Interview with Major General Gerezgher Andemariam (Wuchu) and Major General Pilipos Woldeyohanes.
Battle of Massawa (1990)
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Beginning on 1990-02-08 the EPLF forces began the offensive by cutting of the critical supply route from the Asmara garrison. The surprise attack stunned the Ethiopian Derg military and by the following afternoon the EPLF forces were in the suburbs of Massawa. On the third day of the offensive, 1990-02-10, the Eritrean forces captured the Ethiopian naval base near the town. The only remaining portion of the city to rid of Ethiopian Derg troops were the islands.
To achieve this the Eritrean forces used their nascent naval forces (mostly small gunboats) to attack from by sea during an artillery barrage. Using this artillery fire the Eritrean armor moved onto the causeways that connected the islands with the mainland. The first of these tanks were destroyed by the Ethiopian Derg garrison, however, they were eventually overcome by the EPLF. After this defeat the remainder of the Ethiopian forces retreated to Ghinda.
Even after the loss of Massawa, the Ethiopians continued their aerial bombardment of the city. The civilian population was hardest hit as the EPLF forces had followed the Ethiopian Derg troops to Ghinda. Notable of this bombardment was that napalm and cluster bombs were used.