In October 1935, fascist Italian war leader Benito Mussolini launched his invasion of Ethiopia. Held at bay by Emperor Selassie’s troops, Mussolini eventually entered Addis Ababa on May 5, 1936, declaring the country as part of the Italian empire and Italian East Africa.
At root, the “Abyssinia Crisis,” as it was also called, was years in the making. Europe and its colonization of the African continent had become a key point of contention for many. The League Of Nations, the intergovernmental organization developed to help bring about world peace, was largely ineffective from stopping the growth of the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, Japan, and other nations. The Axis opposed all Western authority and sought to dominate anyone in their path.
As the invasion overtook the country, the Emperor fled Ethiopia. He, however, returned from exile in Britain in 1941 after the Italians were successfully defeated.
The Emperor was patient in rising back to power, using political connections and the military might of his allies to defeat the fascist Italian forces, prompting Ethiopia’s liberation.
Below is an extract of what the Emperor had to say about the historic victory:
“It is good that you are here to record this picture of me in my palace garden at Addis Ababa. People who see this throughout the world will realize that even in the 20th century, with faith, courage and a just cause, David will still beat Goliath.”
Watch the video below: