On 19 May 1798, Napoleon sailed from Toulon on his hazardous adventure to Egypt, capturing Malta on the way. On 1 August, Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson sighted Alexandria, with its harbour full of shipping and saw French flags, although none belonged to ships of the line. The French battle fleet was subsequently sighted anchored in Aboukir Bay, 15 miles east of Alexandria, by the British ship 'Zealous', 74 guns. Nelson, in his flagship 'Vanguard', 74 guns, immediately headed there and launched and immediate, late-afternoon attack on the anchored enemy in what subsequently became a devastating night action. The scene shows the end of the action and is lit by the burning French flagship, 'L' Orient', 120 guns, shortly before she blew up at 22.00 She is in the right middle-distance of the picture, and shown in broad port-bow view. Flames are pouring from her waist and middle-deck ports, although the fire has not yet brought down her upper masts and yards.
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The Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798, end of the action appears in: