The Battle of Amba Aradam (also known as the Battle of Enderta) was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu. This battle was primarily fought in the area around Amba Aradam which included most of Enderta Province.
Marshal of Italy was a rank in the Royal Italian Army. Originally created in 1924 by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini for the purpose of honoring Generals Luigi Cadorna and Armando Diaz, the rank was granted to several other general officers from 1926 to 1943. The rank was the highest in the Italian Army prior to the creation of the rank of First Marshal of the Empire in 1938. The rank of Marshal of Italy was abolished in 1946 with the creation of the Republic of Italy. The equivalent Royal Navy rank was Grand Admiral, while the equivalent Air Force rank was Marshal of the Air Force, all of them abolished for the Armed Forces of the Republic of Italy.
Marshal Pietro Badoglio, 1st Duke of Addis Abeba, 1st Marquess of Sabotino, was an Italian general during both World Wars and the first viceroy of Italian East Africa. With the fall of the Fascist regime in Italy, he became Prime Minister of Italy.
Ras, is a royal title in the Ethiopian Semitic languages. It is one of the powerful non-imperial titles.
On 3 October 1935, General Emilio De Bono advanced into Ethiopia from Eritrea without a declaration of war. De Bono had a force of approximately 100,000 Italian soldiers and 25,000 Eritrean soldiers to advance towards Addis Ababa. In December, after a brief period of inactivity and minor setbacks for the Italians, De Bono was replaced by Badoglio.
Emilio De Bono was an Italian General, fascist activist, Marshal, and member of the Fascist Grand Council. De Bono fought in the Italo-Turkish War, World War I, and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, the de facto state of Somaliland and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent with a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian and Somali tectonic plates.
Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, which was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890.
Haile Selassie launched the Christmas Offensive late in the year to test Badoglio. By mid-January 1936, Badoglio was ready to renew the Italian advance on the Ethiopian capital. Badoglio ultimately overwhelmed the armies of ill-armed and uncoordinated Ethiopian warriors with mustard gas, tanks, and heavy artillery.
The Christmas Offensive took place during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The Ethiopian offensive was more of a counteroffensive to an ever slowing Italian offensive which started the war.
In early January 1936, the Ethiopian forces were in the hills everywhere overlooking the Italian positions and attacking them regularly. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was impatient for an Italian offensive to get under way and for the Ethiopians to be swept from the field.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from the fascists' takeover of state power in 1922 until 1943, and Duce from 1919 to his execution in 1945 during the Italian civil war. As dictator of Italy and founder of fascism, Mussolini inspired several totalitarian rulers such as Adolf Hitler.
The Ethiopians facing the Italians were in three groupings. In the center, near Abbi Addi and along the Beles River in the Tembien, were Ras Kassa Haile Darge with approximately 40,000 men and Ras Seyoum Mangasha with about 30,000 men. On the Ethiopian right was Ras Mulugeta and his army of approximately 80,000 men in positions atop Amba Aradam. Ras Imru Haile Selassie with approximately 40,000 men was on the Ethiopian left in the area around Seleh Leha in Shire Province.
Abiy Addi is a town in central Tigray, Ethiopia. It has a latitude and longitude ofwith an elevation ranging from 1917 to 2275 meters above sea level. Abiy Addi is surrounded by Kola Tembien woreda.
Leul RasKassa Hailu KS, GCVO, GBE, was a Shewan nobleman, the son of Dejazmach Haile Wolde Kiros of Lasta, the ruling heir of Lasta's throne and younger brother of Emperor Tekle Giyorgis II on his mother's side, and Tisseme Darge, the daughter of Ras Darge Sahle Selassie, brother of Menelik II's father.
Amba Aradam is a table mountain in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Misraqawi (Southeastern) Zone of the Tigray Region, between Mek'ele and Addis Abeba, it has a latitude and longitude ofand an elevation of 2,756 metres (9,042 ft).
Badoglio had five army corps at his disposal. On his right, he had the Italian IV Corps and the Italian II Corps facing Ras Imru in the Shire. In the Italian center was the Eritrean Corps facing Ras Kassa and Ras Seyoum in the Tembien. Facing Ras Mulugeta atop Amba Aradam was the Italian I Corps and the Italian III Corps.
The 3rd Army Corps was one of three corps the Italian Army fielded during the Cold War. Based in the regions of Lombardy and Piemont the corps was the army's operational reserve, while the 4th Alpine Army Corps and the 5th Army Corps, both based in the North East of Italy, were the army's front-line units. After the end of the Cold War the corps was reduced in size and on 1 December 2000 it ceded its last brigades to the 1st Defence Forces Command. The personnel of the 3rd Army Corps was used to raise the NATO Rapid Deployable Italian Corps in January 2001.
Initially, Badoglio saw the destruction of Ras Mulugeta's army as his first priority. Mulugeta's force would have to be dislodged from its strong positions on Amba Aradam in order for the Italians to continue the advance towards Addis Ababa. But Ras Kassa and Ras Seyoumm were exerting such pressure from the Tembien that Badoglio decided that he would have to deal with them first. If the Ethiopian center was successful, the I Corps and III Corps facing Mulugeta would be cut off from reinforcement and resupply.
From 20 to 24 January, the First Battle of Tembien was fought. The outcome of this battle was inconclusive, but the threat Ras Kassa posed to the I Corps and III Corps was neutralized.
On 9 February, Marshal Badoglio held a press conference at his headquarters and announced that the mighty obstacle that blocked the road to Addis Ababa was about to be liquidated. Badoglio was talking of course about Ras Mulugeta and his army dug in atop Amba Aradam.The mountain was of two parts. There was a jagged ridge known to the Italians as "The Herringbone" and, on the extreme right, a flat-topped peak called "The Priest's Hat." The land around the base of the mountain was known as the Enderta. An article in a then current issue of Time Magazine indicated that the correspondents on the Italian side were provided with a high-powered telescope to watch the progress of the battle.
While their forces were roughly equal, Badoglio held an overwhelming material advantage over Mulugeta. The Italians attacking Amba Aradam had more than 5,000 machine guns, 280 pieces of artillery, and 170 airplanes. By contrast, the Ethiopians had about 400 machine guns, 18 old field pieces of medium calibre, a small number of anti-aircraft guns, and no planes. Mulugeta's one advantage were the steep slopes of Amba Arada.
At 8:00am on the 10 February, Badoglio launched the Battle of Amba Aradam. Royal Italian Army and Blackshirts led the Italian advance. Native Askaris, on which De Bono had leaned so heavily, formed the reserve.The Italian I Corps and Italian III Corps advanced across the Calamino Plain. By night fall, both corps were established on the banks of the Gabat River.
Badoglio was an artilleryman first and last. As a result, he fought a gunner's battle. His headquarters was also the Italian artillery observation post and about every five minutes scout planes of the Regia Aeronautica went out to circle the front. The planes identified the locations of Ethiopian forces for the Italian gunners. But the Ethiopians fighting for Ras Mulugeta were regular drilled and uniformed troops. They had artillery too and knew how to use it.
The Italian scout planes also mapped out the area around Amba Aradam and discovered a weakness in Ras Mulugeta's defences. Air photographs showed that an attack from the Plain of Antalo to the south of Amba Aradam should be uncontested. As a result of this discovery, Badoglio planned to encircle Amba Aradam and attack Mulugeta from the rear after his forces linked up at Antalo.
On the 11 February, the 4th "3rd January" Blackshirt Division and the Pusteria Alpine Division of the I Corps advanced from the Gabat moving towards and around the west side of Amba Aradam. At the same time, the III Corps moved towards and around the east side of Amba Aradam. Too late Ras Mulugeta realized the Italian plan to encircle his positions.
On the afternoon of the 12 February, a large Ethiopian force streamed down the western slopes of Amba Aradam and attacked the 3rd "21st April" Blackshirt Division. The Blackshirts were held up, but the Pusteria Alpine Division continued its advance towards Antalo. The near continuous and persistent air and artillery bombardment of the Ethiopian positions had sapped the Ethiopians of much of their will to resist.
On the evening of the 14 February, the Italian pincers were about to snap shut. As the encircling forces reached specified positions, they formed up, re-grouped, and positioned their artillery for the final assault.
By the morning of 15 February, under cover of darkness and dense cloud, the Italians completed the encirclement of Amba Aradam. When daylight came and the clouds lifted, the Ethiopians were reinvigorated by the sight of their predicament. They swarmed down the western slopes of Amba Aradam towards Addi Kolo. The Ethiopians attacked the Italians at the western base of Amba Aradam again and again. But the Italian artillery and air power negated the fury of the Ethiopian assault. By darkness, the battle was practically over.
Ras Mulugeta guessed that the Italians would take Amba Aradam by first attacking "The Priest's Hat". He guessed wrong. The Italians attacked and secured the lightly held Ethiopian positions on "The Herringbone" which made defense of the "Priest's Hat" untenable. March" Blackshirt Division was given the honor of hoisting the Italian flag atop Amba Aradam.For political reasons, the 1st "23rd
The Ethiopians had managed to create a break in the Italian line around Addi Kolo. Through this break the army of Ras Mulugeta made its escape as it fell back towards Amba Alagi and Sokota.Mulugeta planned to reassemble his forces around Amba Alagi.
Badoglio unleashed the full power of the Italian Air Force on the fleeing army of Ras Mulugeta. For four consecutive days, forty tons of mustard gas was dropped on the hapless fugitives. In addition to this, the local Azebu Galla were bribed by the Italians to attack the Ethiopian stragglers.
Tadessa Mulugeta, Ras Mulugeta's son, was the Asmachon Amba Aradam. He was killed in an action against a party of Galla and his body was mutilated by them. When Ras Mulugeta received news of this outrage, he turned back and was killed himself by a strafing plane. Attacked from both above and from the ground, what was left of the army of Ras Mulugeta dissolved.
Badoglio now turned his attention from the Ethiopian right back to the Ethiopian center and Ras Kassa and Ras Seyoum. It was time to finish what had been started at the First Battle of Tembien. The result was the Second Battle of Tembien.
The corrupted form ambaradàn entered Italian language with the meaning of 'messy, complex situation'
The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a colonial war fought from 3 October 1935 until 19 February 1937, although Addis Ababa was captured on 5 May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and those of the Ethiopian Empire. Ethiopia was defeated, annexed and subjected to military occupation. The Ethiopian Empire became a part of the Italian colony of Italian East Africa. Fighting continued until the Italian defeat in East Africa in 1941, during the East African Campaign of the Second World War.
The Battle of Maychew was the last major battle fought on the northern front during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted of a failed counterattack by the Ethiopian forces under Emperor Haile Selassie making frontal assaults against prepared Italian defensive positions under the command of Marshal Pietro Badoglio. The battle was fought near Maychew, Ethiopia, in the modern region of Tigray.
The following is a timeline relating to the Second Italo–Abyssinian War to the end of 1936. A number of related political and military events followed until 1942, but these have been omitted.
Imba Alaje is a mountain, or an amba, in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debubawi Zone of the Tigray Region, Imba Alaje dominates the roadway that runs past it from the city of Mek'ele south to Maychew. Because of its strategic location, Emba Alaje has been the location of several battles. As Anthony Mockler describes it,
The Second Battle of Tembien was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks by Italian forces under Marshal Pietro Badoglio on Ethiopian forces under Ras Kassa Haile Darge and Ras Seyoum Mangasha. This battle was primarily fought in the area around the Tembien Province. The Ethiopeans were decisively defeated, and their armies destroyed as effective fighting forces in the rout. The battle is notable for the Italian aerial supremacy and for their largescale use of mustard gas.
The 30th Infantry Division Sabauda was an infantry division of the Royal Italian Army during World War II.
RasMulugeta Yeggazu, was an Ethiopian government official. He served as Imperial Fitawrari, Commander of the Mahel Sefari of the Ethiopian Army during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
Antalo is a small village located in the Debub Misraqawi (Southeastern) Zone of the Tigray Region, it lies on a plateau with an elevation variously reported as 2050 to 2102 meters above sea level|date=March 2019}}. It lies some 20 miles south of Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. The urge to control this fortified mountainous place has provoked frequent engagements among various Tigrayan chiefs since the 17th century. Antalo flourished as a town in the last quarter of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century.
The First Battle of Tembien was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Kassa Haile Darge. This battle was primarily fought around Warieu Pass in what was then the Tembien Province of Ethiopia.
The Battle of Shire was a battle fought on the northern front of what was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This battle consisted of attacks and counterattacks by Italian forces under Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio and Ethiopian forces under Ras Imru Haile Selassie. This battle was primarily fought in the Shire area of Ethiopia.
The Battle of Ganale Doria was a battle in 1936 during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. It was fought on the "southern front". The battle consisted largely of air attacks by the Italian Royal Air Force, under the command of General Rodolfo Graziani, against an advancing and then withdrawing Ethiopian army under Ras Desta Damtu. The battle was primarily fought in the area along the Genale Doria River valley between Dolo and Negele Boran.
The Battle of the Ogaden was fought in 1936 in the southern front of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted of attacks by the Italian forces of General Rodolfo Graziani, the Commander-in-Chief of the forces on the "southern front," against Ethiopian defensive positions commanded by Ras Nasibu Emmanual. The strong defensive positions were designed by Wehib Pasha and known as the "Hindenburg Wall". The battle was primarily fought to the south of Harar and Jijiga.
The March of the Iron Will, or the Iron-Will Column, was a Fascist propaganda event staged during the final days of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The goal of the march was to capture the Ethiopian capital in a show of force.
De Bono's invasion of Abyssinia took place during the opening stages of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Italian General Emilio De Bono invaded northern Abyssinia from staging areas in the Italian colony of Eritrea on what was known as the "northern front."
Enderta or Inderta is a former historical province of Ethiopia; it is located in the eastern edge of the Tigray highlands. Enderta is bordered on the west by Tembien, on the south and south west by Lasta and Wag, on the east by denkel, and on the north by Agame and Adwa. Enderta's local administration of Denkel/Afar up to the edges of Aseb under its jurisdiction seems to have been highly, interlinked with the operation of the salt trade and its taxation system; the entire tasks of salt caravan organization being the responsibility of the bäalgada, title assumed by the governor of Endärta, since at least the Medieval period (c.1270-1527)
Seyoum Mengesha KBE was an army commander and a member of the royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.
Aberra Kassa was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.
Asfawossen Kassa was an army commander and a member of the Royal family of the Ethiopian Empire.
Tembien is a historic region in Tigray and one of the former provinces of Ethiopia. It is a mountainous area of that country. During the reforms in 1994-95, the old provinces were replaced with regions, zones and woredas. The area of the former province is now split over the woredas of Dogua Tembien and Kola Tembien.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Battle of Amba Aradam .|