This is the story of two "firsts". It is the story of the first successful attempt by Allied forces during World War II, to support and sustain a local resistance movement, with regular forces in enemy-held territory. It also describes how Ethiopia became the first nation conquered by the Axis to be freed. The campaign in Ethiopia might appear small in relation to the war in the whole of East Africa, but it had great military importance. In 1941 the British Commonwealth, the Indian and the Sudanese forces, with the Patriots - local chiefs and their followers who resisted the Italian occupation - advanced into Italian East Africa and defeated the Italian armies. David Shirreff, who also served in the campaign, gives an account of how Colonel Orde Wingate, with his Gideon force, compelled the surrender of a large part of the Italian forces. Shirreff also explores the role of Brigadier Daniel Sandford, now an almost forgotten commander, in organizing his Mission 101, and the sustained rebellion of the Patriots.
Historical background; mission 101; Gideon force - "a sword of rare metal"; Gideon force in Gojjam - the pursuit; Gojjam evacuated; Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa - the end of Maraventano's odyssey; the end of Gideon force - Wingate's role assessed; Gondar; the end of the story - the Anglo-Ethiopian agreement.