Intervention in Egypt

Edward M. Spiers

in The Victorian Soldier in Africa

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780719061219
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700556 | DOI:
Intervention in Egypt

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This chapter provides the information on several interventions in Egypt that contrasted with recent campaigns in Africa and Afghanistan. The interventions in Egypt involved the largest expeditionary force despatched by Britain since the Crimean War and achieved a decisive outcome in less than two months. The campaign avoided any reverses such that Isandlwana, Maiwand or Majuba, and reflected impressive co-operation between the armed services. The intervention was a response to the growth of the nationalist movement in Egypt under the military leadership of Arabi Pasha, the Egyptian minister of war, and its burgeoning hostility towards European control over Khedive Tewfik's Government and its finances. This hostility reached a crescendo when riots erupted in Alexandria (11 June 1882), involving the so-called massacre of Christians and the flight of many Europeans. The reluctance of the Porte or France to support intervention ensured that it would be an exclusively British affair. The entire First Class Army Reserve was called out and forces were despatched from England, the Mediterranean garrisons and India.

Keywords: First Class Army Reserve; Crimean War; armed services; nationalist movement; military leadership; Mediterranean garrisons; Egypt

Chapter.  10295 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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