Nelson

Cruising off the port in his flagship, the Vanguard, Nelson was struck by a violent northwesterly gale that blew his

Nelson

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Plan.

 

 

1. Introduction.............................................................................. 2

2. Early years................................................................................ 2

3. Service in the Mediterranean..................................................... 4

4. Battles of Cape St. Vincent and the Nile.................................... 5

5. Blockade of Naples and battle of Copenhagen........................... 7

6. Victory at Trafalgar.................................................................. 9

7. Assessment................................................................................11

8. Bibliography............................................................................ 12

Introduction.

 

Nelson Horatio Nelson, Viscount Duca (duke) Di Bronte, also called (1797 - 1798) sir Horatio Nelson, or (1798 - 1801) baron Nelson of the Nile and Burnham-Thorpe (b. September 29, 1758, Burnham Thorpe, Nor-folk, Eng. - d. October 21, 1805, at sea, off Cap Trafalgar, Spain), British naval commander in the wars with Revolutionary and Napoleonie France, who won crucial victories in such battles as those of the Nail (1798) of Trafalgar (1805), where he was killed by enemy fire on the HMS "Victory". In private life he was known for his extended love affair with Emma, Lady Hamilton, while both were married.

 

Early years.

 

Horatio Nelson was the sixth of 11 children of the village rector, Edmund Nelson, and his wife, Catherine. The Nelson were genteel, scholarly, and poor. The family's most important connection from which Nelson could expect preferment was that with a distant relation, Lord Walpole, the descendant of sir Robert Walpole, who had been prime minister earlier in the century. Decisive for Nelson's life, however, was his mother's brother, Capt. Maurice Suckling, who was to become comptroller of the British Navy. When Horatio's mother died, Captain Suckling agreed to take the boy to sea.

Nelson's first years in the navy were a mixture of routine experience and high adventure. The former was gained particularly in the Thames estuary, the latter in voyage to the West Indies by merchant ship and a dangerous and unsuccessful scientific expedition to the Arctic in 1773. Nelson had his first taste of action in the Indian Ocean. Soon after, struck down by fever - probably malaria - he was invalided home, and, while recovering from the consequent depression, Nelson experienced a dramatic surge of optimism. From that moment, Nelson's ambition, fired by patriotism tempered by the Christian compassion instilled by his father, urged him to prove himself at least the equal of his eminent kinsmen.

In 1777 Nelson passed the examination for lieutenant and sailed for the West Indies, the most active theater in the war against the American colonies. Promoted to captain in 1779, at the early age of the 20, he was given command of frigate and took part in operations against Spanish settlements in Nicaragua, which became targets once Spain joined France in alliance with the American Revolutionaries. The attack on San Juan was militarily successful but ultimately disastrous when the British force was almost wiped out by yellow fever; Nelson himself was lucky to survive.

In 1783, after the end of the American Revolution, Nelson returned to England by way of France. On his return to London he was cheered by the appointment, in 1784, to mand a frigate bound for the West Indies. But this was not to be a happy commission. By rigidly enforcing the navigation Act against American ships, which were still trading with the British privileges they had officially lost, he made enemies not only among merchants shipowners but also among the resident British authorities who, in their own interest, had failed to enforce the law. Under the strain of his difficulties and of the loneliness of command. Nelson was at his most vulnerable when he visited the island of Nevis in March 1785. There he met Frances Nisbet, a widow, and her five-year-old son, Josiah. Nelson conducted his courtship with formality charm, and in March 1787 the couple was married at Nevis.

Returning with his bride to Burnham Trope, Nelson found himself without another appointment and on half pay. He remained unemployed for five years, aware of "a prejudice at the Admiralty evidently against me, which I can neither guess at, nor in the least account for" - but which may well have been connected with his enforcement of the Navigation Act Within a few days of the execution of King Louis XVI of France in January 1793. However, he was given command of the 64-gun Agamemnon.

Service in the Mediterranean.

 

From this moment, Nelson the enthusiastic professional was gradually replaced by Nelson the commander of genius. The coming months were probably his most tranquil emotionally. At home waited a living wife, whose son he had taken to sea with him. His ship, fast and maneuverable, and his crew, superbly trained, pleased him. His task was to fight the Revolutionary French and support British allies in the Mediterranean. Assigned to the forlorn defense of the port of Toulon against the revolutionaries - among them a 24-year-old officer of artillery, Napoleon Bonaparte - Nelson was dispatched to Naples to collect reinforcements. He later gratefully recognized that he owed the success of his mission largely to the British minister - the adroit and scholarly Sir William Hamilton, who was had lived at Naples for 30 years and whose vivacious young wife, Emma was in the queen's confidence.

When Toulon fell, Lord Hood, Nelson's commander, moved his base to Corsica, where Nelson and his ship's company went ashore to assist in the capture of Bastia and Calvi, where a French shot flung debris into Nelson's face juring his right eye and leaving it almost ughtless. At the end of 1794, Hood was replaced by the uninspiring Admiral William Hotham, who was subsequently replaced by Sir John Jervis, an officer more to Nelson's liking. At the age of 60, Jervis was an immensely experienced seaman who quickly recognized Nelson's qualities and who regarded Nelson "more as an associate than a subordinate officer". The arrival of Jervis coincided with an upsurge of French success by the so that the British were forced too abandon their Mediterranean bases and retreat upon Gibraltar and the Tagus.

Battles of Cape St. Vincent and the Nile.

 

Making for a rendezvous with Jervis in the Atlantic off Cape St. Vincent, Nelson found himself sailing in mist through a Spanish fleet of 27 ships. The Spaniards were sailing in two divisions and Jervis planned to cut between the two and destroy one before the other could come to its assistance. But he had miscalculated, and it became clear that the British ships would not be able to turn quickly enough to get into action before the Spanish squadrons closed up. Without orders from Jervis. Nelson hauled out of line and attacked the head of the second Spanish division. While the rest of Jervis' fleet slowly turned and came up in support. Nelson held the two Spanish squadrons apart, at one time fighting seven enemy ships. The efficiency of British gunnery was decisive and he not only boarded and captured one enemy man-of-war but, from her deck, boarded and took a second.

The Battle of Cape St. Vincent won for Jervis the earldom of St. Vincent and for Nelson a knighthood, which coincided with his promotion by seniority to rear admiral. His first action in command of major independent force, however was disastrous. In the cours4e of an assault on Tenerife, a grapeshot shattered his right elbow, and back in his flagship the arm was amputated. In the spring of 1798 Nelson was fit enough to rejoin the Earl of St. Vincent, who assigned him to watch a French fleet waiting to embark an expeditionary force.

Cruising off the port in his flagship, the Vanguard, Nelson was struck by a violent northwesterly gale that blew his squadron off station and carried the French well on their way to their destination, Egypt. The British set out in pursuit, Nelson believing that the French were going either to Sicily or Egypt. After a somewhat confused chase the British caught up with the French squadron in the harbour at Alexandria near the mouth of the Nail. There the British saw the harbour crowded with empty French transports and, to the east, an escorting French squadron of 13 ships anchored in a defensive line across Abu Qir Bay near the months of the Nile. Once the signal to engage had been hoisted in the Vahguard, Nelson's ships attacked the French. With the French ships immobilized, the attacking British ships could anchor and concentrate their fire on each enemy before moving on to demolish their next target. Its outcome never in doubt from its beginning at sunset, the battle raged all night. By dawn the French squadron had been all annihilated. The strategic consequences of the Battle of the Nile were immense, and Nelson took immediate steps to broadcast the news throughout the Mediterranean as well as hastening it to London.

At Naples, the most convenient port for repairs, he was given a hero's welcome stagemanaged by Lady Hamilton. A prolonged British naval presence in Naples was useful in supporting the shaky of King Ferdinand, the one major ruler in Italy to be resisting the southward march of the French, who had already taken Rome and deposed the pope.

The love affair that developed between Nelson and Emma Hamilton came at a time of crisis. With Nelson's encouragement, King Ferdinand had indulged his own fantasies of glory and

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