Honour - ACRE 1799

Date - 17-Mar/20-May
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - French Revolutionary War; 1793-1803

Description The award was made following the defence of the Fortress of 'St. Jean d' Acre' in the Bay of Haifa in Syria.

After Napoleon had captured Egypt in 1799, he marched north, against Turkish forces manning the Acre fortress. He captured Gaza and Jaffa, but Commodore Sir Sydney Smith had worked out Napoleon's objective . Smith sailed from Alexandria to Acre, and on the way captured a flotilla carrying French siege guns.

At Acre his ships were positioned to provide covering fire to the Fortress' land approaches. He then took command of 3,000 Turkish troops, to which he added 500 Royal Navy seamen and marines.

The French laid siege, but after 63 days, gave up, having suffered 5,000 casualties.

After this Napoleon made his famous remark "If it had not been for you English I should have been Emperor of the East, ... but wherever there is water to float a ship we are sure to find you in the way."


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This page last edited - 22 March, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.