During his stay in Egypt, Napoleon planned to conquer Syria and attacked it in February 1799. In the beginning be achieved victory and established his control on Gaza and Jafa.
He besieged Ekka in the month of March but he failed to conquer it even after a siege of two months.
After receiving information from France that a second coalition had been formed against France, he decided to return and on 21st August 1799, he slipped to France stealthily. Hayes remarks on Egyptian invasion:
“The Egyptian campaign of 1798 was spectacular rather than successful.”
Napoleon’s Return to France
Napoleon decided to return to France due to the following reasons:
1. England had formed the second coalition against France, and Naples, Portugal and Turkey had also joined it.
2. A rumour also reached the ears of Napoleon that the French army had been ousted from Italy and there was fear of a foreign attack on France.
Hence leaving his army in Egypt Napoleon stole away to France and reached his country on 9th October 1794 in spite of the presence of Nelson in the Mediterranean Sea. The people of France were unaware of his defeats and welcomed him as a saviour of France.
Now he realised that the pear was ripe and he had come back at the proper time. Fievee had written in his memoirs about the importance of Napoleon:
“Every peasant I met in the fields, the vineyards and woods stopped and asked me if there was news of General Bonaparte, and why he did not come back to France. No one enquired after the Directory.”
Thus the Egyptian romance which had begun in a blaze of glory, ended in a conspirator’s flight in spite of the construction of a mosque and flattering of the religious susceptibilities of the followers of Islam.