Monday, June 6, 2011

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805

The most decisive naval battle of modern times, fought between a British fleet of 27 ships of the line under Vice- Admiral Lord Nelson, and a combined FrancoSpanish fleet of 33 ships (18 French, and 15 Spanish under Admiral Gravina) under Admiral Villeneuve. When the Combined Fleet left Cadiz, bound for the Mediterranean, Nelson pursued, dividing his fleet into two columns - the van  or weather division - under himself, and the lee division under Vice-Admiral Collingwood. In an action lasting five hours the two British columns pierced the Franco-Spanish line and forced upon their opponents a series of spirited ship-toship actions in which superior British gunnery and seamanship wrecked Villeneuve's centre and rear before his van could come about and retrieve the situation. All told, the Combined Fleet lost 18 ships of the line captured or destroyed and over 6,000 men killed and wounded.




The Royal Navy Ships that took part in the Battle


Ships Name                 Commander       
Victory               (100)      Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson , Captain Thomas Hardy 
Temeraire           (98)        Captain Eliab Harvey     
Neptune             (98)        Captain Thomas Fremantle     
Leviathan            (74)        Captain Henry Bayntun    
Britannia             (100)      Rear-Admiral William, Earl of Northesk , Captain Charles Bullen
Conqueror          (74)        Captain Israel Pellew    
Africa                 (64)        Captain Henry Digby    
Agamemnon       (64)        Captain Sir Edward Berry    
Ajax                   (74)        Lieutenant John Pilfold (acting for Captain William Brown)
Orion                  (74)        Captain Edward Codrington    
Minotaur             (74)        Captain Charles Mansfield    
Spartiate             (74)        Captain Sir Francis Laforey    
Royal Sovereign (100)      Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood , Captain Edward Rotheram
Belleisle              (74)        Captain William Hargood    
Mars                  (74)       Captain George Duff    
Tonnant              (80)       Captain Charles Tyler    
Bellerophon        (74)       Captain John Cooke    
Colossus            (74)       Captain James Morris    
Achille                (74)       Captain Richard King    
Dreadnought       (98)       Captain John Conn     
Polyphemus        (64)       Captain Robert Redmill    
Revenge             (74)       Captain Robert Moorsom    
Swiftsure            (74)       Captain William Rutherfurd    
Defiance             (74)       Captain Philip Durham    
Thunderer          (74)       Lieutenant John Stockham (acting for Captain William Lechmere)
Defence             (74)       Captain George Hope    
Prince                (98)       Captain Richard Grindall    
Euryalus            (36)       Captain Hon. Henry Blackwood   
Naiad                (38)       Captain Thomas Dundas    
Phoebe              (36)       Captain Hon. Thomas Capell    
Sirius                 (36)       Captain William Prowse    
Pickle                (10)       Lieutenant John La Penotiere    
Entreprenante    (8)         Lieutenant Robert Young