Wednesday, August 1st 1798

The Nile Delta.

Aboukir Bay – Mediterranean coast.

In one of the greatest naval battles in history, The Battle of the Nile – fought between the British Royal Navy led by Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson and the French Navy under Vice-Admiral François-Paul-Brueys d’Aigalliers – began on this day. By its’ conclusion on the third, a proverbial chink appeared in Napoleon’s armor, the Emperor’s hopes for dominating that region now crushed. And Lord Nelson became a hero.

On August 1, 1798, Admiral Horatio Nelson and the British navy sailed into Abukir [sic] Bay, Egypt. After months of searching the Mediterranean Sea, Nelson finally had the French fleet cornered. Disregarding naval convention, Nelson readied his fleet for battle even though it was nearing evening. By the end of the next day, the French fleet was in tatters and Napoleon’s flagship, the enormous Orient, had exploded with such fury that fewer than 100 of the 1,000 or so men aboard her survived. Nelson and his “Band of Brothers” had achieved a spectacular victory in what Patrick O’Brian called “the best naval battle of the millennium.”

— Excerpt: Review – Napoleon’s Lost Fleet: Bonaparte, Nelson, and the Battle of the Nile

Per the works of Patrick O’Brian and the motion picture Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World, Jack Aubrey, who was a young lieutenant assigned to the HMS Leander, served under his hero Lord Nelson and was awarded a silver Nile medal. Jack’s then-Lieutenant Pullings – according to the movie – was a midshipman, ‘still yearning for hearth and home…’

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