The death of Nelson is a well-known story, but most people know much less of the battle in which he died: the single afternoon, off the coast of southern Spain, which put an end for ever to Napoleon¿s hope of invading England, and established a British supremacy at sea which lasted until the age of air power. David Howarth offers a masterly reconstruction of the background to the conflict, the battle itself and a deeply moving account of the fate of Nelson and the others who died in this tumultuous clash at sea. The Battle of Trafalgar put an end for ever to Napoleon's hope of invading England, and established a British supremacy at sea which lasted until the age of air power. England's answer to the invasion threat had been to blockade Napoleon's fleets in the ports of Europe, and in the autumn of 1805 the key had been the harbour of Cadiz. Within lay the French and Spanish; offshore the English. Villeneuve, the unhappy commander who had lost the confidence of Napoleon and was saddled with poorly-trained crews, led the French and Spanish. Morale was low among the English too, many of whom had not set foot ashore for years. Then Nelson came, and suddenly pride and confidence swept through the British fleet. The course of the battle - the tension of the slow approach of the fleets, the desperate bravery of the French, the tactics of fighting square-rigged ships, the short shock of the engagement, the death of Nelson - is shown through the eyes of the men themselves. This is a masterly reconstruction of a great sea battle and the many precarious moments which decided a nation's fate.
Excellent pages, slight edge and d/j wear.