Anniversary of the Battle of Adwa

Negash | March 2nd, 2014

 

Cover of 1898 edition of the Paris weekly, Le Petit Journal.  Europe was stunned by the Italian defeat.  Courtesy of private collector, New York.

Cover of 1898 edition of the Paris weekly, Le Petit Journal. Europe was stunned by the Italian defeat. Courtesy of private collector, New York.

Ethiopian forces led by Emperor Menelik annihilated invading Italian colonial troops on March 2, 1896 at the Battle of Adwa.  Ethiopians killed over 6,000,  wounded and captured thousands more in a mere eight hours.

The Ethiopian camp was ably led by Menelik  & Taytu, Rases Mekonnen, Takle Haymanot, Mikael, Mengesha  and Alula.  The self-confident Italians were led by generals Oreste Baratieri, Guisseppe Arimondi, Guisseppe Ellena, Mateo Albertone and Vittorio Dabromida

The myth of invincibility of white colonial troops was forever shattered in the valleys and hills of Adowa.  Likewise, Adwa shattered the myth of Africans as helpless victims of colonial aggression.  Adwa was an affront to white supremacy, giving rise to black self-confidence, pride and Pan-Africanism.

Menelik.  From a private collection in New York

Menelik. From a private collection in New York

 

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