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The Egyptian Expedition Under the
Command of Bonaparte
Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign
Napoleon's campaign in Egypt was part of the
French Revolutionary Wars.
At this point in the French Revolutionary Wars, the British were the
only ones left standing in opposition to France.
Not being able to land on their
island, and evaluating Britain's power at sea, the
French decided that the British could not be conquered head on. What
French domination in Egypt, perhaps
even a conquest of the Ottoman Empire, would
challenge British control over the Mediterranean Sea and throw a
major wrench into the engine of British trade and military operations.
The Egyptian expedition under the
command of Bonaparte. Painting by Léon Cogniet. Louvre.
When Did the Egyptian
The Egyptian Campaign commenced on May
19, 1798, when Napoleon's expedition set sail and left Toulon for
Napoleon arrived at Toulon on May 9,
1798, to take command of the expedition, an invasion party of 35,000
On May 10, 1798, he
addressed his troops as follows:
are one of the wings of the army of England.
You have waged war in mountains, in plains,
at sieges. You have still to wage maritime
The Roman legions, which you have sometimes
imitated but not yet equaled, combated
Carthage by turns on the sea and on the
plains of Zama. Victory never forsook them
because they were constantly brave, patient
in enduring fatigue, well disciplined, and
Soldiers, the eyes of Europe are upon you.
You have great destinies to fulfill, battles
to fight, dangers and hardships to surmount.
You will do more than you have yet done for
the prosperity of your country, the
happiness of mankind, and your own glory.
Soldiers, seamen, infantry, artillery,
cavalry, be united. Recollect that on the
day of battle you have need of one another.
Soldiers, seamen, you have hitherto been
neglected. Now the greatest solicitude of
the republic is for you. You will be worthy
of the army of which you form a part.
The genius of liberty, which had made the
republic from her birth the arbitress of
Europe, decrees that she shall be so to the
most remote seas and nations.
Key Battles and Events in the
Egyptian Campaign Begins
Capture of Alexandria
July 1, 1798
Battle of the Pyramids
July 21, 1798 - French victory
Battle of the Nile
August 1, 1798 - British victory
Siege of Acre
March 17-20, 1799 - Unsuccessful siege by
Battle of Mount Tabor
April 16, 1799 - French victory.
The French, led by
defeat the Arabs.
Battle of Aboukir
July 14-25, 1799 - French victory
August 24, 1799 - Bonaparte sneaks out of Egypt and leaves
in charge as general-in-chief.
Battle of Heliopolis
March 20, 1800 - French victory
Egyptian Campaign Ends
September 2, 1801
Campaign and the Rosetta Stone
A member of the French expedition
tripped over a rather unusual looking rock. It turned out to be the
key that was necessary to crack the writing of the ancient
Egyptians, the hieroglyphs.
See more under
When Did the Egyptian
The Egyptian Campaign ended on
September 2, 1801, when French General
Jacques Menou surrendered at Alexandria.
Here are the maps
1798 Egypt and Syria
Egypt and Syria
And here are the timelines
Wars Timeline - 1798
Wars Timeline - 1799
Wars Timeline - 1800
Wars Timeline - 1801