Monday, March 7, 2011

Jaffa

'Upon his entering the Holy Land, Bonaparte again drove before him a body of the Mamelukes, belonging to those who, after the battles of the Pyramids and of Salahieh, had retreated into Syria; and his army occupied without resistance Gaza, anciently a city of the Philistines, in which they found supplies of provisions. Jaffa, a celebrated city during the time of the Crusades, was the next object of attack. It was bravely assaulted, and fiercely defended. But the French valour and discipline prevailed—the place was carried by storm—three thousand Turks were put to the »word, and the town was abandoned to the license of the soldiery, which, by Bonaparte's own admission, never assumed a shape more frightful. Such, it may be said, is the stern rule of war; and if 00, most of our readers will acquiesce in the natural exclamation of the Marechal dc Montluc: "Certes, we soldiers stand in more need of the Divine mercy than other men, seeing that our profession compels us to command and to witness deeds of such cruelty." It was not, however, to the ordinary horrors attending the storm of a town, that the charge against Bonaparte is on this occasion limited. He is accused of having been guilty of an action of great injustice, as well as of especial barbarity....'

From Walter Scott's "Life of Napoleon Bonaparte".  Napoleon took Jaffa on March 7, 1799.

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