10.02.

1936: How Italians Conquered the Ethiopian Empire with Poison Gas

1936: How Italians Conquered the Ethiopian Empire with Poison Gas
Photo Credit To http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-861Z_JnqSw8/UFsSZeOjx1I/AAAAAAAAHwA/0w8KyfO0_0o/s1600/Italian_east_africa_map1936.jpg

The Italian commander was the famous Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who had a significant role in the era of Benito Mussolini. The Italians were, in terms of weaponry, far superior because they had hundreds of times more heavy weapons.

On this day Italian marshal Pietro Badoglio launched an attack on Ethiopian forces at Amba Arad in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. This was the Italian-Ethiopian War, known as the “Abyssinian War” (Abyssinia is the older name for the Ethiopian Empire). Italy’s goal was to conquer the independent Ethiopia and turn it into an Italian colony.

Already before the war the Italians owned the neighboring Eritrea, from which they launched an attack towards Ethiopia directed towards the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The Italians build-up a large army of about 100,000 people, but the Ethiopians provided a strong resistance. The clash occurred on this day in Amba Aram on the way from Eritrea to Addis Ababa.

The Italian commander was the famous Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who had a significant role in the era of Benito Mussolini (at that time, Italy was under the fascist government). Marshal Badoglio used all means available to defeat the Ethiopians. The Italians were, in terms of weaponry, a lot more superior because they had hundreds of times more heavy weapons and, unlike the Ethiopians, fighter aircraft.

The Ethiopians were defeated and forced to flee, and Marshal Badoglio ordered an airstrike on the retreating forces. Approximately 40 tons of chemical warfare agents such as mustard gas were dropped on the Ethiopians. On 5 May Badoglio’s forces marched into Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie fled the country, and the Italian king was proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia. Marshal Badoglio was ennobled with the title of Duke of Addis Abeba and appointed the first Viceroy and Governor General of Ethiopia.

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