The seriously wounded Admiral Gravina passed command of the remainder of the fleet over to Captain Julien Cosmao on 23 October, who determined to make an attempt to recapture some of the prizes. When I saw her in July she was being sprayed in preservative chemicals.  For almost 10 years after Trafalgar, the Royal Navy maintained a close blockade of French bases and anxiously observed the growth of the French fleet. In 1805, the First French Empire, under Napoleon Bonaparte, was the dominant military land power on the European continent, while the Royal Navy controlled the seas. I replied, "If your Lordship will permit me to substitute 'expects' for 'confides' the signal will soon be completed, because the word 'expects' is in the vocabulary, and 'confides' must be spelt," His Lordship replied, in haste, and with seeming satisfaction, "That will do, Pasco, make it directly.". Meanwhile, Villeneuve's fleet in CÃ¡diz was also suffering from a serious supply shortage that could not be easily rectified by the impecunious French. Orion - and indeed Orion's muster at the Nile records an Edward Hoppin from Exmouth.  Leviathan resumed her pursuit of Monarca, eventually catching up and forcing her to surrender. Battle of Trafalgar By William Lionel Wyllie, Juno Tower, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The weather, however, suddenly turned calm following a week of gales. A wooden ship is a living organism so between 1765 and 1805 it is not suprisinfg that much timber was replaced. The battle was the most decisive naval victory of the war. The fleet included six aircraft carriers - (modern capital ships): Charles De Gaulle, Illustrious, Invincible, Ocean, PrÃncipe de Asturias and Saipan. This often led to inconclusive battles, or allowed the losing side to minimise its losses; but Nelson wanted a conclusive action. Peter Goodwin's "The Ships of Trafalgar: The British, French and Spanish Fleets, October, 1805" is a fine new naval reference book. The order of sailing, in which the fleet was arranged when the enemy was first sighted, was to be the order of the ensuing action, so that no time would be wasted in forming a precise line. The British possessed an experienced and well-trained corps of naval officers.  The 144 feet (44 m) tall Nelson Monument on Glasgow Green was designed by David Hamilton and paid for by public subscription. She put into Rosia Bay, Gibraltar and after emergency repairs were carried out, returned to Britain. The term "England" was widely used at the time to refer to the United Kingdom; the British fleet included significant contingents from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. He died of his wounds five months later. , Despite this initial success the Franco-Spanish force, hampered by battle damage, struggled in the heavy seas. Taking advantage of a favourable northwesterly wind, he took the Pluton, the 80-gun Neptune and Indomptable, the Spanish 100-gun Rayo and 74-gun San Francisco de Asis, together with five frigates and two brigs, out of the harbour towards the British. , Nelson's famous signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty", flying from Victory on the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Sandwich fights the French flagship Bucentaure (completely dismasted) at Trafalgar. Please improve this article by adding a reference. Instead, he worried that the British were observing his manoeuvres, so on 11 August he sailed southward towards CÃ¡diz on the southwestern coast of Spain. Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet and succumbed months later to wounds sustained during the battle. The lead ships of the British columns were heavily battered, with Nelson's flagship HMS Victory nearly disabled, but the greater experience and training of the Royal Navy overcame greater numbers. There, she lost her masts; they had been damaged by shot earlier. Many descendants of people present at the battle, including members of Nelson's family, were at the ceremony.  In 1808, Nelson's Pillar was erected by leading members of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy in Dublin to commemorate Nelson and his achievements (between 10% and 20% of the sailors at Trafalgar had been from Ireland), and remained until it was destroyed in a bombing by "Old IRA" members in 1966. He had formed a defensive line of ten ships by three o'clock in the afternoon and approached the Franco-Spanish squadron, covering the remainder of their prizes which stood out to sea. Villeneuve was captured along with his flagship Bucentaure. Fearing that his inexperienced officers would be unable to maintain formation in more than one group, he chose to keep the single line that became Nelson's target. The Combined Fleet was sailing across a heavy swell, causing the ships to roll heavily and exacerbating the problem. As Nelson lay dying, he ordered the fleet to anchor, as a storm was predicted. A Survivor The HMS Victory is the only surviving ship to have participated in the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars. 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!" France and Spain were allied, so the Spanish fleet based in Cádiz and Ferrol was also available. HMS Victory made her way to Gibraltar for repairs, carrying Nelson's body. The first monument to be erected in Britain to commemorate Nelson may be that raised on Glasgow Green in 1806, albeit possibly preceded by a monument at Taynuilt, near Oban in Scotland dated 1805, both also commemorating the many Scots crew and captains at the battle. "Naval Warfare 1453â1815". In the centre of the image the dismasted Spanish First Rate Santa Ana, flying Spanish colours, is visible. The Neptuno was eventually wrecked off Rota in the gale, while the Santa Ana reached port. To lessen the time the fleet was exposed to this danger, Nelson had his ships make all available sail (including stuns'ls), yet another departure from the norm. As the two fleets drew closer, anxiety began to build among officers and sailors; one British sailor described the time before thus: "During this momentous preparation, the human mind had ample time for meditation, for it was evident that the fate of England rested on this battle". Napoleon's invasion plans for Britain depended entirely on having a sufficiently large number of ships-of-the-line before Boulogne in France. Once Nelson realised that the French had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, he set off in pursuit.. While some of the French captains wished to obey Napoleon's orders, the Spanish captains and other French officers, including Villeneuve, thought it best to remain in CÃ¡diz. As the French were preparing to board Victory, Temeraire, the second ship in the British windward column, approached from the starboard bow of Redoutable and fired on the exposed French crew with a carronade, causing many casualties. On boarding her, her British captors found that she was in a sinking state, and so removed the British prize crew, and nearly all of her original Spanish crew members. Villeneuve again ordered his fleet into three columns, but soon changed his mind and restored a single line. This fleet, under the command of Vice-Admiral Calder, reached Cádiz on 15 September. Admiral Federico Gravina, the senior Spanish flag officer, escaped capture with the remnant of the fleet. The British took 22 vessels of the Franco-Spanish fleet and lost none. The remainder of the prize crew were made prisoners by the Spanish.. 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. , Nelson's body was preserved in a barrel of brandy for the trip home to a hero's funeral.. The surviving ships remained bottled up in Cádiz until 1808 when Napoleon invaded Spain. Served in the Royal Navy on HMS Beaulieu and was the last British survivor of Trafalgar. The French Bucentaure was isolated by Victory and Temeraire, and then engaged by HMS Neptune, HMS Leviathan, and Conqueror; similarly, Santísima Trinidad was isolated and overwhelmed, surrendering after three hours. Nelson became â and remains â Britain's greatest naval war hero, and an inspiration to the Royal Navy, yet his unorthodox tactics were seldom emulated by later generations.  At the time the Indomptable had 1,200 men on board but no more than 100 were saved. They were able to attack French interests at home and abroad with relative ease. Villeneuve's ships were also more than two thousand men short of the force needed to sail. Villeneuve was uncertain about engaging the British, and the Franco-Spanish fleet failed to organise fully.  Heartened by the approach of the squadron, the French crew of the former flagship Bucentaure also rose up and retook the ship from the British prize crew but she was wrecked later on 23 October. However, when the storm blew up, many of the severely damaged ships sank or ran aground on the shoals. The French Bucentaure was isolated by Victory and Temeraire, and then engaged by Neptune, HMS Leviathan and Conqueror; similarly, SantÃsima Trinidad was isolated and overwhelmed, surrendering after three hours. Other British ships continued to arrive, and by 15 October the fleet was up to full strength for the battle. At noon, Villeneuve sent the signal "engage the enemy", and Fougueux fired her first trial shot at Royal Sovereign. However Victory engaged the 74-gun Redoutable; Bucentaure was left to the next three ships of the British windward column: Temeraire, Conqueror, and HMS Neptune.  Both sets of mariners were determined to make an attempt to recapture some of the prizes. In a propaganda move, the battle was declared a "spectacular victory" by the French and Spanish.. Of the 27 you have left, seven are “three-deckers” (three with 100 guns and four with 98 guns) and 20 are “two-deckers” (one with 80 guns, 16 with 74 guns, and three with 64 guns). At 13:55, the French Captain Lucas of Redoutable, with 99 fit men out of 643 and severely wounded himself, surrendered. Nelson's pre-battle prayer, inscribed on an oak timber from HMS Victory. Three of these ships, one at 136 guns (Santisima Trinidad) and two at 112 guns (Principe de Asturias, Santa Ana), were much larger than anything under Nelson's command. At 6 a.m. that morning, Nelson gave the order to prepare for battle. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost.  In a counter-propaganda move, a fabricated text declaring the battle a "spectacular victory" for the French and Spanish was published in Herald and attributed to Le Moniteur Universel.. Fearing their loss, the British burnt or sank Santisima Trinidad, Argonauta, San Antonio and Intrepide. Villeneuve returned from the Caribbean 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. As a result, Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve was the most competent senior officer available to command Napoleon's Mediterranean fleet. Victory's gunners were called on deck to fight boarders, and she ceased firing. The Bucentaure is also fighting HMS Temeraire (to the left of the picture) and being fired into by HMS Victory (behind her).  He looked up as Beatty took his pulse, then closed his eyes. The Battle of Trafalgar, situation at 1700h, As Nelson lay dying, he ordered the fleet to anchor, as a storm was predicted. On 21 October, Admiral Nelson had 27 ships of the line under his command.  Collingwood also chose not seek action, and in the confusion of the powerful storm, the French frigates managed to retake two Spanish ships-of-the-line which had been cast-off by their British captors, the 112-gun Santa Ana and 80-gun Neptuno, taking them in tow and making for CÃ¡diz. This would require Villeneuve's force of 33 ships to join Vice-Admiral Ganteaume's force of 21 ships at Brest, along with a squadron of five ships under Captain Allemand, which would have given him a combined force of 59 ships-of-the-line. On 27 October, Collingwood offered the governor of Cádiz to put his Spanish wounded prisoners ashore and set them free. The Franco-Spanish fleet also had six more ships-of-the-line, and so could more readily combine their fire. In summer this coincides with the one o'clock gun being fired. Nelson's hope was to lure the combined Franco-Spanish force out and engage them in a "pell-mell battle". At 11:45, Nelson sent the famous flag signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty".  Cosmao ordered the rigging of his ship, the 74-gun Pluton, to be repaired and reinforced her crew (which had been depleted by casualties from the battle), with sailors from the French frigate Hermione.  Collingwood also chose not to seek action, and in the confusion of the powerful storm, the French frigates managed to retake two Spanish ships of the line which had been cast off by their British captors, the 112-gun Santa Ana and 80-gun Neptuno, taking them in tow and making for Cádiz. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost 22 ships while the British lost none. British prize crews were captured and given good treatment.  Heartened by the approach of the squadron, the French crew of the former flagship Bucentaure also rose up and retook the ship from the British prize crew, but she was wrecked later on 23 October. The British win with 18 ships surviving. Trafalgar. The remaining 22 third-rates were 74-gun vessels, of which fourteen were French and eight Spanish.  The Franco-Spanish squadron chose not to approach within gunshot and then declined to attack. The latter, conceiving that it was probably intended for her, hauled down her colours, and was taken by HMS Donegal, who anchored alongside and took off the prisoners. Read about French Muster Rolls from the Battle of Trafalgar on The National Archives' website. Nelson also lost Calder's flagship, the 98-gun Prince of Wales, which he sent home as Calder had been recalled by the Admiralty to face a court martial for his apparent lack of aggression during the engagement off Cape Finisterre on 22 July. The intention of going straight at the enemy echoed the tactics used by Admiral Duncan at the Battle of Camperdown and Admiral Jervis at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, both in 1797. Observing that some of the leewardmost of the prizes were escaping towards the Spanish coast, Leviathan asked for and was granted permission by Collingwood to try to retrieve the prizes and bring them to anchor. The ships in the van of the enemy fleet would have to turn back to support the rear, which would take a long time. First, the British fleet would close with the Franco-Spanish as quickly as possible, reducing the chance that they would be able to escape without fighting. Less than two months later, Napoleon decisively defeated the Third Coalition at the Battle of Austerlitz, knocking Austria out of the war and forcing the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. 41 ships Of these, Redoutable sank, and Santísima Trinidad and Argonauta were scuttled by the British. A gala was held on 21 October at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the fund, which included a specially commissioned film by Alfred John West entitled Our Navy. The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the previous century and was achieved in part through 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 signalling in battle and disengagement, and to maximise fields of fire and target areas. This reversed the order of the allied line, placing the rear division under Rear-Admiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley in the vanguard. The gale after Trafalgar, depicted by Thomas Buttersworth. 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." As more and more British ships entered the battle, the ships of the allied centre and rear were gradually overwhelmed.  Villeneuve changed his mind yet again on 18 October 1805, ordering the Combined Fleet to sail immediately even though there were only very light winds.. The prevailing tactical orthodoxy at the time involved manoeuvring to approach the enemy fleet in a single line of battle and then engaging broadside in parallel lines. Nothing is sure in a sea battle, so he left his captains free from all hampering rules by telling them that "No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy." The French ships were then seized by the Spanish forces and put into service against France. During the battle, the ships engaged carried varying amounts of sail - depending on their position and intent. Enrique MacDonell and Cosmao were of equal rank and both raised commodore's pennants before hoisting anchor.  At the time Indomptable had 1,200 men on board, but no more than 100 were saved. When Villeneuve set sail from Ferrol on 10 August, he was under orders from Napoleon to sail northward toward Brest. (France: 18 ships of the line and eight others, France:10 ships captured,one ship destroyed,2,218 dead,1,155 wounded,4,000 captured, Spain:11 ships captured,1,025 dead,1,383 wounded,4,000 captured, Aftermath: Nelson led his column into a feint toward the van of the Franco-Spanish fleet and then abruptly turned toward the actual point of attack. The inexperienced crews had difficulty with the changing conditions, and it took nearly an hour and a half for Villeneuve's order to be completed. Despite the British victory over the Franco-Spanish navies, Trafalgar had negligible impact on the remainder of the War of the Third Coalition. Nelson led his column into a feint toward the van of the Franco-Spanish fleet and then abruptly turned toward the actual point of attack. The ships in the van of the enemy fleet would have to turn back to support the rear, which would take a long time. Her ship at the Nile was reputed to be H.M.S. The first monument to be erected in Britain to commemorate Nelson may be that raised on Glasgow Green in 1806, albeit possibly preceded by a monument at Taynuilt, near Oban in Scotland dated 1805, both also commemorating the many Scots crew and captains at the battle. The shot fell between the Monarca and the Rayo. There had been more competent officers, but they had either been employed elsewhere or had fallen from Napoleon's favour. Lieutenant John Lapenotière's historic voyage in HMS Pickle bringing the news of the victory from the fleet to Falmouth and thence by post chaise to the Admiralty in London was commemorated by the inauguration of The Trafalgar Way and further highlighted by the New Trafalgar Dispatch celebrations from July to September in which an actor played the part of Lapenotière and re-enacted parts of the historic journey. , The British possessed an experienced and well-trained corps of naval officers. The crew of Redoutable, which included a strong infantry corps (with three captains and four lieutenants), gathered for an attempt to board and seize the Victory. Nelson died at half-past four, three hours after being hit. As both these factors altered almost minute by minute, it is impossible to accurately portray a vessel except at a specific point in time. The term 'England' was widely used at the time to refer to the United Kingdom; the British fleet included significant contingents from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. HMS VICTORY – HMS Victory is one of the few surviving ships of the era of sail. Villeneuve again ordered his fleet into three columns, but soon changed his mind and ordered a single line.  The event ended with God Save the King and La Marseillaise The first performance of Sir Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs occurred on the same day at a special Promenade Concert.. of the re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar off Portsmouth on 28 June 2005, The London Gazette Extraordinary, 6 November 1805, English folk song about the Battle of Trafalgar, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Trafalgar&oldid=1004764524, Battles of the War of the Third Coalition, Napoleon's planned invasion of the United Kingdom, Naval battles involving the United Kingdom, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from February 2012, Articles with incomplete citations from February 2012, Short description is different from Wikidata, All articles with broken links to citations, Articles needing additional references from October 2017, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 February 2021, at 07:28. The remaining three were 64-gun ships, which were being phased out of the Royal Navy at the time of the battle. Read about French Muster Rolls from the Battle of Trafalgar on The National Archives' website. The main French ships-of-the-line had been kept in harbour for years by the British blockade with only brief sorties. These were not the only problems faced by the Franco-Spanish fleet. Despite the efforts of her British prize crew, the Rayo was driven onshore on 26 October and wrecked, with the loss of twenty-five men. Nelson knew that the superior seamanship, faster gunnery and better morale of his crews were great advantages. One reason for the development of the line of battle system was to facilitate control of the fleet: if all the ships were in line, signalling in battle became possible. The 200th anniversary of the battle was also commemorated on six occasions in Portsmouth during June and July, at St Paul's Cathedral (where Nelson is entombed), in Trafalgar Square in London in October (T Square 200), and across the UK. Among the captured French ships were L'Aigle, AlgÃ©siras, Berwick, Bucentaure, Fougueux, IntrÃ©pide, Redoutable, and Swiftsure.  With no sign of Villeneuve's fleet, on 25 August, the three French army corps' invasion force near Boulogne broke camp and marched into Germany, where it was later engaged.  At about ten o'clock, just as Monarca had got within little more than a mile of Rayo, Leviathan fired a warning shot wide of Monarca, to oblige her to drop anchor. West's "Our Navy": Wreath laying on HMS Victory, October 1905, BBC Battlefield Academy: Battle of Trafalgar, BBC video (42 min.) In doing so, he ordered them to cast off towing their prizes. Napoleon had already abandoned his plans of invasion before the battle and they were never revived. They lose, with the Armada having 16 ships left. Around the base are the names of his famous victories: Aboukir (1798), Copenhagen (1801) and Trafalgar (1805). A musket bullet fired from the mizzentop of Redoutable struck Nelson in the left shoulder, passed through his spine at the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae, and lodged two inches below his right scapula in the muscles of his back. Goodwin is Keeper & Curator of HMS Victory and the author of "The Construction and Fitting of the English Man-of-War, 1650-1850" and "Nelson's Ships: A History of the Vessels in Which He Served, 1771-1805". The gunners were forced back below decks by French grenades. Nelson’s fleet was arrayed in two lines, laid at right angles to the line of the enemy.  Cosmao retook two Spanish ships of the line, but it cost him one French and two Spanish vessels to do so. The hasty voyage across the Atlantic and back used up vital supplies. What remains after the battle)". The flag was awarded to a popular sailor after the battle in 1805. Early in 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson commanded the British fleet blockading Toulon.  The Franco-Spanish squadron, numerically inferior, chose not to approach within gunshot and then declined to attack. 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!" On the actual anniversary day, 21 October, naval manoeuvres were conducted in Trafalgar Bay near Cádiz involving a combined fleet from Britain, Spain, and France. , 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 Caribbean. The result was a sprawling, uneven formation. When Villeneuve set sail from Ferrol on 10 August, he was under orders from Napoleon to sail northward toward Brest. The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement fought by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the War of the Third Coalition (AugustâDecember 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803â1815). This article does not contain any citations or references. Nelson knew that the superior seamanship, faster gunnery and better morale of his crews were great advantages. The battle is generally regarded as one of the first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War, and one of the first fought by the … 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." He attended Nelson's funeral while a captive on parole in Britain. 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