The Egyptian Campaign

Period : Directory / 1st Empire
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17-18 April: Preliminaries to the Peace of Leoben.

4 September: The Royalist coup d’état of 18 Fructidor.

18 October: Treaty of Campoformio with Austria.

26 October: Bonaparte nominated commander of the ‘armée d’Angleterre’.


5 March: Bonaparte nominated commander in chief of the ‘armée d’Orient. Creation of the ‘Commission d’armement des côtes la Méditerranée’, the body charged with organising the logistics of the expedition.

13 April: The beginning of the preparations for the expedition.

2 May: Jervis decides to keep Marseilles and Toulon under surveillance.

3 May: Bonaparte leaves Paris.

9 May: Bonaparte arrives in Toulon.

17 May: Nelson captures a corsair who informs him of the imminent departure of the French from Toulon.

19 May: Departure of the French squadron from Toulon.

20-21 May: Admiral Nelson‘s ship is dismasted during the night.

21 May: Departure of the convoy from Genoa.

26 May: Departure of the convoy from Civita Vecchia.

27 May: Arrival of the squadron from Corsica.

31 May: Nelson once more off Toulon.

9 June: Arrival at Malta (the convoy from Civita Vecchia had already arrived).

10-11 June: The taking of Malta.

18 June: Departure from Malta.

21 June: Both the British and French squadrons are to the East of Sicily.

1 July: French landing in Alexandria.

2 July: Taking of Alexandria.

6 July: Departures of the French vans for Cairo. Creation of a Nile flotilla.

8 July: Arrival of the French at Damanhour.

10 July: Arrival of the French at Ramanieh (two days rest then back to battle stations).

14 July: First contact with the Mamluks at Chebreiss.

19 July: Discovery of the Rosetta stone.

21 July: French victory at the Battle of the Pyramids.

22 July: The Pasha of Cairo flees with Ibrahim Bey.

24 July: The arrival of the French in Cairo.

1 August: Destruction of the French fleet at Aboukir – the Battle of the Nile.

11 August: Salahieh: Bonaparte halts the pursuit of Ibrahim Bey.

13 August: The news of the disaster at Aboukir reaches Cairo.

15 August: Bonaparte returns to Cairo. Creation of the ‘Légion nautique’.

22 August: Bonaparte returns from his exploration of Suez. Creation of the  ‘Institut d’égypte’.

25 August: Desaix pursues Mourad Bey into Upper Egypt.

29 August: First copy of the army journal, Le Courrier de l’Egypte.

31 August: Arrival of Desaix at Beni-Suef.

2 September: Organisation of the system of local guides.

9 September: Beginning of hostilities with Turkey.

10 September: Desaix at Melawi.

12 September: Desaix at Derut-el-Sherif, at the entrance to the Joseph Canal.

22 September: First volume of the journal of the Institut d’égypte, La décade égyptienne.

24 September: Desaix enters the canal in the hunt for Mourad.

27 September: Creation of the ‘Légion grecque’.

3 October: Desaix’s van catches sight of some Mamluk detachments.

7 October: Sediman’s battle with Mourad Bey.

21-22 October: The Revolt of Cairo.

22 November: Desaix at Beni-Suef is joined by Belliard.

16 December: Desaix at work in Upper Egypt. Davout with a thousand cavalrymen reinforces Desaix’s division.


2 January: Davout marches on Sawaqui.

9 January: Creation of the dromedary regiment.

22 January: Combat at Samhud (Desaix).

28 January: Desaix reaches Edde-Gireh.

1 February: Arrival at Syene (Aswan).

6 February: Beginning of the Syrian campaign.

9 February: Desaix at Esneh.

12-15 February: Occupation of el-Arich.

22 February: Kleber at the Zawi wells.

24 February: Occupation of Gaza.

End of February: Arrival of the Sherif of Mecca with 3000 men at Keneh.

3 March: Arrival at the walls of Jaffa. Enemy victory over Desaix’s flotilla. 500 French killed.

3-10 March: Combat at Benut. (Upper Egypt).

7 March: Assault on the port of Jaffa.

11 March: An epidemic of the plague breaks out in Jaffa.

13 March: Declaration of war between France and Austria.

19 March: Beginning of the siege of St Jean d’Acre. Taking by the English of the French fleet leaving Damietta.

28 March: Failed attack against St Jean d’Acre.

30 March: Sortie by the besieged repulsed by the French.

2 April: Combat at Bir-el-Bar (Desaix). Attempt to breach the walls of St Jean d’Acre using only field artillery.

30 March-7 April: Bonaparte goes to Mount Thabor.

7 April: Sortie by the besiege repulsed by the French (Acre).

8 April: Combat at Nazareth (Junot).

9 April: Combat et Cana (Kléber).

16 April: Combat of Mont-Thabor (Kléber). Combat of Beni-Adin (Desaix). Dugua forbids Desaix from approaching Cairo.

17-18 April: Arrival of material in the bay of Jaffa.

24 April: Failed attack against St Jean d’Acre.

1 May: Failed attack against St Jean d’Acre.

4-5 May: Failed attack against St Jean d’Acre.

6 May: Failed attack against St Jean d’Acre.

7 May: Breach opened up in the wall (Acre).

10 May: Kléber’s attack aborted beneath the walls of Acre.

20 May: Return to Cairo via Haifa, Tantourah, Kaisarieh…

24 May: Arrival in Jaffa and destruction of the fortifications.

14 June: Bonaparte’s solemn entry into Cairo.

21 June: Bonaparte gives the order to arm two frigates in Alexandria harbour, La Carrère and La Muiron.

12 July: Arrival of the Anglo-Turkish fleet, commanded by Sydney Smith, off Alexandria. Order given to Desaix to evacuate upper Egypt.

25 July: Land battle of Aboukir.

End of July: Setback for France in Italy.

22 August: Bonaparte embarks for France. Kléber succeeds hims as Commander-in- Chief.

1-5 October: Combats at Samhoud (Morand).

9 October: Belliard victorious at Sediman. Bonaparte arrives in Fréjus.

16 October: Bonaparte arrives in Paris.

11 November: Prevention of an attempted landing by Ottomans at Damietta. The Coup d’État of 18 Brumaire. Bonaparte provisory Consul with Siéyès and Roger Ducros.


28 January: Signature of the Convention of el-Arych (Kléber and Sidney Smith).

End of January: London refuses to ratify the convention.

19 February: Bonaparte moves into the Tuileries Palace.

20 March: Kléber’s victory at Heliopolis.

27 April: Retaking of Cairo by Kléber.

20 May: Bonaparte crosses the Saint Bernard pass.

14 June: Assassination of Kléber and the succession of Menou. First Consul’s victory at Marengo

3 December: Moreau’s victory at Hohenlinden.


9 February: Peace of Lunéville with Austria.

8 March: Landing in Alexandria of the allies commanded by Abercrombie.

21 March: Defeat of Menou at Canopus.

20 April: Death of Mourad Bey.

25 June: Belliard, under siege in Cairo, surrenders.

2 September: Menou surrenders in Alexandria.

20 September: Embarkation for Paris of French expeditionary force.


25 March: Peace of Amiens with England.

25 June: re-establishment of the peace with Turkey.


La Campagne d’Égypte 1798-1801. Mythes et réalites, dir. Allain Bernède, Gérard-Jean Chaduc, Paris Musée de l’armée, 1998, catalogue of exhibition of the same title, 15 May-18 October 1998.

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