On 10 October, Haile Selassie Gugsa went over to the advancing Italians and announced his submission to Italian rule. The Italians immediately released photographs of Haile Selassie Gugsa participating in war councils with the Italian commander on the northern front, General de Bono. Furious Tigrean patriots in Mek'ele promptly set fire to Dejazmach Haile Selassie Gugsa's home in the town. On 8 November, Mek'ele fell.
Some sources indicate that Haile Selassie Gugsa and his forces played an active part in aiding the Italian invasion. Other sources indicate his men were soon disarmed. Either way, Haile Selassie Gugsa remained loyal to the Italians who, at a minimum, used him for propaganda purposes during the balance of the invasion and during the five years of occupation. He was honored by the Italians with the title of Ras which had been denied him by Emperor Haile Selassie, as well as an Italian pension, and recognition as the senior Tigrean prince over his rival Seyoum Mengesha.