Orient (1791)

Orient explodes during the Battle of the Nile, 1 August, 1798. Original painting by George Arnald, in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1790
Launched
1791
Commissioned
1793
AD/BC
AD
History

Laid down in May, 1790, Dauphin-Royal was a French 118-gun ship of the line. Commissioned in August, 1793, she was renamed Sans-Culotte after launch, but before commissioning. Sans-Culotte participated in the Battle of Genoa, 14 March, 1795, as flagship of Rear Admiral Pierre Martin. She was renamed again in May. Now known as Orient, she was assigned to the invasion of Egypt, serving as the flagship of the fleet supporting Napoleon. After capturing Malta, the fleet headed for the Nile, and was anchored in Aboukir Bay 1 August, 1798, when Admiral Nelson came along with his British squadron. During the ensuing battle, the French fleet was anchored, and unable to maneuver. Orient was set ablaze by the British, and blew up around 10:30 that night. The British rescued seventy survivors, but the exact casualty count will likely never be known, as Orient's crew was incomplete at the time, and the number rescued by the French is also not known.