Derviş İbrahim Paşa was one of the most important military commanders of the 19th-century Ottoman Empire. He received international attention first for his role during the Russo-Ottoman war of 1877/78, where he commanded the garrison of Batum, and then as head of Sultan Abdülhamid’s 1881/82 mission to Egypt attempting to forestall the loss of the province. This contribution aims to serve as a starting point for a better understanding of his biography. We establish the basic chronology of Derviş Paşa’s career and review narratives regarding his personality and character. In the process, we establish the necessity of identifying and critically examining the use of clichés in contemporary European sources.