In the late 19th century, the new nation-state of Italy was eager to join her European neighbors in creating an international empire. Italy's eyes turned towards Africa as a source of potential colonies. Most of the continent had already been carved up between the Great Powers but Italy succeeded in securing a foothold in Eritrea on the Red Sea coast, a vassal of the Emperor of Ethiopia. Trade and other links were established with the Ethiopian empire but quarrels regarding the interpretation of a particular clause led to Ethiopian support for uprisings in Eritrea. Italian troops entered northern Ethiopia and captured Adowa, the capital of the Tigray province. Full-scale war broke out and this new Osprey title tracks every development in the battle and the men who fought in it.