The Political and Strategic Dynamics of the Italo-Ethiopian Crisis, 1932-1936: Part I: Origins and Perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in October 1935 was a milestone in the maelstrom of events leading to World War Two. Yet it has received little academic attention since the 1970s with Germanocentric explanations of the road to 1939 holding sway. In fact Mussolini's successful absorption of an independent nation that was a member of the League of Nations destroyed that peacekeeping organisation's credibility and encouraged further aggression. Why Italy embarked on empire-building and why Britain the dominant Mediterranean Power responded so feebly are issues rooted in political and strategic calculations on either side. Utilising neglected or recently released British and Italian primary sources from national and private archives, this article is based on a wider perspective than diplomatic historians have brought to the subject.


Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal War Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Apr 2015


  • Abyssinia , Badoglio , Bonzani , chiefs of staff , De Bono , Ethiopia , Gibraltar , League of Nations , Mussolini , Chatfield , Malta , Mediterranean , Red Sea , Wal-Wal incident