Trafalgar

On the 18th May 1803 Nelson hoisted his flag upon the Victory (100 guns) at Portsmouth on his appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean. The French Commander Admiral Villeneuve played cat and mouse with Nelson during that year and on 30th May 1805, Villeneuve finally put to sea, with Nelson in pursuit, although having to abandon his plans for joining Napoleons other squadrons Villeneuve lost the British fleet. Nelson retired to England on 18th August only to leave on 14th September when Villeneuve's fleet was spotted by Vice-Admiral Collingwood in Cadiz. On the 18th October Villeneuve decided to run for the Straits of Gibraltar but Nelson was waiting for him. On 21st October Nelson's fleet of 27 ships intercepted Villeneuve's fleet of 33 ships at the battle of Trafalgar.

Nelson was asked to change out of his Admirals uniform before the battle but he would have none of it and continued to walk the decks in full view of the enemy snipers. Making his now famous signal of ‘England expects that every man will do his duty' he engaged the French.

Captain Hardy steered the Victory between the French ships Bucentaure and Redoutable firing as he went, the Redoutable and the Victory collided and during the engagement Nelson was shot by a sniper.

Nelson_Death
 Nelson after being hit by a sniper at Trafalgar

Nelson lived long enough to know victory was his. He was buried in the crypt of St Paul's; Cathedral on 9th January 1806 after being awarded a posthumous Earldom.

Nelson was a courageous leader who inspired his men to greater deeds then they would normally have achieved but his concern for them was never out of his mind, this gained their affection and loyalty.

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