Napoleon Bonaparte on Liberating the Middle Easterners
At the Napoleon in Egypt blog, more correspondence of Gen. Bonaparte concerning his planned invasion of Egypt, from April-May 1798. Included is his proclamation to the troops (who did not yet know where they were going) about the nature of their mission. See if it sounds familiar:
“TOULON, 10th May 1798.”
“Soldiers, you are one of the wings of the army of England.* You have fought on mountain and plain, and besieged forts; it remained for you to wage a maritime war.
“The Roman legions, which you have sometimes imitated but not yet equalled, fought against Carthage both by sea and on the plains of Zama. Victory never abandoned them because they were constantly brave, patient in the support of fatigue, well disciplined, and united.
“Soldiers, Europe has its eyes upon you.
“You have great destinies to fulfil, battles to fight, dangers to overcome. You will do more than you have yet accomplished for the prosperity of your country, for the happiness of mankind, and for your own glory.
“Sailors, infantry, cavalry, artillery, be united, and remember that on the day of battle you will stand in need of each other, &c. ”
The Revolutionary French named their armies for the intended object of conquest. The Army of England had been intended for a channel crossing. Diverted to Egypt, it became the Army of the Orient.