Villeneuve, Pierre de

Villeneuve, Pierre de

(pyĕr də vēlnöv`), 1763–1806, French admiral. He commanded the rear guard of the fleet in the disastrous battle of Abu QirAbu Qir
or Abukir
, village, N Egypt, on a promontory in the Nile River delta. Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory over the French fleet off Abu Qir on Aug. 1–2, 1798 (sometimes called the battle of the Nile), restored British prestige in the Mediterranean region
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 (1798). His defeat at the battle of TrafalgarTrafalgar, battle of
, naval engagement fought off Cape Trafalgar on the SW coast of Spain on Oct. 21, 1805, in which the British fleet under Horatio Nelson won a famous victory over the allied French and Spanish fleets under Pierre de Villeneuve.
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 (1805) was partly due to the unpreparedness of his fleet and to his initial refusal to leave Cádiz when ordered to by Napoleon I. Taken prisoner by the English, he was released and committed suicide after returning to France.
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