Italian troops EthiopiaI have posted several stories about Eritrean troops who served with – or were conscripted by – the Italians during the 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.

But this is the first time I have come across a postcard appearing to show Ethiopian troops who served with the invaders.

The card talks of “Centro Recultamento e Battaglione di Instruzione Ascari Ethopici” which is the Centre for the Recruitment and Training of the Ethiopian Battalion of Askaris, if my translation is correct.

I would like to know how many Ethiopian troops the Italians actually managed to recruit and train before they were forced to surrender by a joint British, South African, Indian and Sudanese force in 1941.

This is about all I have so far found about the Ethiopian recruits:

“At the beginning of World War II the Italian Viceroy Amedeo Duke of Aosta gave lieutenant Guillet command of the 2,500 strong Gruppo Bande Amhara, an irregular unit made up mainly of recruits from Ethiopia’s region of Amhara. This force was primarily a cavalry one, but also included camel mounted troops and some Yemeni infantry led by Eritrean Ascari NCOs.”

Since posting this blog I have been sent this clip of Ethiopians being enlisted by the Italians.