The Pyramids

21 July, 1798

Trudging towards Cairo, Napoleon Bonaparte and 25,000 men faced two forces of Mamelukes under Murad (21,000 men) and Ibrahim Bey (100,000).

The native forces were split by the Nile, with Murad entrenched in a village called Embabeh and Ibrahim in the open. The massive force of irregulars under Ibrahim watched the battle's progress and then seeing the situation melted away.

Murad's force - including 40 cannon and 6000 crack Mameluke horsemen - took on Bonaparte, who was forced on to the defensive by the threat from the riders.

The French formed themselves into squares covered by 30 guns and determinedly beat off sustained attacks by the Mamelukes.

The Egyptian defenders in the village were isolated and a brutal assault resulted in them being routed.

More than 5000 of the Mameluke force were killed or wounded, while Bonaparte's Army of the Orient lost 300 men.

The Pyramids won Lower Egypt for France, but Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory on the Nile squashed Bonaparte's hopes for a conquest.



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