On the 21st of October in the year 1805, one of the greatest battles in the history of naval confrontations was fought between the British Royal Navy and the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. By the time the Battle of Trafalgar concluded, not only had a great victory been scored against Napoleon and his attempts to invade the British Isles, but the nation assumed its’ position as a great naval power…and one of her greatest heroes, Lord Admiral Nelson, was dead from an assassin’s bullet.
A good deal has been written about the battle. I know that I could never do it justice, so over the course of a few pages, I’ll just try to present links, words and images in honor of the 211th anniversary of this pivotal event.
In 2005, I had the privilege of traveling to England to celebrate the bicentennial of Trafalgar.
I not only stayed in London, visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral where the Admiral is buried, but spent a few nights in Portsmouth where you can go aboard the beautifully maintained HMS Victory, the decks of which Nelson walked during the battle, the spot where he was shot and fell…the orlop where he died. People throw around the term ‘walking thru history’ quite a bit, but when you’re maneuvering the decks of a vessel sitting still in the harbor, you try to imagine how it might have been that day. And I’m still tickled to death that I was standing with a crowd of numerous other onlookers when on the evening of the twenty-first – in tribute to the battle – the Victory fired a broadside! Queen Elizabeth II was onboard for a dinner. My invitation obviously got misplaced in the mail! That was 11 years ago, and I can still remember smelling gunpowder in the air and feeling the way the ground rumbled.
An ITV article regarding a commemoration of the 211th anniversary of the great battle can be found here: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2016-10-21/ceremony-marks-anniversary-of-battle-of-trafalgar/
Details of the battle can be found in numerous references including: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Battle+of+Trafalgar and http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/trafalgar_01.shtml.