... a shitty monument in the middle of the fucking mountains.
Ethiopia Kicks Ass in an Old School Way
Ethiopia is the ultimate underdog these days, as most westerners picture it as a stretch of barren land inhabited by starving children. But the country has a history of badassery literally stretching back to the dawn of man.
In the 1800s, the fad among Western countries was to take over random hunks of Africa, often for no good reason. It was kind of a status thing, if you wanted to have any respect at all, then you had to claim vast tracts of African land that probably had zero natural resources and would not benefit your nation in any way. It was basically the 19th Century equivalent of bling.
Peep the way I'm sportin' these countries, yo.
In 1895, Italy was in the terrible position of having hardly any Africa at all (all it had was a few shitty, tiny coastlines of African land--definitely not enough to be considered cool). But, unfortunately, the only African country not yet claimed by anyone else was Ethiopia.
It would have to do. Italy brought in a huge mess of modern military gear: guns, cannons, artillery, the whole shebang. The simple idea of losing a war to Africans was utterly preposterous. The Italians were so confident of victory, they basically decided to fuck tactics and march right in. Seriously, what are a bunch of Ethiopians going to do about it?
After all, it's not like they'd been fighting wars for the last 3,000 years or anything.
Well, the Italian army of 20,000 got its ass handed to it at the Battle of Adwa, and the ragged band of comically confused survivors fled back to Italy. The fallout was horrendous. Within a few months, riots broke out in major Italian cities, with angry mobs of wacky, mustachioed men charging at government buildings, dousing them with olive oil, and setting them on fire with flaming bread sticks. The government collapsed, and the rest of Europe had a good laugh.
Ethiopia, meanwhile, earned the distinction of being the only African country to successfully resist European colonialism (well, temporarily, anyway) and Italy earned the distinction of being the only European country to lose a war in Africa.
If the Total War franchise is to be believed, this is what Italy lost to.
Oh, and by the way, it's thought that humans first appeared as a species in Ethiopia. So in a way, all of the badasses on this list were Ethiopian. Who else can say that?
For more bite-sized country fun, check out Fun Size Countries: The Insane Histories of the World's 6 Tiniest Nations. Or see what the rest of the world has to offer in the form of national anthems, in 6 National Anthems That Will Make You Tremble With Fear.
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