French campaign in Egypt and Syria

Battle of the Pyramids
Louis-François Baron Lejeune 001
1798 Jul 21

Battle of the Pyramids

Imbaba, Egypt

The French army, under Napoleon Bonaparte, scored a decisive victory against the forces of the local Mamluk rulers, wiping out almost the entire Ottoman army located in Egypt. It was the battle where Napoleon employed the divisional square tactic to great effect. The deployment of the French brigades into these massive rectangular formations repeatedly threw back multiple cavalry charges by the Mamluks. In all 300 French and approximately 6,000 Mamluks were killed. The battle gave rise to dozens of stories and drawings. 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 Ottoman and Mamluk casualties soared into the thousands. Napoleon entered 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 throughout the past century, especially compared to the rising power of France. Dupuy's brigade pursued the routed enemy and at night entered Cairo, which had been abandoned by the beys Mourad and Ibrahim. On 22 July, the notables of Cairo came to Giza to meet Bonaparte and offered to hand over the city to him.