Battle of Adwa (1871)

The Battle of Adwa, also called the Battle of the Assem, Asem, Asam, or Assam river, was a battle fought in 1871 between the forces of Kassa Mercha of Tigray and Emperor Tekle Giyorgis II. It resulted in victory for Kassa, allowing him to eventually become crowned emperor of Ethiopia.[1]

Battle of Adwa (1871)
Part of Post-Zemene Mesafint Battles
Date11 July 1871; 150 years ago (1871-07-11)
Result Victory for Kassa of Tigray
Tekle Giyorgis II and his followers Kassa Mercha of Tigray and his followers
Commanders and leaders
Tekle Giyorgis II Kassa Mercha of Tigray
John 'J.C.' Kirkham
60,000 12,000
Casualties and losses
24,000 captured, many more killed and wounded Unknown
This battle has been noted by some as one of the first 'truly modern' battles in Ethiopian history, given that the tactics used by Kassa of Tigray revolved around the use of gunpowder weaponry.


  1. ^ Caulk, Richard (October 1972). "Firearms and Princely Power in Ethiopia in the Nineteenth Century". The Journal of African History. 3 (4): 609–630. doi:10.1017/S0021853700011968.