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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

October 21st, 1805 - The Battle of Trafalgar

Conflict: War of the Third Coalition

Combatants: British v. French/Spanish

Location: North Atlantic

Outcome: British victory

British Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson intercepted a Franco-Spanish fleet of 33 ships, under the command of French Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, en route to Cadiz off Cape Trafalgar. Nelson first cut the ships of the two allies in half, then in a 5-hour battle managed to capture 18 enemy vessels. The French and Spanish lost as many as 7,000 killed and another 7,000 taken prisoner. The British lost no ships, but 1500 sailors were killed and Nelson himself was mortally wounded.

The Battle of Trafalgar by François Musin

Points of Interest:

  • The defeat at Trafalgar effectively ended the power of the French Navy. The British Navy would rule the sea throughout most of the 19th century.

  • The Spanish Admiral Duque Federico de Gravina was also killed in the battle.

Vice Admiral Pierre Charles de Villeneuve by an unknown artist

Horation Nelson by Lemuel Francis Abbott

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