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Ethiopian equipment

February 8 2007 at 6:46 PM

Does anyone have photographs of equipment , vehicles used by the Ethiopian army at the time of the Italian invasion?

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Erik Ahlström

Ethiopian equipment etc.

February 13 2007, 7:37 PM 

I think there are some photos in an old book written by one of the swedish officers who ran the military acadamy in Abessinia at the time, there isent much though.
I think its just some photos of cadets as well as some artillerypiece. The most interesting is one of some civilian trucks hired/required to transport the cadets to the front.
I will try and dig them up.


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February 14 2007, 11:08 PM 

There were 234 Artillery pieces in the Ethiopian Artillery inventory including 10 Pak 35/36 6 Stokes/Brandt mortars and an undisclosed number of Becker (Oerlikon) 20 mm AA guns, some 75mm M1897 French guns and the remainder being circa 1896 Adwa captured or older

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von Adler

Ethiopian equipment

February 15 2007, 12:59 PM 

I have seen the figure 12 for the Pak35/36 and more than those 6 delivered after the war started on the mortars.

The Ethiopians had 4 Ft3000 tanks, one of which fought with the Army of Illub Abor in the south. 3 of them had short 37mms and one had MG armament, according to the info I have. I do not know which one the Illub Abor army used.

The Ethiopians also used Fiat trucks armed with Lewis MGs in the Ogaden desert. They also used Lewis AAMGs and Hotchkiss strip-loaded MGs.

I have seen hints of 37mm semi-automatic guns used - they could be infantry guns, they could be old naval artillery sold to the Ethiopians - the prices for arms in Addis Abeba was increadible in 1935, as all the Ras:es tried to acquire modern arms for their respective Chitet (feudal levies), so that a motley assortment of arms found their way there is not impossible.

The number of 75mm mle1897 seem to have been 40 in two battalions in the artillery brigade of the Kebur Zebagna (Imperial Guard).

The Italians had 70 75mm M1885 mountain guns at Adua, a number of them were captured by the Ethiopians and used in the second war.

The records of the battle of Adua suggest that Menelik II managed to acquire mountain guns with longer range than the Italian artillery before the battle and used them with good effect. Russian advisors were in Ethiopia at the time, so it is possible that the artillery was Russian 63,5mm M1883. A number of bronze muzzleloader smoothbores (that were popular in America and Europe 1700-1865) were probably also used.

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Susan Cross

Re: Ethiopian Equipment

February 16 2007, 3:59 AM 

I originally put in a link to a Spanish language site where I believed I had seen some information on Ethiopian equipment, but when I checked the site in its present form the information was not there. I will get to the bottom of this, maybe a visit to the Internet Archives . . . .

This message has been edited by soucee on Feb 16, 2007 6:10 AM

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von Adler

Air force

February 16 2007, 2:07 PM 

The Ethiopian air force had 12 Potez 5 biplabe bomber/recon aircraft. These had no MG though.

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von Adler

Weapons from Germany

February 16 2007, 3:05 PM 

"Nazi Germany was thus virtually the only country to come to Ethiopia's assistance, and without Mussolini knowing, supplied Haile Sellassie's army with three aeroplanes, over sixty cannon, 10,000 Mauser rifles, and ten million cartridges."

Those sixty cannon include the twelve (or ten) 37mm pak:s I guess, but that are the others? Artillery?

From: http://www.civicwebs.com/cwvlib/africa/ethiopia/pankhurst/early_20th_cent_ethiopia_2.htm

Other interesting links on the subject:

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Ethiopian Weapons

February 16 2007, 8:04 PM 

Greetings to all in my first post in this forum - and thanks to the "creator" of this forum. Very very interesting. I have read only one book about the Italo-Ethiopian war of 1935-36 (Osprey´s MAA 309 I think it is). The pics are terrible - grainy and small. Not many details on weapons purchased by Ethiopia prior and during the war. I have come up with a list of some weapons browsing many (many) old webs and forums. It ranges from old single-shot Vetterlis to czechoslovak semi automatic ZH 29 rifles. I´ll put everything together and post it as soon as I can.


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February 16 2007, 8:47 PM 

Thanks p and welcome!
Looking forward to your postings...
Kind regards,

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Ethiopian Weapons (I)

February 18 2007, 2:18 PM 

Here it is:


Mauser C96 (may be Mauser M1932 REihenfueuer ?) - unknown quantity and caliber.


Belgian FN Mod. 24 (short rifles and carbines, unknown quantity).

Czech ZB vz. 24 7.92 mm (short rifles and carbines; unknown qty.).

German Mauser Standard Modell 1933 & 1934, 7.92 mm (about 25,000 units total).

Czech semiautomatic ZH 29 rifles (mostly for Haile Selassie´s personal guard; unknown quantity)

Finally, an amazing array of Vetterlis, Lee-Metfords, french Lebels, russian Mosin-Nagants, italian carbines (!), Mannlichers from Czechoslovakia, and so on... Impossible to figure out neither quantities nor calibers.

Submachine guns

German Bergmann MP-35 (Unknown quantity and caliber)

Machine guns

Belgian FN Modele 30 light mgs, 7.92 mm (about 175 units; BAR-type)

Czech ZB vz. 30 light mgs, 7.92 mm (about 450 units; excellent mgs.)

Hotchkiss Model 1914 heavy machine guns (unknown quantity, unknown caliber)

Vickers heavey machine guns (gor the seven armored trucks, just seven units confirmed).

Danish Madsen M1934 & 1935 (unknown qty; Ethiopia ordered a bunch of them, the majority not delivered due to the arms embargo).

SEMAG (oerlikon) Model 1923 AA machine guns, 20 mm (unknown quantity)

Note: Some Hotchkiss Modele 1922 lmg might have been used. Just a guess.

Next post will cover artillery, aircraft, and equipment Ethiopia anxiously sought for - but never delivered.



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von Adler


February 25 2007, 11:04 PM 

Very good information, very much looking forward to the continuation, especially on artillery!

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Just gathering information....

February 27 2007, 8:11 PM 

Good even´ng,

I am gathering the remaining information I have. Unfortunately, there are more holes than gruyere cheese!! In the meantime, I recommend you to go to google videos, then search for "the invention of ethiopia", then look for the 9 minutes video, and pay attention to the the sequence when Haile Selassie aims/fires an AA gun: believe it or not it is an Oerlikon Model S!! (sometimes refered to as M1928 or M1931). I had no previous reference of this modern gun in the ethiopian army´s depot - keep in mind the the other model was the older SEMAG mod. L (or Oerlikon M23). I do not know when this gun got there, and how many were purchased.

More traces of information to follow - soon, I hope.


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February 27 2007, 8:43 PM 


If someone can grab the still, otherwise I'll try tomorrow

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von Adler

More videos

February 28 2007, 12:33 AM 

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P.S. Paaskynen

Not to be a besserwisser, but

February 25 2017, 3:05 PM 

Gruyère cheese does not actually have holes wink.gif. You mean Emmenthal cheese. Both are lovely with a good glass of red wine!

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Ethiopian Weapons (II)

March 7 2007, 6:05 PM 


Russian M83 65 mm mountain guns (approx. 50)

Italian M85 2,75" mountain guns (56)

French M97 75 mm Field guns (approx. 40)

Brandt Modele 1929 81.4 mm mortar (no less than 40) - not really artillery, but...

Apart from that, Skoda did not supply artillery contracted by Ethiopia. Uknown quantity or models. One may think that it was light field guns, and mountain guns.

That´s all I have. Again, as soon as I can I will post data on other weapons never received.


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von Adler

German AT guns?

March 7 2007, 11:56 PM 

What about the 10 or 12 PaK35 sold by Germany? Some sources seem to indicate some artillery went with that order too?

Thanks a lot for the information!!

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PAk 35

March 9 2007, 1:29 PM 

You are right, there might have been a dozen of those Pak 35 guns in abyssinian service. But I left those behind on purpose: I don´t have any reference that those guns were used by the Ethiopian Army. For instance, lots of german weaponry - unknown to me - were sent to Djibouti, but the French Government did hold all that at that port. The weapons ordered - from Krupp and Rheinmetall - ranges from 4-11 million deutsche mark. Just from Germany. For instance, some 3-5 Fieseler Stosser fighter trainers were on their way to Ethiopia - and an English Airspeed Viceroy (fitted as a bomber) too. I am so sorry that I do not have additional information on those weapons to pass to all of you... and to me too, of course!

It is difficult to tell what Ethiopian Government - and the warlords on their own - purchased before and during the conflict. The government tried to purchase additional armament from Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, France, and ... Japan! Try the following link and see...



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Krupp and Rheinmetall

March 9 2007, 3:37 PM 

Hi, do you happen to know the specifics of the Krupp and Rheinmetall deals?

Kind regards,

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No data sorry

March 14 2007, 6:55 PM 

I am sorry, but I do not have any info on the deals. And I doubt there is any - one of those "shady" weapons deals of the thirties I guess...


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