This painting and its companion, `The Battle of Alexandria?, commemorate a turning point in an early campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, following the French occupation of Egypt and consequent threat to the security of British India. An army commanded by General Abercromby forced a landing at Aboukir Bay and defeated the French at nearby Alexandria two weeks later. The artist, De Loutherbourg, was not present at these events, but he used detailed eye-witness descriptions to create an accurate image of the action. The painting contains several recognisable portraits of senior officers: the standing figure in the boat to the left is Sir Sidney Smith; the dominant figure in the central boat with his arm outstretched is Major-General Coote. Abercromby himself is not depicted in this scene.