3-7 March, 1799

Having captured Gaza, Napoleon Bonaparte and his Army of Egypt moved to take the stronghold at Jaffa.

Within three days of arriving, the time-conscious French launched themselves at the fort and overwhelmed it.

Some 4500 defenders were taken prisoner and would have been given parole, but Bonaparte discovered that most of them had previously given their word not to fight again and had been released after El Arish.

A furious Bonaparte then consulted his commanders about how to deal with them. It took over a week to decide their fate - which was to be executed.

The following massacre may have impressed his opponent Djezzar Pasha with its ruthlessness, but it was an act that gave Bonaparte's detractors plenty of ammunition with which to attack him.

And again the lengthy delay gave Djezzar and his troops at Acre time to better prepare that city's defences.




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