The Battle of Trafalgar
A short piece of context, prepared by Peter Warwick, late Chairman of The 1805 Club.
On Monday, 21st October 1805 off Cape Trafalgar, Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, on board his flagship HMS Victory, together the other 26 British ships of the line attacks the 33 ships of the combined French and Spanish fleets, commanded by Vice Admiral Comte de Villeneuve. Firing starts around midday and by tea-time, the most famous sea battle in British history is over. Napoleon's fleet is virtually annihilated, 17 of its ships captured. There are in total around 50,000 officers and crew engaged in the battle. British losses total 450 dead and 1,250 wounded, while the allies suffer considerably more casualties - 4,400 dead and 3,300 wounded.
There are a great many resources where you can find out the detailed events of the battle. Start by reading Kate Jamieson's account for our blog.
Nelson's famous action was to bear down on the line of ships of the Combined Fleet in two columns, one commanded by himself in Victory, the other led by Vice Admiral Collingwood in Royal Sovereign. HMS Pickle is probably the small two-masted schooner seen centre right, observing the action.