Battle of Mek'ele

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Battle of Mek'ele
Part of the First Italo-Ethiopian War
Mekele 1896.jpg
The fort at Mek'ele after the siege
Date January 1896
Location Mek'ele, Ethiopia
Result Ethiopian victory
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Kingdom of Italy Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Ethiopian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Giuseppe Galliano Ras Makonnen
1,000 Askari and 183 Italians
Casualties and losses
Unknown costly assaults [1]

The Battle of Mek'ele, sometimes known as the siege of Mek'ele, took place in January 1896 during the First Italo-Ethiopian War. Italian forces surrendered a partially completed fort at Mek'ele, a city in the northern Tigray Region of Ethiopia which they had occupied since 1895, to Ethiopian forces.

The Italians numbered by 20 officers, 13 non-commissioned officers, and 150 in the ranks, supported by 1,000 Askari and two mountain guns. After two weeks of bombardment by Ethiopian artillery - which possessed a longer reach than that of the Italians - the Ethiopians managed to cut off the fort's water supply, prompting the defenders surrender.[1]


  1. ^ a b McLachlan, Sean (2011). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896. Colchester. p. 12. 
Written sources
  • McLachlan, Sean (2011). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: The Italian Disaster in Ethiopia. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1849089388.