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18 March to 20 May 1799

Advancing from Egypt, Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to capture the key port of Acre, but his plans received a terrible setback when his siege artillery was lost to a Royal Navy flotilla under Commodore Sir William Sidney Smith.

Unable to now batter down the ancient walls of the city, the French had to try to seize it at bayonet point, but eight assaults failed to dislodge the Turkish defenders and their British allies.

The naval link proved the decisive factor in the siege and the regularly resupplied city watched as the plague swept through the French camp.

One last assault on 10 May was again repulsed and Bonaparte gave up and began a horrific march back to Egypt.

More than 2000 French troops died of disease on the journey.



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