Mussolini's intentions behind the Abyssinian crisis
Mussolini, the leader of the nationalist fascist party
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini came to power in Italy by the year of 1922. He promised the Italian people a great Italy and glory, by creating a new Empire. Mussolini invested an enormous amount of money in the Italian army but after a while, in the mid 30's, the army was set, and victories were what was missing. Abyssinia (known as Ethiopia) was an african independent country ruled by Emperor Haile Selassie, which was located between Italy's colonies, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. Before the invasion of Abyssinia, in 1896 the Emperor's army defeated an Italian attack at the battle of Adowa. In order to redress this humiliation, Mussolini obtained some foreign territories for Italy and made them into an imperial force. As Italy was being victim of the great depression, he managed to expand a oppressive foreign policy that would help gain his Italy access to raw materials, markets and territories.
In 1934, Mussolini took a big step towards a clash between his Italian army and the Abyssinian forces. He took advantage of his Italian troops in Somaliland in order to take over the Wal Wal oasis, close to the Abyssinian border. Once the Italian troops had to face the Abyssinian government, Mussolini demanded for the Abyssinian government to leave hime the Wal Wal oasis and a repayment to the damage he's done to his soldiers. Haile Selassie refused, and had hope that the League would defend his country in the story. With Italy having a big need of raw materials, Mussolini refused arbitration and prepared his army for an invasion of Abyssinia. Both countries then suffered from an arms embargo in May 1935, to prevent the conflict to worsen. Even though it affected both countries, it far more of a handicap to the Abyssinian forces as they could not receive anymore weapons. As the League started to take awareness of the situation, Abyssinia was hoping...
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