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Home > Mussolini & Abyssinia > Why attack Abyssinia?

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On 2 October 1935, Emperor Haile Selassie stood external his royal residence in Addis Ababa and also addressed the civilization of Abyssinia. He warned them that the moment had pertained to fight - 100,000 Italian troops had actually invaded north Abyssinia the morning.

The Italians had been planning an intrusion for part time. A year earlier Mussolini had actually sent a memo come his generals calling because that "the full conquest the Abyssinia". The excuse because that the assault came in an incident throughout December 1934 in between Italian and Abyssinian troops in ~ the Wal-Wal oasis ~ above the border between Abyssinia and Italian Somaliland. Mussolini request an apology. He likewise prepared his army.

Events both inside and outside Italy encouraged Mussolini the this action was the appropriate one. Italy, like countless other nations in the beforehand 1930s, had financial problems. Mussolini"s economic policies walk not deal with the situation. A war could unite the Italian people behind their leader and also make castle forget their domestic problems. Plus Abyssinia’s resources might be used to benefit the Italian economy.

Rome had actually once led realm that conquered the world. Yet that to be long back and now other European strength had empires (Britain, France) or wanted them. Hitler concerned power in 1933, started to rearm Germany and also looked come re-unite Germany v Austria. Mussolini sought a means to display Italy’s toughness to the rest of Europe.

Italy had actually tried and also failed to overcome Abyssinia in 1896. Italians also felt that they didn’t gain their fair share of region after world War I as soon as the contract of Versailles (1919) do peace and also decided that would preeminence Germany’s former colonies. The intrusion of Abyssinia would consist of for this disappointments. Abyssinia and the areas Italy already held in east Africa would sign up with together to make a new Italian empire in the region. Abyssinia had the assistance of the organization of Nations, but did not have actually an military to enhance the Italians.

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1. Map reflecting the roman Empire, c. 200 A.D.
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2. Photo of Italian slogan: “Believe, Obey, Fight”
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3. Mussolini’s decided on economic problems, 1932
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4. Map that European colonies in eastern Africa, c.1935
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5. Mussolini’s to plan to readjust WWI tranquility terms, 1932
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