Ahoy there Fellow Adventurers!
Welcome to another quick installment of the ‘Maddie Templeton Maritime History’ series.
On this day, October the 21st in 1805, two imposing armadas fought for control of the seas – the combined French and the Spanish fleets on one side, and the Royal Navy on the other.
The battle would result in victory for the British fleet and would go down in the annals of our greatest naval history. It would also see the creation of a legend. One of our greatest national heroes would meet a tragic and untimely death. His name was Admiral Nelson, and that battle was ‘Trafalgar’!
From Wikipedia (with some edits!)
”The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement fought during the War of the Third Coalition (August–December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).
Twenty-seven British ships led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Villeneuve. The battle took place in the Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, and the British lost none.
The victory confirmed the naval supremacy Britain had established during the course of the eighteenth century, and it was achieved in part through Nelson’s departure from the prevailing naval tactical methods of the day. Conventional practice at the time was for opposing fleets to engage each other in single parallel lines in order to facilitate signalling and disengagement and to maximize fields of fire and target areas. Instead, Nelson arranged his ships into two columns to sail in perpendicular form into the enemy fleet’s line (and gave them a ruddy good pasting!).
During the battle, Nelson was shot by a French musketeer (smelling of garlic and cowardice), and he sadly died as the battle ended, living just long enough to hear that his revolutionary plan had paid off. The British had triumphed.”
The rest of the Wikipedia Article is here, and it’s well worth reading.
Farewell my friends, and remember…
”England expects that every man will do his duty”
(This was a signal sent to the British Fleet by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805), just before the battle.)