|Second World War - East Africa|
|Click on the links above for details of the campaigns pursued in each territory|
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In 1940 the Italians had around 110,000 troops in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland. By 19 August they had conquered British Somaliland after a series of skirmishes. The Ethiopians turned out to be fierce and effective guerrilla fighters, and had already made the occupiers’ lives miserable by February 1941 when the Allies began their moves to clear the Italians out of East Africa.
Both Italian and British Somaliland fell to the Allies by the end of February; Eritrea in March; and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on 6 April. On 16 May came the formal Italian surrender.
|East African engineers learning to assemble a box girder bridge|
© Imperial War Museum
The King’s African Rifles, the Gold Coast Regiment and the Somaliland Camel Corps took part as front-line troops in these battles. So did the 4th and 5th Divisions of the Indian Army.