The Ethiopian Army

E-book – $79.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-6805-3

Cloth Text – $79.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3011-1
Publication Date
October 2014
Page Count
328 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The Ethiopian Army

From Victory to Collapse, 1977-1991
Fantahun Ayele

The Ethiopian popular revolution of 1974 ended a monarchy that claimed descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and brought to power a military government that created one of the largest and best-equipped armies in Africa. In his panoramic study of the Ethiopian army, Fantahun Ayele draws upon his unprecedented access to Ethiopian Ministry of Defense archives to study the institution that was able to repel the Somali invasion of 1977 and suppress internal uprisings, but collapsed in 1991 under the combined onslaught of armed insurgencies in Eritrea and Tigray. Besides military operations, The Ethiopian Army discusses tactical areas such as training, equipment, intelligence, and logistics, as well as grand strategic choices such as ending the 1953 Ethio-American Mutual Defense Agreement and signing a treaty of military assistance with the Soviet Union. The result sheds considerable light on the military developments that have shaped Ethiopia and the Horn in the twentieth century.

About the Author

Fantahun Ayele is an assistant professor of history at Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. He was the second recipient of the Global Encounters postdoctoral appointment in African Studies at Northwestern University, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"...a meticulously researched and well-argued book that scholars of military history in Africa will find useful." --International Journal of African Historical Studies 

"...Fantahun Ayele’s comprehensive study of the Ethiopian army from its triumph in the Ogaden War of 1977-78 to its eventual ignominious collapse against a rebel coalition in 1991 is extraordinarily impressive. Ayele has gathered a massive trove of previously unseen information and synthesized it to produce a singular volume that...should find a home on the shelf of any military historian with an interest in Africa or any Africanist who carries an interest in the Horn of Africa." –H-Net Reviews