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Published on Feb 9, 2013
The Second Italo--Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo--Abyssinian War, was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia). The war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa.
Politically, the war is best remembered for exposing the inherent weakness of the League of Nations. Like the Mukden Incident in 1931 (the Japanese annexation of three Chinese provinces), the Abyssinia Crisis in 1935 is often seen as a clear example of the ineffectiveness of the League. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations and yet the League was unable to control Italy or to protect Ethiopia when Italy clearly violated the League's own Article X.
The positive outcome of the war for the Italians coincided with the zenith of the international popularity of dictator Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime, in a phase called "the age of consensus" during which foreign leaders praised him for his achievements. Historians like James Burgwyn called the victory of Mussolini "a capital achievement", but he was forced to accept the Anschluss between Nazi Germany and Austria, and to begin a political tilt toward Germany that finally destroyed him and Fascist Italy in World War II
Indeed this Italian victory, that brought the creation of the Italian Empire with Ethiopia included, was short-lived as Abyssinia regained its independence only five years later during World War II at the end of the East African Campaign with the help of Allied forces