Napoleon in Egypt Battle of the Pyramids p1
In 1798, the struggle between France and Great Britain to become a superpower continued. In France, nine years ago, the monarchy was abolished due to the revolution. From then on, all the major European powers, including Britain and Russia, were either at war with France or supporting its opponents. In such a situation, a French commander, Napoleon Bonaparte, thought of the distance. He thought why not capture Egypt, which is located at the junction of Asia and Africa, and then reach India from there and clean his hands on this golden bird.
Sultan Tipu, the ruler of the powerful kingdom of Mysore in South India, was also in touch with this commander and was ready to become his ally. Another advantage of the occupation of Egypt was that it had the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea, the Red Sea, to the south. There was only a small strip of land in between which could be dug to join these two seas. In this way, a short-cut route could be opened for trade and military occupations between Asia and Europe. That is, a New World Order could be established under the influence of France.
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France at that time had a weak government which allowed this powerful commander to venture into Egypt. He could have done more. In May 1798, this commander set out to conquer Egypt with a powerful fleet and about forty thousand soldiers. The country was then under the control of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Empire. Caliph Salim III was on the Ottoman throne. Egypt was jointly ruled by two Mamluk governors Murad Bey and Ibrahim Bey on behalf of the Ottomans.
Egyptian or Ottoman armies could not compete with a power like France, but they had the full support of the superpower Britain. Now on one side were Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire, and on the other was France’s top commander, General Napoleon Bonaparte. Which of the two was able to establish his world order? As is said, did Napoleon really convert to Islam? Friends Napoleon had to overcome a great difficulty before reaching Egypt. The name of this difficulty was Horatio Nelson.
He was a Vice Admiral of the British Royal Navy. He and his fleet were patrolling the Egyptian coast to prevent Napoleon from reaching Egypt. But luckily for Napoleon Admiral Nelson did not find them and in July 1798 the French fleet reached the Egyptian port of Alexandria or Alexandria. There was a small Mamluk army to protect the city, which was defeated and the French flag was hoisted over the city. Now Napoleon’s next destination was Cairo, the Egyptian capital. Now Napoleon began to advance towards Cairo, traveling along the banks of the Nile.
The French army looted and set fire to many villages on the way from Alexandria to Cairo. Nine hundred people were killed in one village. After that, their wives and children were burnt alive inside their houses. Hearing the news of the atrocities of the French army, the villages near Cairo were deserted. Then the situation in Cairo also became very bad due to the news of Comrade Napoleon. Most of the population left the city. There was silence in the streets and markets.
The two Mamluk rulers of Egypt, Murad Bey and Ibrahim Bey, were still in Cairo and were gathering forces to fight the French. But this too was not an organized army. Most of the soldiers were untrained poor peasants who had only sticks or harvesters as weapons, besides some tribal horsemen who had guns but had no experience of competing with an organized European army. It looked like an elephant vs. ant match, something of that sort, but the Mamluks, even in the midst of disorganization, seriously troubled the French army.
The Mamluks first tried to stop the French forces at Shubrakhit, one hundred and forty-seven kilometers from Cairo. Thousands of soldiers under the command of Governor Murad Bey attacked the French army, but the French were obviously much stronger than them. So this attack was easily repulsed. After this defeat, the Mamluks started fighting in unconventional ways instead of direct warfare. That is how the French army was traveling in the desert in the hot July.
The only source of water for them was the Nile river which flowed along their route. But the Mamluk soldiers patrolling the river in boats, whenever a French force moved towards the water, they fired at it and forced it to flee. Because of this, the French army had a severe shortage of water. Some soldiers died of thirst on the way. Some even committed suicide due to thirst and heat. Many soldiers plucked watermelons from the fields and drank their juice instead of water to quench their thirst. But even that was not enough.
The French forces were becoming very demoralized. But Napoleon encouraged his troops and continued to advance in a very orderly manner. On July 21st, the French army had reached a place near Cairo where they could see the towering peaks of the Egyptian pyramids from afar. Is. That is, they were telling their soldiers that you have not come to conquer a useless place but to occupy a place of historical importance. This is not an ordinary place, he wanted to tell his army.
Now friends, the map of the battlefield was such that the army defending Cairo was divided into two parts. 1st Cavalry under the command of Murad BeyIt consisted of troops, some infantry and artillery. He crossed the Nile and took up a position on its western side in a village where the French army was stationed, the cannons in front and the cavalry behind them ready to charge the enemy. Behind this army flowed the Nile, across which, on the eastern bank, i.e., on the side of the city of Cairo, was a second Egyptian army under the command of Ibrahim Bey.
It consisted mostly of foot soldiers positioned lengthwise along the river bank. They also had boats. This army could also provide reinforcements to Murad Bey when the time fell and could also prevent the enemy from crossing the river. The total strength of the armies of Murad Bey and Ibrahim Bey was at least twenty thousand. While Napoleon Bonaparte had an army of more or less twenty-five thousand.