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Ottoman Empire

Mamluks

Commanders and leaders

Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte Murad Bey Ibrahim Bey

Strength

20,000 total 3,000 cavalry 17,000 infantry 42 cannons[1][2] 25,000[3]

Casualties and losses

29 dead, 260 wounded[4] 20,000 Mamelukes
Mamelukes
from Napoleon's own records[5] or uncertain from other sources Several thousand peasants dead or wounded

v t e

Egypt– Syria
Syria
Campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars

Shubra Khit Pyramids Nile 1st Cairo El Arish Jaffa Acre Mount Tabor 1st Aboukir Heliopolis 2nd Aboukir Mandora Canope Fort Julien 2nd Cairo Alexandria

The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was a major engagement fought on July 21, 1798 during the French Invasion of Egypt. The French army under Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte scored a decisive victory against the forces of the local Mamluk
Mamluk
rulers, wiping out almost the entire Egyptian army. It was the battle where Napoleon employed one of his significant contributions to military tactics, the divisional square. Actually a rectangle, the deployment of the French brigades into these massive formations repeatedly threw back multiple cavalry charges by the Egyptians. The victory effectively sealed the French conquest of Egypt as Murad Bey salvaged the remnants of his army, chaotically fleeing to Upper Egypt. French casualties amounted to roughly 300, but Egyptian casualties soared into the thousands. Napoleon
Napoleon
entered Cairo
Cairo
after the battle and created a new local administration under his supervision. The battle exposed the fundamental military and political decline of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
throughout the past century, especially compared to the rising power of Napoleon's France. Napoleon
Napoleon
named the battle after the Egyptian pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
because they were faintly visible on the horizon when the battle took place.

Contents

1 Prelude 2 Battle 3 Aftermath 4 References

Prelude[edit] In July 1798 Napoleon
Napoleon
was marching from Alexandria toward Cairo
Cairo
after invading and capturing the former. He met the forces of the ruling Mamluks
Mamluks
nine miles (15 kilometres) from the Pyramids and only four miles (six kilometres) from Cairo. The Mamluk
Mamluk
forces were commanded by two Georgian mamluks, Murad Bey
Murad Bey
and Ibrahim Bey, and had powerful and highly developed cavalry. This fight was known as The Battle of Chobrakit. Napoleon
Napoleon
realized that the only Egyptian troops of any worth on the battlefield were the cavalry. He exhorted his troops, saying, "Forward! Remember that from those monuments yonder 40 centuries look down upon you."[6][7] Battle[edit] Napoleon
Napoleon
ordered an advance on Murad's army with each of the five divisions of his army organized into hollow rectangles with cavalry and baggage at the center and cannon at the corners.

A map of the battle.

The Battle of the Pyramids, François-Louis-Joseph Watteau, 1798-1799

The French divisions advanced south in echelon, with the right flank leading and the left flank protected by the Nile. From right to left, Napoleon
Napoleon
posted the divisions of Louis Charles Antoine Desaix, Jean-Louis-Ébénézer Reynier, Charles-François-Joseph Dugua, Honoré Vial and Louis André Bon. In addition, Desaix sent a small detachment to occupy the nearby village of Biktil, just to the west. Murad anchored his right flank on the Nile at the village of Embabeh, which was fortified and held with infantry and some ancient cannons. His Mamluk
Mamluk
cavalry deployed on the desert flank. Ibrahim, with a second army, watched helplessly from the east bank of the Nile, unable to intervene. Chandler asserts that Napoleon's 25,000-strong army outnumbered Murad's 6,000 Mamluks
Mamluks
and 15,000 infantry. At about 3:30 P.M., the Mamluk
Mamluk
cavalry hurled itself at the French without warning. The divisional squares of Desaix, Reynier and Dugua held firm and repelled the horsemen with point-blank musket and artillery fire. Unable to make an impression on the French formations, some of the frustrated Mamluks
Mamluks
rode off to attack Desaix's detached force. This was also a failure. Meanwhile, nearer the river, Bon's division deployed into attack columns and charged Embabeh. Breaking into the village, the French routed the garrison. Trapped against the river, many of the Mamluks and infantry tried to swim to safety, and hundreds drowned. Napoleon
Napoleon
reported a loss of 29 killed and 260 wounded. Murad's losses were far heavier, perhaps as many as 3,000 of the irreplaceable Mamluk cavalry and unknown numbers of infantry. Murad escaped to Upper Egypt, where he carried on an active guerilla campaign before being run to earth by Desaix in late 1799. Aftermath[edit] Upon the news of the defeat of their legendary cavalry, the waiting Mamluk
Mamluk
armies in Cairo
Cairo
dispersed to Syria
Syria
to reorganize. The Battle of the Pyramids signalled the beginning of the end of seven centuries of Mamluk
Mamluk
rule in Egypt. Despite this auspicious beginning, Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory in the Battle of the Nile
Battle of the Nile
ten days later ended Napoleon's hopes for a conquest of the Middle East. Engulfed by the west bank portion of the city of Cairo, nothing remains of the battlefield today. References[edit]

Notes

^ Smith The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. Greenhill Books, 1998. p. 140 ^ Connelly. Blundering to Glory: Napoleon’s Military Campaigns. Rowman & Littlefield Pub., 2006. 3rd ed. p.50. ^ NAKOULA EL-TURK. Histoire de l'expédition des français en Égypte par Nakoula El-Turk. Publiée et traduite par M. Desgrandes Aîné. ^ NAKOULA EL-TURK. Histoire de l'expédition des français en Égypte par Nakoula El-Turk. Publiée et traduite par M. Desgrandes Aîné. ^ NAKOULA EL-TURK. Histoire de l'expédition des français en Égypte par Nakoula El-Turk. Publiée et traduite par M. Desgrandes Aîné. ^ The Campaigns of Napoleon, Volume 1, By David G. Chandler; page 224 ^ Eugène de Beauharnais, Mémoires et Correspondance Politique et Militaire du Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, tome premier, p. 41, Michel Lévy Frères, Paris (1858)

Bibliography

Chandler, David, The Campaigns of Napoleon
Napoleon
New York, Macmillan, 1966. Cole, Juan, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East
Middle East
Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. ISBN 1403964319 Herold, J. Christopher, Bonaparte in Egypt - London, Hamish Hamilton, 1962. Herold, J. Christopher, The Age of Napoleon. New York, American Heritage, 1963. Moorehead, Alan, The Blue Nile New York, Harper & Row, 1962.

v t e

Battles involving the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
by era

Rise (1299–1453)

Land battles

Bapheus Dimbos Pelekanon Demotika Ihtiman Sırp Sındığı Maritsa Dubravnica Savra Pločnik Bileća Kosovo Kırkdilim Rovine Nicopolis Ankara Çamurlu Zlatitsa Kunovica Torvioll Varna Kosovo (2nd) Constantinople

Naval battles

Gallipoli

Classical Age (1453–1550)

Land battles

Albulena Târgoviște Jajce Ohrid Vaslui Valea Albă Shkodra Breadfield Otlukbeli Krbava Çaldıran Mercidabık Han Yunus Ridanieh Tlemcen Mohács Sokhoista

Naval battles

Zonchio Modon Diu Algiers (1516) Formentera Peñón of Algiers (1529) Tunis Preveza Alborán Algiers (1541) Ponza Djerba

Transformation (1550-1700)

Land battles

Mostaganem Szigeth Çıldır Torches Wadi al Laban Sisak Călugăreni Giurgiu Keresztes Urmia Cecora 1st Khotyn Candia Köbölkút Saint Gotthard Ładyżyn Krasnobród Niemirów 2nd Khotyn 2nd Vienna 2nd Mohács Slankamen Cenei Ustechko Lugos Ulaş Zenta

Naval battles

Lepanto Cape Corvo Cape Celidonia Focchies 1st Dardanelles 2nd Dardanelles 3rd Dardanelles 4th Dardanelles Oinousses Andros

Old Regime (1700–1789)

Land battles

Pruth Petrovaradin Banja Luka Grocka Stavunchany Aspindza Larga Yeghevārd Ganja Kars Kozludzha Kagul

Naval battles

Imbros Matapan Çeşme 1st Kerch Strait

Modernization (1789–1908)

Land battles

Focşani Rymnik Măcin Pyramids Abukir Arpachai Batin Al-Safra Jeddah Čegar Alamana Gravia Erzurum Valtetsi Doliana Dragashani Sculeni Vasilika Peta Dervenakia Karpenisi Arachova Kamatero Phaleron Petra Kulevicha Algiers Konya Nezib Kurekdere Oltenița Eupatoria Kızıl Tepe Shipka Pass Plevna Philippopolis Taşkesen Novšiće Ulcinj Mouzaki Domokos

Naval battles

2nd Kerch Strait Kaliakra Athos Nauplia Samos Gerontas Navarino Sinop

For 20th-century battles before 1914 see List of Ottoman battles in the 20th century For the battles during World War I see List of Ottoman battles in World War I

Ottoman victories are in bold.

Authority control

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