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(2nd battle)
22 March 1801

Landing at Aboukir with 18,000 men, Britain's Sir Ralph Abercromby tried to push through the French positions sealing the narrow isthmus that led to Alexandria.

Strong defence, however, foiled the move and so the British withdrew and set up defensive works of their own.

A strong body of French reinforcements arrived and so General Jacques-Francois Menou decided to throw the British off with a daring night attack.

A local spy tipped off the British, but Menou's plan was sufficiently clever to render the early warning almost useless.

His men began an expected attack against the weaker British left wing but this was only a feint and the true target - the strong British right protected by Roman ruins and a redoubt - soon came under massive pressure.

Fortunately, for the redcoats, the troops there were led by the brilliant General Sir John Moore, who stemmed the assault and then ordered a bayonet-led counterattack by the 42nd Highlanders that sent the French into retreat - but advanced too far and was cut down by enemy horsemen.

The situation was still dangerous for the British but reinforcements arrived just in time and overwhelmed the exhausted French.

Menou lost 3000 men while the British suffered 1300 casualties, including the mortally wounded Abercromby who died a week later.



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