Battle of the Pyramids

Battle of the Pyramids

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(21st July 1798)

The decisive battle fought near the pyramids of Giza that gave Napoleon control of Egypt. He took Alexandria by storm on 2nd July, and then, with 40,000 men defeated a Mameluke army of 60,000 led by Murad Bey. The victory enabled Napoleon to take Cairo and allowed France to control Egypt until its withdrawal in 1801.

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Robert Owen

Robert Owen

(1771–1858)
Welsh social reformer and industrialist. A pioneer socialist thinker, he believed that character is a product of the social environment. He founded a model industrial community centred on his cotton mills at New Lanark in Scotland; this was organized on principles of mutual cooperation, with improved working conditions and housing together with educational institutions provided for workers and their families. He went on to found a series of other cooperative communities; although these did not always succeed, his ideas had an important long-term effect on the development of British socialist thought and on the practice of industrial relations.

Nimitz, Chester William

Nimitz, Chester William

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 (1885–1966)
US admiral. After various surface ship commands and shore appointments, he took over command of the Pacific Fleet in 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From his Hawaii headquarters, he deployed his forces to win the Battle of Midway, and subsequently supervised the moves in the Pacific Campaigns, leading to successful actions off Guadalcanal and in the Leyte Gulf. To a large extent he was responsible for making the Pacific Fleet, weakened by Pearl Harbor, the instrument of Japan’s defeat. After the war he was briefly chief of naval operations.

Musketeer

Musketeer

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 In the 16th and 17th centuries, a foot soldier armed with a musket, a large-calibre smooth-bore firearm that was aimed from the shoulder. Inefficient hand cannons had been used in Europe during the 14th century, and matchlock “arquebuses” were subsequently used, rather haphazardly, in battle. In the mid-16th century Spanish troops pioneered the use of the more powerful, more accurate mosquete (musket). They also evolved complementary battle tactics. Effective as these weapons were, infantrymen still needed forked stands as props for aiming and firing; and since they were slow to load, pikemen had to be included in battalions to protect musketeers from enemy cavalry charges. The 17th-century development of the bayonet eventually removed the need for pikemen. Wheel-lock and flintlock muskets also became practical for military use at this time.

John Lambert

John Lambert

(1619–83)

English major‐general. He rose to prominence as a Roundhead officer during the English Civil War. He accompanied Cromwell as second‐in‐command on the invasion of Scotland (1650). He entertained high political ambitions and was chiefly responsible for drafting England’s first written constitution, the Instrument of Government (1653). He supported Cromwell loyally (1653–57), but then resigned all his commissions when his own path to power seemed blocked. In 1662, after the Restoration, he was tried for treason, and spent the rest of his life in captivity.

Siege of Kut

Siege of Kut

(December 1915–April 1916)

Successful siege of the town of Kut-al-Amara, now in Iraq, by Turkish troops in World War I. Kut-al-Amara is on the River Tigris and was garrisoned by a British imperial force under General Townshend, who had retreated there after his defeat by the Turks at Ctesiphon. Badly organized relief forces failed to break through and the garrison capitulated on 29 April 1916 after a four-month siege. 10,000 prisoners were marched across the desert, two-thirds dying on the way, while some 23,000 troops of the relieving force were also lost. The defeat severely weakened Britain’s prestige as an imperial power although Kut-al-Amara was recaptured in February 1917.

Jones, John Paul

Jones, John Paul

(1747–92)


Scottish‐born American naval officer. In 1775 he joined the American Continental Navy and carried out a daring series of attacks on shipping in British waters, his best‐known exploit being his engagement and sinking of the naval frigate Serapis while in command of the Bonhomme Richard (1779).  In 1788 he joined the Russian navy as a rear‐admiral.

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