Earlier Ethiopian Attack at Maychew, 1936

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by MerryPrankster, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. MerryPrankster Donor

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Maychew

    According to the Wikipedia, the Ethiopians delayed a week with prayers, feasts , etc., enabling the Italians to strengthen their positions.

    What if the Ethiopians had attacked a week earlier, when the Italian positions were not so strong?

    EDIT: Oops, wrong forum. Could this be moved?
     
  2. Fearless Leader Donor

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    Even if the Ethiopians attack earlier they're going to face long odds of pulling off a meaningful victory given their plethora of military difficulties.

    But let's say they run the table and inflict a decisive defeat on the Italian forces. Badoglio is forced to retreat and the Emperor has scored a major victory. Both sides are bloodied and Badoglio is forced to heavily rely on the Italian airforce to use poison gas on the Ethiopian troops.

    Meanwhile Selassie has bought himself some time but nothing more. Despite the poor weather, his armies cannot hope to match the material superiority of the Italian forces. The somewhat Pyhrric victory at Maychew convinces Selassie that his armies cannot defeat the Italians in the field without air superiority so he decides to pursue the course of guerrilla warfare hoping to drag the conflict out long enough for Italy to give up, or accept a negotiated peace.

    Best case scenario for Selassie: Ethiopian guerrillas and horrendous weather stall the Italians for the remainder of the rainy season. Selassie uses this and concrete evidence of Italian gas attacks to gain international support for a resistance movement. At the end of the rainy season, the Italian army gets moving again and conquers the Addis Ababa forcing Selassie into exile. However they face a much stronger resistance that continues to be a bigger thorn in the side of Fascist Italy than OTL.

    Also the lack of a lightning victory in Ethiopia might increase Italian jingoism as the need to validate the strength of the Italian military will certainly be stronger than OTL.

    A longer war also might see increased action or perhaps even strategic material sanctions from the League of Nations.
     
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  3. MerryPrankster Donor

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    Yeah, the Ethiopians aren't really in a great position even if they do win this one.

    However, could the international outcry against Italy get so bad that the British shut off the Suez Canal? This means the Italian army cannot be supplied and is in rather deep trouble.
     
  4. Hades Member

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    Em, this is the wrong section.

    but anyway, taly's army was past its peak and could have been defeated. If they had to resort to WMD at the early stage in the game, it showed their precarious position.
     
  5. MerryPrankster Donor

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    I know that, but I can't move it and reporting posts is only for people being rude.
     
  6. maverick Banned

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    No, you can also report posts so as to have the administrators move them.
     
  7. MerryPrankster Donor

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    I just PM'd Ian to move this.
     
  8. MerryPrankster Donor

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    How close was Badoglio at any point to the front line during the battle?

    I am wondering what would happen if he were killed or wounded, either during our hypothetical victorious or at least nearer-run Maychew.

    If something resembling OTL WWII happens, the fall of Mussolini could go rather differently without him.
     
  9. yourworstnightmare Trubbelmakare

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    Try to convince the Amharic army that you shouldn't feast and pray for a week before battle.
     
  10. Chris Oakley Member Banned

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    You'd have an easier time trying to convince Michael Moore to talk to George W. Bush. :D
     
  11. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    Moore would jump at the chance. That would be the ultimate interview, from his point of view.
     
  12. MerryPrankster Donor

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    Okay, how about cut it down to a couple of days?

    Or have a bigger feast after the battle, hopefully with all the Italians' food?
     
  13. yourworstnightmare Trubbelmakare

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    Well, it would probably delay some defections by Ethiopian vassals to the Italians, but in the long run I am not sure anything would change. Italy would charge again, disloyal vassals would defect and the Oromos would start revolting as soon as the Italians have advanced past Tigre.