Talk:Second Italo-Ethiopian War

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It wont be edited agains some body just write a better one showing the Ethiopian point of view! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 26 September 2016 (UTC) I've seen several spellings of some of the words in the article.

  • Wel Wel, welwel, Wal Wal, Walwal, Ualual.
  • Maychew, May Chew, Maichew, Mei Chaw

Oberiko 14:13, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC) There are lots of ethiopian books in amharic and tigrina that talk about the ITaliens who by the way were military occupied by at least 3 countries so they know what it feels like to be occupied. Even though if we compare the recent advace of ISIS or Dash in Syria and Iraq and the mass excecutions we can see the same type of war being played out. Hence the kurds ousted the islamist and Baghdad was not conquered. This page the second italy ethiopia war has been flagged for bias since 1997 and finally its being modified for the better. Ethiopia had one of the strongest land armies in the world at one time so if you dont understadnd how a far away land could defend its self so well thats one of the main raison. The majority of people historians and ethiopians know that ethiopia was never colonized and if you ethiopian iam sure you have heard that in fact our country has never lost a war before. SO i have edited this page for every one and will continue editing even if i am being threatend by false fake amateur historians who have been mislead by a old facist goverment who killed its own people.The Ethiopians destroyed more than double the number of enemy soilders that the viet kong did during the vietnam war. SO how if ethiopia did that in only five years and it took the viet kong 20 years is it logical that ethiopia was colonized. Thats just like ISIS saying that the territory they just happened to be in really belongs to them. Does it?

Sorry guys i have decided that re editing this is not the right thing to do but if i ever get the chance to make a completly other ethiopian italy war i will definitly show the war through the ethiopian and very likely the world view of this war. In reality the war is completly different from what this article blatlely states. My proof is that the source of this article are all Italien facist that wrote their book between 1940 45. Italiens couldnt possible write a none biased view of this war because their country was being run by a dictator that completly controlled the media in Italy this is a humiliating article for Italiens. Who I am sure many have heard that Ethiopians had always been the bain of the Italien people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Use it

Questions on Casualties

If the Ethiopians had 16,000 casualties and the Italians had 15,000, then the POV of this article should be debated, because the article does not mention how the Ethiopians inflicted 15,000 casualties on the Italians; the article only reflects how the Italians basically marched into Ethiopia, slaughtered the massess and took control (except for the mention of the battle of Tembien, which proved inconclusive), this article is possessing a gaping whole on how Ethiopia inflicted nearly as many casualties on the Italians as the Italians had on the Ethiopians (they almost equal). Subotai 08 Sep 2006

I agree the casualty count is way off! I can pull up many articles stating that at least 275,000 Ethiopian's were killed on the battle field. And the Italian military lost between 1,500-5,000 soldiers, but no more then that. As a matter of fact I have never ever seen proof that the casualty count of 16,000 Ethiopians killed compared to 15,000 Italians killed is a accurate number! The casualty count needs to be changed to a more realistic number.

-- The figure I've seen for Italian casualties are 1500 - 1600. It may be an off-by-ten typo. See, I don't know where you've seen 275,000 battlefield casualties for the Ethiopians, though. There could easily have been that many total Ethiopian casualties throughout the war, but if the estimates I've seen 0f Ethiopia's armed forces are correct, at 100,000 men, you'd have to kill each of them 2.75 times. This seems improbable. Brucemoko 07:58, 1 April 2007 (UTC) Well there is no proof that the Italiens could inflict that many casulties on Ethiopia. What is blatently obvious is that having switch hands between three powerful European nations the Italiens do know what it is like being occupied and this practice has been unleased on a people that have never lost a war within there boarders in history.

So it is now 275,000 killed AND another 500,000 wounded ! Eregli bob (talk) 06:52, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Citations needed

Please cite (preferably easy-to-access) evidence of support from Pope Pius XI and Winston Churchill.

Recent additions

An IP recently increased the troop number under Haile Selassie from 100k to 500k and added some generals for commanders (I don't think Haile Selassie would properly be a commander, though; Imeru or other generals would be more appropriate). I think the new figure is probably more accurate (the army at the Battle of Adwa was 100k alone), but it's not cited. If anyone can verify or deny it, that would be helpful. Meanwhile, I'm going to look for my book "The Lion by the Tail" and hope that I actually own it and it wasn't just borrowed. — ዮም (Yom) | contribsTalk 04:31, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The casualty numbers need to be changed to a more realistic number. There is no evidence that only 16,000 Ethiopians were killed compared to 15,000 Italians. On the other hand there is a ton of evidence suggesting that 275,000 Ethiopians were killed on the battlefield. This site is supposed to depict what actually happened in the second Italo-Abyssinian war so lets make it accurate! Here is at least four links showing evidence of much different casualty numbers. This site actually mentions several books which clearly state that 275,000 Ethiopians were killed on the battlefield. And the Italian casualties were less then 15,000 killed: A Ethiopian site mentions similiar casualties. Again they say 275,000 Ethiopian killed. And again the Italian casualties were far less then 15,000. More evidence: This link has a article mentioning a much lower Italian casualty number:

I just checked the first two references. Both state 275,000 Ethiopians killed - the first says "Battle Deaths", the second implies total casualties, most probably civilian. I can't read the third. I think the first site is counting civilian deaths during the invasion. So the question becomes, which does the generic box label "casualties" refer to? (and it seems to specify Italian casualties without Eritrean casualties, which may have been roughly equal). Maybe the wording should be changed? Or we could specify 16,000 military casualties and 275,000 total? Brucemoko 08:20, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
The forces of the Ethiopian army according to Mockler's book discribing their strengths I have compiled in this: Ethiopian orbat Second Italo-Abyssinian War The known strengths come to 242,500 men and it is probably about 300,000 men in total.

The 250,000 men casualties would mean nearly the total manpower of Ethiopia was slaughtered. From what I have read this does not seem at all likely. This has to be an overstatement of losses.Asiaticus 00:57, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

So why is there lots of sources saying that 275,000 Ethiopian soldiers were killed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Historymatters (talkcontribs) 01:20, 27 September 2006
While I agree that the figure of 16,000 is surprisingly low, Asiaticus has added a source for this figure to the article, which is at least as reliable as the ones someone added above -- so it remains part of the preferred version for the moment. If there are "lots of sources" for the higher figure, why don't you take a moment & add some better references to the text for your number instead of simply reverting his edit? PS -- Please sign your comments with four tildes (that is ~~~~) so we know who is writing what. - llywrch 17:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Who the heck wrote this article on the second Italo-Abyssinian war? Whoever did needs to study a little harder and be less sympathetic towards Ethioipia. Stop being biased! This site is supposed to be as accurate as possible! It's reality after all! Someone added a link up above to a site that mentioned several different books depicting a much different casualty number (275,000 Ethiopians killed vs. 2,000-5-000 Italians killed). He/She also showed a link to a Ethiopian site which also mentioned the same casualty numbers! Showing he/she is unbiased! There is NO evidence that 16,000 Ethiopians were killed compared to 15,000 Italian troops! So why isn't the page edited to a much more realistic number. Those links above under "Recent Additions" gives enough proof to edit the page.

I totally agree. The casualty number still has not been edited and needs to be asap - the numbers ar obviously incorrect. Subotai 17:58, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
The FACT is that 275,000 Ethiopian soldiers were killed compared to 2,000 Italian troops. There is plenty of evidence to suggest this! This site is supposed to be based on FACTS!!!!!!!!!! Yet it is clear that some uneducated individual keeps changing the casuality count to a UNSUPPORTED number of 16,000 Ethiopians killed compared to 15,000 Italians killed! Even Pro-Ethiopian sites agree with what I am writing! Here is one of the links:
I have not made any edits but you are wrong by saying that the 275,000 were soldiers. Most of them were civilians killed by Italian gas attacks. It is possible that the 16,000 Ethiopians killed stands for the regulars of the Ethiopian army. 12:47, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Nope this war was a propoganda tool and fabricated by facist Italy... The Italiens were annhilated even by there own accounts. If according to them they send over 100 000 troops and 30 000 died in the second italy ethiopia war that means they only had 70 000 troops left!!!  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 26 September 2016 (UTC) 

what is "legge taglionis"?

and why is it left untranslated? only google references to it are this quote. and many of them are wikipedia related. -- 15:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

legge taglionis is Italian for lex talionis, which is Latin for "law of retaliation". Basically, an eye for an eye.
Mhm, in Italian is it:legge del taglione. --F l a n k e r 11:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Crimes of the Fascist Army?

So all of a sudden the use of poison gas is a crime? Last time I checked, everyone used poison gas in WWI. Does that mean that France, Britain, Canada, and the United States are all guilty of massive crimes? Should I go and edit the World War I article to say the crimes o9f the British, American, and French forces aare widly known today? How is this any sort of objectivity? - Izzo

The Geneva Protocol, signed by 16 nations including Italy, outlawed chemical warfare, so using poison gas after 1928 was a war crime. GhePeU 11:59, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

If it needs to be explained any further Izzo. The inconvenient truth was that this use by Italy occurred in 1935 7 years after it signed the 1928 convention recognizing poison munitions as illegal to use even during war. It makes its use of poison munitions a Genocidal war crime. (talk) 9:59, 28 March 2012 (UTC).

16000 and 16000

Pardon me, but 16000 and 16000 casualties on both sides is total nonsense, especially as there us no way the Italian could have suffered 16000 dead. Perhaps the persons who always changed the figure to 16000 would be kind enough to explain me how Ethiopians caused 16000 dead to Italians. --Kurt Leyman 19:52, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I've added sources now. The casualties (killed) for the 1935-36 fighting seem to be around 10,000, with an equal number of killed in the next 4 years, but with many more wounded. We still need some sources for Ethiopian casualties, but why do you regard such a figure as "nonsense"? There were plenty successful Ethiopian counter offenses and defensive maneuvers in the war. — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 20:16, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Huge bias

This article seems to have a focus on condemning Italian actions rather then keep an impartial description of the war. I'm putting a NPOV tag on it and recommend that any and all Italian war crimes be cited and moved to a separate section. Oberiko 17:56, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Aren't 'war crimes' part of the war itself? How can you have an article about this war without mentioning the things the Italian army did to the Ethiopian civilians - also a major factor in why World War II far eclipses any other war in history in terms of lives lost. There should be no separate section, and it's perfectly fair to point out the disparity between the lives lost of both sides. SempriniWalrus 12:03, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

For whatever it's worth, I've had a related discussion about a year ago (I don't think the other party has any recent involvement with Wikipedia). See also Special:Contributions/, User_talk:Gyrofrog/2006Feb-Jun#Second_Italo-Abyssinian_War and User talk:Sezziemezzie. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 16:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

So enough people have raised the issue of bias. Why hasn't wikipedia at least attached a "disputed" tag to this page ? I mean enough people have raised issues. Alberto Sbacchi's "Legacy of Bitterness" has done yeoman work on this subject. (talk) 15:03, 27 March 2012


wow! Where do I begin ? The bias in using Italian records, Italian numbers is clear. As an example is the description of the Ethiopian Christmas offensive as a "Dark Period". Really ? I though Wikipedia was supposed to just state facts. Dark period for who ? As an Ethiopian and someone whose grandfather lost his life in gas attacks on Amba Aradom the Christmas offensive was a Bright period for Ethiopia. I mean I have been in Genova and spoken on the subject at a high school and received blank stares from school children. Apparently they have little to nothing taught to them on the "second Abyssinian-Italian War". Secondly there is still tacit denial, playing around with the numbers, the types of munitions, when they were shipped to Italy although Sbachi on the Italian side and Paulos Gnogno on the Ethiopian side seem to agree pretty much on the details since they based most of their information on orders and communication. I have access to a LOT of footage, tons that will be coming out soon showing the clash at Welwel and other battles. We have collected battlefield accounts of Ethiopian patriots of the different methods of killing civilian and patriot alike including adzes, axes, throwing folks out of flying airplanes cutting heads off etc. Unless Italians come to terms with this and bring their children to terms with the disgrace of what occurred what do you think is going to happen when they find out what grandpa did 80 years later in living color ? Italians have taken steps. But I am not going to congratulate them for doing something they should not have been involved in to begin with. They need to make serious amends and try to come to terms with things. I know its an entirely different subject but an additional insult has been the Vatican crying crocodile tears of what its priests did in South America while its own complicity in blessing its soldiers and prevailing on Italian society to support Italian wanton savagery in Ethiopia( I am looking at the footage right now).

So my advice, its not a question of whether there is bias and redoing the page. An Italian should not be doing this page to begin with or basing it on records that he/she deems appropriate. You will soon have records aplenty that will put Sbachi's book of admissions to shame. Get this page right, take it off or give it to someone who has a clue.

-- (talk) 14:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry for deleting a part without disscusing it first... BUT "genocide based on race"?no sources, no nothing on it. to the writer: Are you sane? What 500 000 "international black volunteers"? The Italian Fascist regime began employing racial laws much later (so it could legitimize ties with Germany which was 3-4 years AFTER the second Abyssinian-Italian war ended). This war was not a "race war", it was a war of agression based only on economical and strategical principles. If the Italians wanted to eliminate all Ethiopians than why did they employ 250.000 native Askaris as mercenaries 4 years later against the British? Hell... the East African Italian Army was composed largely of Ethiopians. Wouldn't they rebel if they were being systematically murdered (that is genocide if you do not know) since they were armed and organised in separate units? 11:19, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Er, the native soldiers were not Ethiopian but Eritrean. The Italians did make use of auxilary military forces known as bande, who were raised from the various peoples who lived inside the pre-1936 borders. As for the rest of what you wrote, I agree mostly with what you wrote: the Italians were not exceptionally racist for their time. (Remember, this was during the period of Jim Crow in the US, wide-spread acceptance of Eugenics, as well as legal discrimination based on ethnic backgrounds in many other first-world countries.) I'm not defending anyone's behavior here, just trying to put one country's actions into perspective. -- llywrch 20:07, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
The Italians did actually recruit fairly large numbers of regular askaris from Ethiopia during their brief occupation - the 28 Eritrean infantry battalions existing in 1936 had been increased by 1940 to a total of 93, drawn from the entire territory of A.O.I. (Italian East Africa or Eritrea plus Somalia plus Ethiopia). This was in addition to the bande - a generic Italian colonial term for irregular units from any of their East African acquisitions. In military terns this rapid expansion was not a good idea - the veteran Eritrean units were diluted by a substantial intake of new recruits (many possibly conscripted) with no reason to feel any loyalty to Mussolini's new empire. During the campaign of 1941 most Ethiopians serving with the Regio Corpi di Truppe Coloniali appear to have deserted. I agree that the Italians were no more racist than other colonial powers of the period - and less so than some. The Facist invasion of Ethiopia was brutal agression but talk of deliberate genocidal policies doesn't make much sense.Buistr 19:41, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
So what if the commentor is American ? Get it through your head folks, the Fascists lost the war, they had been losing since 1936, bottled up in their cities, only able to move around during the day. No reliving it here on Wikipedia. And yes we kicked them out of Ethiopia, with some British help, thanks. That makes us, Ethiopians, the authors of our own liberation, and the owners of our story. Not the rest of you folks. Enjoy all the wiki has to offer, but realize, write all you want, debate quibble whatever, another one of you will come and re-write everything sheepishly coming closer and closer to the truth we have consistently maintained. Turth is truth. It can not be bent around whatever lie or qualification each generation of fascisti cook up. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:52, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

In my humble opinion, if an Italian should not be involved in writing this page, neither an Ethiopian should. I could not understand why an Italian could be considered a priori biased on this topic and an Ethiopian not, since both have interests in making this war looking genocidal or minimizing the importance of war crimes. I feel that we have to assume WP:AGF in any case, as I could not accept any limit based on nationality: good work on sources should be enough. Regards, Lord Ics (talk) 14:48, 26 September 2017 (UTC)


article or section does not cite any references? Which part of the article or section does not cite any references or sources? Please list them... J. D. Redding 21:00, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

See talk above Hawker Typhoon 17:59, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Could you list the individual items here? Bullet them please ... be easier to address each point if it was concise and in a one item bullet each. The above rambles on and on ... J. D. Redding 00:15, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Apologies for the above curt comments! No offence intended! I'm not entirely sure - I didn't add the tags - but certain parts of the article don't make much sense to me. For example, the phrase "With an attack appearing to be inevitable, the Emperor Haile Selassie ordered a general mobilization. His new recruits consisted of around 500,000 men..." contravenes the infobox (100,000 (some ill-equipped) (maybe as many as 250,000?)).
As for the neutrality, phrases like "episode in the Italian occupation of Ethiopia was the ''slaughter'' of Addis Ababa of February..." could be more impartially described, and "Many Italian troops had themselves photographed next to cadavers hanging from the gallows or hanging around chests full of detached heads.", although it may be true, needs verification. The source is in Italian, does it cover this entire sentence? And with the title of the book (something like The gas of Mussolini), could it be considered a non-biased source? Furthermore, were there any objectionable acts committed by the Ethiopians? I imagine tensions were high - these acts should be included too. Hawker Typhoon 21:14, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

1935 Italian intelligence estimate of the Ethiopian provinces and their forces

  • I have been given a 1935 Italian intelligence estimate of the Ethiopian forces from an Italian source who has a long standing interest in this war and has accumulated a lot of period info on the war. This may also be of use to those making up a list of the provincial organization of the Ethiopian Empire at the time. Asiaticus (talk) 02:22, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Here it is:
  • About the available forces, at the beginning of the war the Abyssinians were divided as follows (according to Italian sources). Note that the term "province" is used in a generic way, in some cases it's just a loose geographical reference to the recruiting area : the effective "political" subdivision of the Abyssinian Empire were the following "Kingdoms":
  • Western Tigrai Kingdom (Adua : Ras Seium Mangascià)
  • Easterm Tigrai Kingdom (Macallè : Degiac Haileselassiè Gugsa)
  • Beghemeder Kingdom (Debra Tabor : Ras Casa Hailù)
  • Goggiam Kingdom (Debra Marcos : Ras Immirù)
  • Uollo Kingdom (Dessiè : Hereditary Prince Asfauossen)
  • Scioa Kingdom (Addis Abeba : Negus Hailè Sellasiè own fiefdom)
  • Caffa Kingdom (Sciarrada - Ras Ghetacciou)
  • Sidamo Kingdom (Aberà - Ras Destà Damton)
  • Harar Emirate (Harrar - Prince Makonnen)
  • Gimma Sultanate (Giren - Abba Gifar Sultan)
  • Aussa Sultanate (Sardò - Mohamed Jaio Sultan)
  • and a quite large number of independent provinces (mainly in the Western and South-Western parts of the Empire).

Ethiopian Imperial Army mobilization (per Italian estimate)

  • Imperial Guard (approx 5000 men)
  • Zebangà (approx 3000 men)
  • Army of the Left (Ras Immirù)
    • Goggiam Safari (Goggiam, Damot and Gubà provinces, under Ras Immirù himself ) 20.000 men
    • Semien Safari (Semien, Caffa, Birecutn, Uolacit, Tzeghedè, Uogherà, Uoldebbà and Belesà provinces, under Ras Aialeu Burrù) 20.000 men
  • Army of the Center (Ras Muluguetà),Shoa region, 50000 men
    • (Cellia, Nonno, Uolisò, Gabbo, Amoia, Soddo, Guagliè, Marequò and Gamma provinces)
  • Army of the Right (Ras Cassa Hailù Darghiè)
    • Beghemeder Safari (Beghemeder, Salalè Derrà, Bugnà, Dembià, Ermacioccò, Quarà, Tacossà and Alefà provinces, under Ras Cassa himself ) 50000 men
    • Calim Gurà province (Degiac Aberrà Tellà) 1000 men
    • Nudlà province (Deciac Ambaccion) 1000 men
    • Tigrai Safari (Adua, Axum, Scirè, Adi Abò, Gheraltà, Tembien, Aterghallè, Sceloà, Agamè, Aulalò, Endertà, Uoggerat and Enda Meconni provinces, under Ras Seium Mangascià) 20000 men
    • Uagh Safari (Lasta, Uagh and Uoffa provinces, under Uaghscium Chebbedè) 5000 men
  • Army of the South (Ras Destà Dentou)
    • Sidamo Safari (Sidamo, Giam Giam and Borama povinces, under Ras Destà Dentou himself) 13000 men
    • Ogaden Safari (Grasma Afework) 16000 men
    • Bale Safari (Degiac Beienè Merid) 4000 men
    • Herranghiè Safari (Degiac Nasibù) 8000 men
    • Ilu Bador Safari (Degiac Maconnen Endalaccion) 15000 men
    • Arussi province (Degiac Amdè Micael) 5000 men, mostly irregulars
  • Uollo Safari (Uollo, Borana, Amhara and Saint provinces, Crown Prince Merdazmac Asfauossen)
    • Zabul and Yeggiù Safari (Degiac Admasù Burrù)
    • Aussa Safari (Deciac Mohamed Iahi)
    • A combined total of 45000 men, all under overall command of the Crown Prince)
  • Lecachellon and Saio provinces (Fitutari Mesteniè) 10000 men
  • Effrem, Efata and Antoccià provinces (Ras Cheddebè Menghescià) ???? men, mostly irregulars
  • Uolleggà and Lechenti Sibu provinces (Bituodde Manconne Demsou) 15000 men
    • Gudrù and Liceca provinces (under overall command of Bituodde Manconne Demsou) 8000 men
  • Beni Sciangul tribes (Dagiac Mohamed Schek Ogialle) 500 men, mostly irregulars
  • Nono, Nuoliso, Guraghè, Maroccò provinces (Ras Menghietà) 28000 men
  • Gardulla, Gamu, Comso provinces (Degiac Abebr Damtou) 3000 men, mostly irregulars
  • Limmu and Ennaria provinces (Bituodded Uoldetzadech) 3000 men
  • Gambatta province (Degiac Mascescià Uoldiè) 600 men
  • Gherà province (Degiac Menghascià Ibma) 500 men
  • Uolamo Safari (Degiac Makonnen Uoseniè) 6000 men
  • Caffa, Contà and Cullò provinces (Ras Ghetacciou) 9000 men
  • Gimma and Giangerò provinces (Degiac Uoldamanuel) 10500 men
  • Magi province (Fiturari Zeudù) ??? men
  • Ghimirrà and Guardafà provinces (Degiac Taiè Gulelaitè) 6000 men

The above Ethiopian OOB comes from Italian SIM (Military Intelligence Service) reports, that were included in information material handed out to all officers in Italian East Africa (Comando Superiore AO. Stato Maggiore. - Etiopia. Guida pratica per l'ufficiale destinato in AO. Asmara 1935 pages 103-106). It is a photocopy from the Italian Army General Staff Historical Office (USSME) archives. - Asiaticus (talk) 02:22, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I'm proposing that this page be moved to Second Italo-Ethiopian War. From google hits, the term seems to be more common with 1360 hits vs. 720 with "Abyssinian," many of which are from Wikipedia (some from related pages) and its mirrors. This is parallel to the First Italo-Ethiopian War, which I moved from First Italo-Abyssinian War, as the former was more common. The general term (without "First" or "Second") is also more common with "Ethiopian" (23,700) compared to with "Abyssinian" (9,490). Ethiopia was known as "Ethiopia" officially by the English-speaking world at this time (Haile Selassie insisted on the differentiation between "Abyssinia" and "Ethiopia" in 1930), so there's no reason the page should be at the current location. Note that the current page uses a regular dash ("-"), while the First war uses an ndash (–). Which do we want to use? — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 22:08, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

"Haile Selassie insisted on the differentiation between "Abyssinia" and "Ethiopia" in 1930" -- if this is true, please add some details to Ethiopia#Name or elsewhere as relevant. Arlright 02:54, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Google is a funny thing. Performing the same searches, but excluding "Wikipedia" gives entirely different search results: Second Italo-Abyssinian War: 2460; Second Italo-Ethiopian War: 578. It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it be moved. --Stemonitis 06:37, 23 June 2007 (UTC)


As indicated above, this article needs some serious work in general. The current "Conclusions" section seems devoid of any "conclusions." Instead, the section seems to try to take one from 1936 to today with a whole lot of "broad stroke commentary" with no dates or details. An actual "conclusion" might be better (I have actually seen a few in several books . . . which could be cited) and a few links could replace most of the "commenttary" ( . . . yes, the Dergue replaced Haile Selassie in 1974 . . . but does this need to be more than a link in an article about a war fought in the mid-30s?). I hope no one will object if I start a little rework . . . after I have pulled some books together. Mkpumphrey 16:10, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


While you are about it, the following sentence was unsourced: The Italians re-interpreted this to mean 21 nautical leagues, as opposed to 21 standard leagues, which gave them greater territory. I would expect a league to be three nautical miles, so the implication that the Italians invented their interpretation seems doubtful and POV. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Italian Casualties

Christopher Duggan, Professor of Italian History at the University of Reading cites Italian deaths of 4,500 in his just published "The Force of Destiny - A History of Italy Since 1796" (ISBN 978-0-713-99709-5 ; Penguin Books 2007). This would suggest that the Sbacchi figure of 10,000 inserted in the article may be an inflated one. (talk) 12:33, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

No the Italiens took a few pictures with some ethiopians with spears and bows and told there people that the ethiopians had no guns. Also in 2001 italy finally let out state secrets of the us of posion gas in ethiopia that was in 2001 they used about 500 000 and that is what this whole deflated thing is about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Merge Abyssinia Crisis?

This article seems to contain pretty well everything in Abyssinia Crisis. Is there really any need to have both? - TheMightyQuill (talk) 15:47, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Please, do NOT merge the two articles. IMHO, the "Abyssinia Crisis" article should retain a 'political' flavor. This article works better as a 'military history' or just 'history' article. Yes, this article is incomplete. But it is better as a separate article. I have attempted to make it a little less incomplete. Best Wishes! Mkpumphrey (talk) 20:52, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Mkpumphrey the Abyssinia Crisis should be a seperate article as it referes to the diplomatic activities outside the war and is refered to in this article. It would be useful in its seperate state for discussions on the League of Nations or other topics. Asiaticus (talk) 01:42, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Agree with the last two. If anything, I believe the article "Abyssinia Crisis" ought to be moved to Welwel incident, which I believe is the term that this episode is best known by. (If I am wrong, well, let's move it to the right name. ;) This episode is of diplomatic interest, showing how Haile Selassie made serious & reasonable attempts to placate Italy -- only for Mussolini to cynically disregard them. Further, if my knowledge of the League of Nations is correct, this event was the beginning of the end for the League. -- llywrch (talk) 03:03, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Italian casualties

Do they positively include the Eritrean casualties? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Italian Government figures, of about 3,000 total deaths, provide a breakdown which includes Eritrean and other colonial troops. The Alberto Sbacchi figure of 10,000 appearing in the article seems inflated unless it includes losses amongst Galla and other tribal groups who collaborated with the Italian invaders against the dominant Amhara regime of Haile Selassie. (talk) 01:20, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Two new "break outs"

To reduce the size (somewhat) of the "Second Italo-Abyssinian War" article, I plan to create two new articles. One will cover De Bono's initial advance in detail and the other will include the "Christmas Offensive." By doing this, I can reduce the text covering these issues within this article and expand the coverage of the the initial advance and of the Christmas Offensive. I am not sure there were enough activities in the south for a separate Article on what Graziani did initially. Any comments? Mkpumphrey (talk) 12:38, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Breakout of much of the "Aftermath" section

Again, to reduce the size of the "Second Italo-Abyssinian War" article, I plan to create a new article. The "Aftermath" section currently covers the period of Italian occupation between the initial invasion and the loss of the colony during World War II. I first need to find some material which can flesh this subject out more (Italian colonial policy, continued Ethiopian control in the countryside, Haile Selassie's exile, etc.). Mkpumphrey (talk) 17:36, 24 October 2008 (UTC) changes

I plan to revert change made by an unidentified user ( The material added by this unknown person will be re-located within the article.

Concerning "preachy" comments made by the unknown user, I think it is appropriate to provide documented quotes by both Ethiopians ("It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.") and Italians ("Will you be worthy?"). Neither of the points of view expressed by these quotes may be neutral in and of themselves. But to get a better understanding of an event and its participants it seems best to present and examine both sides ... in a neutral manner. For this reason, I think it is important to keep the "poison gas" material (unliked by some) and the material concerning Mussolini's outlook. Mkpumphrey (talk) 11:43, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

NPOV violation "Will you be worthy of it" section is repetitive and almost glorifying Mussolini, ignores the reaction of Ethiopians to their defeat and the Italian victory

This section called "will you be worthy of it" is repetitive and appears to be glorifying Mussolini by describing the declaration of victory by Mussolini as if it is some sort of legend. Just look at the awkward wording of this sentence which speaks of Mussolini's popularity: "The crowds would not let him go -- ten times they recalled Mussolini to the balcony and cheered and waved while the boys of various Fascist youth organizations sang the newly composed 'Hymn of the Empire' (Inno dell'impero)." Or this sentence: "This was Mussolini's hour of glory. He knew that the Italian nation was united around him as it never was before. He knew that the exultation that he witnessed was genuine." and this phrase "Fascism was never so popular and the shouts of military victory drowned out the muttered grumbles about underlying economic ills." What is the purpose of this other than to be basically repeat multiple times that Mussolini and Fascism became very popular as a result of the victory in Ethiopia. People are smart enough to get the picture if it is said in one sentence like this: "Italy's victory in conquering Ethiopia was rejoiced in Italy as a source of national pride and the victory stregthened the popularity of Benito Mussolini and the Fascist regime." This sentence describes it concisely. For if we have a long drawn out description of how Italians rejoiced the victory, it would only be fair to include another long drawn out description of the sense of defeat in Ethiopia, how Hailie Selassie responded to the defeat, and how Ethiopians' viewed Hailie Selassie after the defeat. I think it's better to be concise and to-the-point about the reaction in Italy and that probably a concise and to-the-point analysis of reaction in Ethiopia is also needed.—R-41 (talk) 03:00, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Any chance you have documention for a "concise and to-the-point analysis of reaction in Ethiopia" that you can add? Are you ""? If you are, could you please check the section where I attempted to fix the two years equating to one year text?
How about this? I will refrain from using clumsy if you will refrain from using awkward. Mkpumphrey (talk) 05:10, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I made some changes and added some "Ethiopian perspective" text. Please let me know if this is more to your liking. Mkpumphrey (talk) 14:19, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Please remove note questioning neutrality of section

(Please see "NPOV violation "Will you be worthy of it" section is repetitive and almost glorifying Mussolini, ignores the reaction of Ethiopians to their defeat and the Italian victory" above.) I do not believe that there was a problem with the verifiable and historically accurate material presented from the start. But the section in question has been reworked and should be acceptable even to the "non-neutral" types who tend to claim they want neutrality. Mkpumphrey (talk) 12:19, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

The entire section is plagiarised, in places word-for-word, from a historical novel by a certain Dan Ryan. I'd fix it, but this entire page is beyond saving anyway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Since no response was received ... Mkpumphrey (talk) 12:59, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Where to file, how to label, this painting?

Rather embarassed that I don't know enough about the Abyssinian Wars to make this more useful, but I snapped a pic (no flash) of this in the British Museum, and thought it might be helpful. Any idea how this painting could be best employed as an illustration?

Painting depicting the Italo-Abyssinian war.

MatthewVanitas (talk) 19:00, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I think the placement of the picture in the "Christmas Offensive" section works well.Mkpumphrey (talk) 12:52, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Ethiopian Declaration of War

Note 22 claims that on page 11 of Nicolle's book, there's evidence that Ethiopia declared war on Italy. But page 11 of that book is just pictures. So first, can someone provide a credible source? And two, in particular, I'm looking for the original text of the declaration itself. Any aid would be appreciated. Llamabr (talk) 19:36, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Italian casualties confusion

according to this page, the italians suffered more casualties in ogaden than they actually did in the war. can we get a doublecheck on the italian casualties? going through the individual battle pages it seems they're quite higher than listed here. or am i missing something? if i am please clarify.Capt Jim (talk) 15:54, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

They're wrong. People have been changing the numbers in the casualty box and notes without changing the source. The original source which I added two years ago put casualties at about 10,000 for the first year, and about that many for the next 4 years. I'm fixing the figures now. — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 01:40, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
The Sbacchi figures are contentious ones which do not reflect other published figures. Let's put aside the contemporary Facist Government number of 3,000 deaths for 1936 as possibly suspect (although this does include a detailed breakdown for Italian troops, labour corps, colonial levies etc). We are still left with modern authorities such as Christopher Duggan, Professor of Italian History at the University of Reading who cites total Italian deaths of 4,500 in his recently published "The Force of Destiny - A History of Italy Since 1796" (ISBN 978-0-713-99709-5 ; Penguin Books 2007). This is very different from the Sbacchi estimate, even if losses amongst Galla and other allies of the Italians are included in the latter. We should aim for accuracy in this article - unfortunately the issue of Italian deaths seems to be a POV one, resulting in the wildly varying figures of 500 to 16,000 that have been edited into the text over the past two years. (talk) 03:58, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

The galla were not allies with ITaly... Ethiopia is not like Italy were the people from venice and sardina hate Italy its because they are not from there. Italy was controlled by at least three other countries before gaining independance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Too much attention to the years of occupation?

Although some attention should be given too the aftermath of the War (&, perhaps determining just when it did end: i.e., when should the Ethiopian enmity be considered part of the actions of the Arbognach?), I feel this article spends too much space on "what happened next" -- especially the "Duke of Aosta" & "End of Italian East Africa" sections. I'd like to prune those parts back, as well as create a separate article on the assassination attempt on Graziani -- which was perhaps the most notorious atrocity of the Italians during their occupation. -- llywrch (talk) 20:09, 16 August 2010 (UTC)


This article needs to have some working done on encyclopedic tone. I should not be seeing transitions like "anyway" in an article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yandereboat (talkcontribs) 20:48, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree. There are also missing capitals, sentences clearly based on Italian word order ("after the beginning of 1937 was growing the number of Ethiopians who were enrolling in the colonial Italian forces") and even some words left in Italian tout court ("iprite": that's mustard gas in English).Mb 3r7864 (talk) 01:25, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Responding to Fascist apologetics

First, I am disgusted that anyone would think defending the acts of unprovoked aggression by a Fascist power would be tolerated on Wikipedia, let alone encouraged.

please remember that this is wikipedia, not a website dedicated to "erase/change" the historical truth according to political POVs (of antifascists or communists or whatever)

But to my point: the sources quoted in the section "Atrocities" that make the Ethiopians appear to be vicious & uncivilized opponents & white-wash the crimes against humanity that the Italians committed are garbage or misrepresent what the sources say.

  • cited as a source that Ethiopians castrated Italians: the webpage linked to not only does not say that, it is about the First Italo-Abyssinian war.
please, read well. It clearly says that Abyssinians used to castrate their POWs up to the beginning of XX century.
  • The second source -- by one Filippo Giannini -- is not only in Italian, but from the title appears to be nothing more than a memo written either to or by Mussolini. Hardly a reliable source.
why an Italian source is not reliable? Giannini did the 1935-36 war and is a testimony (what are your testimonies?)
  • The testimony of Frère about Ethiopian use of dum-dum bullets is suspicious. First, while he was giving this testimony (July 1936), Ras Desta was still fighting the Italians in Ethiopia; why wasn't he still at the side of the Ras? Second, having left the Ethiopian service, he was obviously at loose ends. I can't help but suspect his testimony was compromised.
Why don't consider compromised the other testimonies against the Italians. This looks onesided criticism..."
  • The statement of Egyptian paramedic Abdel Mohsein El Uisci to the League of Nations; his name is obviously the Italian transliteration of his actual Arabic one, which suggests he was cherry-picked as a witness. Suspiciously, nothing is said about why El Uisci happened to be present at Tito Minniti's death.
this in unberlievable! We have a witness, who dared to testify with plenty of details and was even attacked for this by his own boss and lost his job...and even the League of Nations admitted his honesty, but Llywrch decides that he is a cherry-picked witness! WOW
  • And even if Minniti's death can somehow be used to justify the use of mustard gas, he died 26 December 1935. According to Anthony Mockler, mustard gas was first used against Ethiopian soldiers three days earlier, 23 December, against Ras Imru's successful advance during the Ethiopian Christmas Offensive. (Mockler, Haile Selassie's War, p. 81). BTW, Mockler points out on p. 409 that the Italians worked hard to discredit Ethiopian reports of the use of mustard gas. "These efforts were so successful that even today many Italians quote, perhaps without realizing the source, LESSONA'S Memoirs, and his claim that only three bombs were used and on only one occasion".
We don't know for sure if 3 days before mustard gas was used...or if it was a mixture of other gasses.
  • The passage quoted on -- Rainer Baudendistel, Between bombs and good intentions: the Red Cross and the Italo-Ethiopian War (2006) -- provides a far different quotation by Graziani than the one cited. In fact, that page provides an example of an Italian use of mustard gas against noncombatants.
This shows how different are the versions and how unreliable the accusations of the use of mustard gas. BTW: why the Italians should have used the mustard gas? to damage their own reputation? They don't even have antigas mask for their troops!And we all know that mustard gas can hit everybody, as has happened in WWI
  • James Strachey Barnes' opinion about justified use of mustard gas would be creditable if his own writing was used as a source -- not a quotation in an Italian source. (And we were given more about his credentials as an expert, beyond that he is a "historian".)
What has to do this with the topic?

While it is germane to include an account of the Italian excuses for why they resorted to mustard gas & other reprisals, when I found the text it thoroughly white-washed what they did. As if the Ethiopians deserved everything that was done to them; all that was missing was to label them "sub-human", & it is a racist diatribe. And that is why I find the section offensive & it needs to be thoroughly rewritten. -- llywrch (talk) 06:55, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

please Llywrch, be more honest and impartial....don't get out with the ridiculous accusations of sub-human and racism. Remember that the Allies had mustard gas in the port of Bari in 1943, that exploded and killed many civilians, but nobody has ever accused the Allies of ethnic racism because of this "accident". B.D.
B.D., it was not very helpful that you responded to my comments point-by-point. For me to respond in kind would only make the discussion much harder to follow -- yet unless I were to do the same, it would appear that I have failed to respond to some of your points. In any case, I'll do my best here.

To your first point, I must comment you display an amazing amount of naivete: we all come to articles in Wikipedia with some kind of bias. I would be writing dishonestly were I not to reveal my own feelings on this topic. I trust you are also writing honestly about this incident.

The cite was mispresented as describing something that happened in this conflict -- not in a previous conflict, as that source states. Please read well what I wrote.

The link to Filippo Giannini contained nothing but a title. And the title was of a memo written by Mussolini, who would not be considered a reliable source about the incident.

If you were familiar with the events of this war, you would know that the Italians were engaged in a very systematic propaganda campaign to justify their war against Ethiopia. They had the desire & the means to be choosy about the evidence they wanted to present about this incident -- & other atrocities -- in order to justify their use of poison gas against the Ethiopians. (Alberto Sbacchi, "Legacy of Bitterness: Poison gas and atrocities in the Italo-Ethiopian War 1935-1936" Geneva-Africa 13 (1974) 1-24 goes into great detail about how the Italians prepared to use mustard & other poison gases long before Minotti even set foot in Africa. And a lot of other things relevant to this article.) BTW, at least one other witness of Italian atrocities is known to have recanted his testimony for political reasons -- even though he knew his original statement was the truth.

The primary reason I am suspicious of the accusation of "dum-dum" bullets is that Ethiopia had been subjected to a very comprehensive arms blockade in the years before the war started; the authorities couldn't have authorized the use of these bullets even if they wanted to. If the Italian reports were to be believed, the bullets in question likely came into Ethiopia on an individual basis, through the black market from adjacent British colonies. (This is what Sbacchi writes.)

No one believes Abdel Mohsein El Uisci's testimony -- then or now. His supervisor gave sufficient proof that the man was lying. If anything, it was proven that Abdul Mohsen was nowhere near where Minotti crash-landed, & was not an eye-witness.

"We don't know for sure if 3 days before mustard gas was used...or if it was a mixture of other gasses." -- I don't know how to respond to this. Should I say, "So would it have been OK had the Italians used another kind of poison gas, as long as it was not mustard gas?" Or should I point out that there is reliable sources to show what kind of poison gas the Italians shipped to Africa before the War began? I find it hard to read your comment without shaking my head.

The section I removed quoted Rainer Baudendiste to say what he actually didn't say. Why don't you check the text against the source cited, & see?

As for your last point, James Strachey Barnes was cited in the section I removed as justifying the use of mustard gas against the Geneva Convention. Quoting someone like this, as sloppy as that was done, should not be done. Either cite him directly & provide the reasons he is considered an authority -- or don't mention him at all. -- llywrch (talk) 01:03, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The article should have a balance. If the Italians used certain events to justify using mustard gas, that's notable and should be mentioned. The best way to strike the right balance is to look in encyclopedias and textbooks for how they cover the topic. Give atrocities the sort of coverage that you find there. Certainly don't just pile up a bunch of individual references for one side. Leadwind (talk) 17:04, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
This article needs changes, the section called "Italian perspective: "Will you be worthy of it?"" is the most bizarre section I have seen on Wikipedia. It is written in a very abstract manner, like that of a newspaper article of the time, focusing on trivial items, like king of Italy's posturing, and presents the Italian victory in euphoric, grandeur-filled, and hyperbole terms like saying that the Italian regime was "never so popular in the world as it was then" (approximately). This article should focus on the war itself, and the details of what happened, not on the emotions supposedly collectively held by Italians. It should be noted that the war and the subsequent occupation of Ethiopia was an economic catastrophe for Italy, there is referenced material on the Italian East Africa article that states that in 1936, the projected costs for the Italians to build the neccessary infrastructure to make Ethiopia a viable, interconnected colony were more than the entire Italian annual budget of 1936-1937.--R-41 (talk) 16:20, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
FYI: BD is Brunodam, long-term sockpuppeteer and pov-pusher, globally locked/blocked on a bunch of wikis. --Vituzzu (talk) 19:32, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Foreigners Fighting In The Service of The Emperor

Numerous foreign military officers, ex-officers and generals offered their services to the Ethiopians and fought against the invaders. This seems to be totally missing form the article. I am sure there those who are more knowledgeable than I am who can fill in.

The tone of sections of this article is very unusual, controversial, and almost pushing POV violation

The tone of sections on the "perspectives" of Italy and Ethiopia is very controversial. The Italian section is almost if not glorifying the Italian victory - speaking of the patriotic immediate response to the victory - focusing on Mussolini's speeches and emphasizing that Victor Emmanuel III was the first "emperor" in Rome in over 1,000 years - essentially comparing Victor Emmanuel III to the powerful Caesars of Rome - a very unusual exaggeration, considering that he was NOT named "Emperor of Italy", and that his position of "Emperor of Ethiopia" was a mere figurehead title that could have been called anything from "King" to "Prince" to "Caliph" and it would have been the same thing, a figurehead head of state over Italian East Africa that would have become an Italian colony under the Fascist government even if he refused to accept the crown. If he was named "Caliph of Somalia" would the article say "Victor Emmanuel III was the first Caliph to rule over an Italian territory since the era of Arab colonization of Southern Italy" - that would be an exaggeration as well. The section seems to overemphasize the immediate emotional grandeur of the victory of Italian armed forces in Ethiopia while neglecting the consequences. The capture of Ethiopia was an economic catastrophe for Italy - Italian East Africa required a budget from 1936-37 for required infrastructure development that was more than the entire budget of Italy of the same year.--R-41 (talk) 03:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Image of painting removed

I removed the image because it refers to the battle of Adwa (first Italo-Abyssinian war). I will try to put in the relevant article. See the site of the British Museum (Search the collection database / Battle of Adwa). AlfredoM (talk) 00:21, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

It is more than a bias, it is the Italian war crimes denial, caused by the British Cold war policy

wow! Where do I begin? Since when is an Italian the best person to write on this subject? I mean I have been in Genova and spoken on the subject at a high school and received blank stares from school children. Apparently they have little to nothing on the "second Abyssinian-Italian War". Secondly there is still tacit denial, playing around with the numbers, the types of munitions, when they were shipped to Italy although Sbachi on the Italian side and Paulos Gnogno on the Ethiopian side seem to agree pretty much on the details since they based most of their information on orders and communication. I have access to a LOT of footage, tons that will be coming out soon showing the clash at Welwel and other battles. We have collected battlefield accounts of Ethiopian patriots of the different methods of killing civilian and patriot alike including adzes, axes, throwing folks out of flying airplanes cutting heads off etc. Unless Italians come to terms with this and bring their children to terms with the disgrace of what occurred what do you think is going to happen when they find out what grandpa did 80 years later in living color? Italians have taken steps. But I am not going to congratulate them for doing something they should not have been involved in to begin with. They need to make serious amends and try to come to terms with things. I know its an entirely different subject but an additional insult has been the Vatican crying crocodile tears of what its priests did in South America while its own complicity in blessing its soldiers and prevailing on Italian society to support Italian wanton savagery in Ethiopia (I am looking at the footage right now). So my advice, its not a question of whether there is bias and redoing the page. An Italian should not be doing this page to begin with or basing it on records that he/she deems appropriate. You will soon have records aplenty that will put Sbachi's book of admissions to shame. Get this page right, take it off or give it to someone who has a clue. -- (talk) 00:44, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

The most recent posts should be added at the bottom, so I moved it here and gave it a title based on the content of your writing. Thank you for writing about the tacit denial of Italian war crimes after a long period characterized by the repression of the collective memory that was caused by the Cold war British policy[1]
See also
DancingPhilosopher my talk 13:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this article is very badly written, and parts are written like a Fascist propaganda piece. For instance, what they hell is this sentence doing in the article: "The crowds would not let him go—ten times they recalled Mussolini to the balcony and cheered and waved while the boys of various Fascist youth organizations sang the newly composed 'Hymn of the Empire' (Inno dell'impero)." This is a propaganda statement - sure it was popular in Italy, because the Fascist regime told them it was important and poured patriotic propaganda in the media listened to by the Italian people - saying that Italy was about to become a "New Roman Empire", some even believed that Italy's campaign in Ethiopia was about ending the slavery that Ethiopia still had and bringing "civilization" to Ethiopia. The event the sentence described was clearly staged by the Fascist regime - after all it says that Fascist youth organizations had been taught to sing the new "Hymn of the Empire". The fact is that the Italian air force used illegal mustard gas bombs that it deliberately dropped on villages - targetting civilians to create an atmosphere of terror to pressure Ethiopia to surrender. Italian forces deliberately attacked Red Cross hospitals. And upon taking over Ethiopia, Italian forces massacred Ethiopian civilians - including monks in Debre Libanos in 1937 after an assassination attempt was made against General Rodolfo Graziani. It was a war of colonial expansionism meant to boost Italy's prestige, and Italy committed many war crimes. And even aside from the war crimes, the conquest of Ethiopia was an economic disaster for Italy - the total cost to create the necessary infrastructure for Ethiopia was calculated in 1936 to cost more than the entire Italian budget of 1936-1937.--R-41 (talk) 14:46, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

The section titled "The end" with the "Italian perspective" and "Ethiopian perspective" is written with a POV tone

This section has a lot of POV and propaganda in it, especially on the Italian side, presenting the victory as a grandeurous event, and describing orchestrated events staged by the Fascist regime as if they were spontaneous. The events in Italy were clearly orchestrated by the Fascist regime, it is true that there probably was immense public enthusiasm for the victory, but the section itself describes how the victory was celebrated in Italy with Fascist youth singing a newly created song "Hymn of the Empire" - that was obviously taught to them to sing. It shows perspective at the time perhaps, but also the ignorance at that time of the realities very soon discovered - such as that the total cost required for Italy to create the necessary infrastructure in Ethiopia was projected in 1936-1937 to cost more than the entire Italian budget of 1936-1937. The war gave Italy a sense of self-prestige but at a tremendous cost of having an expensive and economically-detrimental colony.--R-41 (talk) 20:54, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

The pro-Fascist POV needs to be replaced by NPOV as this article needed it. DancingPhilosopher my talk 14:08, 18 October 2012 (UTC)


Why is this war called the Second Italo-Abyssinian War when the first one is called the First Italo-Ethiopian War?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 02:32, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Opposing Forces Numbers

"In a few months, eight regular, mountain, and blackshirt infantry divisions arrived in Eritrea and four regular infantry divisions arrived in Italian Somaliland. These units alone represented 680,000 soldiers."

Something seems wrong here. If I recall, the regular Italian "binary" infantry divisions of the time only contained about 7000 men each. I don't know numbers for the other types but I can see no way for the units quoted above to come close to 680,000 men. Even if one takes the statement to mean eight divisions of Each type, a figure of 28 divisions is arrived at. Even after accounting for various corps/army level commands plus transport, this number seems highly inflated. Russ3Z (talk) 16:51, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to Second Italo-Ethiopian War Mike Cline (talk) 18:15, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Second Italo-Abyssinian WarSecond Italo-Ethiopian War –. It is consistent with the First Italo-Ethiopian War. Relisted. Favonian (talk) 16:56, 28 October 2012 (UTC). DancingPhilosopher my talk 14:16, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Ethiopia was almost invariably referred to as Abyssinia in the English-speaking world at the time and generally still is when referring to that period. In actual fact, First Italo-Ethiopian War should be renamed First Italo-Abyssinian War and consistency gained that way. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:38, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak support See this Ngram. The proposed form always seems to have been more prevalent. Further evidence could change my mind, however, and my primary concern is consistency. For now, I think it would be best to move this article for consistency and discuss future moves bundled for both wars. --BDD (talk) 18:55, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
The ngram makes no distinction between the two events. It may be that one form is more commonly used for the one event and a different for the other. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:05, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Granted, but unless scholarly sources refer to the two wars exclusively with different names, I think it behooves us to standardize. --BDD (talk) 17:55, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. If "Abyssinia" is coterminous with "Ethiopian Empire", then name the wars accordingly? (talk) 07:15, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak, weak support. A search of the NYTimes from 1935-37 seems to reveal both terms used ( , ). Wikipedia is probably correct no matter which one is picked. The ngram usage gives a weak preference to Italo-Ethiopian War, but if someone knows the scholarly sources better and which term (if any) they prefer, that should take precedence of course. SnowFire (talk) 18:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Abyssinia is an antiquated term of reference to Ethiopia. Modern-day books on the subject of this war almost always refer to the country as "Ethiopia", not "Abyssinia". Abyssinia is an old reference term that was already decreasing in usage at the time of the war. It is a similar issue to the fact that the country of Serbia used to be called "Servia" in the past. Using antiquated terms of reference will be confusing to readers if the names keep switching back and forth from "Abyssinian" to "Ethiopian", I prefer that only "Ethiopian" be used.--R-41 (talk) 02:35, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The withered hand and the broken toe

"The first Emperor in Rome in hundreds of years raised his withered hand to the visor of his cap and said nothing." is (apart from being an embarrassing shade of purple) almost a direct lift from the fiction novel Dorneywood. Now perhaps it was previously published in Time magazine and lifted from there. I trust that someone who cares more about this page than me will check carefully.--Thepm (talk) 04:19, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

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NOpe this is not the real history of the ethiopian italy war not at all it makes it look like ethiopia was conalised by italy . Everyone knows this is not true who ever wrote this contridicts himself way to many times and its way to long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Noahyayeh2011 (talkcontribs) 02:11, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Translation problem?

In the section titled: "Italian perspective: "Will you be worthy of it?" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:43, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

"Emperor! Emperor! Salute the Emperor!" ("Imperatore! Imperatore! Salute Imperatore!")

I'm no expert in Italian, but I do not believe that "Salute Imperatore!" means "Salute the Emperor!"

(Isn't it more like "Hail, Emperor!" or "Bless you, Emperor!"? It is a direct address to the emperor, not a command to some other people that they should salute the emperor.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Second Italo-Ethiopian War

Indy beetle The photos I added are from wikipedia--Tahurus (talk) 19:04, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Yes but some of these are blatantly wrong for the time period and/or their rights restrictions are unknown. Ethiopian army Valorous Patriots in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War 1935.jpg for example, was taken from Getty Images here, where it is noted that the photo dates from 1900 during the First Italo-Ethiopian War. Aside from this, there is no proof that the photo was published before 1 January 1923 in the United States, so the licensing is probably wrong. And taking photos from a commercial photo agency without definitive proof that the work is in the public domain or otherwise freely licensed is strictly forbidden on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. This photo should probably be deleted. The same dubious copyright info also applies to the following photos (taken from Getty's website): File:Ethiopian army Patriots Second Italo-Ethiopian Warr 1935.jpg, File:Ethiopian Patriots during the 1935 Second Italo-Ethiopian War.jpg, and File:The valorous Ethiopian army during the 1935 Second Italo-Ethiopian War.jpg.
This next photo was posted on a blog and there is no proof that it was published in a country where the where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. There is also no verification for the author or when they died, which makes the copyright impossible to ascertain. And it certainly wasn't published before 1923: File:Fascisti nella guerra d'Etiopia mutilati dalla popolazione civile Africana dopo bombardamenti con gas Iprite Fascists in the mutilated Ethiopian war of the African civilian population after bombings with Iprite gas.jpg.
This photo was taken from an Italian government website and is quite blatantly copyrighted (hence the watermarks): File:Cadavere di militare italiano evirato Italian military cadaver emasculated.jpg There is also no proof that this photo matches its copyright info: File:"Eccidio Gondrand" or "Gondrand Massacre".jpg. These photos are taken from Flickr where it says the photos are copyrighted: File:Italian soldiers during the breaks of the Ethiopian War were party, dressed as women 1935-36.jpg, File:Italian soldiers dressed as women during the breaks of the Ethiopian War were party 1935-36.jpg, and File:Women's dresses for the Italian soldiers during the breaks of the Ethiopian War were a party 1935-36.jpg.
These photos have proper licensing but are not from the proper time period:File:Seyoum Mengesha addressing his troops.jpg (dated 1941, still might be useful though).
So you see, most of the photos you added are not supposed to be on Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons in the first place.-Indy beetle (talk) 19:47, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Indy beetle This photograph is in the public domain in Italy--Tahurus (talk) 23:27, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

@Tahurus: There is no evidence that photo was ever published in Italy. The fact that it was produced by Åhlen & Åkerlund, a Scandinavian press agency from what I've found, would also suggest we should be looking farther north for its origin. Even IMS Vintage Photos is based in Sweden (though it might not own the rights). And even if it still were in the public domain in Italy, it probably wouldn't be in the United States, because Italy is obviously not the country of origin (wherever Åhlen & Åkerlund first published it, probably). -Indy beetle (talk) 23:44, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
Tahurus, you are aware that everything remains in the page history, so deleting comments you don't like is not going to fool anyone? I'll restate: it's very unimpressive that you spent yesterday in what is basically low-level vandalism to get to auto-confirmed status. Please don't try to game the system like that. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 20:57, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Indy beetleBut you can use this photo yes or not

Has been published on wikimedia
If not, why not cancel it, Give me a full answer with sources if not I'm forced to report--Tahurus (talk) 01:02, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
@Tahurus: I'm not sure what else there is to explain. While something that's published on Wikimedia Commons should be able to be used on Wikipedia, this doesn't work when something is uploaded in violation of Wikimedia policies and standards. I think I've adequately explained that the photo cannot be proven to be in the public domain. I've nominated the file for deletion accordingly. As for you wanting "a full answer with sources if not I'm forced to report" I'm confident that my rationale will hold up under scrutiny from other editors or admins. So I'll welcome other opinions if that's what you really want. Perhaps @Elmidae:, seeing as they've been lingering, has an opinion on my actions? Also please don't delete your comments or anyone else's comments on this talk page—it doesn't give a good impression. -Indy beetle (talk) 01:46, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
Copyright, especially image copyright, being one of the few areas where Wikipedia really hews to a bright line, I agree that there is insufficient evidence that these images are of a type we could use. The burden of proof is on the side of the provider here. If Tahurus wishes further opinions on the issue, they are welcome to go looking for these at the help desk, or maybe better the media copyright help desk. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 03:03, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Indy beetle The image is regular, what is the problem--Tahurus (talk) 17:27, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

@Tahurus: First of all, do not just readd the photo if you disagree with me. This discussion has not been resolved. Second of all, the photo is not "regular". I had nominated it for deletion but the uploader removed the deletion tag, which they are not supposed to do. I have renominated it for deletion. You can see my reasoning for deletion on the file's commons page. Unless you can successfully contend that nomination for deletion and get the Commons to retain the photo, then do not readd it, because as it stands it looks like a copyright violation. (Also pinging @Howicus: so they understand this conversation.) Lastly, I removed the text about the comparison between the Abyssinia Crisis and the Mukden Incident because I found the mentioning and explaining of the Mukden Incident to be WP:UNDUE for the lead. I think the lead should stick more to the stuff surrounding Ethiopia and Italy. Do you disagree my edit in regards to the text? -Indy beetle (talk) 17:42, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Hi Indy beetle, thanks for pinging me. When I saw en:File:Abyssinian-soldiers-1936-142348340618.jpg, I only scrolled down far enough to see the license; I did not see your nomination. Sorry about that. Also, Indy beetle, the nomination didn't go through properly; you didn't create the subpage Commons:Deletion requests/File:Abyssinian-soldiers-1936-142348340618.jpg. Howicus (Did I mess up?) 17:49, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

@Indy beetle: How long it will take before the photo is fine--Tahurus (talk) 17:54, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

@Tahurus: The deletion nomination process on commons might take a week or so to be resolved. I've had some of this uploader's files nominated for deletion before and they usually haven't opposed, so it might be sooner. At any rate, I assume the photo will never be "fine" because I think it should be deleted. If you have solid reasoning for disagreeing, you can leave a comment at the deletion discussion. -Indy beetle (talk) 18:13, 16 August 2017 (UTC)


Did a cheeky little ce, rm dupe wikilinks, tidied some citations, added trans titles and ISBN/OCLC.

  • 8 Ferenghi
  • 9 Other personalities of the war

I suggest that these sections approximate to trivia and that 9 should have the names removed and 10 be deleted. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 13:18, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

@Keith-264: Thanks for the copy edit. As for these names, to which ones are you referring to? Those listed under the "Foreign Support" subsection? I note that the "Foreign Support" subsection and the "Ferenghi" section both mention Ferenghi that served Ethiopia. This duality should probably be resolved. -Indy beetle (talk) 15:45, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Whoops! 8 and 9 I meant.... If foreign involvement was significant do we really need a list of names? If we do, do they have to go in the article rather than a note? If anyone is really attached to them remaining in the article, what about reducing the number of 2nd level headers? Just thoughts as I scanned the article.Keith-264 (talk) 16:20, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Homogenised the citations to sfn, moved references to separate section, rm unused references to further reading, dug out isbns and a few pdfs.Keith-264 (talk) 19:36, 3 September 2017 (UTC)


Did what turned out to be a pretty drastic re-edit to remove duplication and overlaps, put analysis into the aftermath and revised some of the headers. This is strictly speculative and suggestive, only to evoke opinion from other editors. I'm unable to add citations as I have very little on the war. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 11:56, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Apropos layout, shouldn't the Hoare-Laval Pact go in the background/prelude section? Keith-264 (talk) 15:11, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
It occurs that the background section is a little thin.Keith-264 (talk) 16:14, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. Could probably use some more background about Italian colonisation in the area and the first war. -Indy beetle (talk) 18:25, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Recent edits

I've replaced the SFNs and would prefer it if they aren't tampered with again. Perhaps interested editors could discuss alterations to the infobox here first? Given the detail and references in it, there ought to be a separate Casualties section in the article. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 18:38, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't know what happened to Del Boca, can anyone help?Keith-264 (talk) 18:39, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
@Indy beetle: Would you put the sfns back please? Keith-264 (talk) 22:47, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
@Keith-264: Done. Thank you for the reformatting. The sfn cites will help with any future overhaul of this article. -Indy beetle (talk) 22:58, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
I found cheap copies of Barker and Mockler so I'm hoping to do a bit more next week.Keith-264 (talk) 19:00, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Barker (1968) arrived today so I've made a start.Keith-264 (talk) 17:57, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
This book [1] has a fairly long discussion of German aide to Ethiopia during the war and may prove useful for future edits. -Indy beetle (talk) 19:55, 7 October 2017 (UTC)


All men and boys able to carry a spear go to Addis Ababa. Every married man will bring his wife to cook and wash for him. Every unmarried man will bring any unmarried woman he can find to cook and wash for him. Women with babies, the blind, and those too aged and infirm to carry a spear are excused. Anyone found at home after receiving this order will be hanged.[16][17]

Is the threat true? Barker has a longer but elided passage making no mention of threats to kill anyone....Keith-264 (talk) 22:37, 7 October 2017 (UTC)


Added a casualties section to the text but didn't alter the infobox for Italian casualties as Sbacchi is a later source. Will add more later. Keith-264 (talk) 00:07, 8 October 2017 (UTC)


Added more citations, bits of detail; left with the uneasy feeling that some parts of the text are pro-Italian apologetics.Keith-264 (talk) 11:43, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for all the contributions and cleanup you've done. I'm inclined to agree with your assessment. I'd also note that the first portion of the "Public and international reaction" is nothing short of an endorsement for the return of the Roman Empire. I think we best stay away from Time magazine reporting at all costs for this article...quite frankly their Africa reporting from the past is rather disappointing. -Indy beetle (talk) 14:31, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks: it's why I wondered if the Italian chauvinist has been fiddling with the record, like someone tampered with Hank's memories. I added the casualties section late last night so I'll finish it off and then add what Barker has to say in an analysis section (he also edges close to an essentialist view of Ethiopians at times). Keith-264 (talk) 15:35, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Finished the casualty section and revised the infobox to suit. Are there any other discussions of Italian casualties in the literature?Keith-264 (talk) 18:34, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure, though I think it's important that you specify that those are Contemporary Italian figures so as to avoid confusion. -Indy beetle (talk) 19:46, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Determining the end of the war

I've moved some text from a draft article I have on User:Indy beetle/Ethiopian Patriots. The sources I've found there write about the transition of the War from a regular conflict to an irregular one. This makes determining the "end" of the war difficult. As the article now stands, it says that the conflict concluded with the fall of Addis Ababa on 5 May 1936. According to the information I've found, at least 10,000 Ethiopian troops were still operating at that time, and fighting persisted. Furthermore, the Ethiopians had a government in Gore. Perhaps the date when that city fell will serve as a better bookmark to the conflict. -Indy beetle (talk) 15:14, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Good point, Barker also describes military operations after the fall of the capital. My understanding is that the Italians never had undisputed control over Ethiopia. I just trampled on that section because I didn't realise it was new until I began to wonder who the citees were. ;o) RV as desired. Keith-264 (talk) 15:31, 8 October 2017 (UTC)