When colonization was at its height, conquest through force was a crucial quality. One factor in the sudden European interest in Africa was their desire to demonstrate their superior military prowess. It was once thought that a nation’s military might could be gauged by how many lands it colonized.
This resulted in the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 where Europeans divided up territories in several African countries. These colonial wars were not an exception in Ethiopia. However, the Ethiopians used cheetahs and bees in battle and trained lions to hunt down enemy soldiers. Due to this, they were able to defeat colonial efforts and become one of only two independent African nations.
The Italian forces that were in control of the area were defeated at the Battle of Adwa by a group of Ethiopian swordsmen known as Shotel. Its pivotal conflict was the First Italo-Ethiopian War, well known as the Battle of Adwa. Ethiopian soldiers stopped an Italian invasion force on March 1st, 1896, close to the town of Adwa. The Kingdom of Italy was prevented from attempting to incorporate the Horn of Africa into its colonial empire by the resounding victory.