«The Historical value of Battle of Trafalgar»
Выполнила: Краснова В.А.,
учитель английского языка
In popular culture
The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a historic sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition (August-December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). The battle was the most decisive British victory of the war and was a pivotal naval battle of the 19th century. Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS|Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Pierre Villeneuve off the south-west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost.
The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the 18th century and was achieved in part due to Nelson's departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy, which involved engaging an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy to facilitate signaling in battle and disengagement, and to maximize fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the larger enemy fleet, with decisive results.
Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming and remaining Britain's greatest naval war hero. The commander of the joint French and Spanish forces, Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, was captured along with his ship "Bucentaure". Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet, and succumbed months later to wounds he sustained during the battle.
In 1805, the First French Empire, under Napoleon, was the dominant military land power on the European continent, while the British Royal Navy controlled the seas. During the course of the war, the British imposed a naval blockade on France, which affected trade and kept the French from fully mobilizing their own naval resources. Despite several successful evasions of the blockade by the French navy, it failed to inflict a major defeat upon the British. The British were able to attack French interests at home and abroad with relative ease.
Meanwhile the French built the so-called Continental System which disallowed any trade whatsoever for the British with the European Continent with the net result and effect that the British trade was frozen out of Europe as the French controlled all major European ports except the Prussian ones. Thus Britain was eventually forced to attack Napoleon on land.
When the Third Coalition declared war on France after the short-lived Peace of Amiens, Napoleon Bonaparte was determined to invade Britain. To do so, he needed to ensure that the Royal Navy would be unable to disrupt the invasion flotilla, which would require control of the English Channel.
Napoleon's naval plan in 1805 was for the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean and Cádiz to break through the blockade and join forces in the West Indies. They would then return, assist the fleet in Brest to emerge from the blockade, and together clear the English Channel of Royal Navy ships, ensuring a safe passage for the invasion barges. The plan seemed good on paper but as the war wore on, Napoleon's unfamiliarity with naval strategy and ill-advised naval commanders continued to haunt the French.
Villeneuve returned from the West Indies to Europe, intending to break the blockade at Brest, but after two of his Spanish ships were captured during the Battle of Cape Finisterre by a squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Calder, Villeneuve abandoned this plan and sailed back to Ferrol.
Napoleon's invasion plans for England depended entirely on having a sufficiently large number of ships of the line before Boulogne,France. This would require Villeneuve's force of 32 ships to join Vice-Admiral Ganteaume's force of 21 ships at Brest, along with a squadron of 5 ships under Captain Allemand, which would have given him a combined force of 58 ships of the line.
When Villeneuve set sail from Ferrol on 10 August, he was under orders from Napoleon to sail northward toward Brest. Instead, he worried that the British were observing his maneuvers, so on 11 August he sailed southward towards Cádiz on the southwestern coast of Spain. With no sign of Villeneuve's fleet by 26 August, the three French army corps invasion force near Boulogne broke camp and marched to Germany, where it would become fully engaged.
The same month, Nelson returned home to England after two years of duty at sea, for some rest. He remained ashore for 25 days, and was warmly received by his countrymen, who were nervous about a possible French invasion. Word reached England on 2 Septemberabout the combined French and Spanish fleet in the harbour of Cádiz. Nelson had to wait until 15 September before his ship HMS "Victory"was ready to sail.
On 15 August, Cornwallis decided to detach 20 ships of the line from the fleet guarding the Channel and to have them sail southward to engage the enemy forces in Spain. This left the Channel denuded of ships, with only 11 ships of the line present. However, this detached force formed the nucleus of the British fleet that would fight at Trafalgar. This fleet, under the command of Vice-Admiral Calder, reached Cádiz on 15 September. Nelson joined the fleet on 29 September to take command.
The British fleet used frigates to keep a constant watch on the harbor, while the main force remained out of sight 50 miles (80 km) west of the shore. Nelson's hope was to lure the combined Franco-Spanish force out and engage them in a "pell-mell battle". The force watching the harbor was led by Captain Blackwood, commanding HMS "Euryalus". He was brought up to a strength of seven ships (five frigates and two schooners) on 8 October.
At this point, Nelson's fleet badly needed provisioning. On 2 October, five ships of the line, "Queen", "Canopus", "Spencer", "Zealous","Tigre", and the frigate "Endymion" were dispatched to Gibraltar under Rear-Admiral Louis for supplies. These ships were later diverted for convoy duty in the Mediterranean, whereas Nelson had expected them to return. Other British ships continued to arrive, and by 15 October the fleet was up to full strength for the battle. Although it was a significant loss, once the first-rate "Royal Sovereign" had arrived, Nelson allowed Calder to sail for home in his flagship, the 98-gun "Prince of Wales". Calder's apparent lack of aggression during the engagement off Cape Finisterre on July 22 had caused the Admiralty to recall him for a court martial and he would normally have been sent back to Britain in a smaller ship.
Meanwhile, Villeneuve's fleet in Cádiz was also suffering from a serious supply shortage that could not be readily rectified by the cash-strapped French. The blockades maintained by the British fleet had made it difficult for the allies to obtain stores and their ships were ill fitted. Villeneuve's ships were also more than two thousand men short of the force needed to sail. These were not the only problems faced by the Franco-Spanish fleet. The main French ships of the line had been kept in harbor for years by the British blockades with only brief sorties. The hasty voyage across the Atlantic and back used up vital supplies and was no match for the British fleet's years of experience at sea and training. The French crews contained few experienced sailors, and, as most of the crew had to be taught the elements of seamanship on the few occasions when they got to sea, gunnery was neglected. Villeneuve's supply situation began to improve in October, but news of Nelson's arrival made Villeneuve reluctant to leave port. Indeed, his captains had held a vote on the matter and decided to stay in the harbor.
On the 16th of September, Napoleon gave orders for the French and Spanish ships at Cadiz to put to sea at the first favorable opportunity, join with seven Spanish ships of the line then at Cartagena, go to Naples, and land the soldiers they carried to reinforce his troops there, and fight with decisive action if they met a British fleet of inferior numbers.
The battle progressed largely according to Nelson's plan. At 11:45, Nelson sent the famous flag signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty" He had instructed his signal officer, Lieutenant John Pasco, to signal to the fleet the message "England confides that every man will do his duty." Pasco suggested to Nelson that "expects" be substituted for "confides", since the former word was in the signal book, whereas "confides" would have to be spelled out letter-by-letter. Nelson agreed to the England.
The term England was widely used at the time to refer to the United Kingdom, though the British fleet included significant contingents from Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as England. Unlike the photographic depiction, this signal would have been shown on the mizzen mast only and would have required 12 'lifts'. As the battle opened, the French and Spanish were in a ragged curved line headed north. As planned, the British fleet was approaching the Franco-Spanish line in two columns. Leading the northern, windward column in his 100-gun flagship "Victory" was Nelson, while Collingwood in the 100-gun "Royal Sovereign" led the second, leeward, column. As the two British columns approached from the west at nearly a right angle. Nelson led his line into a feint toward the van of the Franco-Spanish fleet and then abruptly turned toward the actual point of attack. Collingwood altered the course of his column slightly so that the two lines converged at this line of attack.
Just before his column engaged the allied forces, Collingwood said to his officers, "Now, gentlemen, let us do something today which the world may talk of hereafter". Because the winds were very light during the battle, all the ships were moving extremely slowly, and the foremost British ships were under heavy fire from several of the enemy ships for almost an hour before their own guns could bear.
At noon, Villeneuve sent the signal "engage the enemy", and "Fougueux" fired her first trial shot at "Royal Sovereign". "Royal Sovereign" had all sails out and, having recently had her bottom cleaned, outran the rest of the British fleet. As she approached the allied line, she came under fire from "Fougueux", "Indomptable", "San Justo" and "San Leandro", before breaking the line just astern of Admiral Alava's flagship "Santa Ana", into which she fired a devastating double-shotted raking broadside.
The second ship in the British lee column, "Belleisle", was engaged by "L'Aigle", "Achille", "Neptune" and "Fougueux"; she was soon completely dismasted, unable to manoeuvre and largely unable to fight, as her sails blinded her batteries, but kept flying her flag for 45 minutes until the following British ships came to her rescue.
For 40 minutes, "Victory" was under fire from "Héros", "Santísima Trinidad", "Redoutable" and "Neptune"; although many shots went astray others killed and wounded a number of her crew and shot away her wheel, so that she had to be steered from her tiller belowdecks. "Victory" could not yet respond. At 12:45, "Victory" cut the enemy line between Villeneuve's flagship "Bucentaure" and "Redoutable". "Victory" came close to the "Bucentaure", firing a devastating raking broadside through her stern which killed and wounded many on her gundecks. Villeneuve thought that boarding would take place, and with the Eagle of his ship in hand, told his men: "I will throw it onto the enemy ship and we will take it back there!" However Admiral Nelson of "Victory" engaged the 74 gun "Redoutable". "Bucentaure" was left to be dealt with by the next three ships of the British windward column "Temeraire", "Conqueror" and "Neptune".
A general mêlée ensued and, during that fight, "Victory" locked masts with the French "Redoutable". The crew of the "Redoutable", which included a strong infantry corps (with 3 captains and 4 lieutenants), gathered for an attempt to board and seize the "Victory". A musketbullet fired from the mizzentop of the "Redoutable" struck Nelson in the left shoulder and passed through his spine at the sixth and seventh thorax vertebrae lodging two inches below his right scapula in the muscles of his back. Nelson exclaimed, "They finally succeeded, I am dead." He was carried below decks.
"Victory" ceased fire, the gunners having been called on the deck to fight the capture but were repelled to the below decks by French grenades. As the French were preparing to board "Victory", the "Temeraire", the second ship in the British windward column, approached from the starboard bow of the "Redoutable" and fired on the exposed French crew with a carronade, causing many casualties.
At 13:55, Captain Lucas, of the "Redoutable", with 99 fit men out of 643 and severely wounded himself, surrendered. The French "Bucentaure" was isolated by the "Victory" and "Temeraire", and then engaged by "Neptune", "Leviathan" and "Conqueror"; similarly, the "Santísima Trinidad" was isolated and overwhelmed, surrendering after three hours.As more and more British ships entered the battle, the ships of the allied centre and rear were gradually overwhelmed. The allied van, after long remaining quiescent, made a futile demonstration and then sailed away. The British took 22 vessels of the Franco-Spanish fleet and lost none. Among the taken French ships were the "L'Aigle", "Algésiras", "Berwick", "Bucentaure", "Fougueux", "Intrépide", "Redoutable", and "Swiftsure". The Spanish ships taken were "Argonauta", "Bahama", "Monarca", "Neptuno", "San Agustín", "San Ildefonso", "San Juan Nepomuceno", "Santísima Trinidad", and "Santa Ana". Of these, "Redoutable" sank, "Santísima Trinidad" and "Argonauta" were scuttled by the British and later sank, "Achille"exploded, "Intrépide" and "San Augustín" burned, and "L'Aigle", "Berwick", "Fougueux", and "Monarca" were wrecked in a gale following the battle.
As Nelson lay dying, he ordered the fleet to anchor as a storm was predicted. However, when the storm blew up many of the severely damaged ships sank or ran aground on the shoals. A few of them were recaptured by the French and Spanish prisoners overcoming the small prize crews or by ships sallying from Cádiz. Nelson died at half-past four, three hours after being hit by the ball.
Only eleven ships regained Cádiz, and of those only five were considered seaworthy. Under captain Julien Cosmao, they set sail two days later and attempted to re-take some of the British prizes; they succeeded in re-capturing two ships, and forced Collingwood to scuttle a number of his prizes.
The four van ships which escaped with Dumanoir were taken on November 4 by Sir Richard Strachan at the Battle of Cape Ortegal.
When Rosily arrived in Cádiz, he found only five French ships remained rather than the 18 he was expecting. The surviving ships remained bottled up in Cádiz until 1808, when Napoleon invaded Spain. The French ships were then seized by the Spanish forces and put into service against France.
HMS "Victory" made its way to Gibraltar for repairs carrying on board the body of Admiral Nelson. It put into Rosia Bay, Gibraltar and after emergency repairs were carried out it returned to England. Many of the injured crew were brought ashore at Gibraltar and treated in the Naval Hospital. Those that subsequently died from injuries sustained at the Battle are buried in and near the Trafalgar Cemetery, at the south end of Main Street, Gibraltar.
All of the Royal Marine Corps officers in HMS "Victory" were killed, leaving the Sergeant Major of Marines (who was first by Nelson's side when he was hit) in command of Victory’s Marine detachment.
Vice-Admiral Villeneuve was taken prisoner aboard his flagship and taken back to England. After his parole in 1806 and return to France, Villeneuve was found in his inn room during a stop on the way to Paris stabbed six times in the chest with a dining knife. While the verdict was that he had committed suicide, he was very likely murdered on the orders of Napoleon. Villeneuve had fallen from favour with Napoleon before Trafalgar and it was rumoured he was to be relieved of command. Losing the battle resulted in further disfavour with Napoleon.
Less than two months later, the War of the Third Coalition ended with a decisive French victory over Russia and Austria, Britain's allies, at the Battle of Austerlitz. Prussia decided not to join the Coalition and, for a while, France was at peace again. However, it could no longer challenge Britain at sea. Napoleon instead established the Continental System in an attempt to deny Britain trade with the continent.
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. The battle did not mean however, that the French naval challenge to Britain was over. First, as the French control over the continent expanded, Britain had to take active steps in 1807 and 1808 to prevent the ships of smaller European navies from falling into French hands. This effort was largely successful, but did not end the French threat as Napoleon instituted a large scale shipbuilding program that produced a fleet of 80 ships of the line at the time of his fall from power in 1814, with more building. In comparison Britain had 99 ships of the line in active commission in 1814, and this was close to the maximum that could be supported. Given a few more years, the French could have realized their plans to commission 150 ships of the line and again challenge the Royal Navy, compensating for the inferiority of their crews with sheer numbers. For almost 10 years after Trafalgar the Royal Navy maintained close blockade of French bases and anxiously observed the growth of the French fleet. In the end, Napoleon's Empire was destroyed before the ambitious buildup could be completed.
Nelson became - and remains - Britain's greatest naval war hero, and an inspiration to the Royal Navy, yet his unorthodox tactics were only infrequently emulated by later generations. The first monument to be erected in Britain to commemorate Nelson was raised on Glasgow Green in 1806, possibly preceded by a monument at Taynuilt, near Oban dated 1805, both also commemorating the many Scots crew and captains at the battle. The 44 m (144 ft) tall Nelson Monument on Glasgow Green was designed by David Hamilton and paid for by public subscription. Around the base are the names of his famous victories: Aboukir (1798), Copenhagen (1801) and Trafalgar (1805). In 1808, Nelson's Pillar was erected in Dublin to commemorate Nelson and his achievements (many sailors at Trafalgar had been Irish, and remained until it was blown up by "Old IRA" members in 1966. Nelson's Monument in Edinburgh was built between 1807 and 1815 in the form of an upturned telescope, and in 1853 a time ball was added which still drops at noon GMT to give a time signal to ships in Leith and the Firth of Forth. In summer this coincides with the "one o'clock gun" being fired. The Britannia Monument in Great Yarmouth was raised by 1819
London's famous Trafalgar Square was named in honour of his victory, and Nelson's statue on Nelson's Column, finished in 1843, towers triumphantly over it.
The disparity in losses has been attributed by some historians less to Nelson's daring tactics, than to the difference in fighting readiness of the two fleets. Nelson's fleet was made up of ships of the line which had spent considerable amount of sea time during months of blockades of French ports, whilst the French fleet had generally been at anchor in port. However, Villeneuve's fleet had just spent months at sea crossing the Atlantic twice, which supports the proposition that the main difference between the two fleets' combat effectiveness was the morale of the leaders. The daring tactics employed by Nelson were to ensure a strategically decisive result. The results vindicated his naval judgement.
The Royal Navy proceeded to dominate the seas for the remaining years of sail. Although the victory at Trafalgar was typically given as the reason at the time, modern analysis by historians such as Paul Kennedy suggests that relative economic strength was a more important underlying cause of British naval mastery.
An anecdotal consequence, related to Trafalgar, is that French Navy officers have not been called "sir" ever since, supposedly due to Napoleon's disgust at his great fleet having been so comprehensively beaten.
In popular culture
*In the Richard Sharpe series of novels (specifically "Sharpe's Trafalgar") by Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe finds himself at the Battle of Trafalgar aboard the fictitious HMS "Pucelle", following a complicated series of events which began in India.
*In "1805", one of the Nathaniel Drinkwater series of novels by Richard Woodman. Drinkwater is a prisoner aboard the French flagship "Bucentaure".
*"Trafalgar", a book about the battle of the same name, opens the series of novels "Episodios Nacionales" by Benito Pérez Galdós.
*In the alternate history collection "Alternate Generals", John W. Mina's short story "Vive l'Amiral" posits Admiral Nelson fleeing an English debtor's prison, ending up in France and leading Napoleon's navy to victory at Trafalgar.
*Spanish writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte has published the novel "Cape Trafalgar" ("Cabo Trafalgar", ed. Alfaguara 2004, in Spanish).
*Recently an Alexandre Dumas, père novel was discovered entitled "Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine". The book is an adventure story set in the Napoleonic Era in which the main character is alleged to be the one who shot Nelson.
*In the final episode of the third series of the BBC historical sitcom "Blackadder" "Duel and Duality", the Duke of Wellington (Stephen Fry) informs Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) (disguised as the Prince Regent) that Nelson is stationed in Alaska "in case Boney should try and trick us by coming via the North Pole". Blackadder suggests that the Royal Navy block the French from leaving the Mediterranean atTrafalgar - something Wellington declares he will mention to Nelson.
*In the Horatio Hornblower series, by C.S. Forester, Hornblower is given the task of delivering false orders to Villeneuve. Since Hornblower speaks fluent French and Spanish, he is successful in his mission. Villeneuve sends his fleet out of Cadiz and to the destruction that takes place at Trafalgar. Even though Hornblower does not participate in the battle itself, he is put in charge of Admiral Nelson's funeral in England. These events take place at the end of "Hornblower and the Crisis" and at the beginning of "Hornblower and the Atropos".
*In "", Hornblower is mentioned as being the British commander at the Battle of Trafalgar (taking the position of the historical Nelson) and with "Hornblower's Column" being built in London to commemorate his role in the battle.
*In the novel "Honour This Day" from the what is known as the Richard Bolitho series by Alexander Kent, Bolitho's squadron is sent first to the West Indies with the task of intercepting a Spanish quota ship and, then, in 1805 to the Mediterranean, to prevent reinforcements from reaching the Combined Fleet at Trafalgar
*In the "" episode "The Best of Both Worlds", Captain Jean-Luc Picard discusses the traditions of touring a ship before battle with hisbartender and confidant, Guinan, and mentions Horatio Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar. In the film "Star Trek Generations", Picard reveals that one of his ancestors fought at Trafalgar (it was never made clear for which side, although Picard is originally from France).
* Adkins, Roy, "Trafalgar: The Biography of a Battle", 2004, Little Brown, ISBN 0-316-72511-0.
* Corbett, Julian S., "The Trafalgar Campaign", 1910, London.
* Fernandez, Juan Cayuela, "Trafalgar. Hombres y naves entre dos épocas", 2004, Ariel (Barcelona) ISBN 84-344-6760-7
* Harbron, John D., "Trafalgar and the Spanish Navy", 1988, London, ISBN 0-85177-963-8.
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