On September 1, 1939, Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi regime in Germany, invaded Poland and began World War II. However, no matter how ambitious Hitler may have been for war, there must have been a moment when he was convinced that he could start a war before then.
Today we have to look at one of the reasons for this: the invasion of Ethiopia by the Italian leader Benito Mussolini until 1943.
■ Italian invasion of Africa
Italy succeeded in unifying the entire Italian peninsula in 1861, centered on the Kingdom of Sardinia. Then you have the ambition to industrialize and colonize.
Italy first occupied the Libya's Sirenaica and Tripoli regions, which were Ottoman territories in North Africa that Britain and France were not interested in. At that time, Libya was a desert region without rivers, and there was no interest from imperialist countries such as Britain and France, so Italy was able to occupy Libya.
He then goes to eastern Africa, occupying Eritrea and invading Ethiopia. However, at the Battle of Adu and Italy, the first Western imperialist to be brutally attacked by Ethiopia. So Ethiopia was able to defend its independence.
However, Italy invaded Ethiopia once again in 1935, heavily armed with powerful firearms and armor under the leadership of Mussolini. Then Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, was occupied.
Although occupied, thanks luckily, Emperor Haile Selassieh succeeded in regaining its land in 1941.
The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 is important because there was a League of Nations at the time. It was the forerunner of today's United Nations. By the way, the League of Nations does not sanction the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. It's as if you're committing a crime and the police don't see the crime.
At that time, the countries that joined the League of Nations acquiesced to the invasion because they had colonies like Italy.
■ Seizing the opportunity in Germany
What did Germany think of the League of Nations' de facto acquiescence to Italy's invasion of Ethiopia?
German leader Hitler thought that if he invaded another country, the League of Nations would acquiesce. In fact, the United States, one of the members of the League of Nations, did not enter World War II until the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
Germany occupied Poland, passed through Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium, and in June 1940 crossed the Maginot Line to capture Paris, France.
There is a view that if the League of Nations had stopped the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, it would help prevent World War II.
At the time, the European countries of the League of Nations may have had this idea. You would have thought in your head that European countries would tolerate invasion of Africa or Asia, but not allow European countries to invade European countries, and of course other European countries would think the same.
But Hitler seems to have seen it as a problem to invade other European countries. After all, it seems conceivable that the Italian invasion of Ethiopia provided one reason for Hitler to start World War II.