A hostage-taking crisis concludes as the Battle of Magdala ends with a decisive victory for British forces over the Ethiopian Empire army of Emperor Tewodros II. After imprisoning some British missionaries, freeing them at Britain’s insistence but then imprisoning them again, Tewodros is defeated by new war technology. His troops armed with spears are overwhelmed by 12,000 British and Indian soldiers (wearing new khaki-coloured uniforms that are less visible against rock and sand than earlier red uniforms). The British are armed with rifles that fire 10 rather than three rounds per minute. Tewodros commits suicide rather than be captured. He shoots himself with a pistol that was a gift from Britain’s Queen Victoria.