Art of Paul Deacon
British order of battle
French order of battle
unsuccessfully tried to catch the French fleet on its way
to Egypt, Britain's Admiral
Nelson finally got within cannon shot at Aboukir Bay.
had 13 ships under his command, four fewer than Admiral
Brueys d'Aigalliers, who felt protected by land batteries
soon as he saw the French Nelson set to them, but first
his vessels had to brave fire from the battery placed on
got past those guns, the British then exploited poor positioning
by Brueys d'Aigalliers, who had allowed too much room at
the head of his line, and sailed down the unmanned shore-side
of the first French ships, pummeling them with little fear
of return fire.
arriving vessels also took advantage of similar gaps in
the French line and even the mighty 120-gun L'Orient was
in desperate trouble. It had forced the nearly sinking Bellerophon
out of the battle but, at 10pm, the French flagship exploded
after being set upon by a pack of British ships.
The Nile was a stunning victory for Nelson with only four
enemy vessels escaping.
and determination have never been more impressively characterised
than those of Aristide
Aubert Dupetit-Thouars, captain of the Tonnant, during
the Battle of the Nile. Thouars had his right arm shot away,
then the left and finally one of his legs was taken off
by a cannonball. Refusing to give up command, he insisted
on being put in a tub of bran that was on deck and led his
men until he collapsed from blood loss. One of his final
orders was to nail the Tricolour to the mast so it could
not taken down in surrender.
from Napoleon Bonaparte to Admiral Breuys' widow