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Baratieri, Oreste (1841-1901).

Italian general. Principal wars: Italian Revolution (1860-1861); Seven Weeks' War (1866); First Italo-Ethiopian War (1895-1896). Principal battles: Custozza (Custoza, near Verona) (1866); Adowa (Adua, near Asmera) (1896).

Born at Condino in the Italian Tyrol (November 13, 1841); joined Garibaldi's Redshirts, and fought in the Sicilian-Neapolitan campaign (May 11, 1860-February 13, 1861); subsequently joined the regular Italian army, and fought at the battle of Custozza (June 24, 1866); commander of Italian troops in Africa (1891) and governor of Eritrea (1892); involved in border warfare with local Ethiopian forces (1893-1895), and won several successes, notably at Kassala (July 17, 1894); border fighting escalated into full-scale war (late 1895), and Baratieri led an Italian army of 20,000 men in an invasion of Ethiopia proper; attacked Emperor Menelik's huge army of over 90,000 at Adowa (March 1, 1896); his army was surrounded and extricated itself only with difficulty, losing 4,500 dead and 1,600 captured; tried before a military tribunal at Asmera, and found innocent of wrongdoing (June 1896); left the army (1897) and retired to the Austrian Tyrol, where he died at Sterzing (Vitipeno) (August 7, 1901).

An ardent nationalist and patriot, he was a capable officer, but as a commander was unable to exert effective control over his subordinates, and fatally underestimated his enemy. <BL>

Encyclopaedia Britannica. 24 vols. Chicago, 1966.
Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N., Encyclopedia of Military
     History. Fairfax, Va., 1984.


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Author:Mageli, Paul D.
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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