Under the Fascist regime, young Italians amused themselves by practicing the war games of adulthood. Paper soldiers marched across board games set in the newly established empire of Italian East Africa. To reveal how these vicious lessons worked, this article examines three types of toys. It starts with the design and deployment of paper soldiers: Italian Alpinisti, Eritrean Ascari, and Somali Dubat. Next, a playbook for The Conquest of Abyssinia boardgame provides a guide to military conquest. Finally, I examine where these toys come from, revealing the financial structures that underpinned colonial propaganda for Fascist government projects. Ultimately, toys wrote scripts for adult violence in the colonies.

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