East African Campaign (World War II)

East African Campaign (World War II)

Mediterranean, Middle East and African theatres of World War II
  • Adriatic
  • North Africa
  • East Africa
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Gibraltar
  • Malta
  • Dakar
  • Balkans
  • Gabon
  • Iraq
  • Syria-Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Bahrain
  • Palestine
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Dodecanese
  • Southern France
Indian Ocean Theatre
  • East Africa
  • Action of 27 February 1941
  • Action of 8 May 1941
  • Sydney and Kormoran
  • Japanese merchant raiders
  • Andaman Islands
    • Homfreyganj massacre
  • Christmas Island
  • First Indian Ocean Raid
  • Easter Sunday Raid
  • Cocos Islands
  • Madagascar
  • Réunion
  • Action of 13 November 1943
  • Action of 11 January 1944
  • Action of 14 February 1944
  • Second Indian Ocean Raid
  • Action of 17 July 1944
East African Campaign (World War II)
  • British Somaliland
  • Keren
  • Amba Alagi
  • Gondar

The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941.

Under the leadership of the British Middle East Command, British allied forces involved consisted not only of regular British troops, but also many recruits from British Commonwealth nations (Sudan, British Somaliland, British East Africa, the Indian Empire, South Africa, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, British West Africa, as well as the British Mandate of Palestine). In addition to the British and Commonwealth forces, there were Ethiopian irregular forces, Free French forces, and Free Belgian forces. The Italian forces included Italian nationals, East African colonials (Eritreans, Abyssinians, and Somali Dubats), and a small number of German volunteers (the German Motorized Company). The majority of the Italian forces were East African colonials led by Italian officers.

Fighting began with the Italian bombing of the Rhodesian air base at Wajir in Kenya, and continued, pushing the Italian forces through Somaliland, Eritrea, and Ethiopia until the Italian surrender after the Battle of Gondar in November 1941.

Read more about East African Campaign (World War II):  Background and Political Situation, Opening Moves, Allied Counter-offensive, Aftermath, Victoria Cross Recipients

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World War I Casualties - Footnotes
... ^a The conflict in East Africa caused enormous civilian casualties ... The Oxford History of World War One notes that "In east and central Africa the harshness of the war resulted in acute shortages of food with famine in some areas, a weakening of populations, and epidemic diseases which killed hundreds of thousands of people and also cattle." The following estimates of civilian deaths during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century Kenya 30,000 Tanzania 100,000 Mozambique 50,000 Rwanda 15,000 Burundi 20,000 and the Belgian Congo 150,000 ...
East African Campaign (World War II) - Victoria Cross Recipients
... The following is a list of recipients of the Victoria Cross (VC) during this campaign Eric Charles Twelves Wilson (Somaliland Camel Corps) - Received during the Italian invasion of British Somaliland Premindra Singh Bhagat - Received during fighting on the Northern Front Richhpal Ram - Received during fighting on the Northern Front Nigel Gray Leakey (cousin of Louis Leakey and sergeant in the 1/6 Battalion King's African Rifles) - Received during fighting on the Southern Front. ...

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