Ethiopia Military

Ethiopia Military header image 2

First Italo-Abyssinian War (1895-1896)

1,260 Comments · Wars

The Battle of Adwa, Adwa also spelled ADOWA, Italian ADUA (March 1, 1896), military clash at Adwa, in north-central Ethiopia, between the Ethiopian army of King Menilek II and Italian forces.

The decisive Ethiopian victory checked Italy’s attempt to build an empire in Africa comparable to that of the French or the British.

The death (in 1889) of the Ethiopian emperor Yohannes IV was followed by great disorder, during which the Italians helped Menilek of Shewa (Shoa) win the throne.

In addition, the Treaty of Wichale (Ucciali), which Italy had signed with Menilek in 1889, was interpreted by the Italian premier Francesco Crispi as implying the declaration of an Italian protectorate over Ethiopia.

Accordingly, the Italian possessions in Africa were constituted (January 1890) as Colonia Eritrea.

Menilek first rejected in September 1890 the ambiguous Article XVII of the treaty and then, in September 1893, rejected the treaty altogether, afterward preparing to fight the Italians’ attempt to impose their dominion militarily.

By late February 1896, supplies on both sides were running low. General Oreste Baratieri, commander of the Italian forces, knew the Ethiopian forces had been living off the land.

Besides, once the supplies of the local peasants were exhausted, Menlik’s army would begin to melt away, he thought.

Nevertheless, his government insisted that General Baratieri act, and he met with his brigadiers Matteo Albertone, Giuseppe Arimondi, Vittorio Dabormida, and Giuseppe Ellena on the evening of 29 February.

His subordinates argued vigorously for an attack, with Dabormida exclaiming, “Italy would prefer the loss of two or three thousand men to a dishonorable retreat.”

Baratieri announced that the attack would start and accordingly, his troops began their march to their starting positions.

The Italian army comprised four brigades totalling 17,700 troops, with fifty-six artillery pieces.

One brigade under General Albertone was made up of Italian officered askari (native infantry) recruited from Eritrea.

The remaining three brigades were Italian units under Brigadiers Dabormida, Ellena and Arimondi.

From the Ethiopian side, the forces were divided among:
• Emperor Menelik
• Empress Taytu
• Ras Wale
• Ras Mengesha Atikem
• Ras Mengesha Yohannes
• Ras Alula Engida
• Ras Mikael of Wollo
• Ras Makonnen
• Fitawrari Gebeyyehu
• Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam

Besides, the armies were followed by traditional peasant followers who supplied the army, as had been done for centuries.

On the night of Feb 29 and the early morning of March 1, three Italian brigades advanced separately towards Adwa over narrow mountain tracks, while a fourth remained camped.

David Levering Lewis states that the Italian battle plan called for three columns to march in parallel formation to the crests of three mountains:

  • Dabormida commanding on the right
  • Albertone on the left
  • Arimondi in the center with a reserve under Ellena following behind Arimondi

The supporting crossfire each column could give the others made the … soldiers as deadly as razored shears.

Albertone’s brigade was to set the pace for the others. He was to position himself on the summit known as Kidane Meret, which would give the Italians the high ground from which to meet the Ethiopians.

Nevertheless, the three leading Italian brigades had become separated during their overnight march and at dawn were spread across several miles of very difficult terrain.

Unknown to General Baratieri, Emperor Menelik knew his troops had exhausted the ability of the local peasants to support them and had planned to break camp the next day (2 March).

The Emperor had risen early to begin prayers for divine guidance when spies from Ras Alula, his chief military advisor, brought him news that the Italians were advancing.

The Emperor called the separate armies of his nobles and with the Empress Taytu beside him, ordered his forces forward.

  • Negus Tekle Haymanot commanded the right wing
  • Ras Alula the left
  • Rasses Makonnen and Mengesha the center, with Ras Mikael at the head of the crack Oromo cavalry; the Emperor and his consort remained with the reserve.

The Ethiopian forces positioned themselves on the hills overlooking the Adowa valley, in perfect position to receive the Italians, who were exposed and vulnerable to crossfire.

Albertone’s askari brigade was the first to encounter the onrush of Ethiopians at 6:00, near Kidane Meret, where the Ethiopians had managed to set up their mountain artillery.

His forces held their position for two hours until Albertone’s capture, and under Ethiopian pressure the survivors sought refuge with Arimondi’s brigade.

Arimondi’s brigade beat back the Ethiopians who repeatedly charged the Italian position for three hours but didn’t last longer.

Two companies of Bersaglieri who arrived at the same moment could not help and were annihilated.

General Dabormida’s Italian brigade had moved to support Albertone but was unable to reach him in time.

Cut off from the remainder of the Italian army, Dabormida began a fighting retreat toward Italian positions.

Nevertheless, Dabormida inadvertently marched his command into a narrow valley where the Oromo cavalry slaughtered his brigade shouting Ebalgume! Ebalgume! (“Reap! Reap!”).

General Dabormida’s remains were never found, although his brother learned from an old woman living in the area that she had given water to a mortally wounded Italian officer, “a chief, a great man with spectacles and a watch, and golden stars”.

The remaining two brigades under Baratieri himself were outflanked and destroyed piecemeal on the slopes of Mount Belah. By noon, the survivors of the Italian army were in full retreat and the battle was over.

The Italians suffered about 7,000 killed and 1,500 wounded in the battle and subsequent retreat back into Eritrea, with 3,000 taken prisoner, while Ethiopian losses have been estimated around 4,000-5,000, but with 8,000 wounded.

In their flight to Eritrea, the Italians left behind all of their artillery and 11,000 rifles, as well as most of their transport.

As Paul B. Henze notes, “Baratieri’s army had been completely annihilated while Menelik’s was intact as a fighting force and gained thousands of rifles and a great deal of equipment from the fleeing Italians.”

The 3,000 Italian prisoners, who included General Albertone, appear to have been treated as well as could be expected under difficult circumstances, though about 200 died of their wounds in captivity.

Nevertheless 800 captured askaris, regarded as traitors by the Ethiopians, had their right hands and left feet amputated.

Baratieri was relieved of his command and later charged with preparing an “inexcusable” plan of attack and for abandoning his troops in the field.

The Crispi government fell, and was replaced by a new administration with a policy of avoiding further colonial adventures.

The decisive victory of Ethiopia over Italian aggressors resulted in the the Treaty of Addis Ababa, signed in October 1896, abrogated the Treaty of Wichale and reestablished peace, and Italy recognized the independence of Ethiopia.

The Italian claim to a protectorate over all Ethiopia was thereafter abandoned; and the Italian colony of Eritrea, finally delimited by a treaty of peace (September 1900), was reduced to a territory of about 200,000 square km (80,000 square miles).

Various treaties concluded with Italy, France, and Great Britain in the years up to 1908 fixed the borders of Ethiopia with the neighbouring territories ruled by the European powers.

Keywords: Adwa, ADOWA, ADUA, King Menilek II, Italian forces, Treaty of Wichale, Ucciali, Emperor Yohannes IV, Francesco Crispi, General Oreste Baratieri, Matteo Albertone, Giuseppe Arimondi, Vittorio Dabormida, Giuseppe Ellena, Emperor Menelik, Empress Taytu, Ras Wale, Ras Mengesha Atikem, Ras Mengesha Yohannes, Ras Alula Engida, Ras Mikael of Wollo, Ras Makonnen, Fitawrari Gebeyyehu, Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam, Somali National Army, Harerge, Bale, Sidamo, Jijiga, Siad Barre, Ogaden War,

Tags:

1,260 Comments so far ↓

  • virtual Mastercard

    virtual Mastercard…

    [...]usually posts some quite exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  • high tech vibrator

    high tech vibrator…

    [...]Every when in a whilst we pick blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the latest sites that we pick [...]…

  • باتری اسکوتر برقی

    اسکوتر…

    Do you have a spam problem on this website I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your predicament numerous of us have created some great methods and we are hunting to trade strategies with others, why not shoot me an e-mail if intrigued….

  • геликоптеры

    геликоптеры…

    [...]we came across a cool internet site that you simply may possibly delight in. Take a search if you want[...]…

  • запамятовал

    запамятовал…

    [...]Here are a number of the web pages we advocate for our visitors[...]…

  • معماری داخلی

    کابینت…

    Below are numerous of the internet internet sites we advise for our guests…

  • last minute deal

    last minute deal…

    [...]check beneath, are some completely unrelated websites to ours, nonetheless, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  • russian translation hello

    russian translation hello…

    [...]although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be basically really worth a go as a result of, so have a look[...]…

  • کابینت آشپزخانه سفید

    کابینت…

    Very good put up! We will be linking to this great put up on our internet site. Keep up the good producing….

  • english translation

    english translation…

    [...]very few sites that come about to become detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out[...]…

  • میز تلویزیون مدرن

    کابینت…

    we choose to honor tons of other net net-web sites on the net, even when they arent connected to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages actually really worth examining out…

  • hundeseng xxl

    hundeseng xxl…

    [...]we came across a cool site which you could possibly appreciate. Take a look in the event you want[...]…

  • nipple suction

    nipple suction…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you could possibly love. Take a look for those who want[...]…

  • beeg

    beeg…

    [...]Here is a good Blog You may Uncover Interesting that we Encourage You[...]…

  • تخت خواب یک نفره کشودار

    کابینت…

    Hello just needed to give you a transient heads up and permit you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading appropriately. I’m not confident why but I consider its a linking concern. I’ve tried out it in two different internet browsers and the two show…

  • سرویس خواب عروس

    کابینت…

    Hey, I believe your website may possibly be obtaining browser compatibility issues. When I appear at your blog in Chrome, it appears good but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just desired to give you a quick heads up! Other…

  • خرید سرویس خواب

    کابینت…

    the time to review or get a search at the material or web-websites we have linked to beneath the…

  • طراحی دکوراسیون داخلی

    کابینت…

    Fantastic website! I located it although surfing close to on Yahoo News. Do you have any recommendations on how to get outlined in Yahoo News? I have been striving for a whilst but I never ever look to get there! Cheers…

  • کابینت ام دی اف

    کابینت…

    I’m truly making the most of the design and style and format of your weblog. It’s a extremely simple on the eyes which can make it significantly much more enjoyable for me to come listed here and check out far more frequently. Did you retain the servic…

  • میز تلویزیون کلاسیک

    کابینت…

    Hey! I know this is relatively off matter but I was wondering if you realized in which I could get a captcha plugin for my comment type? I’m making use of the identical website platform as yours and I’m having difficulties locating a single? Thanks a l…

  • cairo massage

    cairo massage…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but do not get a good deal of link enjoy from[...]…

  • خرید vpn

    vpn ایفون…

    Create more, thats all I have to say. Practically, it looks as however you relied on the movie to make your position. You obviously know what youre chatting about, why waste your intelligence on just posting movies to your site when you could be offeri…

  • one walmart

    one walmart…

    [...]The info mentioned in the report are a number of the ideal available [...]…

  • Bluechew reviews

    Bluechew reviews…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  • وی پی ان ایفون

    vpn ایفون…

    I’m actually enjoying the layout and structure of your blog. It’s a extremely straightforward on the eyes which helps make it significantly more nice for me to occur here and pay a visit to much more usually. Did you employ out a developer to produce y…

  • ارور 1009

    vpn ایفون…

    Create much more, thats all I have to say. Actually, it would seem as although you relied on the online video to make your point. You obviously know what youre conversing about, why squander your intelligence on just posting video clips to your website…

  • خرید vpn

    vpn ایفون…

    make sure you check out the websites we adhere to, this sort of as this one specific, as it signifies our picks via the world wide web…

  • Don Karl Juravin

    Don Karl Juravin…

    [...]please stop by the web pages we adhere to, including this one, because it represents our picks through the web[...]…

  • خرید vpn

    vpn ایفون…

    here are some hyperlinks to internet internet pages that we link to considering that we really feel they are really worth visiting…

  • type 1 diabetes

    type 1 diabetes…

    [...]Every the moment inside a while we decide on blogs that we study. Listed below would be the most current sites that we pick [...]…

  • hvalpe ormekur

    hvalpe ormekur…

    [...]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get a great deal of link enjoy from[...]…

  • Healthy salty snacks

    Healthy salty snacks…

    [...]Here are some of the web-sites we recommend for our visitors[...]…

  • vibrator review

    vibrator review…

    [...]one of our guests recently advised the following website[...]…

  • bdsm kit

    bdsm kit…

    [...]we came across a cool web page which you may appreciate. Take a appear if you want[...]…

  • Al-Zaytoonah Elibrary

    Al-Zaytoonah Elibrary…

    Explore electronic resources for free, thousands of eBooks, accounting eBooks, business eBooks, Marketing eBooks, Accounting eBooks, Banking eBooks, Design eBooks, Customers eBooks, Travel and Tourism eBooks… and more…

  • خرید vpn

    vpn ایفون…

    Hi there just desired to give you a brief heads up and enable you know a handful of of the photos are not loading accurately. I’m not certain why but I consider its a linking problem. I have experimented with it in two diverse internet browsers and eac…

  • تخت خواب فلزی

    کابینت…

    Thank you for some other excellent write-up. In which else may possibly just anyone get that kind of information in this sort of an excellent signifies of writing? I’ve a presentation following week, and I am on the lookup for such details….

  • دوربین مدار بسته DS-2CE16D0T-IT3

    دوربین…

    I definitely enjoy your website and locate a whole lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. Does 1 provide visitor writers to create content offered for you? I wouldn’t brain producing a submit or elaborating on a handful of of the subjects yo…

  • حداکثر سرعت اسکوتر برقی

    اسکوتر…

    What’s up it’s me, I am also checking out this web site on a standard basis, this web site is truly nice and the viewers are really sharing good ideas….

  • beginner's bondage fantasy

    beginner’s bondage fantasy…

    [...]although sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they are in fact worth a go by means of, so possess a look[...]…

  • خرید vpn

    vpn ایفون…

    I do not know if it’s just me or if probably absolutely everyone else encountering difficulties with your web site. It appears as if some of the written text in your posts are working off the monitor. Can any person else remember to remark and permit m…

  • walmart holiday hours

    walmart holiday hours…

    [...]usually posts some incredibly intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  • سكس اخوات xvideos

    سكس اخوات xvideos…

    [...]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re really worth a go by means of, so possess a look[...]…

  • appliance repair maple ridge (604) 404-1677

    appliance repair maple ridge (604) 404-1677…

    [...]here are some links to web-sites that we link to simply because we believe they’re really worth visiting[...]…

  • 1Pro movers and packers (604) 721-4555

    1Pro movers and packers (604) 721-4555…

    [...]we like to honor numerous other web sites on the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[...]…

  • خرید vpn

    vpn ایفون…

    Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to loss of life at function so I decided to verify out your site on my apple iphone in the course of lunch split. I get pleasure from the information you give right here and can not wait to take a search when I get hou…

  • فني ستلايت مبارك الكبير

    فني ستلايت مبارك الكبير…

    [...]just beneath, are various totally not connected web pages to ours, nonetheless, they may be surely really worth going over[...]…

  • wand massager

    wand massager…

    [...]the time to study or check out the content or websites we’ve linked to below the[...]…

  • خرید وی پی ان

    vpn ایفون…

    Good way of outlining, and fastidious write-up to get details regarding my presentation topic issue, which i am heading to express in faculty….

  • best lube for anal

    best lube for anal…

    [...]that may be the end of this post. Right here you’ll uncover some web sites that we assume you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]…

Leave a Comment