Chetta Ravine: 6th April 1868


Chetta Ravine
Watercolour by Lt. Frank James (1839-89) of the Bombay Staff Corps depicting the expeditionary force advancing along the road built by King Theodore of Abyssinia through the Chetta Ravine to get his heavy guns to his stronghold of Magdala. It had a gradient of 975m in its 7.24km length, with slopes of of up to 45 degrees in places. In April 1868, when Lt-Gen Sir Robert Napier's force had reached this ravine, Theodore was preparing to defend Magdala and prevent the rescue of the British hostages whose detention had been the cause of the war.


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by Stephen Luscombe