Italy Begins War in Ethiopia

Bend (Oregon) Bulletin/October 3, 1935

Mussolini Hurls Troops And Planes Into Action On Wide Front; Self-Defense Claimed

Ethiopia Responds by Mobilization

Bomb Two Towns

United States Government Has Only One Objective—to Avoid War

Benito Mussolini’s long awaited conquest of the ancient Ethiopian empire began today, endangering the League of Nations and the peace of Europe.

Latest developments:

War front, via Asmara—Italian troops, planes, artillery, machine guns and tanks begin march into Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa—Italian planes bomb two towns, destroying many houses with considerable casualties—including, according to Ethiopian advices, women and children. Italian minister handed passports. Eight hundred Ethiopians unconfirmedly reported killed on southern front.

Paris—British experts consider whether Italian troop supply ships can be barred from Suez canal without general closure of canal.

Geneva—League, faced with necessity of invoking penalties against Italy, hastily summons council.

The committee of 13, which is really the council itself, comprising all members except Italy, met for 2½ hours and designated a subcommittee of five powers to report its judgment on the merits of the dispute.

Rome—Italy announces advance in Ethiopia, contending it is a measure of self-defense.

Toulouse—Fifty Italians attacked by French crowd.

Addis Ababa—Emperor Haile Selassie issued general mobilization order; calling 1,250,000 men and boys to death fight against invader.

Washington—American government concentrates on one objective—to stay out of war.


Italians Advancing

by Webb Miller

(United Press Staff Correspondent)

General Headquarters, Italian Armies, in the field (via Asmara) (UP)—The Italian advance into Ethiopia was started this morning.

The initial objective was Aduwa, to the south of the main Italian concentration area, where an Italian army was ripped to pieces 39 years ago.

The Italians crossed the Mareb river frontier at widely separated points, all converging in heavy columns toward Aduwa.

The zero hour was 6:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m.m Wednesday c.s.t.)

Squadrons of bombing, fighting and scout airplanes roared southward from the Asmara area and over the Mareb river, topping great rugged mountain peaks, for the ancient empire of the Ethiopians, never conquered.

The planes and the men under them headed for Aduwa as the chief objective, with Adigrat, to the east, and other similar points as minor objectives whose occupation was essential to the plan of strategy of Gen. Emilio De Rono, commander-in-chief of the colonial armies.

Aduwa was 20 miles to the south of the frontier, the Mareb river, and Adigrat was 18 miles south and 40 miles east of Aduwa.

Prominent among the squadrons of airplanes was the “desperate” squadron of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Benito Mussolini’s son-in-law. In another squadron were Mussolini’s two sons, Bruno, 18, and Vittorio, 19.

Fifteen giant Craponi bombers were in the fleet from one field alone. Many other airplanes, from other fields, took off at the zero hour.

The first troops took their positions during the night on the north shores of the Mareb river.

Soon before dawn, skirmishers posted at intervals along the river waded the shallow Mareb and with their bayoneted rifles ready, stepped across onto Ethiopian soil. The first line of the army followed.

It was almost freezing cold at the frontier, its peaks 8,000 feet or more up.

Past the troops moving up the roads went roaring motor trucks, their nerveless drivers whizzing around hairpin turns over the mountain precipices. Inscriptions were chalked on the trucks such as “the route to Addis Ababa.”

Up moved the black uskaris, some mounted machine gun units with both light and heavy machine guns, capable of firing 450 to 500 rounds a minute. These men were mobile arsenals. Besides machine guns and their carbines, many carried revolvers and long curved swords with fluttering pennants. These blacks eat their meat raw, from still warm carcasses. They would rather fight than eat. But they kiss one another on the cheek when they meet. They are pitiless to enemies and slaughter indiscriminately unless stopped.

They comprise both Coptic Christians and Moslems.

The Moslems among the backs chant frequently in unison “there is only one god, Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.”

Companions of the blacks were the young fascist militiamen, the blackshirts who are Mussolini’s own. Some were equipped with tiny tanks, not shoulder high, able to travel 25 miles an hour.


Plan No Declaration

Rome, Oct. 3 (UP)—Italy will pursue its invasion of Ethiopia without a formal declaration of war, it was learned authoritatively today. In following this course, it was pointed out, Italy is emulating Japan’s conquest of Manchuria.


Aduwa in Flames

Paris, Oct. 3 (UP)—A news agency dispatch from Cairo today reported that Aduwa, which was bombed by the Italians, is in flames and that many persons were killed.


Two Towns Bombed

Addis Ababa, Oct. 3 (UP)—Italian airplanes bombed two Ethiopian towns, in an attack at dawn today, causing casualties which were feared heavy.

The planes roared down from the north over Aduwa, just south of the Italian Eritrean frontier, and Adigrat, to the east of there.

One hundred houses were destroyed at Adigrat and 15 in Aduwa.

Advices to the government reported women and children among the casualties.


Addis Ababa, Oct. 3 (UP)—An entirely unconfirmed report said today that the Italians advanced seven kilometers (4.34 miles) on the southern front and that 800 Ethiopians who attempted to charge them were mowed down by machine gun fire.


Hospital Bombed

Geneva, Oct. 3 (UP)—Ethiopian telegraphed to the league of nations today charging that four Italian planes had bombed the Red Cross hospital at Aduwa.

Ethiopia also charged that 78 Italian projectiles were found in the vicinity of Aduwa.

The bombing occurred at 10 a.m. Addis Ababa time, according to the communication.

Observers believed the telegram was designed to emphasize that Aduwa actually was bombed by Italian planes despite denials in Rome.


London, Oct. 3 (UP)—An exchange telegraph dispatch from Addis Ababa said today that 1,700 were reported killed or wounded at Aduwa, bombed by Italian planes.

(Source: Google News,,6431866)