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Menelik II and the battle of Adowa

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 2 months ago

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"Adowanna Give My Land To You!"


*Fought on March 1, 1896

*Between Ethiopia and Italy

*Took place near the town of Adwa in Ethiopia

*First climactic battle of the First Italo-Abyssinian War



-Africa had been divided into several different areas which were separately controlled by different European powers

-Italy, who had not been involved in the struggle for African land for long, had only two poor territories

-Italy sought to acquire Ethiopia and this battle started the First Italo-Abyssinian War


-By February 1896 supplies were running low on both sides

-Commander of the Italians, General Oreste Baratieri, knew the Ethiopians had been living off of the land and when these resources ran out the army wouldn't be able to survive

-Baratieri's government insisted that he attacked anyways and they planned for an attack on February 30th at 9:00 a.m.




-The Italian army had a total of 17,700 troops

-The Ethiopian army under Menelik II had somewhere between 80,000 to 150,000 troops - The Ethiopian forces were followed by peasants who supplied the army

-On March 1st the 3 of the 4 Italian brigades advanced toward Adwa through the mountains

-The 3 brigades got separated over their night march

-Emperor Menelik's troops exhausted the ability of the peasants to support them and therefore had planned to break camp on March 2nd.

    *Had gotten up early to say prayers when one of his military advisors told him that the Italians were coming

    *Menelik ordered his troops together to advance.  They waited on the hills overlooking the Adowa valley, in perfect view of the Italian advancement

-The Italian forces beat back the Ethiopians until Menelik II released his reserve troops.  The Italians were immediately annhilated

-All of the rest of the Italian troops were defeated and by noon the survivors of the Italian troops were in retreat




*The Italians had about 7,000 killed and 1,500 wounded

*The Ethiopians had about 4,000-5,000 killed and 8,000 wounded

*Italy signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa, which recognized Ethiopia as an independent state



Menelik II - Ethiopia







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