The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805: Beginning of the Action

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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An action during the Napoleonic War, 1803–1815. On 15 September 1805 Nelson re-hoisted his flag in the 'Victory', 100 guns, at Portsmouth and sailed to join Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood and re-assume command of the Mediterranean fleet off Cadiz on 28 September. On the same day, Vice-Admiral Villeneuve was ordered to sail from Cadiz for the Mediterranean with just his French ships. However, the Spanish were determined to accompany him. On the morning of 21 October the British found the Franco-Spanish Allied fleet, which reversed its course northwards towards Cadiz, forming into a disordered single column on the port tack. The British fleet was in two parallel lines, the left-hand or windward column being led by Nelson in the 'Victory', the right-hand by Collingwood in the 'Royal Sovereign', 100 guns.

National Maritime Museum



The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805: Beginning of the Action




oil on canvas


H 71.2 x W 101.6 cm

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