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Extra info for Listen & Learn Italian
While the king was not always in full control of his territory, ‘beating the kitet’ was generally effective; it usually summoned men to fight against a common enemy, and always offered a chance for plunder and prestige. The Ethiopian army on the march looked more like a migration. Many warriors brought their families along, and wives and children would cook and gather provisions and firewood. During the march there were no stops until a camp was found for the night. The wealthier warriors had servants to carry their equipment and mules or horses to ride.
Given the very short effective range of any revolver, handguns were not much used except when the Ethiopians made their final rushes. When the fighting got desperate, some officers picked up rifles from dead privates and joined the firing line. F 4 : C a p t a i n , C a c c i a t o r i d ’ A f r i c a , f u l l d re s s The new white M1894 cork helmet incorporates the officers’ blue band, and bears this branch’s badge and parade plume. The new M1894 special full dress uniform for Africa was in dark blue cotton, its five front buttons centred on ‘loops’ of black cord frogging.
Service was generally regarded as a rite of manhood and ‘school of the nation’; however, even on home service the efficiency and internal cohesion of most regiments were hampered by Italy’s chronic localism. The government’s obsession with unifying the Italian population led to an unwieldy system of posting units away from their recruitment areas, and mixing sub-units from different regions (and thus speaking different dialects). The mutual incomprehension between officers speaking Tuscan Italian and the bulk of their illiterate rankers widened an already yawning social gulf.