Saturday, December 24, 2016

Famous Christmas time battles.

via Military History Now.
Mussolini’s Yuletide Surprise

Italy’s three-month old Abyssinian War was already bogging down when a 200,000-man Ethiopian army launched a December 1935 counter attack known as the Christmas Offensive. The objective of the campaign was to scatter the Italian forces as they sputtered on towards the capital of Addis Ababa from Eretria in the north. The Ethiopians caught Mussolini’s forces off guard precipitating a phase of the war known in Italy as the “Black Period”. With casualties topping 3,000, Il Duce appealed to citizens at home to donate their own money to help the flagging war effort. Millions of ordinary Italians gave up gold jewelry and wedding rigs in response. The patriotic outpouring had very little effect militarily; Italy eventually stemmed the Ethiopian advance with mustard gas the day after Christmas.
More here.

Everyone likes to push the meme of both sides taking a break for Christmas but unless you have two Christian nations fighting (and its usually a fight they shouldn't be involved in) then Christmas is just another day.

With that being said I find it interesting that I know so little about the Italian adventure in Africa during WW2.  The fact that the Ethiopian Army held off the Italians and that they had to resort to using mustard gas is fascinating.  I definitely need to read more about it.

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