Italian East Africa, Birth and Fall of an Empire

Italian East Africa, Birth and Fall of an Empire

Italian Military Operations in East Africa 1941-43

Massimiliano Afiero, Ralph Riccio

Operations of Italian military forces in Italian East Africa from 1940 to 1942.
Date Published :
May 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
c 100 b/w photos, 16 pages color illustrations, c 30-40 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781804512357
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 9.6 X 6.7 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Italy’s colonial adventure in East Africa, which had begun in the previous century and which ended abruptly with the defeat at Adua in 1896, regained impetus with the advent of Fascism which quickly began a campaign to expand Italian holdings in the so-called “Horn of Africa”. With the Itali-Ethiopian War, fought between 1935 and 1936, Italy invaded the Empire of Ethiopia and its territory, and along with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, formed the new empire, Italian East Africa. Between 1936 and 1940, many operations were conducted against Ethiopian resistance which broke out throughout the country. With the beginning of the Second World War, Italian East Africa was cut off and had to act independently without being able to receive aid and supplies from the mother country. Nevertheless, during the early phases of the war, a series of offensive operations were carried out which led to the conquest of Kassala and of British Somaliland. The inevitable and massive British counteroffensive followed, which in the space of a few months completely upset the Italian forces in East Africa, who nonetheless fought valiantly, especially at Keren. Following the fall of Addis Ababa, Italian resistance continued first at Amba Alagi and then in the Gimma region and finally at Gondar, where Italian soldiers wrote pages of military glory. This book analyses the principal Italian military operations in Italian East Africa, with particular focus on the period between 1940 and 1941, with a description of the various battles.

About The Author

Massimiliano Afiero was born in Afragola, Italy, in 1964. An information technology teacher and programmer, he has been interested in military history since his youth. He has published widely and has been involved in the editing and development of several magazines including Volontari, SGM, Ritterkreuz and The European Volunteer, and the Fronti di Guerra series. Since January 2017, he has been Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly magazine The Axis Forces.

Ralph Riccio was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and is a retired US Army officer who has been interested in military history and military equipment since his youth. He has written and co-authored a number of books on Italian small arms, armor and artillery, as well as several books on aspects of Irish military history. He has also written numerous magazine articles both in English and Italian dealing with a broad spectrum of military subjects. He has a native Italian language fluency, speaks several other languages as well, and is active in translating books and magazine articles from Italian into English for Italian authors who specialize in military affairs. In 1981 he was awarded an honorary Italian knighthood. He lives with his wife Charlene in a rural community in Pennsylvania.

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