The world has considered the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as a great age of sail and great age of heroes. The glorious tales of derring-do and courage as well as the stories of sacrifice and suffering has been widely recognized until now. In this era, never do people forget one of the greated leaders of British Naval history which is Horatio Nelson.

Lord Nelson took part in many battles such as the battles of Cape St. Vincent and the Nile or the battle of Copenhagen. However, he is best known for his last victory at the Battle of the Trafalgar in the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805 was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars.

As part of Napoleon's plans to spread control to England, the French and Spanish fleets combined to take control of the English Channel and provide the Grande Armée safe passage. The allied fleet, under the command of French Admiral Villeneuve, sailed from the port of Cádiz in the south of Spain on 18 October 1805. They encountered the British fleet under Lord Nelson, recently assembled to meet this threat, in the Atlantic Ocean along the southwest coast of Spain, off Cape Trafalgar.

Nelson commanded 27 British ships of the line to fight against 33 allied ships including the largest warship in either fleet, the Spanish Santisima Trinidad. To address this imbalance, Nelson sailed his fleet directly at the allied battle line's flank, hoping to break it into pieces. Villeneuve had worried that Nelson might attempt this tactic but, for various reasons, had made no plans in case this occurred. The plan worked almost perfectly; Nelson's columns split the Franco-Spanish fleet in three, isolating the rear half from Villeneuve's flag aboard Bucentaure. The allied vanguard sailed off while it attempted to turn around, giving the British temporary superiority over the remainder of their fleet. The ensuing fierce battle resulted in 22 allied ships being lost, while the British lost none.

The tactic exposed the leading ships in the British lines to intense fire from multiple ships as they approached the Franco-Spanish lines. Nelson's own HMS Victory led the front column and was almost knocked out of action. However, Nelson died after receiving the news of the victory. Nelson was shot by a French musketeer and died shortly before the battle ended.

Following the battle, the Royal Navy was never again seriously challenged by the French fleet in a large-scale engagement. Napoleon had already abandoned his plans of invasion before the battle and they were never revived.

It can be easily realized that Vice Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson was a national hero thanks to his naval tactics. Lord Nelson's victories and great courage caught the public imagination of his time, and he was considered a hero.

Nowadays, Vice Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson has been tributed in the museums, songs or poems. As a history lover, GearHomies would like to show the highest respect to this great and brave admiral by cosplaying Nelson costume. 

What do you think of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson and his victory. Feel free to leave us a comment below!
June 23, 2022 — HA TRUNG DUC

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