Guns in the Desert: General Jean-Pierre Doguereau's Journal of Napoleon's Egyptian Expedition

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Academic, Dec 30, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 200 pages

This lively, firsthand account of an army trapped in a hostile land, cut off from reinforcement and facing powerful enemies, is offered in English for the first time. As an active artillery officer, Jean-Pierre Doguereau was present at most of the major battles and sieges of the campaign. He suffered the hardships and disappointments and experienced the triumphs and hopes of the courageous, but ultimately doomed, Army of the Orient. While essentially the account of a professional soldier, the journal also details Doguereau's wonder and reflections on the invaded country and its people, so different from the land he and his comrades had expected.

As the memoir of a junior staff officer, albeit one who later rose to high rank, this account gives a view from the discomfort of the bivouac. Doguereau details the taking of El Arich and the murder of the garrison at Jaffa, the failure of the assault on Acre, then the terrible march of the plague-stricken French Army back to Cairo. After Napoleon departs for France, the struggle continues against the rising opposition of the Turks. Doguereau writes with an air of great honesty in a style that avoids self-glorification. This translation should interest all students of the period and all who study the reactions of human beings under stress.

Bibliographic information