Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The next move in Ethiopia in late May 1941
The 23rd Nigerian Brigade had been engaged in protecting communications, but was reassigned to the advance on Jimma. They were given "most" of the 12th African Division's artillery for the mission. That freed the 1st Natal Mounted Rifles and the 1st Field Force Battalion to rejoin their units. The river Omo was a barrier to the brigade, as it had been to the Italians. The far side of the river seemed like a good defensive position. Because the British had built over 70 bridges in the campaign, they had little bridging equipment left. There was some at Berbera, so this would be brought forward. The plan was for the 22nd East African Brigade to cross at Sciola and "the 23rd Nigerian Brigade at Abalti". Ethiopian partisans were able to harras the Italians at will and the RAF dominated the skies. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.