Talk:First Italo-Ethiopian War

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Russian involvement[edit]

One of the things that folks need to take into account is to read all sides of history. That Czarist Russia was not only there but was involved is absolutely irrefutable. There were 47 Russian field Artillery pieces, Russian Artillery military advisers, at least one Russian doctor and nurses. Count Leontiev led the Military mission. After the defeat of Italy, more Russian Military experts came and with 2000 Ethiopian soldiers undertook an Expeditionary "clearing" mission to the banks of Lake Turkana in the South fighting a number of engagements with auxiliaries that were at least encouraged if not armed and supplied by the British who had been encroaching in the region. They documented this trip exhaustively, so it is no less well known. The British voiced their bitter resentment of Russia's involvement commenting on Russo French cooperation assisting Ethiopia (while they were supporting Italy) as only they could. "...France will find the Czar a less hospitable neighbor than the Sultan..." was how they phrased their embittered comment over Russian Naval activity in the Red Sea. It's not know whether it was because of this but British Intelligence support for Lenin and Trotsky along with the German Kaisers support assisted "...the Bolshevik phase..." of the Russian revolution. Puzzlingly barely a year after the Bolshevik seizure of power all Western powers began supporting Russian White Army efforts to defeat the Bolshevik's. Regarding Ethiopia please consult the Ethiopian, Russian and French writings in regards to Russian involvement in Ethiopia and you will find this. The British writing glosses over much, again except for bitter comments about Russian involvement with the French in the Red Sea and elsewhere.

The British grooming Italy as a suitable peon, had been encouraging it from the time of Yohannes I to occupy Massawa violating their agreement with Yohannes. This served also their purpose of denying that area of French and Russian influence. They judged Italy a weak and malleable power. They had hoped with Menelik's power consumed in the North to move in and occupy the Tana area to build their Cairo to Mombassa Empire in Africa. Alas the survival of Ethiopian independence stuck in their craw, but they would continue to harbor this pet ambition of theirs for another 40 years encouraging yet another megalomaniac to retry their dream.

Where does one start ?[edit]

Menelik clearly wanted peace. His restraint was not guile but a genuine revulsion for war. But this story makes it some cunning guile instead a genuine avoidance of killing. The article clearly ignores the actual conflation in the number of combatants on the Ethiopian side and makes it extremely (unrealistically) small on the Italian side. Yes there were only 18,000 white soldiers but there were also the Native troops that accompanied the Italians from Eritrea and the area recruited Banda. So the Italian numbers were closer to 30,000. The Ethiopian had 118,000 if you counted every man woman and child in their camp. But not everyone of those was a combatant and of all combatants perhaps no more than 50,000(at the very generous) were armed with guns. Lastly a running tally of those with actual experience and expertise with weaponry will show that the Army's of the Princes and Kings were mainly militarised minute men, who were normally farmers. Even their regular forces while adept horsemen and infantrymen in their own right were mostly used to hand to hand combat with their long spears and Shotel rather than shot and lead. Even the elite of the elite, the Malefya Temenja, Wiha Sinku, Feres Zebegna and Household Guards of the Imperial Mehal Sefari were unacquainted with the trench tactics and "fields of fire" maneuvers Europeans had pioneered. But Menelik's commanders reformed and surged even after the killing of their bravest commander Imperial Fitawrari Gebeyehu. The Italians themselves recorded his brave feat charging the guns to reverse the tide of the stagnating battle of the Army of the Center.

All-in-all this piece and others seriously, very seriously, lack balance. It seems having lost the battle where it counts the Italians, or their sympathisers are re-fighting it on these pages and trying to cast the battle in terms that show their as an unfavorable one. Question is, if they were so unfavorably matched what were they doing there to begin with. History, and more importantly truth, is smart. It does not judge by color or anything else. Wikipedia, and the pages of magazines and books can turn pitch black from the amount of ink put on them as thick as molasses. All that ink will show that the Ethiopians, with odds stacked extremely against them snatched a victory from absolute certain defeat that not just Italy but all Europe had prepared to exploit. Bruhtam (talk) 02:51, 4 April 2015 (UTC)


Why is this called the Italo-Abyssinian War and not the Italo-Ethiopian war? Abyssinia has never actually been Ethiopia's name; it was only known to the west as Abyssinia during various times. For example, French writing about Ethiopia during the 15th or 16th century (I don't remember exactly when) use the word Ethiopié. Furthermore, in the 4th century CE, in the royal Chronicles of Ezana (the ruler of the Ethiopian Axumite empire at the time), he mentions his dominion over a people called "Habashat" (today Habesha, used to mean Ethiopians or Ethiopians and Eritreans) in the Ge'ez (main Ethiopian language of the time) and South Arabian, but instead calls the "Habashat" Aethiopia (or something to that effect) in Greek (the text was written in all three languages). Clearly, Ethiopia has been the name that the west has known Ethiopia as for most of history, "Abyssinia" being short-lived and relatively recent.

Now, how can I request that this article as well as Abyssinian Crisis and Second Italo-Abyssinian War be moved to more correct article names using Ethiopia instead? Yom 03:49, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


Can it be made clear why Italy felt it had justification to conquer and control Ethiopia? Did they use the same justifications that are made today (i.e., that the Western nation is actually "helping" or "liberating" the African nation, and assisting it to "be more free")? Actual sources giving the justification presented to the Italian public and to the world during that period would be very helpful and beneficial. Badagnani (talk) 22:58, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Article Italian Colonial Empire provides some good background, as does the inline linked, but renamed, Scramble for Africa. One of the problems with wiki is that it can be difficult to find information on related topics unless you already know what you're looking for. Consuelo D'Guiche (talk) 17:51, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Then these links should be dropped into "See also". Further, the information can be condensed and added to the lede. Kortoso (talk) 18:30, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Italian Casualties Inconsistency[edit]

The article states that a minimum of 5,000 Italians were killed in the entire war, however the "Battle of Adwa" one has written that 7,000 were killed in this particular battle alone. -- (talk) 11:48, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Was it a Russo-Ethiopian victory?[edit]

A number of edits have been made in the last year to this article and that dealing with the Battle of Adwa concerning the purported role of Imperial Russia in the Ethiopian victory over the Italians. These claim the provision of artillery manned by Russian gunners, the presence of Russian officers whose advice played a significant part in the victory, Russian political support for their Ethiopian allies, the arrival of a Russian Red Cross mission and the participation of 50 Russian volunteers in the battle. Unfortunately the sources cited are either in Russian or, if translated, do not support the claimed scale of such involvement beyond the presence of a single Cossack officer as an observer. English language sources, which admittedly may be biased or incomplete, make no reference at all to Czarist involvment beyond the sale of rifles by both Russia and Italy to Ethiopia before the outbreak of war. Can anyone assist in clarifying the extent and nature of any Russian presence? − Buistr (talk) 04:54, 12 February 2012 (UTC)


Why is this war called the First Italo-Ethiopian War when the second one is called the Second Italo-Abyssinian War?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 02:32, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Russian roles exaggerated[edit]

According to most historical records, the Russians were helping by treating wounded fighters and perhaps shipment of arms. Yes, Leontev has been advising the Emperor in different matters and he may had some advice concerning the war. Beside that, Russians have not been present in the war front advising the emperor on war strategy. Therefore this article has to be corrected as it is against the well known historical facts known so far. Ethiopians defeated colonialism, being the only Black and African nation in history to do so on white or European army.

The writer equated Leontev with the Emperor, labeling both of them commanders. This too has to be corrected as this is against all the established facts. The writer has tried to alter the exact nature of the war. My last suggestion for it is to be rewritten. Lastly, this article is just another case in point that Wikipedia can not be a credible source of information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elyaad (talkcontribs) 12:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Start date[edit]

Is there any reason why the start date of this war is listed as 1895? According to Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: The Italian Disaster in Ethiopia by Sean McLachlan, the rebellion led by Batha Agos (Bahta Hagos) against Italian forces in the Tigré (Tigray) region began on December 15, 1894 (page 9). There was even a battle in 1894 (at Halai) in which 11 Italians were killed and 22 wounded (also page 9). Even this Wikipedia article recognizes that the Agos' (Hagos') rebellion began in December 1894. So, what I'm trying to say is: should the start date of the First Italo-Ethiopian War be changed to 1894? BDR77777 (talk) 17:12, 26 September 2014 (UTC)BDR77777

Italo-Ethiopian War support[edit]

the voice of the battle of adua in wiki.en says that Ethiopia was supported by France, Russia, United Kingdom and Germany without specifying how

  • these nations have no part in the war, because no source attests to this
  • these countries have sold arms all'ethiopa? yes.
  • only Russia has advised the emperor menelik to issues of war strategies
  • the talia was supported by other nations in this war have also bought their weapons from other nations, however, it does not specify what

So I think that is being devaluing the role of Ethiopia and its people in this war, this is very strange think it should be deleted from riguadro and if anything added sull'Opening phase--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 00:06, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi User:Bgwhite, I saw that he added in the box who has supported Ethiopia in this war, without indicating any reference or source stating that it is true. By passing the reader to wikipedia news not true. Wait a reply? greeting.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 08:12, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Mulugheta alula roma Sorry, but I don't know anything about this article. All I did was fix a problem with the {{citation needed}} template. Bgwhite (talk) 08:50, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi,ok User:Bgwhite , citation needed was already in the box, until there will not be verifiable sources, should not be present other nations.bye--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 19:59, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Bgwhite

Sorry, what are you doing?--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 08:31, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Bgwhite as I have already explained to the discussion.

that is wiki en. is the only indicate who than state the support or participation of other nation army Europe matieral and without indicating the source.

I think that should not be shown in the box because it is news not true ascertain from all sources and bibliographical treated both Ethiopian and foreign.

is a administrator wikipedia?--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 10:53, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Mulugheta alula roma
  1. The problem is you keep doing {{citation needed}} wrong. You put text from the article inside the template. No text goes in the template. Just type {{citation needed}} at the end of the statement that needs a citation.
  2. In the second sentence in the article, it states how Britain, France and Russia supported Ethiopia and it gives a reference. Later in the article, it states how Russia gave assistance and the article gives two references. I don't think those two refs are reliable, but I do see other reliable refs.
  3. Its clear Russia gave assistance. Russia gave Ethiopia weapons and military advisers.
  4. It's not clear how the other countries gave assistance. I can understand why Britain and France would help, but I don't see anything to say they did.
So, it's clear Russia should stay in the article. I'd remove the mention of Britain, France and Germany helping for lack of refs. Bgwhite (talk) 17:42, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite, ok but I think we agree that the participation of Russian volunteers in this war is very insignificant

armies in this war were over 100,000 soldiers by Ethiopia and 18,000 by Italian in wiki.en
indicate of the box there was a support of the RUSSlAN ARMY in this war and how to tell an untruth but volunteers is different.
then you should indicate on the BOX how many Russians (50 volunteers) who participated and who were volunteers.
or delete this information at all that seems to me a devaluation in this war of Ethiopia.
and it has already been shown decently sull'Opening phase and I think that's enough.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 16:30, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Mulugheta alula roma I'm not sure how significant the Russians help was. One person can change the outcome of a war. U.S. wouldn't have won independence from Britain without the help of one French General. Sending military advisers and guns meets the definition of support.
The infobox is for brief information. The infobox doesn't list Russians with troops or commanders, only support. Infobox makes it clear Russians gave no troops and didn't lead battles. The article then makes it clear Russians gave advisers and guns, but no troops. It makes it clear the Ethiopians won the war, not Russians/Ethiopians. Bgwhite (talk) 22:43, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite, that of the war of independence is another context in which the French defended the definitive birth of the United States (their new country) Because They were immigrants them some time and they were not volunteers.

in the First Italo-Ethiopian War instead we are talking about a war with sides declared well and the intake of 50 Russian volunteers could not change the outcome of the war.
the fact of a strategic contribution in the war by the Russians but not for the effective participation in the war and then this and already well he explained in his voice.
Then it goes to be eliminated from the infobox because it is an exaggeration or is added in infobox caption 50 volunteers.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 10:39, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite,

should add the infobox after russia, 50 volunteers
or should delete it because it is widely reported sull'Opening phase.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 09:53, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
It stays. Nowhere does it say Russian only gave 50 volunteers. The article clearly says military advisers and guns. NOWHERE in the article does it say Russian troops were involved. The infobox clearly states supported with no troops. It is not an exaggeration. The infobox is for countries that actively participated and supported, not just those with troops. See Salvadoran Civil War, Colombian conflict (1964–present) and American Revolutionary War where the infobox has countries that supported, but gave no troops.
FYI... the French general was a volunteer and not an immigrant. He volunteered before the French helped. It's clear you don't know about the American revolution or the first Italian-Ethiopean war. You mentioned that no references said any country helped Ethiopia, which is clearly wrong as the Russians did. There are a tonne of references that Russia helped. Russia helping is also stated in other Wikipedia articles with valid references. Bgwhite (talk) 20:54, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite,

References must be verified if they are authoritative, those are taken from websites.
Many quotes are indicated by {{ citation needed}}.
The contribution of Russia in this war is very marginal without any material participation.
This item the will verify and i will monitor.
My knowledge of the wars.
Salvadoran Civil War, Colombian conflict (1964-present) and American Revolutionary War it is not enough to say hogwash.
for now the greeting--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 10:50, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Your above comments are not understandable. You will stop at nothing to to get it removed regardless of the evidence. Websites can be reliable. Russian involvement is in multitude of books (including one listed in the refs) and other sources, yet you have said they were no references to support this. As I have pointed out, saying supported is standard including Eritrean War of Independence, Guinea-Bissau War of Independence, Second Liberian Civil War, Western Sahara conflict, Nigerian Civil War, Boko Haram insurgency, Sierra Leone Civil War, Western Sahara War, Second Republic of the Congo Civil War, Rhodesian Bush War, Mozambican Civil War, Mozambican War of Independence and hundreds more.
Again, Russia did support with advisers and guns. This is clearly stated in the article. Nowhere does it say they had troops. Unless you stop calling my writings hogwash and you show that Russia was in no way involved, this discussion is over. (talk) 20:17, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite,

My writing is understandable.
I might also point out that Italy has had support from other nations such as england and france.
now she has deleted the caption where specify that support was only on arms sales and strategic advice.
this should be indicated.
is administrator of wikipedia?
the contribution of Russia in this war was insignificant and that is why it is not mentioned in the other wiki, only in wiki.en.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 19:52, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite,

SORRY, why you deleted the image and editing?--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 22:52, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
I am not jokes! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mulugheta alula roma (talkcontribs) 23:14, 6 September 2015 (UTC)


SORRY, why you deleted the image and editing?--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 08:58, 8 September 2015 (UTC)--
You know darn well why I'm reverting and it has nothing to do with the image. But, there are already too many images. Bgwhite (talk) 20:17, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite,

To give end this discussion I would propose to delete an image and add another, ok.
then specify That there was no involvement of Russian troops in this war, alright.
I greet you good day.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 09:16, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
We've gone over and over about the Russians, British, French and Germans. Again, IT ONLY SAYS ADVISERS AND GUNS. Stop with the Russians. I said a week ago this discussion is over. It is over. Bgwhite (talk) 21:00, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite,

but you read what I wrote
the complained of too many pictures because I added one, then I proposed to delete one and add another, ok
then add and specify the beginning of the text not troop, OK
over the discussion, the greeting.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 09:43, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bgwhite, if it continues to erase my changes, I'll denounce.--Mulugheta alula roma (talk) 13:27, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

  • I'll add a position: the "not troops" thing is without meaning. It is clear that there was plenty of Russian support; I have just added three, maybe four sources saying so. Thus, "supported by" in the infobox is amply supported. One can quibble, as historians apparently do, over the precise role and activities of Nikolay Leontiev but that is not material to this article. Drmies (talk) 15:05, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Mulugheta alula roma, I'm getting pretty tired of this. See this correction. For the last time, a. your addition is UNGRAMMATICAL; b. it is UNNECESSARY. The Russians also didn't support the Ethiopians with...let's see, pornographic films, water turbines, fur coats. It does not need to be spelled out that they MAY not have supplied troops which, at any rate, isn't so certain since much depends on the extent of Nikolay Leontiev's participation, a point which need not be elaborated upon in the lead. If you add this ungrammatical and redundant phrase one more time I'm going to ask an admin to determine to which extent your actions are disruptive (mind you, both Bgwhite and I are administrators, so we're not totally ignorant of policy). Drmies (talk) 17:29, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Exaggerated Casualty Rate comparison claims[edit]

"The casualty rate suffered by Italian forces at the Battle of Adwa was greater than any other major European battle of the 19th century, beyond even the Napoleonic Era's infamous Waterloo and Eylau.[20"

Just clicking on the links to Waterloo and Eylau, each battle had a higher casualty number than this First Italo-Abysinnian war/battle.

Puhleec First off, you need to sign your posts. It is not "casualty number", but "casualty rate". Those are two different numbers. Number is the amount of causalities. Rate is the ratio of casualties per amount of troops you have. The book reference (page 164) does say the casualty rate for Adwa was 50%, while the worst Napolionic battle was 33%. At Adwa, that means for every two troops on the Italian side, one was a casualty. At Eylau, for every three troops, one was a casualty. Bgwhite (talk) 21:36, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Puhleec (talk) 22:26, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

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