Hand-coloured battle plan for the 1816 attack on Algiers

[Algiers - British Navy]. Plan of the Bay and City of Algiers.

[London?, 1816].

35 × 44 cm. Lithograph showing the plan of attack and a view of the fortifications on the mole at Algiers.


Contemporary hand-coloured lithographed plate with the plan for the Bombardment of Algiers in August 1816. The attack was instigated and won by Great Britain and the Netherlands, which was celebrated in London.

The Bombardment of Algiers was part of a European campaign to end piracy against Europeans by North African countries. The goal of this attack was to free Christian slaves in Algeria and stop Omar Agha (d. 1817), the of Dey of Algiers, from enslaving more Europeans. The attack was partly successful (Algeria freed around 3,000 Christian slaves after the battle), but did not stop the enslavement if Europeans until later in the 19th century.

The plan for the attack was made by Admiral Lord Exmouth, the commander of the fleet. The largest ships approached the harbour in a column, sailed to the zone where the Algerian guns could not reach them, and shelled the defences. Other ships blocked the harbour to attack the Algerian ships and prevent them from joining the battle. In the present illustration, each of the British ships is named and drawn in its planned position, thus giving an interesting visual insight into 19th century naval tactics.


The sheet is folded in half, with a tear along the top and bottom of the fold, somewhat browned and stained, with remnants of tape on the back. The plan and view remain clear and the colouring remains bright.

Art.-Nr.: BN#63648 Schlagwörter: , , ,