At Aboukir and Acre - A Story of Napoleon's Invasion of E
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About - At Aboukir and Acre - A Story of Napoleon's Invasion of E
Language - English
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With the general knowledge of geography now possessed we may well wonder at the wild notion entertained both by Bonaparte and the French authorities that it would be possible, after conquering Egypt, to march an army through Syria, Persia, and the wild countries of the northern borders of India, and to drive the British altogether from that country. The march, even if unopposed, would have been a stupendous one, and the warlike chiefs of Northern India, who, as yet, were not even threatened by a British advance, would have united against an invading army from the north, and would, had it not been of prodigious strength, have annihilated it. The French had enormously exaggerated the power of Tippoo Sahib, with whom they had opened negotiations, and even had their fantastic designs succeeded, it is certain that the Tiger of Mysore would, in a very short time, have felt as deep a hatred for them as he did for the British.

But even had such a march been possible, the extreme danger in which an army landed in Egypt would be placed of being cut off, by the superior strength of the British navy, from all communication with France, should alone have deterred them from so wild a project. The fate of the campaign was indeed decided when the first gun was fired in the Bay of Aboukir, and the destruction of the French fleet sealed the fate of Napoleon's army. The noble defence of Acre by Sir Sidney Smith was the final blow to Napoleon's projects, and from that moment it was but a question of time when the French army would be forced to lay down its arms, and be conveyed, in British transports, back to France. The credit of the signal failure of the enterprise must be divided between Nelson, Sir Sidney Smith, and Sir Ralph Abercrombie.

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