Nice one Chief.
Gotta love the cover art with the breadstick. My border Frenglish is 50+ years old and rusty, does 'le pain complet' mean 'the whole loaf'?? I don't get the inference. My Italian history is flaky also. Were there bread riots at home that enticed Crispi to try to acquire an overseas empire???And I can't quite make out what it says on the breadstick itself.
Mike:Le pain complet is high fibrous bread as compared to plain Jane French Bread ...... It contains 3.9 gm's of fibre compared to 1.2 gm's (white Bread) per 100 gm's of flour. That makes the Ethiopian Warriors (and their bread maces), more fibrous, more fortified, more solid than the Italian War Hero General (and his pathetic minions), portrayed in the cartoon.It is a fair bet that the Fuzzy Wuzzy wariors were more warrioresque than the FOB based, fried chicken eatin', air conditioned, CHU dormed, and I-Pad warrior game equipped Murrican Warriors, now deployed....Did I piss anybody off with my last, over? ......I hope so, but I digress.The maxim on the baguette signifies the Maxim arty pieces fielded by the Ethiopian soldiery.'umbly submitted by fasteddiez: your one stop shop for Humint, and Osint products. Foe a few shekels more I can do Hofint and Spazzint. If you send me to school, I can also learn Masint.
fasteddie - you did a great job on the BakInt also, thanks.
Thanks, FE - I "got" that the French editors were poking fun at Italian military incompetence (interestingly, this magazine was published BEFORE Adwa - it was mocking the capitulation of the Italian troops at the siege of Maqele earlier in the campaign - so I think the baguette actually reads "Maxuele" rather than "Maxim"...) but not the whole fiber issue.Good intel is always important...
X or K??? Makalle or Makallah perhaps is a closer fit than Maxim or Maxuele.
Probably "K" - it would probably be spelled "Makelle" in French - good catch.
Seydlitz - I wonder how CvC would have analyzed the Italo-Ethiopian War? Not the Adwa battle, Chief has covered that well, not only that specific battle but the background of the attempt and the internal political pressures on Crispi to override the local commander. I was thinking of the entire war or maybe even the 1st and 2nd. A future post?
mike-That's an interesting question. I'd say after reading a brief history of the context, that the Ethiopians had a good concept of strategy and had clear political policy goals which they could achieve through military means. Prior to the conflict they recognized that they needed modern (for the time) small arms and some artillery and procured them. It's interesting to note that the actual Ethiopian goal was not so much to defeat the Italians, but to consolidate the Ethiopian state. Defeating the Italians gave them the political clout to then negotiate treaties with other European powers and insure their place as the only independent African state of its time, quite an accomplishment. The Italians were operating with a set of dubious assumptions including that they could whip the Ethiopians under any conditions which was obvious wrong. Also the Italian campaign was triggered by domestic political pressure, not due to the assessment on the ground.So, you're right, the making of a very interesting strategic theory case study . . .
Add to that the tactical misconception of "African" military capabilities the Italians got from wog-bashing in the Sudan in 1894.And seydlitz points out one of the things about Adwa I didn't go into much; the criticism (at the time as well as later) that Menelik didn't "complete" his victory, didn't follow up the Adwa smashing by cleaning out Eritrea.In the long term it WAS problematic; having the base along the Red Sea let the Italians return in the Thirties and overrun Ethiopia.But in the short term, Menelik had a pretty clear-headed understanding of what he needed to do; for one thing, he had just overthrown the Johannine dynasty and had lots of pesky rebels in his own house. He needed to consolidate his throne first before wandering away on a crusade - Richard III he wasn't.And the real danger at the time wasn't Italy but the British in Egypt and the French in central Africa. The instability in western Ethiopia presented a perfect excuse for them to come barging in; his quick actions prevented that.So he earned Ethiopia forty years of independence they probably wouldn't have had otherwise. Kinda sad when you look at the place today and think of what his successors have done to it...