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.
Goliath (74) Thomas Foley
Zealous (74) Samuel Hood
Orion (74) Cptn. Sir James Saumarez (Second in Command)
Audacious (74) Davidge Gould
Theseus (74) Ralph Willet Miller
Vanguard (74) Flag - Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, Cptn. - Edward Berry
Minotaur (74) Thomas Louis
Defence (74) John Peyton
Bellerophon (74) Henry D'Esterre Darby Dismasted. Drifted away
Majestic (74) George Blagdon Westcott (Killed in Action)
Leander (50) Thomas Boulden Thompson
Alexander (74) Alexander Ball
Swiftsure (74) Benjamin Hallowell
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
Spartiate (74) Maurice-Julien Emeriau 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 Captured
Orient (118) Flag - Vice-Admiral Francois-Paul Brueys D’Aigalliers, Contre-Admiral Honoré Ganteaume, Cptn. - Luc-Julien-Joseph Casabianca (Killed in Action) Exploded
Tonnant (80) Commodore Aristide Aubert Du Petit Thouars (Killed in Action) Captured
Heureux (74) Jean-Pierre Étienne Captured. Scuttled (burnt) 16 Aug.
Mercure (74) Lt. Cambon Captured. Scuttled (burnt) 18 Aug.
Guillaume Tell (80) Flag - Rear-Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, Cptn. - Saulnier Escaped
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
Justice (44) Cptn. Villeneuve Escaped
Diane (38) Flag - Contre-Admiral Denis Decrès, Cptn. - Éléonore-Jean-Nicolas Soleil Escaped
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
Salamine (18?) Escaped
Railleur (14?) Escaped
Hercule (7?) Scuttled