Activities of European Military Missions in Islamic Countries of Asia and Northern Africa (last quarter of the 18th – first third of the 19th Centuries)

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The activities of European military missions in the Muslim countries of Asia and Northern Africa, at the end of the Enlightenment and the epoch of revolutions and Napoleonic wars that followed it, is fragmentarily represented in the historians’ research works.

The study summarizes the research of the activities of official European military missions in the Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Iran at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the context of the topic, the activities of military missions in Tunisia and some states of India are mentioned. The dispatch of officers to the East at that time was the first experience of the British, French and Prussian governments in using their military missions in Muslim countries. The time this way of interaction with Eastern states appeared, namely the last third of the 18th century – the first third of the 19th century was the subject of studies by some historians on specific countries. But summarizing work on the activities of European officers in Istanbul, Tehran, Cairo and Tunisia has not yet been created. The methodology of summarizing the activities of officers and sergeants from the European armies in this region allows us to come to important conclusions about the history of military modernization in the East. The work complements the history of European colonialism in Asia.

This topic could not have been studied without the active assistance of European scholars. Literature on the topic of the study provided by colleagues and useful advice from professional historians contributed to the development of the researched problems.

The study covers the initial stage of such a complex and intricate military-political process as the use of official military missions of European states in Asia and Muslim Africa and complements the author’s previous works published earlier. The study shows versatile methods of influence on Muslim countries through the activities of military mission officers of European states. Espionage, ambitious adventures, latent arms trade, hidden influence on the military reforms of Asian countries and foreign policies of these states – this is by no means a complete list of the hidden work of military instructors sent from European capitals in the late 18th – early 19th centuries to a different cultural world.


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Falko, S. (2024) “Activities of European Military Missions in Islamic Countries of Asia and Northern Africa (last quarter of the 18th – first third of the 19th Centuries)”, Problems of World History, (25), pp. 7–50. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2024-25-1.
Author Biography

S. Falko

Fal’ko Sergii – Ph.D. in History, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the National Academy of the National Guard of Ukraine.


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