The Role of the British Admiralty in Breaking Napoleon Bonaparte’s Siege of Acre, 20 March to 21 May 1799 in the Light of Unpublished British Admiralty Office Documents

Yousef Hussein Omar


This article examines the siege of Acre, which lasted about two months in 1799, based on unpublished documents of the British Admiralty Office. The study begins with the reasons for the French campaign against Egypt in 1798, which threatened the interests of the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain and led to them signing a treaty of defensivealliance on 5 January 1799. The article continues with the orders directed to the British Admiralty to protect British interests, especially after the massacre of Jaffa in March 1799 and the start of the siege of Acre. The article examines the leading role of the British Admiralty in the failure of the siege, leading to the French withdrawal. The efforts of the British Admiralty were praised by the British Parliament, who honored Sydney Smith as the commander in charge of defending Acre. The article deals with the efforts that led to the signing of the El Arish agreement and the problems of its implementation until the end of the French campaign and concludes with a summary of the study’s results. The study uses the descriptive and analytical historical research method.


British Admiralty, Napoleon, Sydney Smith, Acre, Ottoman Empire.


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