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Mussolini, Mustard Gas and the Fascist Way of War: Ethiopia, 1935-1936 (Hardcover)

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Mussolini, Mustard Gas and the Fascist Way of War: Ethiopia, 1935-1936 By Charles Stephenson Cover Image
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An examination of the first conflict to see the large-scale, systematic, deployment of chemical weaponry since the end of World War I.

In early October 1935 and without any declaration of war some two hundred thousand men, comprising soldiers and airmen of the Italian armed forces, Fascist 'Blackshirt' Militia, Eritrean ascari and Somali dubats, invaded the independent state of Ethiopia (Abyssinia). It was an operation entirely of choice, the chooser being Il Duce: Benito Mussolini. The resultant conflict is often described as a colonial war. while it was certainly launched with the intent of turning Ethiopia into an Italian possession, it was in fact a war of aggression against an independent, sovereign, state with membership of the League of Nations. A state that had, according to one of its nineteenth-century rulers, been 'for fourteen centuries a Christian island in a sea of pagans'.

The swiftness of the Italian victory resulted from their possession and ruthless use of technology; most particularly aircraft, mustard gas, and motorization/mechanization. Since they were fighting an enemy who possessed none of these things, then they were able to wage, indeed inaugurate, what the prominent military theorist JFC Fuller dubbed 'totalitarian warfare' or, as it became known a few years later, total war. This, he opined, was the Fascist, the scientific, way of making war. In his considered view, the Fascist Army that waged it was 'a scientific military instrument.' This book examines that campaign in military and political terms.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781399051668
ISBN-10: 1399051660
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Publication Date: April 18th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
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Created At: 10/1/2023 04:25am
Last Updated At: 3/24/2024 04:39am