When during the mid-1930s trouble flared in Abyssinia, the most potent fighters the RAF could muster in potential defence of British interests were Hawker Demons. On the type No 64 Squadron re-formed to join those forces ready to tackle Italian aggression — today, this unit and its Demons are recalled by the sole airworthy example, itself a veteran of 64, and soon to take to the air again
In Abyssinia — or the Ethiopian Empire, to use its more accurate name — shifted the tectonic plates of geopolitics. From events there in 1935-36 can with hindsight be traced a line of events leading directly, even inevitably, to the outbreak of World War Two. The Second Italo-Abyssinian War transcended mere regional conflict. New alliances were forged, the reputation of institutions damaged forever.