Italian East Africa 1882 - 1942


The Italian empire in East Africa began with the government purchase of the coaling station of Assab on the Eritrean coast from the private Rubattino Navigation Co in 1882. Military defeat at Adua in 1896 caused the parliamentary downfall of the authoritarian and chauvinist Prime Minister Francesco Crispi. Other checks were received at Amba-Alagi and Makali, and expansion halted until Giolitti's invasion of Libia in 1911, which by weakening the Ottoman empire contributed to the Balkan Wars & the Great War, and Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopa, which materially undermined the authority of the League of Nations. Italian occupation of the Horn of Africa threatened British trade and strategic links in the east, including with Australia.

Map from Barbadoro `Ventisette Secoli di Storia d'Italia' Firenze Le Monnier 1967

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