clockwise from top left: Italian soldiers en route to Massawa; castle of Yohannes IV at Mek'ele;[6] Ethiopian cavalry at the Battle of Adwa; Italian prisoners are freed following the end of hostilities; Menelik II at Adwa; Ras Makonnen leading Ethiopian troops in the Battle of Amba Alagi
Date15 December 1894 – 23 October 1896
(1 year, 10 months, 1 week and 1 day)

Ethiopian victory

Independence of Ethiopia confirmed; border with Italian Eritrea delineated

 Kingdom of Italy

 Ethiopian Empire
Supported by:
 Russian Empire (from 1896)[1][2][3]
 French Republic (from 1896)[4][5]
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Italy King Umberto I
Kingdom of Italy Francesco Crispi
Kingdom of Italy Antonio Starabba
Kingdom of Italy Oreste Baratieri
Kingdom of Italy Vittorio Dabormida 
Kingdom of Italy Giuseppe Arimondi 
Kingdom of Italy Matteo Albertone (POW)
Ethiopian Empire Emperor Menelik II
Ethiopian Empire Empress Taytu Betul
Ethiopian Empire Ras Alula Engida
Ethiopian Empire Ras Makonnen
Ethiopian Empire Ras Mikael
Ethiopian Empire Tekle Haymanot


  • 100,000 with firearms, rest with bows, spears and swords[nb 1]
Casualties and losses
18,000 casualties:
7,500 Italians dead[9]
7,100 Eritreans dead[9] 1,428 Italians wounded[9] 1,865 Italians captured[9]
17,000 casualties:
7,000 dead[9]
10,000 wounded[9]

The First Italo-Ethiopian War[10] was a conflict between the Ethiopian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy during the Scramble for Africa from 1895 to 1896, initiated by the disputed Treaty of Wuchale where the Italians tried to convert Ethiopia into an Italian Protectorate.

The image represents the victory of Ethiopians over Italian troops in Battle of Adwa.

The Italians would invade Ethiopia from Eritrea[11] until they would be besieged by the Ethiopian forces in the Fort of Mek'ele, finally the Italians would sign the Treaty of Addis Ababa where the conflict would end where the sovereignty of Ethiopia would be recognized, this would bring years later the consequence of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, which occurred between 1935 and 1936.[12]

References[change | change source]

  1. "The activities of the officer the Kuban Cossack army N. S. Leontjev in the Italian-Ethiopic war in 1895–1896". Archived from the original on 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  2. Richard, Pankhurst. "Ethiopia's Historic Quest for Medicine, 6". The Pankhurst History Library. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03.
  3. Patman 2009, pp. 27–30
  4. "Soviet Appeasement, Collective Security, and the Italo-Ethiopian war of 1935 and 1936". libcom.org.
  5. Thomas Wilson, Edward (1974). Russia and Black Africa Before World War II. New York. pp. 57–58.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. "Ethiopian Treasures". ethiopiantreasures.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  7. Vandervort 1998, p. 160
  8. Pankhurst 2001, p. 190
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Milkias, Paulos (2005). "The Battle of Adwa: The Historic Victory of Ethiopia over European Colonialism". In Paulos Milkias; Getachew Metaferia (eds.). The Battle of Adwa: Reflections on Ethiopia's Historic Victory Against European Colonialism. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-87586-414-3.
  10. "5 Fascinating Battles of the African Colonial Era". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  11. "Photo of some of the Eritrean Ascari mutilated".
  12. Professor Kinfe Abraham, "The Impact of the Adowa Victory on The Pan-African and Pan-Black Anti-Colonial Struggle," Address delivered to The Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, 8 February 2006
  1. According to Richard Pankhurst, the Ethiopians were armed with approximately 100,000 rifles of which about half were "fast firing".[8]

Other websites[change | change source]