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Nicholas Pocock: The Battle of Copenhagen


The French Revolutionary Wars continued in 1801 with the French bringing the war against the Second Coalition to a close.

By 9 February, the Austrians had signed the Treaty of Lunéville, ending the war on the continent. The war against the United Kingdom continued (with Neapolitan harbours closed to her by the Treaty of Florence, signed on 28 March), and the Turks invaded Egypt in March, losing to Kleber at Heliopolis. The exhausted French force in Egypt, however, surrendered in August.

The naval war also continued, with the United Kingdom maintaining a blockade of France by sea. Non-combatants Russia, Prussia, Denmark, and Sweden joined to protect neutral shipping from British attacks, but were unsuccessful. British Admiral Horatio Nelson defied orders and attacked the Danish fleet in harbor at the Battle of Copenhagen, destroying much of the fleet of one of France's more steady allies during the period. An armistice prevented him from continuing into the Baltic Sea to attack the Russian fleet at Reval (Tallinn). Meanwhile off Gibraltar, the outnumbered French squadron under Linois rebuffed a first British attack under Saumarez in the first battle of Algeciras, capturing a line-of-battle ship. In the second battle of Algeciras, four days later, the British captured a French ship and sank two others, killing around 2000 French for the loss of 12 British.

See also[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
1800
French Revolutionary Wars
1801
Succeeded by
Treaty of Amiens

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