Afrika’s Heroes: Emperor Menelik II

The Ethiopians, under Menelik II’s instructions, took their militarily advantageous positions and humiliated the Italians.

On 1st March 1896 (123 years ago) Italy and Ethiopia were facing off against each other with Italy desiring to enforce the contested Treaty of Wuchale, signed in 1889. The dispute was that one party (Italy) states that Ethiopia was its Protectorate and the other (Ethiopia) claimed that its Amharic version stated no such thing.
The Kingdom of Italy, keen to enforce its authority to cause King Menelik II of Shewa (who was later to become Emperor of Ethiopia) to abide by the Italian version of the treaty. This led to the First Italo-Ethiopian war which ran from 1894 – 1896, with various skirmishes taking place during the two year period, with victories on the Italian side. These battles culminated in the Battle of Adwa (or Adowa) in Eritrea.

The Ethiopians, under Menelik II’s instructions, took their militarily advantageous positions and humiliated the Italians, killing 6,000 of their 17,000 plus troops, capturing 3,000 and driving the rest back into Eritrea.

Chioma Phillips

It is claimed that a politically pressurized Italian military marched against Menelik II and his troops from the night on 29th February and on the morning of 1st March, while Menelik II was praying and seeking divine guidance for his next move (apparently supplies were running low and he was considering removing his troops on the 2nd of March 1896), his spies spotted the Italians, who had maneuvered themselves into positions of disadvantage during their night march, having little to no knowledge or understanding of the terrain.

Read the rest here.

Change your perspective

How you see matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.