|Alliance||Axis - Minor Member Nation or Possession|
|Entry into WW2||10 Jun 1940|
|Population in 1939||1,300,000|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseIn the Horn of Africa, Italy officially established the colony of Italian Somaliland in 1908 by consolidating various Italian holdings in present-day Somalia. True Italian control of this region was generally limited to the coastal areas until the 1920s.
ww2dbaseItalian interest in Italian Somaliland, as was in the nearby Italian Eritrea to the northwest, generally revolved around the strategically-positioned ports near the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, which led to the Suez Canal from the south. Beyond the expected infrastructure projects such as roads and railways, Italian colonial administration also established schools, hospitals, and other modern facilities for both Italians as well as the colonial population. Since the underlying motive of the Italians was not humanitarian, amidst the modernization local cultures were suppressed and punishment for those who opposed the colonization was often harsh.
ww2dbaseIn Oct 1935, Italian Somaliland hosted staging points for Italian troops during Second Italo-Abyssinian War. At the conclusion of the victorious campaign, the newly gained Abyssinian territories were merged with both Italian Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to form a new entity, Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana), in Jun 1936, with the capital at Mogadishu in the former Italian Somaliland. In 1940, Italian troops invaded and took control of British Somaliland, expanding the borders of Italian East Africa. In 1941, British troops embarked on a campaign of their own, restoring Abyssinian independence and taking control of the remainder of Italian East Africa. A small-scale Italian-sponsored guerrilla war across the former Italian East Africa would last until 1943.
ww2dbaseAfter 1943, the former Italian Somaliland came under British control. After the war, a joint British-Italian administration governed the former Italian Somaliland, under United Nations trusteeship. In 1960, the new independent nation of Somali Republic was declared; the first Somali constitution was ratified in the following year.
Last Major Update: Aug 2013
|Events Taken Place in Italian Somaliland|
|Invasion of Italian East Africa||19 Jan 1941 - 16 May 1941|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945