Battle of Heliopolis (1800)

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Battle of Heliopolis
Part of the Egypt-Syria Campaign
Bataille d'Héliopolis.jpg
Bataille d'Héliopolis, by Jean-Charles Langlois
Date 20 March 1800
Location Heliopolis
Coordinates: 30°06′00″N 31°20′00″E / 30.1000°N 31.3333°E / 30.1000; 31.3333
Result French victory
France French Republic Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Jean-Baptiste Kléber Yussuf Pasha
Ibrahim Bey
10,000[1][2] 60,000[2][3]
Casualties and losses
600 dead or wounded[2] 8,000-9,000 dead, wounded or captured[2]

The Battle of Heliopolis was a French victory by the armée d'Orient under General Kléber over the Ottoman army at Heliopolis on 20 March 1800.

Kléber engaged in negotiations with both the British and Ottomans, with the aim of honourably evacuating the remains of the French force from Egypt to take part in operations in Europe. An accord (the convention of El Arich) was concluded on 23 January 1800 allowing such a return to France, but it proved impossible to apply due to internal dissensions among the British and the dithering of the Sultan, and so the conflict in Egypt restarted.

Kléber was betrayed by the British Admiral Keith, who did not respect the El Arich convention. Kléber restarted hostilities, for he refused to surrender. The British and the Ottomans believed the armée d'Orient was now too weak to resist them, and so Yussuf Pasha marched on Cairo, where the local population obeyed his call to rise up.

Kleber led the outnumbered French troops to attack the Ottoman army at Heliopolis, decisively winning the battle and enabling them to re-enter Cairo and bring an end to the revolt.



  1. ^ Jean-Joël Brégeon, Kléber : Le dieu Mars en personne p. 232
  2. ^ a b c d Smith, Digby (1998). The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book: Actions and Losses in Personnel, Colours, Standards and Artillery, 1792-1815. Greenhill Books. p. 178.
  3. ^ Alain Pigeard, Dictionnaire des batailles de Napoléon, Tallandier, 2004
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