More than 200 years ago - under the inspiration and leadership of Bonaparte - a revolutionary French Army invaded Egypt, then part of the Ottoman Empire; this presence lasted beyond Bonaparte’s own departure and subsequent rise to power as First Consul. It ended with another invasion - this time by the British - and the repatriation in France of what was left of the 'Army of the Orient'. The birth of Egyptology; the rise of modern Egypt; the demise of the Ottoman Empire; and start of 'the great game' have all been often told and studied, but what is less well known is that as the French found themselves stranded in a foreign land - profoundly alien to them in culture and climate - they had to adapt to survive. Egypt was a proving ground for many officers and ordinary soldiers who were to rise to prominence during the Napoleonic period. Some of Napoleon’s future inner circle - like Davout, Savary and Lasalle - were first spotted by the young Bonaparte in Egypt, and although initially unplanned as such, it turned out to be the first attempt by the French to build a colony on the African continent. It especially led the French Army to adopt totally new clothing and equipment; to organise native units; and even to draft men from faraway Darfur into its own ranks. Drawing from a wealth of original primary material - much of it never published or even seen before - this study focuses on the French Army of the Orient and its organisation, uniforms, equipment and daily life. It aims at providing a renewed and updated image of the French soldier, as told by the surviving archives, memoirs and rare contemporary iconography.
“ … a gem of a book …an essential book for anyone researching the Egyptian Campaign. The large number of uniform prints will make it very useful for wargamers and military miniatures painters. Highly Recommended.” Napoleon Series
“ … an excellent book, well worth its price…” Miniature Wargames
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