Monday, March 3, 2014

Forgotten History : #EgyArmy in Crimea

As Egyptians are now boosting on how Oscar Winner Kate Blanchett started her acting career as an extra in one of Egypt’s 1990s cult films “I consider it a cult film” , they are now boosting on how the Egyptian army
Yes our Egyptian army fought along the Ottoman army in 1853 over the control of Crimea against the Russian army. Oh yes we did.
Saudi owned News Channel reminded us with that forgotten piece of our history from Prince Omar Tousson’s book “The Egyptian army in the Crimean war 1853-1855”
According to Prince Tousson, the Ottoman Emperor asked the help of his allies and thus Abbas I of Egypt then sent Egyptian troops to help him. He sent a fleet of 12 warships with 6850 soldiers and 642 cannons led by Admiral Hassan Pasha El Iskandarany. For land battles , Abbas I sent 20,000 solider and 72 cannons led by army commander Selim Pasha Fathy who died in the battle there and was buried in a cemetery near the Big Khan Mosque.
After the Ottoman’s victory in the battle , two Egyptian warships sunk in the Black sea and Egyptian Navy lost 1920 of its members in one of our Egyptian navy’s worst disasters ever.
Prince Omar Tousson was one of my favorite princes and characters in the Mohamed Ali Royal Family as well one of my favorite Egyptian explorers who a great role played a real role in Egypt’s scientific and cultural life  in the first half of the 20th century.
Commander of Egyptian troops Ismail Pasha-Roger Fenton
Now more sources about what our army did in the Crimean can be found in this fantastic website “Ottoman-uniforms” which provides links to interesting websites about that war and the Egyptian participation there.
This website got more details and info about the war than Tousson including more losses for Egyptian armed forces there. For instance in a war battle with Russian Navy where Egyptian Frigate “Damietta” was sunk also in the Black Sea and on its board not less than 400 Egyptian soldiers. In Land battles we had our shares of losses as well despite fighting bravely. We lost about 400 soldiers who were buried in the Islamic Cemetery of the city.
Ottoman-Uniforms websites links to rare photo gallery and letters of British Photographer Roger Fenton who took photos from this war where he spoke about the Egyptian troops and its commander Ismail Pasha.
Here is a photo of Ismail Pasha along with his men including a Nubian Slave. “I hate that word”
Here is a photo gallery for the photos I found it for our troops there.
Unfortunately all that information are not to be found in the official website of Egyptian armed forces.
Speaking seriously I feel sad when I meet Egyptians who do not know about the Egyptian army and its conquests , battles and adventures in the 19th century I feel very sad because we got a very interesting experience in that era from 1805 to 1882.
Of course this ignorance is a result of Nasser’s policies to erase all the Pre-1952 history keeping the old heritage of the pharaohs alive changing the official history in order it would start at his time. A thing we are still doing it , a thing we can not get rid of it. It is one of the crimes the 1952 July made actually when you think about it.
As long as we have no access to our true history and its records we will no never learn from our mistakes for real.


  1. Just stumble upon this site. I agree with you. Nasser and its regime still rule egypt until now and try to brainwash egyptians, that only them can make egypt prosperous. This is an old ancient thinking that has been practiced since the day of pharaoh.

  2. Thanks for the post c .


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