The Egyptian campaign Napoleon led in 1798 was one of the greatest disasters of his career. After his fleet was destroyed by Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, the French army was left isolated, with the whole of the Mediterranean between them and home. Despite some successes on land, they were forced into a retreat by the British army. Napoleon abandoned his own men and headed for France, where he would take control of the country.
Yet this was a campaign initially full of promise, in which Napoleon hoped to achieve a range of grand goals.