The Battle of the Nile started late on the 1st August 1798 and took place throughout the night in Abū Qīr (Aboukir) Bay, Egypt.
The Royal Navy, under the command of Sir Horatio Nelson with 14 ships of the line defeated an anchored French fleet of 13 ships of the line under the command of Francois-Paul Brueys D’Aigalliers
As many of the French sailors were ashore the anchored French fleet was unable to weigh on the sudden appearance of the British. Brueys may also have expected them to wait for morning to enter the shallow bay. Cptn. Thomas Foley leading the line in HMS Goliath realised there was sufficient depth to pass round the end of the French line and engage from the landward side. He did so followed by other ships of the fleet.
Vanguard lead the rest of the fleet down the seaward side leaving part of the French fleet engaged on both sides whilst some were not enaged. As the battle raged Orient was seen to be on fire. The nearest British ships seeing the danger stopped firing, closed their gunports and began edging away from the blazing flagship. Three French ships also cut their anchor cables and drifted away. At about 22:00 the fire reached the magazines and the ship was torn apart by a massive explosion, which was so stunning that all firing ceased for a while. Next morning the surviving French ships Guillaume Tell, Généreux, Justice and Diane, formed up and stood out to sea.
British casualties were 218 killed and approximately 677 wounded. French casualties are estimated from 2,000 to 5,000, with a suggested a median point of 3,500 which includes over a thousand captured wounded and nearly 2,000 killed, half of which died on Orient.
Novels based around this battle.
|Orion||74||Cptn. Sir James Saumarez
(Second in Command)
|Theseus||74||Ralph Willet Miller|
|Vanguard||74||Flag - Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson
Cptn. - Edward Berry
|Bellerophon||74||Henry D'Esterre Darby||Dismasted. Drifted away|
|Majestic||74||George Blagdon Westcott (Killed in Action)|
|Leander||50||Thomas Boulden Thompson|
|Culloden||74||Thomas Troubridge||Grounded. Did not engage|
|Guerrier||74||Jean-François-Timothée Trullet||Captured. Scuttled (burnt) 18 Aug.|
|Conquérant||74||Etienne Dalbarade (Mortally Wounded)||Captured|
|Aquilon||74||Henri-Alexandre Thévenard (Killed in Action)||Captured|
|Peuple Souverain||74||Pierre-Paul Raccord||Captured|
|Franklin||80||Flag - Rear-Admiral Armand Blanquet du Chayla
Cptn. - Maurice Gillet
|Orient||118||Flag - Vice-Admiral Francois-Paul Brueys D’Aigalliers
Contre-Admiral Honoré Ganteaume
Cptn. - Luc-Julien-Joseph Casabianca
(Killed in Action)
|Tonnant||80||Commodore Aristide Aubert Du Petit Thouars
(Killed in Action)
|Heureux||74||Jean-Pierre Étienne||Captured. Scuttled (burnt) 16 Aug.|
|Mercure||74||Lt. Cambon||Captured. Scuttled (burnt) 18 Aug.|
Flag - Rear-Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve
Cptn. - Saulnier
|Généreux||74||Captain Louis-Jean-Nicolas Le Joille||Escaped|
|Timoléon||74||Captain Louis-Léonce Trullet||Run aground and scuttled (blown up) 3 Aug.|
|British Fleet - Also Present|
|Mutine||16||Lt. Thomas Hardy|
|French Fleet - Also Present|
|Diane||38||Flag - Contre-Admiral Denis Decrès
Cptn. - Éléonore-Jean-Nicolas Soleil
|Artémise||36||Pierre-Jean Standelet||Surrendered but run aground and scuttled (blown up) 3 Aug.|
|Sérieuse||36||Claude-Jean Martin||Sunk by Orion 1 August, later burnt|