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[War in Egypt]


Meanwhile the garrisons of Alexandria and Ramleh, about 6000 troops of all arms, supported by the ironclads, will stand on the defensive. The long delay in opening the campaign in Egypt is tantalising, and may be turned to good account by the rebels; but it is unavoidable. It is essential that there shall be no room for accidents, and that the force intended to crush Arabi should be overwhelming. Probably there will be further skirmishes on the outskirts of Alexandria, or even a further British advance with a view to remove, the obstructions in the canal, from which is drawn the indispensable water supply of that city. At the same time, Sir Archibald Alison is not meditating am aggressive movement. In ten days or a fortnight the transports which are taking the various regiments to the Mediterranean will be arriving in Egypt. Several of them, conveying the Commissariat and Land Transport Corps, horses and stores have already left our shores, and the Brigade of Guards, commanded by the Duke of Connaught, who was to leave for the East to-day, will form a reserve force at Cyprus. Including the Indian contingent, not less than 34,000 are expected to take, part in the land campaign; while some 8000 French Marines aided possibly by a small Italian force, will undertake the easy, comparatively cheap, and perhaps superfluous task of guarding the Suez Canal.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2256—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 29, 1882, p.102