TEL AVIV (Dec. 2)
Excavations for a modern housing development on the outskirts of Acre have unearthed the bodies of a score of French soldiers who died nearly 200 years ago in Napoleon’s ill-fated attempt to take the city.
The soldiers, whose failure to take the city ended Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign against Syria, are to be reburied with full military honors in a Haifa cemetery.
The French consul in Haifa has accepted responsibility for the reburial, in a Haifa cemetery where other French soldiers of the period lie interred.
The recently discovered bodies were identified from the metal regimental buttons still attached to recognizable fragments of their uniforms, which were worn by the French emperorgeneral’s forces when they were forced to call off their assault against Acre in May 1799.
The hill outside Acre from which the famous general directed the battle is still known as Tel Napoleon.
The French consul informed the Haifa Municipal Council last week that he would arrange for annual memorial services for the servicemen of Napoleon’s eastern Mediterranean campaign to be held annually.