Sir William Sidney Smith

British Admiral

Admiral Cuthbert CollingwoodAnother daring Royal Navy officer, Sir William Sidney Smith proved a perennial thorn in the side of both Republican and Imperial France during the long wars.

His early career saw him at the battle of Cape St Vincent and Toulon, where he scuttled the bulk of the French ships before the British withdrawal, and in the service of the King of Sweden, earning a Swedish knighthood.

His adventures led to him being captured while on a raid near Le Havre, but Smith staged a remarkable break out from the Temple prison in Paris and found his way back to England.

At loggerheads with the shining star of the Royal Navy - Horatio Nelson - Smith found himself an independent command in the eastern Mediterranean and set about creating havoc for Napoleon Bonaparte's Army of Egypt.

Smith not only captured vital French siege guns - making it almost impossible for Bonaparte to capture Acre, but he also transported a Turkish army to face the enemy at Aboukir.

Smith's remarkable career led him to the field of Waterloo where he spent much of the day with the evacuation of British wounded.

Respected as a sailor, but disliked for his brashness, Smith was not knighted in Britain.

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