Mamelukes of Egypt

NAPOLEON failed to conquer Egypt, and the Mamelukes came back into power, though under the nominal rule of the Turkish Sultan, the head of the Mahometan faith. The Sultan sent as regent of Egypt Mehemet-Ali, a Syrian slave who had risen to power in Turkey. Mehemet did what five centuries had failed to do; he broke the rule of the Mamelukes. On his first coming to Egypt he found that they thwarted him in every way. At one time they were in open rebellion. He feigned to yield to them, flattered and favored them, and finally summoned them all to visit his citadel to plan a campaign against the Arabs.

Donning their gayest uniforms, the Mamelukes, the finest body of cavalry in the world, rode into Cairo. Mehemet welcomed them warmly, and invited them to parade within the walls of the lofty citadel. Apparently with no suspicion of treachery they entered at its gate. The portcullis dropped behind them; they were in a trap. Then on every side, from the height of blank and gloomy walls, or the safety of barred windows, appeared the soldiers of Mehemet, and shot them down. Seeing there was no escape, many of the Mamelukes folded their arms and with turbaned heads bowed in prayer, calmly awaiting death. Others dashed to and fro upon their steeds waving their swords and challenging and cursing those who had betrayed them. Tradition says that only a single Mameluke escaped, by urging his horse to a tremendous leap over the battlements. The rule of this celebrated soldiery was broken forever.

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Read about Mamelukes of Egypt in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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