The Expedition began in mid-February 1807 when a force of British troops deployed in Calabria and Sicily was ordered by General Fox in Messina to embark on transports with a mission rumoured to be destined for Constantinople while Jihn Thomas Duckworth, appointed second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet, sailed for Constantinople, but he failed to provide effective support for Dmitry Senyavin’s Imperial Russian Navy in the Dardanelles Operation. After departure from Constantinople, as an Admiral of the White Squadron he was to rendezvous with the transports in Aboukir Bay. However, by 17 March the fleet of transports with nearly 6,000 British troops embarked on board approached off Alexandria under the command of General Alexander Mackenzie Fraser.

Occupation of Alexandria


The appearance of the British transports off Alexandria was shocking. And 20 March HMS Tigre  was able to capture two Ottoman frigates. Uri Bahar  and Uri Nasard, and the corvette Fara Numa (16 guns) on 20 March. HMS Apollo, with nineteen other transports, had separated from the main force on 7 March. They did not participate during the initial landings.

The city garrison at this time consisted of Albanian troops. With the French Consul-General Bernardino Drovetti attempting to force them to repel the British landing west of the city. Despite the rough waves, almost 700 troops with five field guns, along with 56 seamen, commanded by Lieutenant James Boxer, were able to disembark without opposition near the ravine that runs from Lake Mareotis to the sea.

 These troops breached the palisaded entrenchments at eight in the evening on 18 March. It was fortunate for the British that they did not encounter serious resistance because the lines stretching from Fort des Baines to Lake Mareotis included eight guns in three batteries. And thirteen guns in the fort on the right flank. British casualties were light; however the Pompey Gate (also known as the Pompey’s Pillar). Was barricaded and defended by about 1,000 Ottoman troops. And armed volunteers, forcing British troops to set up camp to the south. The detachment’s mission was to prevent Ottoman reinforcements from reaching the city. Sir John Thomas Duckworth appeared on 22 March, off Alexandria in his flagship HMS Royal George. With a part of his squadron, further bolstering the confidence of the British troops.