Second Italo-Ethiopian War (1935 – 1939)
Italy’s second attempt at invading Ethiopia in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (1935 – 1939) though successful, was also met with strong Ethiopian resistance under the leadership of Emperor Haile Selassie I. On the eve of the attack, Ethiopian leader Selassie ordered men from the country to assemble and defend its lands. Although his troops outnumbered Italian leader Benito Mussolini’s, many of Selassie’s men were armed with primitive weapons and even more had no experience with military operations.
Selassie’s men were therefore continually outgunned by the more experienced and well-equipped Italians. The Ethiopian forces were spirited, however, doing their best to pluck off enemy forces. Mussolini had to use chemical warfare after Ethiopian soldiers took down an Italian air pilot, sending a message to Selassie’s army. Italy’s defeat in World War II, however, compelled it to relinquish control over Ethiopia and formally recognize it as an independent nation.