This was the last stand of the Italian forces in Italian East Africa during the Second World War. The battle took place in November 1941, during the East African Campaign. Gondar was the main town of Amhara in the mountains north of Lake Tana, at an elevation of 7,000 feet (2,100 m) and had an Italian garrison of 40,000, commanded by GeneraleGuglielmo Nasi.After the defeat of the Italian forces at Keren on 1 April 1941, many of the remaining Italians withdrew to three strongholds: Amba Alagi, Jimma, and Gondar. Amba Alagi fell in May and Jimma fell in July.
The Battle of Medenine, also known as Operation Capri, was a German counter-attack at Medenine, Tunisia, intended to disrupt and delay the British Eighth Army's attack on the Mareth Line. The German attack started on 6 March 1943, failed to make much impression and was abandoned at dusk on the same day. Over the next day or two, German forces withdrew northward.After the Axis defeat at El Alamein, the German commander—Generalfeldmarshall Erwin Rommel—had executed a retreat into eastern Libya as the Allies advanced. This had been successful in that the Axis forces had avoided destruction.
Heeresgruppe Afrika was formed, with Rommel in command, including Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen von Arnim′s 5.Panzerarmee and Generale Giovanni Messe′s Italian 1st Army which now included the German Afrika Korps.
Rommel faced the Eighth Army, which was now established at Medenine in eastern Tunisia and preparing for its assault on the Mareth Line.