Since satisfaction was not given for this and the forts were being strengthened at the instigation of Arabi Pasha, the war minister, the British admiral, Sir Beauchamp Seymour (afterwards Lord Alcester), sent an ultimatum on the 10th of July and opened fire on the forts the next day.
He then sailed down the Volga with a fleet of thirty-five galleys, capturing the more important forts on his way and devastating the country.
Except Kom ed-Dik the forts have not been repaired since the bombardment of 1882.
The remainder of the massive defences remain, with twenty bastions, in the hands of the military authorities; the works for laying the surrounding country under water on the eastern side have been modernized, and the western side defended by a cordon of forts crowning the hills and extending down to the port of Neufahrwasser.
From Tyne to Solway, more exactly from Wallsend to Bowness, he built a continuous rampart, more probably of turf than of stone, with a ditch in front of it, a number of small forts along it, one or two outposts a few miles to the north of it, and some detached forts (the best-known is on the hill above Maryport) guarding the Cumberland coast beyond its western end.
The town is surrounded by an earthen enceinte or rampart with some forts on the hills just above it, and others on the Deveboyun ridge facing east, the whole forming a position of considerable strength.
Moreover, he built a number of forts which the people thought were intended for prisons; he filled the land with riotous and overbearing Swabians; he kept in prison Magnus, the heir to the duchy; and is said to have spoken of the Saxons in a tone of great contempt.
The bombardment of the forts of Alexandria is interesting as a gauge of the effect to be expected from the fire of ships under specially favorable conditions.
The fighting was of the utmost severity, and continued through the 22nd; and although the stormers captured the two forts they were absolutely unable to make any further progress under the fire of the permanent forts Erh-Lung and Chi-Kuan on either side of, and the Wan-tai fort behind, Pan-Lung.
Above the harbour, between the forts Stella and Falcone, is the palace of Napoleon I., and 4 m.