East African Campaign (World War II)
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.
Other related articles:
... ^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 ...
... 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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“Now, were I once at home, and in good satire,
Id try conclusions with those Janizaries,
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—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)
“The practice of politics in the East may be defined by one word: dissimulation.”
—Benjamin Disraeli (18041881)
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—Honoré De Balzac (17991850)
“I always draw a parallel between oppression by the regime and oppression by men. To me it is just the same. I always challenge men on why they react to oppression by the regime, but then they do exactly the same things to women that they criticize the regime for.”
—Sethembile N., South African black anti-apartheid activist. As quoted in Lives of Courage, ch. 19, by Diana E. H. Russell (1989)