CAIRO – 23 August 2022: August 22 marked the 223rd anniversary of the departure of Napoleon Bonaparte from Alexandria, Egypt to France, in an attempt to save his country from European attempts to control it.
The administrative government had in fact sent to Bonaparte asking him to return to France to fend off any possible attack or invasion of the country, but the message did not reach him due to the poor means of transportation and communication at that time.
During his stay in Egypt, Napoleon used to read the French newspapers and telegrams that he received intermittently to stay acquainted with the European affairs. He discovered that the European countries turned against France, defeated it in the Second Coalition War and reclaimed from it what it had gained.
On August 24, 1799, Bonaparte seized the opportunity of the temporary withdrawal of the British ships from the French coasts and set sail for France, despite receiving no orders from Paris to return.
According to the book "Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt" by Ahmed Hafez Awad, Napoleon's travel was a lot like fairy tales, given that the English ships were standing by on the Egyptian coasts, waiting to kill or arrest him.
According to the "The Count of Aeon Vigo", Napoleon left the outskirts of Alexandria with his companions at night. When they came down from a point on the shore, they left the horses they were riding, and returned to a garrison in Alexandria, until the garrison panicked, the trumpets were raised, and the guards rose, thinking that there was a campaign that took them by surprise.
According to a confidant of Napoleon's, he departed at night on board the ships "Lamubrun" and "La Carrier", accompanying 400-500 individuals. The night was so dark, that they groped for access to the ships under the lights of the stars.
Napoleon ordered the captains of the ship to march along the African shores until he reached the south of the island of Sardinia. He believed that if the English attacked him while he was on the African coast, he could freely make his way inside Tunisia and Oran.
The book explains that Napoleon's departure was a secret even to Kleber, his deputy and the leader of the French campaign after him. The news of the French general's departure even surprised the French in Cairo, and the Egyptians.