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Egyptian «heritage» of Bonaparte

Tchoudinov Alexander

Until the end of his life, Napoleon Bonaparte claimed that in 1799 he left Egypt and went to “save France” because the position of the Oriental Army he had left in Egypt was absolutely impeccable militarily, politically and economically. In contrast, Bonaparte’s successor as commander of the Oriental Army, General Jean-Baptiste Kléber, in his report to the French government described the position of the French in Egypt as catastrophic. Being already on St. Helena, Bonaparte made a lengthy commentary on Kleber's letter, accusing him of distorting the truth. To find out whose assessment of Bonaparte’s Egyptian “heritage” more closely corresponded to the real state of affairs, the author of the article made a comparative analysis of the Kleber's letter and Napoleon’s comments, checking the accuracy of the information provided by each of the participants of this dispute. As a result, the author came to the conclusion that, despite some exaggerations, it was Kleber's letter that most accurately reflected the position of the Oriental Army at the time of Bonaparte's departure from Egypt.

Keywords: history, Egyptian campaign, Napoleon Bonaparte, Jean-Baptiste-Kléber
Link: Tchoudinov A. Egyptian «heritage» of Bonaparte // Annual of French Studies 2019. Т. 52: The era of Napoleon and her memory.М. P. 100-127.