French campaign in Egypt and Syria

Kléber wounded in front of Alexandria, engraving by Adolphe-François Pannemaker
1798 Jul 1


Alexandria, Egypt
Napoleon departed Malta for Egypt. After successfully eluding detection by the Royal Navy for thirteen days, the fleet was in sight of Alexandria where it landed on 1 July, although Napoleon's plan had been to land elsewhere. On the night of the 1st of July, Bonaparte who was informed that Alexandria intended to resist him, rushed to get a force ashore without waiting for the artillery or the cavalry to land, in which he marched on Alexandria at the head of 4,000 to 5,000 men. At 2 am, 2nd of July, he set off marching in three columns, on the left, Menou attacked the "triangular fort", where he received seven wounds, while Kléber was in the centre, in which he received a bullet in the forehead but was only wounded, and Louis André Bon on the right attacked the city gates. Alexandria was defended by Koraim Pasha and 500 men. However, after a rather lively shooting in the city, the defenders gave up and fled. When the whole expeditionary force had been disembarked, Admiral Brueys received orders to take the fleet to Aboukir Bay before anchoring the battle-fleet in the old port of Alexandria if possible or taking it to Corfu. These precautions were made vital by the imminent arrival of the British fleet, which had already been seen near Alexandria 24 hours before the French fleet's arrival.