Battle of Trafalgar

(673 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Essay

In the autumn of 1804 Napoleon gathered a formidable invasion force along the southern coast of the British Channel and wanted only six hours' mastery of the sea to be able to invade. The French and Spanish Combined Fleet under the command of Rear-Admiral Pierre Villeneuve was ordered to destroy the British Channel Fleet to enable the invasion to commence. He broke out of Toulon in May 1805 and over the next three months he was harried across the Atlantic to Trinidad and back by Nelson who gave him no sea room but did not manage to find him. Nelson took a month's shore leave in August 1805, feted as a hero by the Prime Minister, the Lords of the Admiralty and the crowds, and showered with gifts by West Indian planters grateful that …

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Editors. "Battle of Trafalgar". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 October 2004
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]