On September 3rd, 1798, the French invasion of Egypt began under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. The campaign was a strategic move aimed at securing French control over the Mediterranean and undermining British influence in the region.

Napoleon, who had just returned from his successful Italian campaign, saw Egypt as a potential base for further military operations against the British and their allies. He believed that by securing Egypt, he could threaten British supply lines in the Middle East and potentially even advance on India.

The French forces, consisting of 13,000 soldiers and 400 guns. Landed at Aboukir Bay on the Mediterranean coast and quickly moved inland towards Cairo. The Egyptian forces, led by Mameluke ruler Muhammad Ali, put up stiff resistance, but were eventually defeated in a series of battles.

French campaign in Egypt and Syria

In November, Napoleon personally led a 13,000-strong force to attack the British-held port of Malta. However, the campaign was a failure, and the French withdrawed after just six weeks.

The French occupation of Egypt lasted for more than four years. During which time Napoleon appointed his trusted general, Jean-Baptiste Kleber, as the governor of the country. Kleber was assassinated in 1800, and his successor, Jacques-François Menou, was forced to surrender to the British in 1801.

The French campaign in Egypt had several consequences. It weakened British control over the region and paved the way for the subsequent establishment of the Ottoman Empire in Egypt. It also had a significant impact on French culture and science. As scholars and scientists who traveled to Egypt during the campaign brought back a wealth of knowledge and artifacts.


In conclusion, the French campaign in Egypt was a significant event in European history. Marking the beginning of a new era of imperialism and competition between the major powers of the time. It had far-reaching consequences that shaped the course of history for many years to come.