On This Day in Napoleonic History – 20 October 1798

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5Revolt against the French rule in Cairo

Napoleon was preparing to move against the Turkish army that was gathering in Syria when the minarets of Cairo rang out for the general uprising. Soon the city was in an open revolt. Overall 300 Frenchmen would be killed, including chef de brigade Dupuy, Napoleon’s Polish aide-de-camp Jozef Sulkowski and 15 of Napoleon’s personal bodyguards. There were rumours that General Bonaparte himself had been killed, which inflamed the insurrectionists even more.

Bourienne reminisced, ‘Bonaparte immediately mounted his horse and, accompanied by only 30 guards, advanced on all threatened points, restored confidence and with great presence of mind adopted measures of defence.’

The revolt lasted almost three weeks and wouldn’t be crushed until November 11th.

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