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Josue Ricachi
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The Ethiopian-Adal War, 1529-1543: The Conquest of Abyssinia, a Fascinating and Insightful Book on a Little-Known Conflict - PDF Free Download


The Conquest of Abyssinia: A Historical Overview




The conquest of Abyssinia, also known as Ethiopia, is a term that refers to two major wars that took place in the Horn of Africa in the 16th and 20th centuries. These wars involved different actors, motives, and outcomes, but they both had a lasting impact on the history and identity of Ethiopia and its neighboring countries. In this article, we will explore the causes, events, and consequences of these wars, as well as their significance and legacy for the region and the world.


Introduction




What was the conquest of Abyssinia?




The conquest of Abyssinia was a series of military campaigns that aimed to subjugate or annex the Ethiopian Empire, a Christian kingdom that had existed since ancient times. The first conquest attempt was made by the Muslim Adal Sultanate, supported by the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th century. This war is known as the EthiopianAdal War or the Abyssinian-Adal War. The second conquest attempt was made by the Fascist Italy, supported by Nazi Germany, in the 20th century. This war is known as the Italo-Ethiopian War or the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.




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Why did it happen?




The reasons for the conquest of Abyssinia varied depending on the context and the goals of the invaders. The Adal Sultanate wanted to expand its territory and influence in the Horn of Africa, as well as to spread Islam and challenge the Christian hegemony of Ethiopia. The Ottoman Empire wanted to secure its trade routes and access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, as well as to counteract the Portuguese presence in East Africa. Fascist Italy wanted to create a colonial empire in Africa, as well as to avenge its defeat in the First Italo-Ethiopian War (18951896) and to assert its power and prestige in Europe.


How did it unfold?




The conquest of Abyssinia was not a single event, but a complex process that involved many battles, alliances, negotiations, and interventions. The EthiopianAdal War lasted from 1529 to 1543, and saw several victories and defeats for both sides. The war ended with a stalemate after the death of Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi, the leader of Adal, in 1543. The Italo-Ethiopian War lasted from 1935 to 1936, and saw a swift and brutal invasion by Italy, which used modern weapons and chemical warfare against Ethiopia's poorly equipped army. The war ended with Ethiopia's annexation by Italy in 1936, which was not recognized by most countries. Ethiopia regained its independence in 1941, with the help of British forces and Ethiopian resistance fighters.


The EthiopianAdal War (15291543)




The background and causes of the war




The EthiopianAdal War was a result of centuries of rivalry and conflict between Ethiopia and Adal, two neighboring states that had different religions, cultures, and interests. Ethiopia was a Christian empire that traced its origins to the ancient Aksumite kingdom and claimed descent from King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Adal was a Muslim sultanate that emerged from the Harla people and had close ties with Arabia and Egypt. Both states competed for trade, resources, and influence in the Horn of Africa, often clashing in wars and raids. The war was triggered by the expansion of Adal under the leadership of Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi, also known as Ahmad Gran (the left-handed), who sought to unify the Muslim states in the region and to overthrow the Christian rule of Ethiopia.


The main battles and events of the war




The war began in 1529, when Ahmad Gran invaded Ethiopia with a large army of Somalis, Hararis, Afars, and Arabs, supported by Ottoman artillery and musketeers. He defeated the Ethiopian army led by Emperor Lebna Dengel at the Battle of Shimbra Kure, and proceeded to conquer most of the Ethiopian highlands. He sacked and burned many churches, monasteries, and towns, and enslaved or killed many Ethiopians. He also faced resistance from some local rulers and nobles, who formed alliances with Ethiopia or rebelled against his authority.


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The war reached a turning point in 1541, when Ethiopia received military assistance from Portugal, which had established a naval base in Massawa and was interested in securing its trade and missionary activities in East Africa. A Portuguese force of 400 musketeers, led by Cristóvão da Gama, the son of Vasco da Gama, joined the Ethiopian army led by Emperor Gelawdewos, the son of Lebna Dengel. Together, they fought against Ahmad Gran's army in several battles, such as the Battle of Wayna Daga, where Cristóvão da Gama was captured and executed by Ahmad Gran.


The war ended in 1543, when Ahmad Gran was killed by a Portuguese musketeer at the Battle of Wofla. His death caused a collapse of his army and a retreat of his allies. Ethiopia regained control of its territory and restored its sovereignty. However, the war had also weakened Ethiopia's power and resources, and exposed it to further external threats and internal divisions.


The outcome and consequences of the war




The EthiopianAdal War had significant effects on both Ethiopia and Adal, as well as on the Horn of Africa and beyond. The war resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people, the destruction of many cities and monuments, and the displacement of many populations. The war also changed the political and religious landscape of the region, as it marked the rise and fall of Adal as a major power, the emergence of Somalia as a successor state, the expansion of Ottoman influence in East Africa, the establishment of Portuguese presence in Ethiopia, and the spread of Islam and Christianity among various ethnic groups.


The Italo-Ethiopian War (19351936)




The background and causes of the war




The Italo-Ethiopian War was a result of Italy's imperialist ambitions in Africa, as well as Ethiopia's resistance to foreign domination. Italy had been involved in Africa since the late 19th century, when it acquired colonies such as Eritrea and Somaliland. However, Italy was dissatisfied with its colonial possessions, which were poor and undeveloped compared to those of other European powers. Italy also wanted to avenge its humiliating defeat in the First Italo-Ethiopian War (18951896), when Ethiopia successfully defended its independence against Italy's invasion.


The war was provoked by Italy's Fascist regime under Benito Mussolini, who came to power in 1922 and pursued an aggressive foreign policy that aimed to create a new Roman Empire. Mussolini saw Ethiopia as a strategic and economic prize that would link Italy's African colonies and provide raw materials