Battle of Amba Alagi (1895)
The Battle of Amba Alagi was the first in a series of battles between the Italian General Baratieri and Ethiopia's Emperor Menelik during the First Italo-Ethiopian War. Amba Alagi was one of Baratieri's forward positions; it was under the command of Major Toselli with 2,000 Eritrean Askari. On 7 December 1895, the Ras Makonnen, Ras Welle Betul and Ras Mengesha Yohannes commanded an assault of Menelik's vanguard that annihilated the Italians and killed Major Toselli.
However, the defeat at Amba Alagi did have a silver lining for Baratieri. Prime Minister Crispi's shocked cabinet agreed to advance another 20 million lire (£80,000) to ensure that a disaster could be stopped.
- Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa, (London: Abacus, 1992) p. 477