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Ottoman Intelligence Gathering during Napoleon’s Invasion of Egypt and Palestine

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Chapter Summary

Covering the entire period of the Napoleon's invasion, the letters focus on events in Egypt and the Sinai, and on the advance of the French forces into Palestine. One letter, an assessment of the situation written by Jazzar Pasha himself, seems to be based on many of other letters. This chapter examines the batch of letters, the Ottoman intelligence gathering operation in the initial phases of this collision. It focuses on Ottoman strategy in the context of Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry, Gabor Agoston claims that the Ottomans had at least four information-gathering systems: central intelligence in Istanbul; information gathering by local Ottoman authorities along the Empire's borders; intelligence provided by client and vassal states; and espionage by Ottoman spies and saboteurs in foreign countries. Some of the letters sent from Palestine to the Sublime Porte contain indications of psychological warfare, probably instigated by Ottoman agents provocateurs.

Keywords: Egypt; Istanbul; Napoleon; Ottoman strategy; Palestine; psychological warfare



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