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Estbourg (Napoleon's World)

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Estbourg was the name of a major French enclave on the northern coast of Egypt, located on the northwesternmost point of the Sinai Peninsula, across the Sinai Canal from Port Said, which was administered by Egypt. Founded in 1860, it was regarded as an Egyptian complement to the bustling French metropolis in Algeria and West Africa, and was the administrative center of the French Sinai Canal Company. By 1900, the city had a population of 200,000 and was home to numerous European consulates and shipping companies, including the English-Egyptian Company and the Danish Sinai Company. Beyond its status as an economic hub, Estbourg housed one of France's Mediterranean fleets.

Tensions between the Egyptians and French escalated with the use of Estbourg as a staging ground for various expeditions of the Colonial Wars, especially the usage of the Canal to sail military vessels to Asia, which had been forbidden under the Treaty of Cairo. In 1915, the Egyptian Army, under orders of King Abbas I, crossed the Sinai Canal into French-occupied territory and attacked the city at dawn. After four days, the French Foreign Legion at Estbourg retreated, and despite two counterattacks the Franco-Egyptian War ended with an Egyptian victory. The fall of Estbourg and its later rechristening to Port Abbas is seen as the pivotal moment of Egypt's divorce from the French sphere of influence and its return to a strategic, economic and cultural alliance with Turkey.

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