'It is a charming sight, is it not, to see the great guns fire? And tonight you will see them in the dark, which is even finer. Lord, you should have seen the Nile! And Heard it! How happy you would have been!' (The Battle of the Nile, Thomas Luny, 1830, National Maritime Museum)
Battle of the Nile (Aug. 1, 1798), battle that was one of the greatest victories of the British admiral Horatio Nelson. It was fought between the British and French fleets in Abu Qir Bay, near Alexandria, Egypt.
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE - 1798. Plan illustrating a line of shoals running roughly north to south. Following the direction of the shoal is a line of 13 large blue "ship" symbols, with two more large symbols and four smaller ones inside this line. Clustered around the head of the "ship" line are 14 red ship symbols, with tracks showing their movements during the engagement.
At 21:00, a fire was seen on the lower decks of the Orient. Identifying the danger this posed to the French flagship, Captain Hallowell directed his gun crews to fire their cannon directly into the blaze. Sustained British cannon fire spread the flames throughout the ship's stern, and prevented all efforts to extinguish it. Within minutes the flames had ascended the rigging and set the vast sails alight.
The Battle of the Nile. An engraved print showing a tightly packed line of 13 warships flying the French flag. The ships are firing on eight ships flying the British flag that are steadily approaching them from the right of the picture.
The French ship Tonnant battling with HMS Majestic. Other than Culloden, the only British ships seriously damaged in their hulls were Bellerophon, Majestic and Vanguard, while Bellerophon and Majestic were the only ships to lose masts: Majestic the main and mizzen and Bellerophon all three.