most people will know, Admiral Horatio Nelson died having smashed
a combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in 1805 and saved Britain
from the danger of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte's armies.
simple facts aside, the lead-up to the battle of Trafalgar was one
of the most interesting games of cat-and-mouse played during the
Napoleonic Era and just how did an outnumbered British fleet manage
to defeat its foes?
Line of Fire: Trafalgar, the team from Cromwell Productions
has again published a wonderful examination of an important military
clash and one that landlocked French power and hamstrung Bonaparte's
50-minute video uses contemporary paintings and artwork to illustrate
the sorts of ships that would fight each other, uses re-enactors
to add live footage of life onboard a warship and then interviews
with military historians to give us all the great info about who
did what to whom.
examine the political situation, the naval balance, the strengths
and weaknesses of the navies and just how naval commanders went
about beating the enemy.
my mind, the really interesting bits are about France's Admiral
Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, who some branded a coward (including
his emperor), while others say he would have made a good subordinate
to Nelson if he had the luck of having British sailors crewing a
Royal Navy warship.
as the programme points out, was stuck between a rock - the unrealistic
demands of Bonaparte - and a hard place, the waiting British navy
led by the frighteningly brilliant Nelson.
emperor wanted to have his navy clear the British from the English
Channel and designed an elaborate landlubber's plan to get Nelson
out of the way through a run for the West Indies and then returning
to guard the invasion force.
was that the French ships were no match for the British and Villeneuve
ran for the perceived safety of Cadiz.
of Fire: Trafalgar's experts - including naval officers and
historians Duncan Anderson, Aryck Nusbacher and David Chandler -
describe, almost with relish, the horrible situation in which Villeneuve
all, he sailed forth and ran in to Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar and
the carnage that ensued as he was firstly out-thought and then out-fought
has become part of military legend.
of Fire: Trafalgar is another first-class offering from Cromwell
Productions and is an excellent addition to any Napoleonic or maritime