Part II: It was the only world power and today it seeks to regain its regional power

Sayed Ghoneim
9 Min Read
Sayed Ghoneim

As for the country’s history as a mediator, during the era of Omar bin al-Khattab, Amr ibn al-Aas led the Muslims to conquer Egypt in 641 AD. During the reign of Caliph Uthman, Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarh established a shipbuilding industry on Roda Island to build the fleet that defeated the Romans in the battle of That Al-Sawari south of Asia Minor in 655 AD. Ships were “one-third to one” at the time. The forward march of Egypt came to Ataiwlaunayn in 868 AD – 905 AD, then to Alakhcideen in 935 AD, and then Fatimid, as Egypt was at that time the centre of Khilafa.

Saladin defeated the Crusaders and retook Jerusalem in 1187, and then defeated Lewis and captured him in 1249. In 1260, Egyptians defeated the Mongols in Ein Galoot under the leadership of Saifuddin Qutuz. The Mongols named him Qutuz, as he put up an intense fight while they kidnapped him and sold him when he was young. In the Mogul language, the meaning of Qutuz is “the fierce dog”. His real name is Mahmoud, the son of Prince Mamdoud one of the princes of the Algorithm state in Central Asia.

In 1426, Cyprus was seized and annexed to Egypt during the reign of Sultan Barsbay. The Egyptian fleet also defeated the Portuguese commander Vasco de Gama at Aden in the battle of Duo to prevent his control of the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Hormuz.

Egypt was defeated under the leadership of Qansuh Al-Ghury in the battle of Marj Dabeq and under the leadership of Tumanbay in the battle of Al Raidania 1516-1517, in front of the Turkish, who were led by Selim I. Thus, the beginning of the Ottoman’s rule of Egypt was declared.

In 1805, Mohammed Ali Pasha, who is of Albanian origin, started his rule of Egypt depending on several different elements. His rule began with six Alays, each of which consists of five groups, with 800 soldiers in each group, making for a total of 2,400 soldiers. The contingents were trained by the French-led Suleiman Pasha Elfrinswe. He distributed these Alays across Sudan, Hijaz, and Greece. He also established the military school in Aswan, which was relocated several times until it settled in Al-Khanka.

The first military parade in the history took place in Jihad Abad between Khanka and Abu Zaabal with the parading of 18 groups (14,400 soldiers and 24 artillery pieces). The parade included the Naval School and Staff of War school in Jihad Abad, military musicals school, knights school, Tobjeeh School, Alpiedh school, and military engineers school. Muhammad Ali also sent military missions to Italy, England, Austria, and France, where he established an Egyptian school in which he rehabilitated 339 envoys. He also established schools of medicine, engineering, and martial arts with many industries in Egypt, so the Turkish and French languages were used in the army because of its missions that lasted until 1848.

In parallel, the Egyptian army also took part in the Wahhabi war in the Arabian Peninsula, which ended with the conquering of Al-Deriaa and led to the takeover of Sudan, Cyprus, and Crete. Then came Morh in the Greece war and Kawala War. Then Egypt occupied Kutahya in Sham and defeated the Ottomans, after that the Kutahya treaty was signed and Egypt was recognised in 1833. After years, there was the battle of Nusaybin, which was in revenge for the Ottoman victory in Marj Dabek and Alraydanah, the London Conference in 1840, and the inauguration of the family of Muhammad Ali on the ruling of Egypt.

Khedive Ismail had an unlimited number of soldiers in his army and sent 195 envoys to study the evolution of Russian fighting methods after Russia’s victory over France in 1870. He then sent the Egyptian war staff with its German counterparts on its annual trip to the Alsace region. He has expanded southward to Abyssinia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, and Chad. He then regained Sudan and signed the Egyptian-British joint convention that delineated the ruling of Sudan. During this period, the Egyptian army amounted to 23,000 soldiers as well as 32 fleet pieces. Egypt’s fleet was considered the third most powerful fleet in the world.

During his era, military schools were opened and the first military newspaper was published. In addition, military factories were established and it contracts were signed with France, the US, and England to supply weapons. This included the switching of the army system from French to German and the issuance of the first military law adapted from English and American law (military).

In July 1881, the British fleet bombed Alexandria and entered Egypt. In 1882, Ahmed Orabi led the army in a national movement until the Khedive Tawfiq arrested and exiled him and dissolved the army. British sergeant Afleen Wood, along with 27 other officers, had formed and led the Egyptian army to become the nucleus of the current army. This army has been involved in the battles of Vukh and Omdurman, then it was reduced again following the restoration of Sudan until World War I, where it expelled the Turks and tracked them until Sinai.

In 1919, Saad Zaghloul led the national movement against the British in Egypt until the British protectorate to Egypt was cancelled with several reservations in 28 February 1922 and the Egyptian constitution was issued. In 1938, the World War II broke out and the Egyptian army was responsible for the internal security of the country.

In May 1948, the Egyptian army took part in the war against Israel in defense of Palestine, where lives was lost as well as the village of Umm Rishrash (now Eilat). In 1952, the independence revolution emerged and Mohamed Naguib became the first president of Egypt, followed by Gamal Abdel Nasser. During Nasser’s reign, Egypt experienced the Suez war in 1955/1956 and the Yemeni war in 1962. In June 1967, Israel carried out an attack on Egypt and easily recaptured Sinai. Sadat took over the presidency in 1970 and Egypt was once again locked into a fourth round of conflict with Israel in 1973 and recovered a large part of Sinai. The conflict turned into negotiations when peace agreements were signed in 1979, followed by a full withdrawal of Israel from Sinai in 1982.

In February 1991, Egypt participated with a Command Authority, two mechanic and armoured infantry divisions, and special units in the war to liberate Kuwait. In 2015, it participated with air and naval forces within the international coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. The Egyptian army is currently waging a war against terrorism in northern Sinai in order to restore stability and security of the country.

Although Egypt has suffered from invasions, colonialism, tyranny, and migrations, it has kept its primary borders known for thousands of years. In contrast, other states have disappeared, merged, or split while Egypt remained with all its inherited problems and strengths. Now, in light of regional conflict and the spread of terrorism in the region, the great powers and regional powers had to support Egypt to regain its position among regional powers in the Middle East.

Sayed Ghoneim is a fellow at the Nasser Higher Military Academy and a security and defence adviser on the Middle East and North Africa

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