Under fire, the Field Marshal in charge of Egypt
Given the degree of animosity that has been directed at Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi over the past four days, it is easy to lose sight of just how popular he and his army were in the first flushes of revolutionary Egypt.
When the Field Marshal visited troops stationed in Tahrir Square on February 4, it appeared to emphasise his solidarity with the demonstrators. What a difference nine months can make.
Yet nobody can say the writing wasn't on the wall. US cables published by Wikileaks described Tantawi as "aged and change-resistant". They suggested the old warhorse was not nearly as popular with his officers as he was in with many Egyptians.
Originally of south-Egyptian Nubian origin, Tantawi was born in 1935 and served his military education in Russia during the 1950s, a time of huge political upheaval in Egypt. He fought during the 1956 Suez Crisis, when the newly ensconced and wildly popular Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Canal, and later served in the 1967 and 1973 wars against Israel.
A close confidant of Former President Hosni Mubarak, he served as minister of defence from 1991 and became overall commander of the armed forces four years later.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
German chancellor Angela Merkel named most powerful woman in the world by Forbes - again
World news in pictures
Eyewitness gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 4 Eyewitness gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.