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June 13, 2021
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Britain’s Invasion Of Ethiopia: Photographs Of Emperor Tewodros’s Demise


In December 1867 Britain invaded Ethiopia on the orders of Queen Victoria. The aim was to put an end to Emperor Tewodros II, who had taken hostage a missionary and diplomats sent to free him. The campaign (which lasted from December 1867 – May 1868) was led by Sir Robert Napier.

The result was avast punitive expedition, consisting of 13,000 British and Indian troops, reinforced by thousands of transport staff and camp followers, and including 44 trained Indian elephants.


British fleet, Annesley Bay

Landing in Eritrea they made their way slowly through the Ethiopian highlands.

Finally they confronted the Emperor’s forces at the fortress of Magdala, where the hostages were being held.

His forces defeated, Emperor Tewodros committed suicide rather than face the ignominy of imprisonment, with a pistol originally given him by Queen Victoria.

His crown was taken back to Britain and only restored


King Theodore, after death

to Ethiopia when it was handed to the Emperor Haile Selassie in 1925.

Photographs now online

This story is well documented, but now, for the first time, photographs have been

made available online from the British Archive, of which these are a small selection.

The importance of these photographs, and the rest of the African holding of the Archive, is explained by Jenni Orme.

Encamped at Magdala

British Encamped at Magdala

Source- debirhan.com

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