Saturday, July 08, 2006

Later in June 1941 in Ethiopia

General Cunningham had hoped to not move immediately into Jimma, to avoid the bother of having to care for Italian civilians. After the Italians had declared Jimma to be an "open city". General Cunningham ordered the 22nd East African Brigade to through Jimma and beyond to come up in support of the 23rd Nigerian Brigade. The 22nd took Jimma on 21 June, and taken 12,000 Italian and 3,000 Colonial troops prisoner. The 23rd Nigerian Brigade was advancing towards Ghimbi, and had reached the river Didessa. The brigade "had captured the last Italian rearguard east of the river". The 22nd East African Brigade took more prisoners at Dembi on 27 June. Finally, when an RAF "Hartbeest dropped 40 lb. of bombs on Belleta and the Italian force there surrendered on the spot". The Italians seem to have been in full collapse. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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