Battle of Aboukir Bay (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Battle of Aboukir Bay destroys the French fleet, isolates more than thirty-five thousand soldiers in Egypt, and ends Napoleon Bonaparte’s attempt to march eastward to India.
Summary of Event
Napoleon’s conclusion of peace with Austria in 1797-1798 brought a temporary cessation of hostilities on the Continent. Only France and Great Britain remained belligerents. However, since France could not control the English Channel long enough to invade successfully the island kingdom, and the British had no sizable army, the war between the two powers had reached a stalemate. Napoleon Bonaparte, then a promising young French general, proposed to the Directory that the best way to conquer the British would be to attack their trade routes to the East.
On May 19, 1798, he sailed from Toulon at the head of a military expedition bound for Egypt and hopefully for India. After stopping at Malta long enough to raise the French flag and reorganize the government, Bonaparte landed his army near Alexandria at the beginning of July. He took the city by assault with little difficulty, and the French army then marched southeast to the Rosetta leg of the Nile and south to Cairo. Within sight of the pyramids at Giza, the Egyptian army was defeated, and Bonaparte occupied the capital on July 24, 1798.
For all practical purposes, Egypt had been conquered. The defeated army split into two sections,...
(The entire section is 1312 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!