We are reading Pirates and Plunder in class. We are at the part where the English have got into position to shoot at the French ships (who don't know the British ships are there). Four of the pirates, Grundle, Hope, Jones and Isaac, are complaining about being on the ship but do not want to jump ship near the Sahara desert for fear of the tribesmen cutting them to pieces.
It is true that French soldiers who landed with Napoleon were terrified of being lost in the desert. They thought that the tribes would cut off their bits and probably end up by cutting off their heads.
Napoleon had had 900 Egyptian rebels beheaded and he had their heads roll out on the street in front of the Egyptians as a lesson.
Why had Napoleon done this?
Just as the battle between the French and British was to begin a French FRIGATE sailed towards the British.
What is a frigate?
This story is set in 1789 aboard the British warship Goliath which has shot the French frigate Serieuse. Could either of these war ships be factual?