the French navy in 1778, Pierre-Charles Villeneuve served
in the West Indies and around French waters before setting
off on the expedition to Egypt.
1796 he became a rear-admiral. At the Battle
of the Nile, his vessel survived the British assault
but, instead of being praised, Villeneuve found himself
his return to France, Villeneuve was captured in Malta when
the British took the island, but was released soon afterwards.
1804, and now a vice-admiral, Villeneuve was ordered to
take his fleet out and draw the Royal Navy away from its
home waters to allow for an invasion. The plan was to then
double back and reinforce the invasion fleet.
successfully evaded Britain's Admiral
Horatio Nelson, but then headed for the safety of Cadiz
rather than continue his mission.
extreme pressure from Napoleon
Bonaparte, and about to be removed from command, Villeneuve
and his fleet left Cadiz and ran straight into Nelson off
his ships destroyed, Villeneuve surrendered and was sent
to Britain but later freed on parole.
Despairing over the loss at Trafalgar,
Villeneuve returned to France in a poor state of mind and
killed himself by pushing a knife through his heart.