British Hero Admiral Lord Nelson: Victor at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805

Born a small sickly baby, the son of a Rector in Norfolk, England, Nelson would go on to become the greatest British military hero of all time.

When we think of Admiral Lord Nelson, a vision of a tall man standing atop a 169ft column at Trafalgar Square in London probably enters our mind. But it may come as a surprise to discover that he was about the same height, or perhaps even shorter, than his archenemy Napoleon. According to a measurement taken in the old Admiralty Board Room, he was 5ft 4ins, but a supposedly life-sized effigy in Westminster Abbey is 5ft 5ins, and calculations from his uniforms make him as much as 5ft 6ins.

What he lacked in stature, he most certainly made up for in courage, leadership, and an excellent grasp of strategy.

After losing the sight in one eye at the Siege of Calvi in 1794, and an arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1797, most of us might have forgiven him if he’d taken more of a backseat role at that point.

But not Nelson.

He went on to win his greatest victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 by leading from the front … and paying the ultimate sacrifice.

With 33 ships, he decimated a joint force of 41 ships from the French and Spanish navies. The difference in casualties is staggering: Nelson lost a total of 1,666 killed or wounded, whereas the French and Spanish lost 13,781 killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

Moreover, the victory foiled Napoleon’s plan to invade Britain.

Nelson was lauded a conquering hero and commemorated with one of the most famous monuments in the world.

The Battle of Trafalgar by Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1793 - 1867)
The Battle of Trafalgar by Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1793 – 1867)
Trafalgar by Auguste Mayer, 1836
Trafalgar by Auguste Mayer, 1836
The Battle of Trafalgar by John Christian Schetky, 1841
The Battle of Trafalgar by John Christian Schetky, 1841
Scene of the Battle of Trafalgar by Louis-Philippe Crépin, 1807
Scene of the Battle of Trafalgar by Louis-Philippe Crépin, 1807
Churruca's Death by Eugenio Alvarez Dumont, 1892
Churruca’s Death by Eugenio Alvarez Dumont, 1892
The Battle of Trafalgar by Juan Vallejo
The Battle of Trafalgar by Juan Vallejo
The Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Luny
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Luny
Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Buttersworth
Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Buttersworth
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Luny, 1810
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Luny, 1810
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Samuel Drummond
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Samuel Drummond
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Luny
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Thomas Luny
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 - Beginning of the Action by Thomas Buttersworth
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 – Beginning of the Action by Thomas Buttersworth
The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory by Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1808
The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory by Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1808
The Death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Samuel Drummond, 1806
The Death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Samuel Drummond, 1806
The Death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Samuel Drummond, 1806
The Death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Samuel Drummond, 1806
Destruction by Fire of the Gun Ship 'Achille' at the Close of the Battle of Trafalgar by Richard Brydges Beechey
Destruction by Fire of the Gun Ship ‘Achille’ at the Close of the Battle of Trafalgar by Richard Brydges Beechey
The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Denis Dighton, c.1825
The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Denis Dighton, c.1825
Trafalgar by George Chambers, Jr
Trafalgar by George Chambers, Jr
Northumberland House and Whitehall from the North Side of Trafalgar Square, London, by Moonlight by Henry Pether, 1867
Northumberland House and Whitehall from the North Side of Trafalgar Square, London, by Moonlight by Henry Pether, 1867

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