Today in 1805: Nelson dies winning Trafalgar.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Today October 21st 1805, Admiral Horatio Nelson died after winning the battle of Trafalgar. He was 47 when he died, shot by a French sniper. He joined the navy at 12, lost an eye capturing Corsica in 1794 and his right arm at Tenerife  1797. On 1st August 1801 he won a great victory at the Nile. Four years later off the South coast of Spain he bested 31 ships from a combined French and Spanish fleet with 27 English ones. It was at this famous battle that he sent the signal:" England expects that every man will do his duty."
    He ordered a frontal assault on the French line counting on superior sailing and gunnery to see his ships through. It was while his ship, the Victory, was entangled with a French one that he was fatally wounded. He was carried below decks, where he died after hearing the battle was won. His dying words aresupposed to have been:“Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty.” He was buried in England at St Paul’s in a coffin made from the French warship Orient, destroyed at the Nile.
    The Battle of Trafalgar was a spectacular victory. The French lost 19 ships and 14000 sailors, whereas English losses were 1500 and no ships lost.
    Napoleon would never again have the chance to invade England.


  • Customizer

    It is most unfortunate that this man was ever born. Vive Napoleon!


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Pfftp,

    Without this guy, we’d all be speaking French…


  • Customizer

    Нет товарищ. Only some of us. The Franco/Russ alliance would ensure that your half of Canada would be росиия.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    His dying words aresupposed to have been:“Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty.”

    I believe his words were then followed up by this comment by one of his officers: “If blood be the price of admiralty, Lord God we have paid it in full!”  John Keegan derived the title of one of his books from that remark.  Nelson’s body was, if I remember correctly, shipped back to England preserved in a barrel of brandy – a method that would probably meet with the approval and envy of any sailor worth his salt.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Hi Marc. Nice to hear from you.
    Never read a biography on him(often tempted), so could not say if he was an old soak or abstinent. Did often quote him when living in France.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Hi Marc. Nice to hear from you.
    Never read a biography on him(often tempted), so could not say if he was an old soak or abstinent. Did often quote him when living in France.

    I don’t know whether he imbibed or not, but his personality had its flaws.  He was in some ways the opposite of his equally legendary Napoleonic Wars counterpart on land, the Duke of Wellington.  Nelson was flamboyant and egotistical, while Wellington (who despised Nelson’s theatricality) was restrained and austere.  I think they met once in the House of Lords, and as I recall they didn’t exactly hit it off.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Well done. They met once. Is a trivial pursuit/general knowledge question often asked.
    I never remember the answer when I need it!


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