The French Army of the Orient 1798-1801

Napoleon's beloved 'Egyptians'

Yves Martin

The uniforms, organisation and equipment of Napoleon's French army in Egypt.
Publication date:
September 2017
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
32pp colour ills, well illustrated
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781911512714

Dimensions : 248 X 180 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


• Totally new and never seen contemporary colour iconography showing the French troops in Egypt
• Original primary source material drawn from the French military archives never published before in English
• Original modern artwork by 20th century French military artists Eugène Leliepvre, Henri Boisselier never published before
• A broad study covering all the period including the army which faced the British expeditionary force in 1800

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.


I think this is a wonderful book, both as an introduction to, and an in-depth account of, this army. I can't wait for the British volume, and the prospect of a similar volume on the Turks fills me with joy.
Miniature Wargames - Arthur Harman

This is a meticulously researched book on the Army of the Orient and the author's passion for the subject shows through. The collection of colour plates is particularly note-worthy. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the period who wants to find out more about the workings and organisation of Napoleon's armies.
Battlefield Magazine