Caesar in Abyssinia

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Read Books, 2008 - History - 416 pages
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CAESAR IN ABYSSINIA BY G. L. STEER INTRODUCTION THIS BOOK, which casts a narrow sidelight on an unimportant series of massacres known as the ItaloEthiopian War, bears, I am sorry to say, a title which will disappoint many, Caesar in Abyssinia conjures up a picture of cohorts, horse haircrests and Commentaries, all centring round the great Julius himself ungasmasked in the field. But look where I might in Abyssinia, with the assistance of Holmes, Collins, Harrison, Lowenthal and the British Red Cross, I could never find the fellow. Afterwards the Military Correspon dent of The Times explained to me that he was playing the part of a dynamo in Rome. He compares ill with his rival, who handled an anti aircraft gun and a machinegun against Europeans fitted with far superior weapons. I have no desire, however, to belittle the military achieve ment of Italy in Ethiopia. I believe that an absurd excess of force was ustfd that considering the condition of the Italian Treasury the war might have been waged more cheaply, and that the war provides no index whatsoever of the behaviour of an Italian Army, even of the organisation of an Italian Army, fighting against an equal enemy. The Italians, nevertheless, did reach their objective, Addis Ababa, within seven months of the outbreak of aggression, My task is rather in this book to show what was the strength and spirit of the Ethiopian armies sent against a European Great Power. My conclusions are that they had no artillery, no aviation, a pathetic proportion of auto matic weapons andmodern rifles, and ammunition sufficient for two days modern battle. I have seen a child nation, ruled by a man who was both noble and intelligent, done brutally to death almost before it had begun to breathe. CONTENTS: 1. THE OGADEN DESERT 2. ADDIS ABABA 3. DESSYE 4. GENERAL MAP OF ABYSSINIA

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