From the editor
Seven years before Trafalgar, the Battle of Aboukir Bay was the victory that made Nelson’s name. It catapulted the 39-year-old rear admiral to fame, and established his reputation as Britain’s greatest naval commander.
Sighting the French fleet at anchor off the Egyptian coast, Nelson made the bold decision to attack immediately, even though night would soon be falling. His tactic caught the enemy off-guard, and when the smoke had finally cleared, all but two of France’s ships of the line had been captured or
wiped out. With his army now stranded in Egypt, Napoleon’s long-cherished dream of dominating the East lay in ruins.
In our cover story for this issue, Stephen Roberts marks
the 225th anniversary of Aboukir Bay – also known as the Battle of the Nile – by looking at what really happened on
1 August 1798, and what it can tell us about Nelson’s abilities.
Elsewhere, in our latest two-part special, Graham Goodlad explores the partnership between Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax, and reveals how they won a decisive victory
at Marston Moor, the largest battle of the English Civil War.
Also in this issue, we have the latest in John Lock’s ‘Butterfly Effect’ series, uncovering the unintended consequences of Paul Revere’s famous ‘midnight ride’; while William E Welsh travels further back in time to examine the siege that led to the fall of the Republic of Siena.
And finally, 80 years on, Taylor Downing looks back on the key events of 1943, when hard-fought Allied victories at Stalingrad, in North Africa, and in Sicily saw the turning of
the tide of WWII in Europe.
We hope you enjoy the issue!