Abyssinia, also known as Ethiopia but officially as the Abyssinian Empire is a country in Africa. Its borders are shared to the north by the Red Sea and the German colony of Djibouti, to the east by Somalia, to the south by German Mittelafrika and to the west by Egypt-Sudan.
Abyssinia was one of the only countries in Africa remaining independent during the Scramble for Africa and successfully defeated an Italian invasion in 1896 in the Battle of Adowa. An ally of Germany in the last stages of the Weltkrieg, Abyssinia is a deeply indebted and weakened nation, firmly under the German sphere of influence
Fighting to keep independence
Abyssinia was finally reunited by Negus Negast Tewodros II on February 11, 1855, after centuries of feudal division and isolation since the Middle Ages. His reign ended with revolts from two of his rivals, along with British interference and military intervention in the Ethiopian territory, eventually leading him to commit suicide. His opponent Yohannes IV succeeded him, but he had to deal with both British and the Italian purchase of Eritrea: the Italian forces had a first encounter with the Abyssinian army by April 1888, but fighting was avoided thanks to negotiations. On March 9, 1889, Yohannes IV was killed by a bullet during a victorious battle against the Egyptian dervishes: his rival, Menelik II, succeeded him. On May 2nd, Emperor Menelik signed the Treaty of Wuchale with the Italians, granting them a portion of Northern Abyssinia (the area that would later be Eritrea) and part of the province of Tigray in return for the promise of 30,000 rifles, ammunition, and cannons. The Italians notified the European powers that this treaty gave them a protectorate over all of Abyssinia. Menelik protested, showing that the Amharic version of the agreement said no such thing, but his protests were ignored. The conflict with the Italians was resolved by the Italians’ defeat at the Battle of Adowa on March 1, 1896. A provisional treaty of peace was concluded at Addis Ababa on October 26, 1896, which acknowledged the independence of Abyssinia. Beginning the modernization of the country, Menelik II was succeeded by his grandson, Lij Iyasu, but he was soon deposed due to his Muslim ties.
The overthrow of Iyasu V in 1916 created more problems than it solved, as when his aunt Zauditu ascended the throne she caved into increasing pressure from the Progressive Party and made Ras Tafari Makonnen heir to the throne - a decision that would later prove to be a serious cause of trouble. Nevertheless, Abyssinia flourished under Zauditu, culminating in the country’s 1918 entry into the Weltkrieg on the side of Germany and the subsequent annexation of Eritrea, after a series of battles in the region. Its nominal control of the Ogaden region was completely lost to Somalia, however. The cost of the war took a great toll, and massive debt was contracted; German political and economic interests now greatly influence the government and the economy. Halie Selassie I and his advisers struggle to continue their planned reforms with such a burden, and there is increasing general dissatisfaction from the lords of the realm. Additionally, slavery's nominal abolition was not implemented in most of the country, and therefore brings great damage to the nation's international prestige. The railway between German Africa and German Djibouti, while impressive, brings little wealth to the country, and German power shows no sign of waning in the region.
The Politics of the Empire are dominated by the crippling national debt, contracted in the Weltkreig but expanded by Halie Selassie's attempts at reforming several areas of the Government, and in quelling the growing unrest in Eritrea. Also, many lords resent the Negus's reformist spirit.
Negus Negast and Minister of Military Intelligence: Haile Selassie I
Prime Minister and Minister of Interior: Bedjironde Tekle Hawariate
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance: Herouy Wolde Selassie
Chief of Staff: Ras Mulugueta
The massive budgetary issues of the Empire means that its military is in quite the sorry state in 1936.
The Imperial Army is, in short terms, a mess. Its performance in the Weltrkeig was abysmal, for Eritrea's small Italian garrison and locals kept it at bay for months. Old, feudal laws and lords keep private armies as theirs, and the equipment and supplies situation is horrid. Only the Mehal Sefari brigades are combat ready with modern equipment.
Despite the re-annexation of Eritrea, a serious military naval program has never been attempted due to the high costs involved.
Abyssinia has a small and recently formed air force, composed exclusively of German interceptors.
With an extremely agrarian economy, and most if not all industrial assets owned by German capital, the Economy of the Empire is fragile and indeed underdeveloped, and famines have grown more common due to the increased economic hardships. Much reform will be needed if the Empire is to truly modernize.