Trafalgar : The Men, the Battle, the Storm Paperback
Two hundred years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte dominated Europe and threatened Britain with invasion.
Against him stood the Royal Navy and the already legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson.
On 21 October 1805, a massive naval battle off the coast of Spain decided mastery of the seas.
Then, over the following days and nights, the battleships and their exhausted crews endured a gale of awesome fury.
As Captain Charles Tyler wrote to his wife Margaret, 'the wind blew a perfect storm'.
The authors of the bestselling FINEST HOUR tell this story not only through the diaries, letters and memoirs of the men who wrestled with the enemy and the elements, but also through the eyes of their wives and children.
Whether you are already familiar with this period of history or are coming to it for the first time, TRAFALGAR is a book that will enthral as it illuminates an event whose repercussions still echo today.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages, 2 x 8pp colour illustrations
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 04/07/2005
- Category: British & Irish history
- ISBN: 9780340830284
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Review by jcbrunner
An outstanding account of the battle of Trafalgar concentrating, as the subtitle says, on the men, the battle and the storm. What is missing, compared to the usual account is the campaign, the cat-and-mouse game that led to the two fleets being stationed at Cadiz. The authors more than make it up by producing an immersion account of life on board of British and French warships, explaining and describing how the tasks are performed, presenting the men and their background as well as their commanders. The hands-on account of the ship against ship battles show that in the actual encounter the two sides were close to balance. The British won because the French van did not want or manage to turn around in time and engage in battle. The French commander should have chosen a more compact formation, otherwise he isn't really to blame for the defeat.When the battle is finished, the suffering doesn't stop. In view of an approaching storm that threatens to drive the surviving ships against the coast, the crews frantically try to rescue their ships and prizes. Many of the Spanish and French ships that had survived the battle were destroyed by the storm. Many British prize crews went down too or were taken captive. This aspect of the famous battle deserves to be better known. Highly recommended.