Following their entrance into the war in East Africa, one of the initial objectives of the Italian Army was Kassala, the capital of the Sudan. On July 4th, the Italians launched their main effort. At 0815 the advance guard, which had reached Monte Mocram Pass, came under heavy fire and was forced to dismount. The Italians were convinced that the Indian soldiers were only putting up such fierce resistance to buy time until reinforcements could arrive. The Italian command decided to storm Kassala, no matter the cost. The Italian squadrons charged at their enemies at a gallop, shouting their ancient battle-cry, Savoia!