The Siege of Magdala: The British Empire Against the Emperor of Ethiopia

Hardback
In 1867-68, a petty diplomatic dispute between Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II and Queen Victoria led to one of the strangest and most dramatic military campaigns in history. The British Indian Army, with 60,000 men, 30,000 elephants, mules and horses, and a bevy of embedded journalists, observers and translators -- as well as artists and photographers whose images of the campaign are reproduced in this book -- marched into the Ethiopian highlands, advancing on the mountain fortress of Magdala to rescue a small group of European hostages. The campaign, described by the British as the world's first major humanitarian intervention, saw the emperor's army annihilated, the hostages freed, and Ethiopian treasures shipped to British museums. But Ethiopian independence was retained. And yet despite its tremendous significance in the history of Afro-European relations, military strategy, and journalism, the small war has received little attention outside England and Ethiopia. Here, for the first time, Volker Matthies lays out the full story of the Magdala campaign in thorough detail, reprinting and discussing Ethiopian primary sources for a balanced account.