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This was strongly opposed by the United States, now through with a civil war, and able to back up its Monroe Doctrine with muscle. 45 Hale countered: The United States has lately had under arms more than 100,000 of the same race. 46 Backtracking, Ismail then belittled French chances for victory, and explained that he had to keep the battalion at full strength because of previous agreements made by Said, but would send no additional units. 47 Such claims were only partially true, for Sudanese soldiers tended to serve for life.

31 Some troops obviously survived, and veterans of previous encounters were reasonably immune to repeat attacks. Thus, the latter were viewed as especially valuable for deployment around Vera Cruz. While troops of this nature were not available in France, Egypt had significant numbers in her army. Equatoria, the homeland of many Sudanese soldiers, had conditions similar to Vera Cruz. In addition, Egyptian soldiers maintained a reputation, just recently reconfirmed in the Crimea, as first-rate fighting men.

Organized as Bashi Bazouks, they also obtained state-of-the-art weaponry in the form of American revolvers. By the start of the Crimean War, 4,500 Albanians were part of the army, while almost 2,000 others served in various para-military functions. Although maintaining their traditional role as skirmishers, mountain warfare experts, and muscle for conscription authorities, they were also seen as an insurance policy against the regulars. 23 Another innovation was the creation of a camel corps. Envisioned mainly for internal security, its function was to increase the army’s mobility along Egypt’s desert frontiers.

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