Remembering the Battle of Trafalgar

Admiral Nelson and Me

This day marks the triumph of Admiral Horatio Nelson against the French and Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar. Leading a fleet of 27 ships against the combined French and Spanish fleet of 33 ships, Admiral Nelson (who was without a right arm and right eye) won a decisive and stunning victory on this day in 1805.

After the fog of war cleared, Nelson had destroyed 19 ships, and killed or captured 14,000 men (including their Admiral) at the cost of 1,500 of British sailors. The Battle of Trafalgar resulted in the ultimate denial of Napoleon’s dream of invading England and caused the emperor to be land-locked for the rest of the Napoleonic Wars.

At the height of the battle, Admiral Nelson was fatally wounded by a sniper’s bullet that pierced his lungs and shattered his spine. In terrible pain and agony, the admiral was according to legend said to utter, ‘Now I am truly satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty.’ Only aged 47 at the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Nelson’s statue stands proudly in London’s Trafalgar Square overlooking 10th Downing Street.

Nelson’s way of management is the famous ‘Nelson’s touch’ that leaves the initiative to individual officers when his signals could not be seen. He was also famous for stating that, ‘no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.’

‘England expects that every man will do his duty.’

~ Admiral Horatio Nelson

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