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The Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October, 1805
The Battle of Trafalgar was arguably the most decisive victory in the history of war at sea. Undaunted by the fact that he had only twenty-seven ships-of-the-line compared to the thirty-three in the combined French and Spanish fleets, Nelson brought the enemy to action on 21st October 1805 in a ferocious battle lasting less than three hours. Using a brilliant strategy to split the enemy line-of-battle in two places, their fleet was shattered by the loss or capture of eighteen of its capital ships and over 6,000 men were killed or wounded. The magnitude of the victory was overshadowed by the death of Nelson himself but French and Spanish seapower was totally destroyed, the former taking many years to reassert itself and the latter never recovering.
THE PROPERTY OF DIANA, COUNTESS NELSON