In August 1798 the Battle of the Nile took place. Nelson wiped out the French fleet while it was at anchor in the shallows. 38,000 French soldiers were stranded. The French defeat allowed the formation of a second coalition, by restoring European confidence in Britain. Europe decided to attack France while she was weakened.
A three-pronged attack was planned on France, by Britain, Austria and Russia:
- Britain would attack through Holland
- Austria would attack through Italy
- Russian would attack France through Switzerland