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France history notes
1. History of France Kings and Queens
2. Napoleon Bonaparte
3. Napoleon Bonaparte
4. Napoleon Bonaparte the early years
5. General of Revolutionary France.
6. Napoleon Military Ambition
7. The Revolutionary Directory
8. French army of Italy
9. Bonaparte First Consul for life
10. Napoleon Invasion of England
11. The Battle of Austerliz
12. Map of the Battle of Austerlitz
13. Battle of Jenna
Napoleon persuaded his masters (the Directory) to sanction this campaign and on the 9th June 1798 Bonaparte took Malta from the Knights Hospitaller, securing a geographically important naval base for his invasion of Egypt.
A French invading army landed on the 1st July at the port of Alexandria and marched toward Cairo around which they fought the battle of Chobrakit where they defeated a sizable Memeluke ( Turkish Warrior) force who had long occupied Egypt. On the 21st July Bonaparte again confronted the Memeluke army at ' The Battle of the Pyramids' where his superior tactical ability again crushed the opposition.
With control of the ocean all important a British Naval fleet under Horatio Nelson frustrated the French Campaign, where on 1st August 1798 the British Admiral defeated the French fleet at the ' Battle of the Nile'. Bonaparte could be master of the field, but not of the seas.
Napoleon not deterred moved onward, to march his army into the Ottoman Empire coast and assault the major towns and ports in 1799. This led to the massacre at Jaffa ( where the French troops under Napoleons orders callously murdered the inhabitants who had surrendered,men,women and children with the use of bayonets and drowning, so as to preserve the stocks of gun powder).
Laying siege to the town of Acre 20th March 1799, the spread of Bubonic Plague and tropical disease started to spread throughout Napoleons army, while the citizens and soldiers of Acre would not surrender and suffer the same fate as Jaffa (Napoleons brutal mistake in alienating the population and now having opposing forces that would not surrender to him, no matter how overwhelming his force). To compound this situation, the British Navy had reinforced the defence of Acre by cutting the French supply route and giving close quarter cannon support from the sea.
On the 21st May Bonaparte was forced to withdrew his army to Egypt and leave behind any soldier that through illness could not keep up with the retreat (with the orders that they be poisoned so as not to be tortured and beheaded in revenge by the following Ottomans for the French atrocity at Acre).
The British Navy landed a Turkish Army (25th July) within Egypt to destroy the supposedly defeated and weak French Army. At the edge of the Mediterranean coast the two sides met at Abukir, where Napoleon showed that even while on the back foot he was a deadly opponent, his army swept away the Turkish forces who fled in panic and Bonaparte with this victory had for now secured Egypt for France.
While Bonaparte had been engaged in his Egyptian campaign the remaining Monarchs of Europe all feared for their crowns, political discontent among the masses was rife and the situation fragile. Something had to be done about Revolutionary France which seemed to be infecting the peoples of Europe with the need for new freedoms at the expense of the old Aristocratic ways. So with the dangerous French General Napoleon Bonaparte away in North Africa, in 1798 a ' Second Coalition' of nations had set about the conquest of this threat that endangered the power of their crowns. [ More]
Napoleon the military ambition.
General of the Revolutionary Directory France - Commander of the French Army of Italy
Napoleon Bonaparte now planned to invade Great Britain as this was now the only country to remain dedicated and active to his own destruction. The Royal Navy of Britain however, was still much stronger than the French fleet which had to support a channel crossing with his army, and Bonaparte needed to grind down the British ability and will to continue the fight. So as a prelude to his assault on the British coast, Napoleon decided to threaten Britain's trade route with India by invading Egypt as this would also allow him to join with and support anti British Muslim Sultan forces within India with which Bonaparte felt he could not only drive the British out, but manipulate the political situation to French advantage.