Battle of Mekelle

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Battle of Mekelle
Part of the First Italo-Ethiopian War
Mekele 1896.jpg
The fort at Mekelle after the siege
DateJanuary 1896
Result Ethiopian victory
 Kingdom of Italy  Ethiopia
Commanders and leaders
Giuseppe Galliano Ras Makonnen
1,000 Askari and 183 Italians
Approximately 27,000
Casualties and losses
costly assaults [1]

The Battle of Mekelle, sometimes known as the siege of Mekelle, took place in January 1896 during the First Italo-Ethiopian War. Italian forces surrendered a partially completed fort at Mekelle, 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. The Ethiopian army numbered around 27,000 men. 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.[2]


  1. ^ McLachlan, Sean (2011). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896. Colchester. p. 12.
  2. ^ McLachlan, Sean (2011-09-20). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: The Italian Disaster in Ethiopia. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781849089388.