At mid-day on October 21st 1805, 27 Royal Navy battleships under the command of Admiral Horatio Nelson clashed with 33 battleships of the combined Franco-Spanish Fleet off Cape Trafalgar. At stake was nothing less than Britain herself. The enemy fleet had been formed to support Napoleon's invasion ships, now waiting in the Channel Ports. Over the next five hours, the mightiest battleships of their day traded broadsides at almost point blank range while manoeuvring at just two miles an hour. The carnage was indescribable. The day would end with a nation saved, but her greatest hero dead in his finest hour... Michael Portillo presents the story of the Battle of Trafalgar, and the man whom the battle immortalised. Horatio Nelson rose from the son of a humble country parson to become 'Britannia's living God of War'. His men worshipped him. His captains - his 'Band of Brothers' - were inspired by the tactical freedom he gave them. He brought a new aggression and fearlessness to naval warfare that no enemy could withstand and achieved his greatest ambition - to be a hero. Especially commissioned by the BBC to mark the 200th Anniversary of the epic battle, 'Nelson's Trafalgarcombines spectacular dramatic reconstructions with tactical battle graphics and Nelson's own journals and letters to follow his incredible career. Leading authorities, including Nick Slope of the Nelson Society, Dr. Colin White of the National Maritime Museum and Dr. Kate Williams of Oxford University, provide a fascinating insight to both the man - and Britain's greatest ever naval victory.
Original Movietone News Report of Trafalgar Day from 1975 commemorating the death of Lord Nelson on board the HMS Victory. Wreaths laid at the spot where Nelson fell and where later, below decks, he sadly died
A tour around the personal artefacts of Nelson and art representations of the Battle of Trafalgar as exhibited at the National Maritime Museum in 1977
A fleet of seventeen ships from five nations taking part in a battle re-enactment, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth reviewing a battleship sail-past and the evening fireworks display as a stunning backdrop to the Royal Fleet
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