Ethiopia was occupied by Italy from May 9, 1936 to May 5, 1941, and was part of the Italian colony of Italian East Africa. Prior to this occupation, Italy had made a failed attempt during the 1880s to claim Ethiopia as a colony.
After the annexation of Ethiopia by Italy, Emperor Haile Selassie managed to gain the support of the United States and Russia after an appeal to the League of Nations on June 30, 1936. However, a sizable portion of the League's members, including France and Great Britain, chose to recognize the legitimacy of Italy's colony. During the four-year period of Italian occupation, Ethiopia was ruled by the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III.