Battle of Shubra Khit

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Battle of Shubra Khit
Part of Egyptian Campaign
Date13 July 1798
Location Shubra Khit, Egypt, Ottoman Empire
Result French Victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg France Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire
Flag of the Mameluks.svg Mamluks
Commanders and leaders
Napoleon Bonaparte Murad Bey
Strength
23,000 men [1]
3 gunboats
1 chebek
1 galley
4,000 Mamluks
10,000 Fellahin
7 gunboats
Casualties and losses
"Several" killed [2]
20 wounded
Unknown

The Battle of Shubra Khit (also known as the Battle of Chobrakit) was a battle that took place during Napoleon's campaign in Egypt on July 13, 1798. On their march to Cairo, the French encountered Mamluk cavalry under Murad Bey. Napoleon lined his forces up into infantry squares, a tactic which helped defeat the Mamluk cavalry, largely due to their inability to penetrate them without severe casualties [3] .

French campaign in Egypt and Syria conflict

The French Campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) was Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in the Ottoman territories of Egypt and Syria, proclaimed to defend French trade interests, weaken Britain's access to British India, and to establish scientific enterprise in the region. It was the primary purpose of the Mediterranean campaign of 1798, a series of naval engagements that included the capture of Malta.

Murad Bey Egyptian noble

Murad Bey Mohammed was an Egyptian Mamluk chieftain (Bey), cavalry commander and joint ruler of Egypt with Ibrahim Bey. He is often remembered as being a cruel and extortionate ruler, but an energetic courageous fighter.

Infantry square combat formation of infantry

Historically an infantry square, also known as a hollow square, is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order usually when threatened with cavalry attack. With the development of modern firearms and the demise of cavalry this formation is now considered obsolete.

Contents

Land

To repulse the Mamluk cavalry, which heavily outnumbered the French cavalry, the French formed their divisions up in rectangles. Formed up out of infantry six to ten ranks deep, the rectangles had a small group of cavalry and baggage in the center, with artillery at each corner. [4] For about the first three hours, the Mamelukes circled the rectangles, looking for a place to attack. Then, as the French and Egyptian flotillas offshore met, the Mamelukes attacked. [5] They were immediately stopped by fire from the French artillery and infantry. The Mamluks regrouped and attacked a different square, but were again stopped by the French artillery and infantry fire. After about an hour of defense, Napoleon ordered his troops to attack to relieve the naval flotilla, [5] pushing the Mamluks back to the village of Embabeh, where they engaged Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids. There, Napoleon based his plans on the rectangular formations used at Shubra Khit. [6]

Battle of the Pyramids battle

The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was a major engagement fought on 21st July 1798 during the French Invasion of Egypt. The French army, under Napoleon Bonaparte, scored a decisive victory against the forces of the local Mamluk rulers, wiping out almost the entire Egyptian army. It was the battle where Napoleon employed one of his significant contributions to military tactics, the divisional square. Actually a rectangle, the deployment of the French brigades into these massive formations repeatedly threw back multiple cavalry charges by the Egyptians.

Shubra Khit in Beheira Governorate, Egypt

Shubra Khit is a village in Beheira Governorate in Egypt, which is famous for being the place of the "Battle of Shubra Khit" between the army of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Mamluk cavalry under Murad Bey on July 13, 1798.

The flotilla under Captain Perree was attacked by the Mamluk flotilla at about the same time as the land battle began. [7] The Mamluks, with seven gunboats manned by Greek sailors, attacked the French. Within a short while, two gunboats and the galley had to be abandoned by the French, leaving only the chebek and the third gunboat, both of which were laden with civilians and troops that had abandoned the other ships. [7] These came under attack from the Mamluk flotilla, along with small arms fire and cannons from the shore. However, the Le Cerf managed to score a hit on the Mamluk flagship magazine, which caught fire and blew up the vessel. At about this time the ground forces were about to charge again, but the explosion sent both the flotilla and ground forces in full retreat. [7]

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References

  1. "Napoleonic Wars: Battle of the Pyramids, Page 2". HistoryNet. July 31, 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  2. Harold, p. 101.
  3. Paul Strathern - Napoleon in Egypt
  4. Harold, p. 98.
  5. 1 2 Harold, p. 100.
  6. "Napoleonic Wars: Battle of the Pyramids, Page 3". HistoryNet. July 31, 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 Harold, pp. 100–101.

Sources

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.