The History Book Club - BRITISH HISTORY: NELSON AND THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR Showing 1-50 of 92
How Admiral Nelson’s ‘Victory Watch’ Won Britain the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
On 9 October , twelve days before the Battle of Trafalgar, naval officer Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson sent a memorandum to his second-in-command, Admiral Collingwood, listing his plans for engaging the combined enemy fleets of the French and Spanish navies during the War of the Third Coalition. This war was just one stage of the wider Napoleonic Wars which saw the French Empire battle against various European powers. Nelson declared that the British fleet was to be drawn up 'in two lines of 16 ships each with an advanced squadron'. The intention was to 'overpower from two or three ships ahead of the Commander-in-Chief supposed to be in the Centre to the Rear of their Fleet'. Public Domain in most countries other than the UK. Explore the documents that mark crucial events in the world's political and social history. Information Description On 9 October , twelve days before the Battle of Trafalgar, naval officer Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson sent a memorandum to his second-in-command, Admiral Collingwood, listing his plans for engaging the combined enemy fleets of the French and Spanish navies during the War of the Third Coalition.
1. The British fleet was outnumbered
The previous battle of the Napoleonic Wars is the Battle of Copenhagen. Size of the fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar : 32 British ships 25 ships of the line, 4 Frigates and smaller craft , 23 French ships and 15 Spanish ships 33 ships of the line, 7 Frigates and smaller craft. Ships were classified according to the number of guns carried or the number of decks carrying batteries. The size of gun on the line of battle ships was up to 24 pounder, firing heavy iron balls, or chain and link shot designed to wreck rigging. Trafalgar was a close fleet action.
Nelson caught him off Cape Trafalgar on October By noon the larger squadron, led by Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign , had engaged the rear south 16 ships of the French-Spanish line. Six of the leading French and Spanish ships, under Admiral Pierre Dumanoir, were ignored in the first attack and about pm were able to turn about to aid those behind. Collingwood completed the destruction of the rear, and the battle ended about pm. Villeneuve himself was captured, and his fleet lost 19 or 20 ships—which were surrendered to the British—and 14, men, of whom half were prisoners of war. Nelson was mortally wounded by a sniper, but when he died at pm he was certain of his complete victory. About 1, British seamen were killed or wounded, but no British ships were lost.
War of the First Coalition. War of the Second Coalition. War of the Third Coalition. He was noted for his inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 36, as well as most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when he was 40 years of age. Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling , a high-ranking naval officer himself. He rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command at the age of 20 in