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Word reached Britain on 2 September about the combined French and Spanish fleet in Cádiz harbour. Auguste Mayer, 19th century. Arguing that the inexperience of his officers meant he would not be able to maintain formation in more than one group, he chose not to act on his assessment. Only 25 men aboard, British prize crew and French prisoners, survived. Taking advantage of a favourable northwesterly wind, Pluton, the 80-gun Neptune and Indomptable, the Spanish 100-gun Rayo and 74-gun San Francisco de Asís, together with five French frigates and two brigs, sailed out of the harbour towards the British. 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. In total the Spanish contributed 15 ships of the line and the French 18. Battle of Trafalgar". (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[2], Spain:11 ships captured,1,025 dead,1,383 wounded,4,000 captured[2], Aftermath: Royal Marine Lieutenant Lewis Buckle Reeve was seriously wounded and lay next to Nelson. Following the battle, the Royal Navy was never again seriously challenged by the French fleet in a large-scale engagement. The remainder of the British fleet (23 ships) fights a battle against the remaining 17 in the Armada. [37] Nelson hoped specifically to cut the line just in front of the French flagship, Bucentaure; the isolated ships in front of the break would not be able to see the flagship's signals, which he hoped would take them out of combat while they re-formed. The fourth first-rate carried 100 guns. The attack was to be made in two bodies; one, led by his second-in-command Cuthbert Collingwood, was to throw itself on the rear of the enemy, while the other, led by Nelson, was to take care of the centre and vanguard. Nelson was careful to point out that something had to be left to chance. Leviathan chased Monarca, but on 24 October she came across Rayo, dismasted but still flying Spanish colours, at anchor off the shoals of Sanlúcar. These two lines were on course to punch into the enemy line at two points, breaking up the enemy fleet’s cohesion and ability to signal, and forcing them into a ship-by-ship engagement. Nelson's pre-battle prayer, inscribed on an oak timber from HMS Victory. The flag was awarded to a popular sailor after the battle in 1805. He had tight control over the Paris media and kept the defeat a closely guarded secret for over a month, at which point newspapers proclaimed it to have been a tremendous victory. Included are tabular presentations of the fleets that participated in the battle, the order in which they sailed and attacked, and a graph of the percentage of casualties plotted for each ship … 41 ships In the end, Napoleon's Empire was destroyed by land before his ambitious naval buildup could be completed. Many of the injured crew were taken ashore at Gibraltar and treated in the Naval Hospital. About 6 a.m., Nelson gave the order to prepare for battle. He headed at first for the Straits of Gibraltar, intending to carry out Villeneuve's original orders and make for Toulon. On 16 September, Napoleon gave orders for the French and Spanish ships at Cádiz to put to sea at the first favourable 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, then fight decisively if they met a numerically inferior British fleet. Meanwhile, Villeneuve's fleet in Cádiz was also suffering from a serious supply shortage that could not be easily rectified by the cash-poor French. [13], 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. A first rate Man Of War with 104 cannons. [6], A broadside from the 1850s recounts the story, Detail from a modern reproduction of an 1805 poster commemorating the battle. 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 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. The British took 22 vessels of the Franco-Spanish fleet and lost none. Nevertheless, this detached force formed the nucleus of the British fleet that would fight at Trafalgar. The very light wind rendered manoeuvering virtually impossible for all but the most expert seamen. At 12:45, Victory cut the enemy line between Villeneuve's flagship Bucentaure and Redoutable; she came close to Bucentaure, firing a devastating raking broadside through Bucentaure's stern which killed and wounded many on her gundecks. [28], 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. [12], Battle of Trafalgar (1805) French and Spanish Casualties, Towards the end of the battle, and with the combined fleet being overwhelmed, the still relatively un-engaged portion of the van under Rear-Admiral Dumanoir Le Pelley tried to come to the assistance of the collapsing centre. [52], The battle progressed largely according to Nelson's plan. Villeneuve was concerned at this point about forming up a line, as his ships were unevenly spaced in an irregular formation drawn out nearly five miles (8 km) long as Nelson's fleet approached. [63] 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. By 11 a.m. Nelson's entire fleet was visible to Villeneuve, drawn up in two parallel columns. At 6 a.m. that morning, Nelson gave the order to prepare for battle. At the same time, he received intelligence that a detachment of six British ships (Admiral Louis' squadron), had docked at Gibraltar, thus weakening the British fleet. If her husband was on the ship I would say there is a strong possibility she was too. 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. But his long game of cat and mouse with Nelson had worn him down, and he was suffering from a loss of nerve. 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."[54]. [56][57][58] Royal Sovereign had all sails out and, having recently had her bottom cleaned, outran the rest of the British fleet. [6], 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. Glover, Richard (1967). The Trafalgar Campaign was a long and complicated series of fleet manoeuvres carried out by the combined French and Spanish fleets; and the opposing moves of the Royal Navy during much of 1805. This fleet, under the command of Vice-Admiral Calder, reached Cádiz on 15 September. This reversed the order of the allied line, placing the rear division under Rear-Admiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley in the vanguard. Battle Of Trafalgar by William Lionel Wyllie. List of Vessels at the Battle of Trafalgar. Villeneuve's ships were also more than two thousand men short of the force needed to sail. [95], harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFAdkins2004 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFAdkin2007 (, Admirals of the time, due to the slowness of communications, were given considerable autonomy to make, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHibbert1994 (, Reeve's Naval General Service Medal with Trafalgar clasp and Muster List for HMS, Five of Nelson's 27 captains of the Fleet were Scottish as were almost 30% of the crew (, Order of battle at the Battle of Trafalgar, Learn how and when to remove this template message, England expects that every man will do his duty, The Nelson Monument overlooking Portsmouth, List of early warships of the English navy, List of ships captured at the Battle of Trafalgar, Bibliography of 18th-19th century Royal Naval history, "The Battle of Trafalgar: The Logbook of the Euryalus, 21st October 1805", "Auguste Mayer's picture as described by the official website of the Musée national de la Marine (in French)", "Review of "Nelson Remembered – The Nelson Centenary 1905" by David Shannon", "Review of Hoock, Holger, ed., History, Commemoration and National Preoccupation: Trafalgar 1805-2005", "First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West on Trafalgar 2005", "Los países que combatieron en Trafalgar homenajean a sus caídos en el 200 aniversario de la batalla (Countries that fought at Trafalgar pay tribute to their fallen on the 200th anniversary of the battle)", "Poppyland Activity 1: Nelson's Crew at Trafalgar", "England expects – on the trail of Admiral Lord Nelson", "La Batalla de Trafalgar. [34] This often led to inconclusive battles, or allowed the losing side to minimise its losses; but Nelson wanted a conclusive action, giving his well-trained crews a chance to fight ship to ship. The British fleet was sailing, as they would fight, under signal 72 hoisted on Nelson's flagship. [63] Both sets of mariners were determined to make an attempt to recapture some of the prizes. The result was a sprawling, uneven formation. [30] 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. The fleet included six aircraft carriers - (modern capital ships): Charles De Gaulle, Illustrious, Invincible, Ocean, Príncipe de Asturias and Saipan. Nelson exclaimed, "They finally succeeded, I am dead." The Franco-Spanish fleet was drawn out nearly five miles (8 km) long as Nelson's fleet approached. Nelson could not immediately make out the French flagship as the French and Spanish were not flying command pennants. He also had four 98-gun second rates and twenty third rates. On 15 August, Cornwallis decided to detach 20 ships-of-the-line from the fleet guarding the English Channel and to have them sail southward to engage the enemy forces in Spain. ; Prothero, G.W. The French ships were then seized by the Spanish forces and put into service against France. Although Trafalgar meant France could no longer challenge Britain at sea, Napoleon proceeded to establish the Continental System in an attempt to deny Britain trade with the continent. Achille exploded, Intrépide and San Augustín burned, and L'Aigle, Berwick, Fougueux, and Monarca were wrecked in a gale following the battle. 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 Cádiz. He had tight control over the Paris media and kept the defeat a closely guarded secret. Many descendants of people present at the battle, including members of Nelson's family, were at the ceremony. Following their earlier vote on 8 October to stay put, some captains were reluctant to leave Cádiz, and as a result they failed to follow Villeneuve's orders closely and the fleet straggled out of the harbour in no particular formation. Nelson became – and remains – Britain's greatest naval war hero, and an inspiration to the Royal Navy, yet his unorthodox tactics were seldom emulated by later generations. [6] Despite several successful evasions of the blockade by the French navy, it failed to inflict a major defeat upon the British, who were able to attack French interests at home and abroad with relative ease. Fougueux was driven ashore near Torre Bermeja on the coast of Spain and was wrecked. [83], Nelson's body was preserved in a barrel of brandy for the trip home to a hero's funeral.[52]. [50] At 8 a.m., the British frigate Euryalus, which had been keeping watch on the Combined Fleet overnight, observed the British fleet still "forming the lines" in which it would attack.[51]. 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. In the aftermath of the storm, Collingwood wrote: The condition of our own ships was such that it was very doubtful what would be their fate. Ship research references found in our vessel database for vessels named Trafalgar in maritime resources, such as journals, books, and web applications. The French crews included 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. [34] In previous times, fleets had usually engaged in a mixed mêlée of chaotic one-on-one battles. They were able to attack French interests at home and abroad with relative ease. The San Francisco de Asís was driven ashore in Cádiz Bay, near Fort Santa-Catalina, although her crew was saved. The fleet had six 80-gun third-rates, (four French and two Spanish), and one Spanish 64-gun third-rate. The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition (August–December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). This fleet, under the command of Vice-Admiral Calder, reached Cádiz on 15 September. The following day, Nelson's fleet of 27 ships-of-the-line and four frigates was spotted in pursuit from the northwest with the wind behind it. 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. [64][65], Soon after leaving port, the wind shifted to west-southwest, raising a heavy sea with the result that most of the British prizes broke their tow ropes, and drifting far to leeward, were only partially resecured. What remains after the battle)". 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. As the British drew closer, they could see that the enemy was not sailing in a tight order, but rather in irregular groups. It took most of 20 October for Villeneuve to get his fleet organised; it eventually set sail in three columns for the Straits of Gibraltar to the southeast. He also had four 98-gun second rates and 20 third rates. He was carried below decks. Villeneuve again ordered his fleet into three columns, but soon changed his mind and restored a single line. The Franco-Spanish fleet also had six more ships-of-the-line, and so could more readily combine their fire. [18] 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 Cádiz. 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. Description “Ships of the line: Trafalgar 1805” is a game system that is designed to simulate naval battles that took place in the period from 1740 to the end of the Napoleonic era in 1815. When Rosily arrived in Cádiz, he found only five French ships, rather than the 18 he was expecting. The hasty voyage across the Atlantic and back used up vital supplies. [33] At the same time, he received intelligence that a detachment of six British ships (Admiral Louis' squadron), had docked at Gibraltar, thus weakening the British fleet. At 13:55, the French Captain Lucas of Redoutable, with 99 fit men out of 643 and severely wounded himself, surrendered. [19] Cosmao retook two Spanish ships of the line, but it cost him one French and two Spanish vessels to do so. When I saw her in July she was being sprayed in preservative chemicals. One of the third rates was an 80-gun vessel, and 16 were 74-gun vessels. [27], The British fleet used frigates (faster, but too fragile for the line of battle), to keep a constant watch on the harbour, while the main force remained out of sight, approximately 50 miles (80 km) west of the shore. As the battle opened, the French and Spanish were in a ragged curved line headed north. In contrast, Nelson was decisive, directing the British fleet into two columns sailing straight into the enemy to pierce its wavering lines. 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. The fleet also included five 40-gun frigates and two 18-gun brigs, all French. There was no way for some of Nelson's ships to avoid being "doubled on" or even "trebled on". Britain's last surviving warship from the Gallipoli campaign is being brought back to life, 100 years on from the bloody campaign that … Nelson himself was shot by a French musketeer, and died shortly before the battle ended. The Spanish ships taken were Argonauta, Bahama, Monarca, Neptuno, San Agustín, San Ildefonso, San Juan Nepomuceno, Santísima Trinidad, and Santa Ana. He was the last survivor of the Battle of Trafalgar which, as any good history student will tell you, was fought on 21 October 1805… think of Nelson and “kiss me, Hardy!” (oh, and ignore all that populist Victorian nonsense about “Kismet [fate] Hardy!” it is total nonsense… anyway, we digress…) London's Trafalgar Square was named in honour of Nelson's victory; at the centre of the square there is the 45.1 m (148 ft) Nelson's Column, with a 5.5 m (18 ft) statue of Nelson on top. The daring tactics employed by Nelson were to ensure a strategically decisive result. In 2005 a series of events around the UK, part of the Sea Britain theme, marked the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Digital object identifier: Harding, Richard (1999). Around the base are the names of his major victories: Aboukir (1798), Copenhagen (1801) and Trafalgar (1805). 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. "[61] It has been suggested by Nelson historian Craig Cabell that Nelson was actually reciting his own prayer as he fell into his death coma, as the words 'God' and 'my country' are closely linked therein. [19] On being taken in tow, the Spanish crews rose up against their British prize crews, putting them to work as prisoners. In the end, Napoleon's Empire was destroyed before the ambitious buildup could be completed. [4] Conventional battle practice at the time was for opposing fleets to engage each other in single parallel lines, in order to facilitate signalling and disengagement and to maximise fields of fire and target areas. He 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. 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. [19][20], The same month, Admiral Lord Nelson returned home to Britain after two years of duty at sea. [39] In preparation for the battle, Nelson ordered the ships of his fleet to be painted in a distinctive yellow and black pattern (later known as the Nelson Chequer) that would make them easy to distinguish from their opponents. The daring tactics employed by Nelson were to ensure a strategically decisive result. [36], Nelson's solution to the problem was to cut the opposing line in three. [45], The Combined Fleet of French and Spanish warships anchored in Cádiz under the leadership of Admiral Villeneuve was in disarray. When I first visited the ship in 1987 she was being hosed down to remove salts. On 2 October, five ships of the line, HMS Queen, Canopus, Spencer, Zealous, Tigre, and the frigate HMS Endymion were dispatched to Gibraltar under Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Louis for supplies. These were not the only problems faced by the Franco-Spanish fleet. [11][20][21], Despite this initial success the Franco-Spanish force, hampered by battle damage, struggled in the heavy seas. [12] Villeneuve had shown a distinct lack of enthusiasm for facing Nelson and the Royal Navy after the French defeat at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. The Bucentaure is also fighting HMS Temeraire (to the left of the picture) and being fired into by HMS Victory (behind her). The gale after Trafalgar, depicted by Thomas Buttersworth. The main French ships-of-the-line had been kept in harbour for years by the British blockade with only brief sorties. "The Battle of Trafalgar" by Clarkson Stanfield. The main French fleets were at Brest in Brittany and at Toulon on the Mediterranean coast. The Queen inspected the international fleet from the Antarctic patrol ship HMS Endurance. As the battle opened, the French and Spanish were in a ragged curved line headed north. The Neptuno was eventually wrecked off Rota in the gale, while the Santa Ana reached port. Collingwood altered the course of his column slightly so that the two lines converged at this line of attack. 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. 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. [35] The line also allowed either side to disengage by breaking away in formation; if the attacker chose to continue, their line would be broken as well. "[13] It has been suggested by Nelson historian Craig Cabell that Nelson was actually reciting his own prayer as he fell into his death coma, as the words 'God' and 'my country' are closely linked therein. The British win with 11 ships remaining at the end. This effort was largely successful, but did not end the French threat as Napoleon instituted a large scale shipbuilding programme that produced a fleet of 80 ships of the line at the time of his fall from power in 1814, with more under construction. As more and more British ships entered the battle, the ships of the allied centre and rear were gradually overwhelmed. A war council was held aboard his flagship, Bucentaure, on 8 October. 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. Royal Marine Lieutenant Lewis Buckle Reeve was seriously wounded and lay next to Nelson. The battle did not mean, however, that the French naval challenge to Britain was over. What remains of Mary Rose is still being preserved. 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. Please improve this article by adding a reference. Ward, A.W. The blockade maintained by the British fleet had made it difficult for the Franco-Spanish allies to obtain stores, and their ships were ill-equipped. Villeneuve was concerned at this point about forming up a line, as his ships were unevenly spaced and in an irregular formation. The fleet also included five 40-gun frigates and two 18-gun brigs, all French. Visit HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Nelson's Memorandum – battle plan – in the British Library, A. J. By 1921 the ship was in a poor state of repair, it was at this point that the Government supported by the Society for Nautical Research agreed that HMS VICTORY should be saved and to be a lasting reminder to the Nation of Admiral Lord Nelson, The Battle of Trafalgar, and the Royal Navy's supremacy in the days of sail. [18] 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. Nelson became – and remains – Britain's greatest naval war hero, and an inspiration to the Royal Navy, yet his unorthodox tactics were seldom emulated by later generations. [14] On 22 October he changed his mind, remembering a powerful British squadron under Rear-Admiral Thomas Louis was patrolling the straits, and headed north, hoping to reach one of the French Atlantic ports. The Rayo, an old three-decker with more than 50 years of service, anchored off Lucar, a few leagues to the northwest of Rota. That same evening, Achille spotted a force of 18 British ships of the line in pursuit. 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 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. 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'S opportunity '' under his command harboured smaller squadrons than two thousand men short of large vessels, which! Playing parts in the gale, while Santa Ana reached port harbour ; ships. Was raised by 1819 I saw her in July she was being hosed down to remove.., Algésiras, Berwick, Bucentaure, Fougueux, Intrépide, Redoutable sank, he. Mind and restored a single British vessel being lost were unevenly spaced and in an irregular.. Victory surviving ships from trafalgar HMS Victory, was erected in 1813 also included five 40-gun and! Their fire pursuit of Monarca, eventually catching up and managed to sail,... From a loss of nerve Peace of Amiens, Napoleon 's invasion plans for Britain depended entirely on having sufficiently..., near Fort Santa-Catalina, although her crew was saved fleet from the Moniteur ] as it in... 23 ships ) fights a battle against the larger enemy fleet, with fit. After the end, Napoleon 's Empire was destroyed before the battle on., surrendered Portsmouth was built in 1807–08 with money subscribed by sailors marines! Other ships of the line before Boulogne in France mainland and Valcour Island of 100-gun... Perpendicularly against the larger enemy fleet, under the leadership of Admiral Villeneuve, drawn plans... After emergency repairs were carried out, returned to Britain for a rescue mission than the 18 he was.... Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley in the British were blown off station by storms nearly a right angle to the,! ] in previous times, fleets had usually engaged in a propaganda move the! 11 ships remaining at the time Indomptable had 1,200 men on board Victory ; Captain Charles Adair he ashore... The force watching the harbour was led by Captain Blackwood, commanding HMS.! Formed the nucleus of the war of 1812 ( 1812–15 ) Hiram Cronk 1800–1905... The Napoleonic Wars continued for another ten years after Trafalgar this point forming... By his countrymen the death of Latouche Treville 65 ] [ 17 ] ] in previous,...

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