Lt. Colonel Abdisa Aga who fought both Mussolini and Hitler.
The unsung #Ethiopia hero, who fought both Mussolini and Hitler.
Lt. Colonel Abdisa Aga.
Born in 1919, a 14 year old Abdisa Aga left a missionary school he was attending in Qelem, Wollega, he trekked to #AddisAbaba, upon hearing the news that young people were being recruited to join an army for the newly crowned King Haileselassie I.
He told recruiters that he was 16 not to be turned away, because of his young age. It wasn’t difficult for him to convince recruiters, not only because of his strapping and slender posture, but his firmly disciplined manner.
An advisor of the King and in charge of the recruits Fitawrari Kebede Gebre (later Dejazmach) have noticed another attribute of Abdisa. A language skill.
Perhaps, a skill he picked up from missionaries in Wellega, Abdisa did speak or at least had a working knowledge of couple of foreign languages.
Note :- Mamo Wudneh described the languages as just “foreign languages” (የፈረንጅ ቋንቋ) without specifying them
Only 2 years after the newly formed modern #Ethiopian army, #Ethiopia was invaded by Mussolini’s fascist army and Abdisa was dispatched with the elite army unit called “The Black Lion” (ጥቁር አንበሳ) tasked to protect #AddisAbabaAfter the fall of Addis Ababa in late 1936, Abdisa and his unit withdrew to Majete, North Shewa to continue the fight.
After bravely fighting the overwhelming modern Italian army that introduced plane bombardment to #Africans for the first time in 1937 Abdisa was captured by Italians and was taken to Rome as a Prisoner of war.
His incredible heroic journey continued in Rome.
He met a Yugoslavian prisoner, named Captain Julio, who was also captured fighting Nazis and falsely accused of “terrorism” and “theft”.
The two devised a successful plan to break out of prison by overwhelming their guards and taking away their weapons. Their plan worked and they not only freed themselves, but almost all of their inmates.
Abdisa and Julio led a small band of army comprised with their former inmates and anti Nazi volunteers provided assistance to the allied forces by closing roads and freeing passages through guerilla warfare in Western and Eastern Europe or anywhere their assistance was needed.
Impressed with Abdisa’s bravery and proficiency as a military tactician, after the defeat of Fascist Mussolini and Nazi Germany, both Canadian and British infantry asked Abdisa to join their ranks.
His quick response was NO! He expressed his desire to return back to his country, #Ethiopia
Stung by his rejection, the British resuscitated the false charge that Abdisa and Julio were accused of, which was “terrorism” and “prison break”.
The newly restored Emperor Haileselassie government refused to go along with the false charges and dispatched the then advisor to the King Aklilu Habtewold (later Prime Minister) to succesfully negotiate Abdisa’s freedom.
Upon his arrival to his home country Ethiopia, the king bestowed him with a military rank of Major and tasked to modernise the Ethiopian army with his fellow patriots Colonel Mulugeta Buli (later Major General) and Brigadier (Jagama Kelo, (later Lt. General)
His often straight talking nature,however collided him with his immediate bosses and quickly dispatched to Ogaden under Lt. General Aman Michael Andom (later short lived President of provisional Government of Ethiopia) to fend of invasion from #Somalia. A task he successfully completed.
In 1975, when the Emperor was overthrown he refused to be a part of military officers, who overthrown the king.
Despite that, the new military Junta “Derg” elivated Abdisa’s rank to Lt. Colonel from Major.
Lt. Colonel Abdisa Aga died in March 1977 in natural causes.
Source :- Mamo Wudneh “የኢትዮጵያ ጀግኖች”