Cover image for Napoleon's lost fleet : Bonaparte, Nelson, and the Battle of the Nile
Napoleon's lost fleet : Bonaparte, Nelson, and the Battle of the Nile
Foreman, Laura.
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Publication Information:
New York : Discovery Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
215 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
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DC226.N5 F67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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August 1, 1798: Thirteen French ships sit anchored in Aboukir Bay off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, in support of Napoleon, now ashore with the bulk of his troops. Nighttime approaches--and so do the British. Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson has for months been hunting Napoleon at sea; now, upon his command, the English fleet opens fire on the surprised and trapped enemy. By battle's end, nearly all of the French ships are sunk or captured, and the 120-gun flagship Orient--the pride of the French navy--has exploded. With 1,700 of his men dead, Bonaparte's ability to dominate the region is crushed. Nelson becomes a hero throughout all of Britain. Discovery Books presentsNapoleon's Lost Fleet: Bonaparte, Nelson, and the Battle of the Nile, a spirited chronicle of Lord Nelson's pursuit of Napoleon as the French general set out to capture Egypt. Gifted storytellers Laura Foreman and Ellen Blue Phillips bring this great age of naval warfare to life as they recount the greed, audacity, bravery, and bloodshed that made up this, the Battle of the Nile. With equal parts bold narrative and historical accuracy, the authors show Bonaparte and Nelson as complex and brilliant militarists destined to lead their countries to glory. That Nelson prevailed in Egypt was testament to his impudence, his highly maneuverable ships--and considerable good fortune. Despite an ill-equipped, undermanned, and financially strapped navy, Napoleon had assembled a formidable armada of 13 battleships, 300 transport vessels, and 38,000 men. His plan to conquer Egypt--which started off with a treasure-raiding stop at Malta along the way--might well have succeeded if the pursuing Nelson had not followed a hunch about Bonaparte's destination. Following this riveting account of the chase, the battle, and the aftermath, the book takes readers far beneath Aboukir Bay with French underwater explorer Franck Goddio and his team as they dive at the site of the Orient and two other sunken French ships, the Serieuse and the Artemise. There they uncover and salvage exotic coins, artillery, personal artifacts, and other finds that speak eloquently of life at sea and at war in the late eighteenth century. Lavishly illustrated with more than 200 extraordinary full-color photographs, expedition images, portraits, scenic paintings, and battle maps,Napoleon's Lost Fleetjoins military history with cutting-edge marine archaeology to captivate all lovers of discovery.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Reflecting its television tie-in to a Discovery Channel series, this visually rich vessel transports readers back to the age of sail. In 1798, the French Directory, stymied in its desire to invade England, launched its fabled invasion of Egypt, placing Napoleon Bonaparte at its head and pitting him against Britain's Horatio Nelson. The authors, following summary biographies of each principal, recount the preliminary maneuvering of the fleets and then offer a stirring rendition of the battle itself, including Nelson's signature attack, which engendered his legend: despite inferior numbers, he sallied in immediately, split his enemy's line, surrounded its fragments, and defeated them in detail. Supporting the main narrative are sidebars on the technology of wooden warships and the discomforts of serving on them, as well as a rich representation of the paintings inspired by the battle, including three of the explosion of L'Orient. --Gilbert Taylor

Library Journal Review

Lavishly illustrated and crisply written, this polished history succeeds on several levels as it depicts one of history's greatest naval battles and the two military men whose names will be forever linked. The Battle of the Nile, fought in 1798 in Egypt's Abukir Bay between the British fleet commanded by Lord Horatio Nelson and the French fleet of Napoleon Bonaparte, prevented the Mediterranean Sea from becoming a French lake and ensured Britain's dominance as the only global naval power in the Napoleonic era. Nelson's astonishingly bold nighttime victory over the French made Nelson a hero and forced Napoleon to abandon his army in Egypt and flee back to France. In addition to the naval battle, the authors (both journalists) provide dramatic background to the lives of both Nelson the sailor and Napoleon the emperor. The spirited narrative also includes a photo essay of the 1996 underwater archaeological discovery of the French fleet at the bottom of Abukir Bay. A superb companion to the Discovery Channel's television program of the same name; recommended for all public libraries.√ĄWilliam D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.