The battle of Adowa was a crucial turning point in the history of African colonialism.
By the time it was fought, in March 1896, the ancient Empire of Abyssinia todays Ethiopia in the horn of Africa was the last African state to have retained its independence and escaped the scramble for Africa that had seen the rest of the continent fall under the rule of rival European powers.
As a latecomer to the colonial feast, Italy viewed Abyssinia, under its Emperor Menelik II, with greedy eyes.
The Italians attacked Abyssinia but struggled in a hostile terrain.
Urged on by Rome, however, the Italian Governor, General Baratieri, resolved on a