Battle of Abukir (1799)
The Battle of Abukir (or Aboukir) was Napoleon Bonaparte's
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 decisive victory over Seid Mustafa Pasha's Ottoman army on 25 July 1799 during the French invasion of Egypt (1798). The French forces had just returned from a campaign to Syria, and the Ottoman force had been transported to Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 by Sidney Smith's
Sidney Smith (admiral)
Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, KCB, GCTE was a British naval officer. Serving in the American and French revolutionary wars, he later rose to the rank of admiral....

United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 fleet to put an end of the French rule in Egypt.


Seid Mustafa Pasha was an experienced commander who had fought against the Russians. He knew of the futility of cavalry charges against the French squares and so sought to avoid that by fortifying his beach head with two defensive lines. From this beach head Mustafa could carry out the invasion of Egypt. Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 however immediately saw the flaw of such a tactic as it meant that the Turks had nowhere to run if routed.


The French attacked the Ottoman positions and quickly broke through the first defensive line which had not been fully completed. The second line however proved tougher to defeat and the French withdrew for a while. As was customary of the Ottoman army in their previous battles against the French, the Ottomans came out of their positions and began finishing off the wounded and mutilating the dead. At this point, cavalry general Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

 saw the opportunity and attacked with his cavalry, quickly routing the exposed Turks.

Murat's charge was so rapid he that he burst inside Mustafa's tent and captured the Turkish commander, severing two of the Turk's fingers with his sabre. In return, Mustafa had shot a pistol at Murat, hitting him in the jaw. Murat was immediately operated and resumed his duties the next day.


The Turkish army fled in panic. Many drowned futilely trying to swim to the British ships two miles out to sea while others fled to Abukir castle, which surrendered shortly thereafter. The Turks suffered about 8,000 casualties, while the French only 1,000. News of the victory reached France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 before Napoleon arrived in October and helped make him even more popular, an important asset considering the troubles brewing in the Directory
French Directory
The Directory was a body of five Directors that held executive power in France following the Convention and preceding the Consulate...

. This battle temporarily secured Egypt for France.
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