Abyssinia

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
User avatar
Matt Walker
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 04 Dec 2005 22:38
Location: UK

Abyssinia

Post by Matt Walker » 03 Apr 2007 22:07

I'm looking for information on the second Italo-Abyssinian War, can anyone tell me anything about -

* The weapons of the Abyssinian forces
* The Abyssinian Kebur Zabangna (Imperial Guard)
* Details of battles
* The "belgian mission" that helped to train the Kebur Zabangna

Thanks

User avatar
Lornito Uriarte Mahinay Jr.
Member
Posts: 652
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 02:26
Location: Cotabato City, Philippines

Post by Lornito Uriarte Mahinay Jr. » 03 Apr 2007 22:38

The Kebur Zabangna (Ethiopian Imperial Guard) in 1935, on the eve of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, had 4,000 trained regular troops organized into 8 battalions armed with rifles, machineguns and mortars.

User avatar
Lornito Uriarte Mahinay Jr.
Member
Posts: 652
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 02:26
Location: Cotabato City, Philippines

Post by Lornito Uriarte Mahinay Jr. » 03 Apr 2007 22:43

For the details of the war, try to look at this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_o ... sinian_War.

User avatar
Matt Walker
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 04 Dec 2005 22:38
Location: UK

Post by Matt Walker » 03 Apr 2007 23:24

Thanks for the link.


I have this picture of the Emporer inspecting a machine gun during the invasion - I'm pretty sure its a Hotchkiss 1914 model, can anyone confirm this? If so, would this have been donated by the French government (two Ethiopian officers did train at the French military academy). Alternatively it could have been given by the Belgians - I'm assuming they used the same equipment as the French.

Image

Custermen
Member
Posts: 94
Joined: 17 Aug 2002 06:41
Location: Memphis - USA

Post by Custermen » 08 Apr 2007 22:04

Here are few reference books that mentions some of the weapons used by the Ethopian troops as well as some details of the foriegn advisors and aide workers.

"Haile Selassie’s War; The Italian-Ethiopian Campaign, 1935-1941"- - by Anthony Mockler. 454 pgs, 32 pages glossy photos, 10 maps. Random House Pub. ISBN 0-394-54222-3, 1984.

"Lion by the Tail" - by Thomas M. Coffey. A history of the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (or Ethiopia) in 1935-36. 369 pgs. Viking Press. ISBN 670-42965-1 1974.

The Italian Invasion of Abyssinia, 1935-36 - by David Nicolle. Osprey Publication booklet on the armies, uniform, equipment of the Italians and the Ethiopian soldiers. 48 pages. ISBN: 1-85532-692-2. 1997. (I've been told the author actually describes the Italian Army in Ethopia as it was in 1940 and not 1935.)

Steve

M J C
Member
Posts: 231
Joined: 16 Jul 2005 15:55
Location: UK

Re: Abyssinia

Post by M J C » 14 Mar 2010 12:15

A nice undated press photo (from eBay) it says on the back; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, regular troops mount anti aircraft machine guns on trenches and earthworks surrounding the capital, preparing for a bombing attack by Italian planes.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Fatboy Coxy
Member
Posts: 603
Joined: 26 Jul 2009 16:14
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Abyssinia

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 31 Mar 2010 22:59

Hi MJC, is that a Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun?

Steve

User avatar
PatriotTurk
Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 12 Apr 2010 18:12
Location: Istanbul

Re: Abyssinia

Post by PatriotTurk » 22 Apr 2010 15:24

Image

VEHIP PASHA (Old Eagle Beak) in Italo-Abbyssinian War

"Glad to see you here in Harar. If you visit me later at advance headquarters, bring plenty of medicine for yourself. You will have fever." Thus the New York Times's Laurence Stallings was greeted by His Excellency Wehib Pasha ("Old Eagle Beak"), the big-boned Turkish General (retired) whom small-boned Emperor Haile Selassie has hired as Chief-of-Staff on Ethiopia's southeastern front.

Old Eagle Beak, styling himself "the Hero of Gallipoli," though his role in that British shambles was hardly stellar, pointed out over Harar Province and said portentously, "Out there will be the grave of Italian Fascism. When the Italian native troops hear of ME they will desert."

Definitely Ethiopia cannot be conquered without Italian thrusts up from the south through Harar and in from the east, complementing the thrust down from the north which last week won Aduwa (see p. 19). With 150,000 Ethiopian troops under his command, Old Eagle Beak must try to defend Ethiopia's only railway. To Correspondent Stallings, after boasting through an old soldier's repertoire of battles, Wehib Pasha finally worked up to 1935 and boomed: "The English might conquer Ethiopia or even the French, never the Italians! "It is an axiom that even water will follow the English. They move slowly, never outrunning their communications. They bring water for their troops, as well as victuals. At Gallipoli they suffered horribly at first for water; when they withdrew I myself saw that they had installed running pipes, with hydrants, in their trenches. Yes, with 250,000 men the English could conquer Ethiopia slowly but absolutely. "With 500,000 men Italy could walk into Addis Ababa, into Harar, even into Jimma [Province]. But these men would walk there to starve. Even now they bring water from Italy to the men of Eritrea, and this after a year's preparation. I can assure you that the English would have had condensers in Eritrea after the first underofficer reported a great thirst. "Yes, the men from the battleships would all have been there with condensers. A great staff would have been formed, with new badges and regimentals-'His Majesty's Royal Condenser Corps.' And they would have boasted that there was more water, better water, than in London. "Why do you ask me such things as details of Ethiopian defense? Water will defeat the Italians for me. I have to do nothing." Meanwhile Italy's engineer corps worked their well-digging gear furiously last week on all fronts, had exactly 96 new wells supplying water at latest reports.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... z0lq2naweV

User avatar
khedive
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 05 Dec 2007 08:25
Location: Valdosta, Ga

Re: Abyssinia, army uniforms, 1935

Post by khedive » 24 Apr 2010 06:13

Since we are talking about the pre-1936 Ethiopian Army, can anyone assist me with soldiers wearing side caps? I have a clear photo (Rikli, 1935) showing a machine gun team wearing these. Previously, all my Ethiopian army photos feature peaked caps or turbans. Could these be officer cadets? Thanks. I would post the photo, but can not figure how to do so.

User avatar
PatriotTurk
Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 12 Apr 2010 18:12
Location: Istanbul

Re: Abyssinia, army uniforms, 1935

Post by PatriotTurk » 10 Nov 2010 16:31

khedive wrote:Since we are talking about the pre-1936 Ethiopian Army, can anyone assist me with soldiers wearing side caps? I have a clear photo (Rikli, 1935) showing a machine gun team wearing these. Previously, all my Ethiopian army photos feature peaked caps or turbans. Could these be officer cadets? Thanks. I would post the photo, but can not figure how to do so.
Did you mean Vehip Pasha's cap? If it was, that photo wasnt from Ethiopian war, it was taken in Çanakkale on 1915.

I cannot find any photo about Pasha's mission era in Ethiopia on 1935-36.

Greetings
Onur

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8016
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Abyssinia

Post by tigre » 14 Aug 2016 15:14

Hello to all :D; an interesting complement.....................................

An Overseas Expedition.

a. The theater of war: topographical data. Abyssinia (or Ethiopia) is an inland country in the northeastern part of Africa, with an area of roughly 350,000 square miles; it is roughly triangular in shape, with an apex of 230 miles in the north and a base of 900 miles in the south. Between the upper Nile and the 40th meridian, there is an extensive region of mountains and valleys, with elevations in some instances of 1,000 feet; there
are plateau formations of an average level of 7,000 feet dropping sharply to the east into the plains of the "Danakil" but with gentle slopes toward Italian Somaliland in the south; the deep gorges tend to give the plateau a character of natural military fortifications. The Danakil is a hot, barren desert, in places 300 feet below sea level, while southern Somaliland is a vast plateau of about 3000 feet elevation, covered with gray African bush. There are a few rivers of importance, the Taccaze in the north, the Doria and Webbe Shibeli in the south; the supply of water is limited, away from river lines, and presents a continuous military problem.

With this range of elevation, there are sharp climatic variations, from the healthy, bracing temperature of the highlands, to the stifling heat of the lower coastal regions. In Ethiopia, "winter" lasts from October to February; it is followed by a hot, dry period, until the beginning of the rainy season in June; this begins in the north, lasting until September, and gradually moves southward.

The effect of tropical rains on unimproved roads and trails can well be imagined, it was a serious military factor requiring special large-scale provisions for road construction and maintenance. In fact, like Caesar's legions, these modern Romans had to build their roads in order to fight.

b. Organization of the theater of war. The development of a plan of campaign is influenced by the military characteristics of the country (its topography and resources), its strategic objectives (the desire of the warring nation) and its capacity for war. In uncivilized countries, the terrain factor is apt to become decisive or at least to exercise an undue influence. In Ethiopia, only two lines of operation appeared feasible: in the north, from Massaua via Dessie on Addis Ababa; in the mountain ranges; the latter in gradually rising terrain but over semi-desert areas south, from Mogadiscio on Harrar. The former was shorter but across enormous with precarious lines of communications.

(1) The base ports: Massaua and Mogadiscio. The final consideration was technical: available port facilities for an oversea base, adequate for the logistic requirements of an army of over 200,000 men; the only port that gave any promise of development was Massaua, in Eritrea, while Mogadiscio, an open roadstead on the Somali coast, was obviously limited. The port of Massaua was prepared to handle approximately 2000 tons per month, while Mogadiscio, with a lighterage service only, was accustomed to about 200 tons only; these modest figures were soon to be raised to 30,000 and even 60,000 tons, at Massaua and 2000 tons at Mogadiscio. Instead of an occasional traveller, entire divisions were landed, thanks to prodigious efforts by the Royal Italian Navy, initially charged with the development of base-ports. Extensive construction was undertaken to improve docks, warehouse capacity, trackage and sidings, refrigerating plants, power installations, water supply, etc. The thoroughly creditable record of the navy is easily evident in the statistics of troop and materiel shipments.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint of 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8016
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Abyssinia

Post by tigre » 21 Aug 2016 12:58

Hello to all :D; an interesting complement.....................................

An Overseas Expedition.

(2) Lines of communications. The efficiency of the navy in developing port facilities was matched by the terrestrial organization of lines of communications to the front. It was essential to get the masses of troops out of the tropical heat of congested seaports into the interior, to intermediate camps in vicinity of Asmara and other assembly areas; the road net, however, was found to be entirely deficient. As early as July 1935, 30,000 laborers were engaged in road construction; this figure rose to 100,000, not to mention troops, who often changed the rifle for the
spade. Dall'Ora planned 814 miles by October 1935, principally the enlargement of the main route: Massaua—Hefasit—Asmara and four parellel, secondary roads leading to the frontier. Toward the close of operations, 3,540 kms of improved roads had been developed, of which 875 kin were hard-surface, two-way roads. The rather inadequate single-track railroad from Asmara—Massaua, of 120 km, was stepped up to a daily traffic of 14 trains and extensive passing-sidings were built.

The road- and rail-net in Somaliland was worse than in the northern theater; there was only one railroad of 120 km, linking Mogadiscio with Villagio Duca degli Abruzzi; this was extended to Bulo Burti by a narrow-gauge 6o-cm track, with an initial train-density of four per day, of only 50 tons capacity. It was obvious that motor transport would have to do the bulk of the hauling; timeconsuming construction or road maintenance was out of the question, in view of the local distances, viz: from Bender-Cassim to Rocca Littoria, 800 kms, Mogadiscio—Belet Uen, 365 kms, and Mogadiscio—Lugh Ferrandi, 420 kms. Main reliance was placed on track-laying vehicles and heavy duty tractors, to negotiate bad places. The roads remained, for the most part, trails.

(3) Initial air installations. At the outbreak of hostilities, there was only a limited number of airfields in operation: at Massaua, Asmara, Mogadiscio and Rocca Littoria. A main landing field was established at Gura (35 kms south of Asmara) and three smaller fields near the frontier. Initially, about 25 emergency fields had been spotted; at the end of hostilities, efficient airports had been developed, 29 in the north and 54 ifl Somaliland. Since the fields had to function in the rainy season, considerable construction was required; the air service operated 50 steamers and delivered 250,000 tons of material, equipment and supplies for their own consumption.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint of 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8016
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Abyssinia

Post by tigre » 28 Aug 2016 12:33

Hello to all :D; more.....................................

An Overseas Expedition.

c. Strategic organization of theaters of operation. In the northern theater of operations, based on Eritrea, the communication zone was divided into three command areas: the center, known as the "High Plateau," was the most important, as the main Italian effort was to be made along the axis: Asmara—Adowa—Macalle. To the west lay the "Western Lowland" sector, with headquarters at Barentu until April 1936, the mission of troops in this zone was defensive, in flank protection of the central zone; after that date, additional troops were brought in, to support the advance on Gondar. To the east of the plateau, the "Eastern Low land" zone was designated, to include the barren Danakil; headquarters was located at Azbi, on the edge of the plateau; a detachment at Assab protected the air-base at that point; the initial mission of this sector was to furnish left flank protection for the major advance, in the center.

The southern theater, based on Somaliland, was divided into two principal sectors, the "Giuba" and the "Shibeli—Faf-Ogaden" sectors; headquarters of the Giuba sector was at Dolo. The mission of the troops in this area was to protect the upper Giuba, the supply base at Dolo and the airdrome at Lugh-Ferrandi; prior to April 1936, troops in this zone were on a purely defensive mission. The "Faf" sub-sector, to the east, was more important, since it became the advance base for the movement on Harrar in May 1936. Still further to the east was the "Ogaden" sub-sector, important only for the group of water wells in that area. By occupying and defending initially the Gorrahei and Gherlogubi wells and the towns of Dagnerrei, Gheledi and Dolo, it was felt that no important Ethiopian advance could be made, due to lack of water. The southern Theater of Operation was clearly secondary; its mission would be amply fulfilled if it drew Ethiopians in force, and to that extent relieve pressure in the north. General Graziani, a brilliant regular, accomplished this mission by an "active defense" that not only protected Somalia but carried operations far inland.

In the north, General de Bono, close political friend of the Duce, was placed in command; after initial successes he was replaced in November by Marshal Badoglio, who carried the war to a smashing conclusion. The relations of de Bono and Badoglio in 1935 recall vaguely the relief of Murray by Allenby in the Campaign in Palestine in 1917; it is arguable that in each case the decisive results obtained by one were predicated on the careful administrative preparations of the other.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint of 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8016
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Abyssinia

Post by tigre » 04 Sep 2016 12:24

Hello to all :D; more.....................................

An Overseas Expedition.

d. Initial grouping of forces. (1) Abyssinians. A semi-civilized, loosely-knit state, estimated in population from 7,000,000 to 12,000,000, Ethiopia was reported to be able to mobilize from 125,000 to 175,000. In 1896, Memelik operated with at least 100,000. The military organization was that of provincial "levees," brought to the theater of operations by local princes, the "ras". The Negus attempted a modernization, with the aid of foreign military missions and managed to train an "Imperial Guard" as a nucleus, but the bulk of his forces consisted of armed mobs with resolute individual fighters, incapable of concerted strategic and tactical operations; the supply service, if it could be called that, was a mere dependence on local resources. However, Adua had shown the Abyssinian to be a dangerous and cruel foe, operating in formidable masses that far exceeded other historical colonial expeditions.

Certain large military groups developed under the following commanders: in Eritrea: Ras Imru (25,000), Ras Cassa (42,000), Ras Mulugheta (45,000), Ras Seyum (15,000), and the Imperial Army under the Negus (40,000); in Somaliland: Ras Nassibu (30,000).

(2) Italians. The comparatively weak colonial forces stationed in Eritrea and Somaliland were expanded and reinforced by metropolitan divisions, militia (Blackshirt) units, regular army staffs, corps and army troops. The organization was that of a modern field army, and the ensuing operations follow the pattern of modern, large-scale war, modified by existing geographical conditions, viz:

The "fighting elements" of these corps were furnished by certain regular army and militia (Blackshirt) divisions and organic and corps artillery formations. The division comprised initially: Headquarters and military police (Carabinieri) and motor detachment, 3 Infantry Regiments, 1 Light Artillery Regiment (3 bns), 1 Motorized Ammunition Train, 1 Engineer Company, 1 Signal Company, 1 Searchlight Detachment, 1 Water Supply Detachment, Medical Detachment and Quartermaster Train (350 horses) and Quartermaster Battalion (250 motor vehicles); Strength: 550 officers, 17,000 men (8000 rifles), 450 MGs and 50 field pieces.

In addition, the militia furnished special groupings (3 to 4 battalions), viz: 1st Group (General Diamanti), and 6th Group (General Montagna).
The Eritrean Native units were formed in permanent colonial brigades (125 officers, 200 white n.c.o's., 6500 native men, with 4000 rifles, 160 MG's and 12 guns).

In Somalia the units were of variable composition, for example, the initial divisions had 9 infantry battalions, 1 machine-gun battalion and 9 batteries, while the later divisions were reduced to 6 infantry battalions, 1 machine-gun battalion and 6 batteries; the artillery ranged from 77 mm field guns to 149 mm howitzers and 120-mm guns.

The air force consisted initially of: 2 reconnaissance groups of 10 squadrons, 1 naval squadron, 2 fighter groups of 6 squadrons, 6 bomber groups of 12 squadrons; the squadron was reduced to 6 machines. Subsequently, in Eritrea an air brigade was formed (General Matricardi, commanding), with bomber regiments (2 groups, each of 3 squadrons), 2 fighter squadrons and 8 reconnaissance squadrons; in Somalia (General Ranza, commanding) 1 bomber regiment and 1 reconnaissance regiment.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint of 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8016
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Abyssinia

Post by tigre » 11 Sep 2016 12:45

Hello to all :D; more.....................................

An Overseas Expedition.

d. Initial grouping of forces. (2) Italians.

General Headquarters
Commander in Chief: General de Bono (to Nov. 1935) then Field Marshal Badoglio, Marchese di Sabotino.
Chief of Staff: General Gabba. Asst.: General Cona.
Chief of Artillery: General Garavelli.
Chief of Engineers: General Caffo.
Chief S.O.S.: General Dall'Ora. Asst.: Colonel Marfuggi.
Chief Medical Service: Professor Castellani.

The Army of Eritrea
Port of Massaua: Admiral Barone.

The Ist Army Corps
Commanding General: General Santini.
Chief of Staff: Colonel Van den Heuvel.
Artillery Commander: General Merzari.
The IId Army Corps
Commanding General: General Maravigna.
Chief of Staff: Colonel Pentimalli.
Artillery Commander: General Marzari.
The IIId Army Corps
Commanding General: General Bastico.
Chief of Staff: Colonel Calderini.
The IVth Army Corps
Commanding General: General Babbini.
Chief of Staff: Colonel Santovito.
Artillery Commander: General Labruna.
The Eritrean Native Corps
Commanding General: General Pirzio-Biroli.
Chief of Staff: Colonel Squero.
Artillery Commander: General Scarampi de Cairo.

Regular Army Divisions:
The 19th Division "Gaviniana" (Florence)
The 30th Division "Sabauda" (Cagliari)
The 24th Division "Gran Sasso" (Chieti)
The 27th Division "Sila" (Chieti)
The 5th Division "Cosseria" (Imperia)
The 26th Division "Assietta" (Asti)
The Alpine Division "Pusteria"

Militia (Blackshirt) Formations:
The 1st Division "23 March"
The 2d Division "28 October"
The 3d Division "21 April"
The 4th Division "1st February"

The 1st Eritrean Division: General Pesenti, Comdg.
The 2d Eritrean Division: General Dalmazzo, Comdg.

The Army of Somalia
Commander in Chief: General Graziani
Chief of Staff: Colonel Miele, Colonel Olearo.
The 29th Division "Peloritana" (Messina)
Militia Division, mixed.
The 6th Militia Division "Tevere"
The Lybian Division
Native Somali Corps.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint of 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Return to “Italy under Fascism 1922-1945”