The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars. The battle was the most decisive British naval victory of the war. Twenty-
The course of the battle and the circumstances are well known. Less often are mentioned details of the naval forces of the two warring parties. Let's look at this closer.
British fleet overview
Admiral Nelson had 27 ships-
Take a closer look at the British Navy and Franco -
The table below shows the British vessels deployed during the battle. They are listed in sailing order. During the battle the frigates and smaller vessels acted in support, but did not engage the enemy.
The following listing shows the French and Spanish ships of the line by order of sailing from north to south.
The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the previous century and was achieved in part through Nelson's departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy, which involved engaging an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy to facilitate signaling in battle and disengagement, and to maximize fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the larger enemy fleet, with decisive results.
Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming one of Britain's greatest war heroes. The commander of the joint French and Spanish forces, Admiral Villeneuve, was captured along with his ship Bucentaure. Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet and succumbed months later to wounds sustained during the battle.
Nelson’s overwhelming triumph over the combined Franco-