Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood
Collingwood was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. His early education was at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, at the age of twelve, he went to sea as a volunteer on board the frigate HMS Shannon under the command of his cousin Captain Richard Brathwaite, who took charge of his nautical education. In 1777, Collingwood first met Horatio Nelson when both served on the frigate HMS Lowestoffe, two years later, Collingwood succeeded Nelson as Commander of the brig HMS Badger, and the next year he again succeeded Nelson as Post-Captain of HMS Hinchinbrook, a small frigate. Nelson had been the leader of an expedition to cross Central America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean by navigating boats along the San Juan River, Lake Nicaragua. In 1786 Collingwood returned to England, with the exception of a voyage to the West Indies, in that year, he was appointed captain of HMS Prince, the flagship of Rear Admiral George Bowyer in the Channel Fleet. On 16 June 1791, Collingwood married Sarah Blackett, daughter of the Newcastle merchant and politician John Erasmus Blackett and granddaughter of Robert Roddam of Hethpoole, as captain of Barfleur, Collingwood was present at the Glorious First of June.
On board the Excellent he participated in the victory of the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797, after blockading Cadiz, he returned for a few weeks to Portsmouth to repair. Collingwood continued to be employed in blockading the enemy until the peace of Amiens allowed him to return to England. With the resumption of hostilities with France in the spring of 1803 he left home, First he blockaded the French fleet off Brest. In 1804 he was promoted to Vice-Admiral, the French fleet having sailed from Toulon, Admiral Collingwood was appointed to command a squadron, with orders to pursue them. The combined fleets of France and Spain, after sailing to the West Indies, on their way they encountered Collingwoods small squadron off Cadiz. He only had three ships with him, but he succeeded in avoiding the pursuit, although chased by sixteen ships of the line, before half of the enemys force had entered the harbour he resumed the blockade, using false signals to disguise the small size of his squadron. He was shortly joined by Nelson who hoped to lure the combined fleet into a major engagement, the combined fleet sailed from Cadiz in October 1805.
The Battle of Trafalgar immediately followed, the French admiral, drew up his fleet in the form of a crescent. The British fleet bore down in two lines, the one led by Nelson in the Victory, and the other by Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign. The Royal Sovereign was the swifter sailer, mainly because its hull had been given a new layer of copper which lacked the friction of old, well used copper, having drawn considerably ahead of the rest of the fleet, it was the first engaged. See, said Nelson, pointing to the Royal Sovereign as she penetrated the centre of the enemys line, see how that noble fellow Collingwood carries his ship into action. Probably it was at the moment that Collingwood, as if in response to the observation of his great commander, remarked to his captain
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté KB was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. He was wounded several times in combat, losing most of one arm in the attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He was shot and killed during his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling and he rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his valour and firm grasp of tactics but suffered periods of illness. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service and he fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.
The following year, he won a victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile. In 1801, he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory and he subsequently commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and, after their escape, chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle. After a brief return to England, he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805, on 21 October 1805, the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port, and Nelsons fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was Britains greatest naval victory, but during the action Nelson and his body was brought back to England where he was accorded a state funeral. Nelsons death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britains most heroic figures, numerous monuments, including Nelsons Column in Trafalgar Square and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains highly influential. Horatio Nelson was born on 29 September 1758 in a rectory in Burnham Thorpe, England and he was named after his godfather Horatio Walpole 2nd Baron Walpole, of Wolterton.
His mother, who died on 26 December 1767, when he was nine years old, was a great-niece of Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. She lived in the village of Barsham and married the Reverend Edmund Nelson at Beccles church, Nelsons aunt, Alice Nelson was the wife of Reverend Robert Rolfe, Rector of Hilborough and grandmother of Sir Robert Monsey Rolfe. Rolfe twice served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, Nelson attended Paston Grammar School, North Walsham, until he was 12 years old, and attended King Edward VI’s Grammar School in Norwich. Shortly after reporting aboard, Nelson was appointed a midshipman and began officer training, early in his service, Nelson discovered that he suffered from seasickness, a chronic complaint that dogged him for the rest of his life. He twice crossed the Atlantic, before returning to serve under his uncle as the commander of Sucklings longboat, at his nephews request, Suckling arranged for Nelson to join the expedition as coxswain to Commander Lutwidge aboard the converted bomb vessel HMS Carcass
Jose de Mazarredo y Salazar
Don Jose de Mazarredo y Salazar de Muñatones Cortázar Order of Santiago was a Spanish naval commander, ambassador and professor of naval tactics. He is considered to be one of the best Spanish naval commanders of all time and his inclination toward the sea began at a young age, at 14 he enlisted himself aboard the sloop Andaluz. After 12 years of service in the Spanish navy, and by the concept his superiors had to him. In 1772 Don Mazarredo went to the Philippines aboard the Frigate Venus, in 1775 he took part of the Spanish attack on Algiers. The plans of navigation and disembarkation of the twenty men of the Spanish army were made by him. Shortly after, Don Mazarredo developed a system for the use of the Spanish Navy. In 1778, as commander of the ship of the line San Juan Bautista, he realised hydrographic surveys in the Iberian Peninsula, contributing to the creation of a Maritime Atlas. Despite bearing some evidence of the influence of Paul Hoste and Sébastien Morogues, in common with the French writers, Mazarredo said very little about fighting the enemy.
Broadly speaking, his tone was sophisticated and undogmatic, Mazarredo did introduce a new sea-warfare idea, the use of fireships by the windward fleet, if threatened with doubling as a means of covering its retreat to windward. Salazar showed himself an innovator in his treatment of breaking the enemy line and he poroposed that, when the fleet was to windward, the centre should break through the enemy centre. In the process of breaking through, the enemys centre ships immediately astern of the break would be forced away to leeward, so disorganising the neemy rear and isolating it. Meanwhile, the van would have no choice but to stand on to avoid being put between two fires, and it would thus become completely separated from the remaineder of the fleet. Mazarredo drew up a book, specifically for Córdovas fleet. It was used in the operations against Minorca and Gibraltar, Mazarredos signal book of 1781 is an improvement on Chevalier du Pavillons. Like the latter, it employed a system, but much less complex.
It employed tables 20 yby 20, each permitting 400 signals and this signal book was prepared for Franco-Spanish cooperation, as it begins with special signals for indicating Spanish and French squadrons, frigates, the reserve corps, etc. The 400 signals for use at anchor covered not only feature of fleet administration, as in the manner of Morogues. Twenty special signals allowed for reporting the movements of ships, to be made by privateers
Action of 19 January 1799
The Action of 19 January 1799 was a minor naval battle of the French Revolutionary Wars fought in waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, off Punta Europa. The British warships failed to defend the convoy, losing a gunboat sunk, the convoy lost a ship and two brigs. For this action Mourelle de la Rua was promoted to frigate captain, once the Spanish Navy realized how useful gunboats could be in naval warfare, they established a base for them at Algeciras. The deployment had two objectives, impede British naval trade with Gibraltar and second, protect Spains own commerce, during the Great Siege of Gibraltar Admiral Antonio Barceló commanded the naval forces responsible for blockading the bay that included a fleet of several xebecs and gunboats. One of his successors was Francisco Antonio Mourelle de la Rua, at 2 PM on 19 January 1799 a British merchant convoy consisting of four ships and three brigs sailed from Gibraltar escorted by a 74-gun ship of the line and an 18-gun brig of the Royal Navy.
As they left Gibraltar, three gunboats accompanied them out of the bay to defend them against the Spanish gunboats based in Algeciras. After several hours of harassment, at 7,30 PM, Mourelle managed to cut off a ship, the three British gunboats immediately came to their assistance. One of the British gunboats sank and the ones were captured. In the afternoon of 19 January, HMS Strombolo, an armed with one gun and under the command of Lieutenant William Davies. She towed Transport 55 clear of the mole at Gibraltar and returned to bring out another vessel, the activity drew the attention of the Spanish, who sent out a flotilla of gunboats and launches. Strombolo cast off her tow and moved to intercept the Spanish, eight Spanish vessels surrounded her and in the exchange of fire, a Spanish cannonball holed Strombolo at the larboard bow. She rapidly filled with water so the crew abandoned her, the Spanish picked them up from the water, the second British gunboat lost that day was HMS Wilkin, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Power.
She had towed the Esther clear of the mole when the Spanish gunboats approached and she too sailed to meet them and too found herself surrounded by eight gunboats and launches. Her long gun misfired so the crew was reduced to using arms to defend themselves. In the short engagement Wilkin lost her main topmast and mizzenmast, when the several Spanish boats came alongside, she struck her colours. Shortly thereafter, the Spanish squadron entered Algeciras towing the four prizes with 120 prisoners, none of the British countermeasures to beat the Spanish gunboats, which included the use of grapeshot from a distance, had any effect. The Spanish gunboats proved their worth in subsequent years when they defended two major merchant convoys, Mourelle de la Rúa, explorador del Pacífico, Ediciones Cultura Hispánica. Rodríguez González, Agustín Ramón Victorias por mar de los Españoles, ISBN 978-84-96281-38-7 Rodríguez González, Agustín Ramón Trafalgar y el conflicto naval anglo-español del siglo XVIII, Actas Editorial, Madrid
The English Channel, called simply the Channel, is the body of water that separates southern England from northern France, and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 560 km long and varies in width from 240 km at its widest to 33.3 km in the Strait of Dover and it is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe, covering an area of some 75,000 km2. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the English Channel as follows, a line joining Isle Vierge to Lands End. The southwestern limit of the North Sea, the IHO defines the southwestern limit of the North Sea as a line joining the Walde Lighthouse and Leathercoat Point. The Walde Lighthouse is 6 km east of Calais, and Leathercoat Point is at the end of St Margarets Bay. The Strait of Dover, at the Channels eastern end, is its narrowest point and it is relatively shallow, with an average depth of about 120 m at its widest part, reducing to a depth of about 45 m between Dover and Calais.
Eastwards from there the adjoining North Sea reduces to about 26 m in the Broad Fourteens where it lies over the watershed of the land bridge between East Anglia and the Low Countries. It reaches a depth of 180 m in the submerged valley of Hurds Deep,48 km west-northwest of Guernsey. The eastern region along the French coast between Cherbourg and the mouth of the Seine river at Le Havre is frequently referred to as the Bay of the Seine. There are several islands in the Channel, the most notable being the Isle of Wight off the English coast. The coastline, particularly on the French shore, is indented, several small islands close to the coastline, including Chausey. The Cotentin Peninsula in France juts out into the Channel, whilst on the English side there is a parallel channel known as the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. The Celtic Sea is to the west of the Channel, the time difference of about six hours between high water at the eastern and western limits of the Channel is indicative of the tidal range being amplified further by resonance.
It was never defined as a border and the names were more or less descriptive. It was not considered as the property of a nation, before the development of the modern nations, British scholars very often referred to it as Gaulish and the French one as British or English. The name English Channel has been used since the early 18th century. In modern Dutch, however, it is known as Het Kanaal, later, it has been known as the British Channel or the British Sea having been called the Oceanus Britannicus by the 2nd-century geographer Ptolemy. The same name is used on an Italian map of about 1450, the Anglo-Saxon texts often call it Sūð-sǣ as opposed to Norð-sǣ
Battle of Cape Finisterre (1805)
The fragile Peace of Amiens of 1802 had come to an end when Napoleon formally annexed the Italian state of Piedmont and on 18 May 1803 Britain was once again at war with France. Napoleon planned to end the British blockade by invading and conquering Britain, by 1805 his Armée dAngleterre was 150,000 strong and encamped at Boulogne. If this army could cross the English Channel, victory over the poorly trained and equipped militias was very likely. The plan was that the French navy would escape from the British blockades of Toulon and Brest and threaten to attack the West Indies, Villeneuve sailed from Toulon on 29 March 1805 with eleven ships of the line, six frigates and two brigs. He evaded Admiral Nelsons blockading fleet and passed the Strait of Gibraltar on 8 April, at Cádiz he drove off the British blockading squadron and was joined by six Spanish ships of the line. The combined fleet sailed for the West Indies, reaching Martinique on 12 May, Nelson was kept in the Mediterranean by westerly winds and did not pass the Strait until 7 May 1805.
The British fleet of ten ships reached Antigua on 4 June, Villeneuve waited at Martinique for Admiral Ganteaumes Brest fleet to join him, but it remained blockaded in port and did not appear. Pleas from French army officers for Villeneuve to attack British colonies went unheeded — except for the recapture of the fort of Diamond Rock — until 4 June when he set out from Martinique. While in the Antilles, the Franco-Spanish fleet ran into a British convoy worth 5 million francs escorted by the frigate Barbadoes,28 guns, Villeneuve hoisted general chase and two French frigates with the Spanish ship Argonauta,80 guns, captured all the ships but one escort. On 30 June the combined squadron captured and burned an English 14-gun privateer, the privateer was burned and the merchant was taken in tow by the French frigate Sirène. The fleet sailed back to Europe, and on 9 July the French ship Indomptable lost its main spar in a gale that damaged some other vessels slightly, the Atlantic crossings had been very difficult according to Spanish Admiral Gravina who had crossed the Atlantic eleven times.
So with some ships in bad condition, tired crews and scarce victuals, news of the returning French fleet reached Vice Admiral Robert Calder on 19 July. He was ordered to lift his blockade of the ports of Rochefort and Ferrol, the fleets sighted each other at about 11,00 on 22 July. After several hours of manoeuvring to the south-west, the action began at about 17,15 as the British fleet, with Hero in the vanguard, in poor visibility, the battle became a confused melee. After a fierce engagement in which Malta suffered five killed and forty wounded the British ship battled it out, at about 20,00 Buller forced the Spanish 80-gun San Rafael to strike, and afterwards sent the Maltas boats to take possession of the Spanish 74-gun Firme. Calder signalled to break-off the action at 20,25, aiming to continue the battle the next day, in the failing light and general confusion some ships continued to fire for another hour. Daybreak on 23 July found the fleets 27 kilometres apart, accordingly, he declined to attack and headed northeast with his prizes.
Villeneuves report claims that at first he intended to attack, but in the very light breezes it took all day to come up to the British and he decided not to risk combat late in the day
Santiago de Liniers, 1st Count of Buenos Aires
Jacques de Liniers was a French officer in the Spanish military service, and a viceroy of the Spanish colonies of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. He is more known by the Spanish form of his name. Such a thing, the replacement of a viceroy without the Kings direct intervention, was completely unprecedented and he was confirmed in office by Charles IV of Spain, and endured a second ill-fated British Invasion attempt and a mutiny that sought to replace him. He was replaced in 1809 by Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, appointed as viceroy by the Junta of Seville, when the May Revolution took place, Liniers decided to come out of his retirement and organized a monarchist uprising in Córdoba. However, Liniers was defeated and executed without trial, family Liniers is one of the most antique noble French family, known since the 11th century. One of its ancestors, Guillaume de Liniers died in the Battle of Poitiers, and eight of his members were Cavaliers of the Order of Saint John. In 1765, when he was 12 years old, as a son, he entered the military school at the Order of Malta.
Then, he became Sub-Lieutenant of Cavalry in the Royal-Piémont Regiment in France, in 1774 he requested dismissal and re-enlisted as a volunteer in the campaigns against the Moors in Algiers. He benefited from the third Pacte de Famille, that allowed Frenchmen to take part in Spanish military campaigns with equal rights and requirements as the Spaniards, at the campaigns conclusion he took an exam as a Midshipman in Cádiz, to serve as a volunteer for the Spanish Crown. In 1775 he earned the rank of Ensign, in 1776, under the orders of Pedro de Cevallos, he sailed to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and took part on the occupation of Santa Catalina Island and the attack on Colonia del Sacramento. The American Revolution allowed him to stand out professionally, in 1780, with a few sloops, he captured a three-masted ship of 24 guns. This earned him promotion, to Frigate Captain, a few months Liniers took part in a new expedition, this time against the city of Algiers, during the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War.
The campaign did not go well for the Spanish navy, Liniers was trusted with this mission. The king of Trpoli was delighted with Liniers, and agreed to free several European prisoners. The Spanish court rewarded him for this success by promoting him to the rank of captain. He took with him his son Luis and his first wife, Juana de Menviel and she died two years in 1790. Liniers married again, this time in Buenos Aires, María Martina Sarratea, the Napoleonic Wars expanded to South America. Britain got naval supremacy with the victory at the battle of Trafalgar, France attacked Britain by imposing the Continental System, locking the continent to British trade
Treaty of Amiens
The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and Great Britain during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802, by Joseph Bonaparte, the consequent Peace of Amiens lasted only one year and engendered the only period of general peace in Europe between 1793 and 1814. Under the treaty, Britain recognised the French Republic, the British parliament had dropped Englands historical claim to the now-defunct French Kingdom only two years previously. Together with the Treaty of Lunéville, the Treaty of Amiens marked the end of the Second Coalition, the War of the Second Coalition started well for the coalition, with successes in Egypt and Germany. After Frances victories at the Battles of Marengo and Hohenlinden, Austria and Naples sued for peace, horatio Nelsons victory at the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801 halted the creation of the League of Armed Neutrality and led to a negotiated ceasefire. The French First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, first made truce proposals to British foreign secretary Lord Grenville as early as 1799.
Because of the stance of Grenville and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, their distrust of Bonaparte. However, Pitt resigned in February 1801 over domestic issues and was replaced by the more accommodating Henry Addington, at this point, according to Schroeder, Britain was motivated by the danger of a war with Russia. Hawkesbury stated that he wanted to open discussions on terms for a peace agreement, generally under detailed instructions from Bonaparte, engaged in negotiations with Hawkesbury in mid-1801. Unhappy with the dialogue with Otto, Hawkesbury sent diplomat Anthony Merry to Paris, by mid-September, written negotiations had progressed to the point where Hawkesbury and Otto met to draft a preliminary agreement. On 30 September, they signed the agreement in London. Malta was to be restored to the Order of St. John, France was to restore Egypt to Ottoman control, withdraw from most of the Italian peninsula and agree to preserve Portuguese sovereignty. Ceylon, previously a Dutch territory, was to remain with the British, Britain was to recognise the Seven Islands Republic established by France on islands in the Ionian Sea that are now part of Greece.
Both sides were to be allowed access to the outposts on the Cape of Good Hope, in a blow to Spain, the preliminary agreement included a secret clause in which Trinidad was to remain with Britain. News of the peace was greeted in Britain with illuminations. Peace, it was thought in Britain, would lead to the withdrawal of the tax imposed by Pitt, a reduction of grain prices. In November 1801, the Marquess Cornwallis was sent to France with plenipotentiary powers to negotiate a final agreement, the expectation among the British populace that peace was at hand put enormous pressure on Cornwallis, something Bonaparte realised and capitalised on. The Dutch role in the negotiations was marked by a lack of respect on the part of the French and Cornwallis negotiated agreements on the status of Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope, and the indemnification of the deposed House of Orange-Nassau for its losses
Minorca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Majorca, Minorca has a population of approximately 94,383. It is located 39°47 to 40°00N, 3°52 to 4°24E and its highest point, called El Toro or Monte Toro, is 358 metres above sea level. The island is known for its collection of stone monuments, navetes and talaiots. Some of the earliest culture on Minorca was influenced by other Mediterranean cultures, for example, the use of inverted plastered timber columns at Knossos is thought to have influenced early peoples of Minorca in imitating this practice. The end of the Punic wars saw an increase in piracy in the western Mediterranean, the Roman occupation of Hispania had meant a growth of maritime trade between the Iberian and Italian peninsulas. Pirates took advantage of the location of the Balearic Islands to raid Roman commerce. In reaction to this, the Romans invaded Minorca, by 121 BC both islands were fully under Roman control, being incorporated into the province of Hispania Citerior.
In 13 BC Roman emperor Augustus reorganised the system and the Balearic Islands became part of the Tarraconensis imperial province. The ancient town of Mago was transformed from a Carthaginian town to a Roman town, the island had a Jewish population. The Letter on the Conversion of the Jews by a 5th-century bishop named Severus tells of the conversion of the islands 540 Jewish men and women in AD418. Several Jews, including Theodore, a rich representative Jew who stood high in the estimation of his coreligionists and of Christians alike, many Jews remained within the Jewish faith while outwardly professing Christian faith. Some of these Jews form part of the Xueta community, when the Jewish community in Mahon requested the use of a room as a synagogue, their request was refused and they were denounced by the clergy. In 1781, when Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, duc de Mahon invaded Minorca, at that time, the Jewish community consisted of about 500 people and they were transported from Minorca in four Spanish ships to the port of Marseilles.
The Vandals easily conquered the island in the 5th century, the Byzantine Empire recovered it in 534. Following the Moorish conquest of peninsular Spain, Minorca was annexed to the Caliphate of Córdoba in 903 and given the Arabicized name of Manûrqa, with many Moors emigrating to the island. In 1231, after Christian forces reconquered Majorca, Minorca chose to become an independent Islamic state, the island was ruled first by Abû Uthmân Saîd Hakam al Qurashi, and following his death by his son, Abû Umar ibn Saîd. An Aragonese invasion, led by Alfonso III, came on 17 January 1287, some of the Muslim inhabitants of the island were enslaved and sold in the slave markets of Ibiza and Barcelona, while others became Christians
Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1797)
The Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was an amphibious assault by the Royal Navy on the Spanish port city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Launched by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson on 22 July 1797, the assault was defeated, Nelson himself had been wounded in the arm, which was subsequently partially amputated, a stigma that he carried to his grave as a constant reminder of his failure. In February 1797 the British defeated a Spanish fleet near Cape St. Vincent, Admiral John Jervis sailed for Lisbon after the engagement, frustrated at the escape of several valuable prizes including the Santísima Trinidad. New orders from the Admiralty demanded that he subdue and blockade the Spanish port of Cádiz, the First Sea Lord thought that the ease of Jervis victory over José de Córdoba y Ramos guaranteed a successful attack on that southern harbour. Jervis ships besieged Cádiz but were repelled by unexpected Spanish resistance, the Spaniards, under Vice-Admiral Mazarredo, organized a flotilla of small gunboats converted from yachts.
With a clear advantage in the shallow waters, these vessels manoeuvred in the darkness and savaged Jervis heavy ships of the line. An air of mutiny spread over the British crews as their stay at sea stretched on without results. In April Jervis shifted his gaze to Tenerife upon hearing that Spanish treasure convoys from America arrived regularly at that island, the admiral sent two reconnoitring frigates which surprised and caught two French and Spanish vessels in a night-time raid. Encouraged by this success, Jervis dispatched a squadron under recently promoted Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson with the aim of seizing Santa Cruz by means of an amphibious attack. HMS Leander, under Captain Thompson, joined the once the attack had started. The expedition counted 400 guns and nearly 4,000 men and they arrived in the vicinity of Santa Cruz on 17 July. At Santa Cruz, Lieutenant General Antonio Gutiérrez de Otero y Santayana, forts were rebuilt, field works expanded, and the batteries enlarged by doubling their emplacements to 91, with earth sacks piled around.
Ray was to open fire on the city. Nelsons ships of the line would enter the harbour at break of dawn and seize the Spanish merchant ships, Nelson sent a note to the Spanish authorities demanding the surrender of all Spanish cargo, and threatening the destruction of the city. On 20 July, Troubridge went aboard Theseus to finalize the plans, the attack would take place in two phases. The first phase involved 1000 seamen and marines landing at Valle Seco beach, if the city had not surrendered at this point, the landing party would march on the port and launch the final attack. Each ship of the line provided 200 men and each frigate 100, the plan began the next evening. In the clearness of the summer Canary night, citizens realised that blurry figures were sailing towards the pier and they were in two groups, one of 23 boats and launches heading for the Bufadero cliff, the other,16, coming right into the city
Battle of Cape St Vincent (1797)
The Spanish declaration of war on Britain and Portugal in October 1796 made the British position in the Mediterranean untenable. As the winds died down, the fleet began working its way back to Cádiz, in the meantime, the British Mediterranean Fleet, under Admiral Sir John Jervis, had sailed from the Tagus with 10 ships of the line to try to intercept the Spanish fleet. On 6 February, Jervis was joined off Cape St. Vincent by a reinforcement of five ships of the line from the Channel Fleet under Rear-Admiral William Parker. On 11 February, the British frigate HMS Minerve, under the command of Commodore Horatio Nelson, Nelson reached the British fleet of 15 ships off Spain on 13 February, and passed the location of the Spanish fleet to Jervis, commanding the fleet from his flagship Victory. Unaware of the size of his opponents fleet—in the fog, Nelson had not been able to count them—Jerviss squadron immediately sailed to intercept, unaware of the British presence, the Spanish continued toward Cádiz.
Early on the 14th, Jervis learnt that the Spanish fleet was 35 miles to windward, during the night came the sounds that the British fleet had been waiting to hear – the signal guns of the Spanish ships in the fog. At 2,50 a. m. came the report that the Spanish fleet was some 15 miles distant, by early morning, at 5,30 a. m. Niger reported them to be closer still, as the dawn came, it brought a cold and foggy February morning. In the increasing light, Jervis saw his fleet around him and he turned to his officers on the quarter-deck of Victory and said, A victory to England is very essential at this moment. Jervis gave orders for the fleet to prepare for the coming action, Captain Thomas Troubridge in Culloden was in the lead. Culloden signalled that she could see 5 enemy sail to the south east, Jervis had no idea of the size of the fleet he was up against. As they loomed up out of the fog, a lieutenant in Barfleur described them as thumpers. As dawn broke, Jerviss ships were in position to engage the Spanish, on the quarter-deck of Victory, Captain Robert Calder and Captain Benjamin Hallowell counted the ships.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Captain Hallowell became so excited that he thumped the Admiral on the back, Thats right Sir John, and, by God, well give them a damn good licking. As the light grew, it became obvious that the Spanish ships were formed in two columns, one of about 18 ships to windward and the other, of about 9 ships. At about 10,30 a. m. the Spanish ships in the column were seen to wear ship. This gave the impression that they form a line and pass along the weather column of the British fleet. Jervis gave his order, Form in a line of battle ahead, when this order was completed the British fleet had formed a single line of battle, sailing in a southerly direction on a course to pass between the two Spanish columns
Battle of Trafalgar
The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost. It was the most decisive battle of the war, conclusively ending French plans to invade England. Nelson instead divided his force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the enemy fleet, with decisive results. Nelson was shot by a French musketeer during the battle and died shortly after, Villeneuve was captured along with his ship Bucentaure. Admiral Federico Gravina, the senior Spanish flag officer, escaped with the remnant of the fleet, Villeneuve attended Nelsons funeral while a captive on parole in Britain. In 1805, the First French Empire, under Napoleon Bonaparte, was the dominant military power on the European continent. During the course of the war, the British imposed a blockade on France. When the Third Coalition declared war on France, after the short-lived Peace of Amiens, to do so, he needed to ensure that the Royal Navy would be unable to disrupt the invasion flotilla, which would require control of the English Channel.
The main French fleets were at Brest in Brittany and at Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, other ports on the French Atlantic coast harboured smaller squadrons. France and Spain were allied, so the Spanish fleet based in Cádiz, the British possessed an experienced and well-trained corps of naval officers. By contrast, some of the best officers in the French navy had either been executed or had left the service during the part of the French Revolution. Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve had taken command of the French Mediterranean fleet following the death of Latouche Treville, there had been more competent officers but they had either been employed elsewhere or had fallen from Napoleons favour. Villeneuve had shown a lack of enthusiasm for facing Nelson. Napoleons naval plan in 1805 was for the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean and Cádiz to break through the blockade and join forces in the Caribbean. They would return, assist the fleet in Brest to emerge from the blockade, early in 1805, Vice Admiral Lord Nelson commanded the British fleet blockading Toulon.
Unlike William Cornwallis, who maintained a blockade off Brest with the Channel Fleet. However, Villeneuves fleet successfully evaded Nelsons when the British were blown off station by storms, Nelson commenced a search of the Mediterranean, erroneously supposing that the French intended to make for Egypt. However, Villeneuve took his fleet through the Strait of Gibraltar, rendezvoused with the Spanish fleet, once Nelson realised that the French had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, he set off in pursuit