Triumph and terror – The Battle of Trafalgar, an introduction

The year; 1805, Napolean’s pestilential attitude will soon be met by the might of Lord Nelson’s potent Navy. To the ignorant eye, it’d seem Bonaparte would have little worries and Britain would be facing the calamitous repercussion, with 33 British ships and an opposing French and Spanish fleet of 41, it was evident they’d loose.

The odds were against them, with insufficient ship numbers, what could Britain really offer which could overturn the might of Napolean’s vainglorious empire?

Firstly, Nelson thought Tactics over power, evidently the Brits couldn’t use force due to their geographical size. The French and Spanish easily out sized them, and thus had more land and workers and in turn more ships. Therefore, going in ‘guns blazing’ wasn’t option. He instructed his flotilla to sail to the sides of the fleet, in two seperate columns. His aim was to split the combines line of ships in to three pieces, where they could each individually be surrounded and destroyed.

Furthermore, France’s ignorance was apparent. With their foremost generals executed in the French revolution, they had little knowledge or experience to guide them through the battle. Britain’s consistent leadership meant that their generals and soldiers had a wealth of experience to take to battle, whilst all major people within France were killed.

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