.............. 2
      2.                                                               Early
......... 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
............ 12

      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
      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
      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,  openly  joining  the  alliance  of
Great  Britain,  Russia  and  Austria  against  the  French,  led  his   own
insignificant army to  recapture  Rome.  Not  only  was  this  a  disastrous
failure but the French counteroffensive drove  him  back  to  Naples,  which
itself then fell. Nelson had to evacuate  the  Neapolitan  royal  family  to
Sicily, and at Palermo it became obvious to all that  his  infatuation  with
Emma Hamilton was complete. She had proved herself indispensable company  to
                Blockade of Naples and battle of Copenhagen.

      In  the  summer  of  1799,  Nelson's  squadron  supported  Ferdinand's
successful attempt to recapture Naples, but word of his dalliance with  Emma
had reached the  Admiralty,  and  his  superiors  began  to  lose  patience.
Bonaparte had escaped from Egypt to France, and the French still held  Malta
when Lord Keith, who  had  replaced  ST.  Vincent  as  commander  in  chief,
decided that the  enemy's  next  objective  would  be  Minorca.  Nelson  was
ordered to that island with all available ships but refused on  the  grounds
that he expected the threat to be toward Naples. Events justified  him,  but
to disobey  orders  so  blatantly  was  unforgivable.  The  Admiralty,  also
angered by his acceptance of the dukedom  of  Bronte  in  Sicily  from  King
Ferdinand, sent him an icy return home.
      In 1800 he returned, but across the  continent  in  company  with  the
Hamilton. When the curious little party in England, it  was  at  once  clear
that he was the nation's hero, and his progress  to  London  was  triumphal.
Emma was pregnant by Nelson when he was appointed  second  in  commanded  to
the elderly admiral Sir Hyde Parker, who was to  command  an  expedition  to
the Baltic, Shortly before sailing, Nelson heard that Emma had borne  him  a
daughter named Horatia.
      Parker's fleet sailed the first objective, Copenhagen, early in  1801.
At first Nelson's advice was not sought; then, as Danish  resistance  became
increasingly likely, he could record, "Now we are sure  of  Fighting,  I  am
sent for." By the stratagem  of  talking  the  fleet's  ships  of  shallower
draught through a difficult channel, Nelson  bypassed  the  shore  batteries
covering the city's northern approaches. The next morning, April 2,  he  led
his squadron into action. There was to be no room for  tactical  brilliance;
only superior gunnery would tell. The Danes resisted  bravely,  and  Parker,
fearing that Nelson was suffering unacceptable losses,  hoisted  the  signal
to disengage. Nelson disregarded it, and, an hour later,  victory  was  his;
the Danish ships lay shattered and silent, their losses  amounting  to  some
6,000 dead and wounded, six times than those of the British.
      Before this success could be followed by similar attacks on the  other
potential enemies, Tsar Paul of Russia died and  the  threat  faded.  Parker
was succeeded by Nelson, who at  last  became  a  commander  in  chief.  The
Admiralty, well aware of his popular appeal now made maximum use  of  it  by
giving him a home command. At once he planned an  ambitious  attack  on  the
naval base of Boulogne in order to foil a possible French invasion.  He  did
not take part himself, and the operation  was  a  glory  failure.  A  second
attempt was abandoned because of peace  negotiations  with  France,  and  in
March 1802 the Treaty of Amiens was signed.
      At last there was time to enjoy the  fruits of his victories. Emma had
, on Nelson's instructions, bought an elegant country house,  Merton  Place,
near  London,  and  transformed  it  into  an  expensive  mirror  for  their
vanities. At last her husband rebelled, but it was too late for change,  and
he appeared reconciled to his lot when, early in  1803,  he  died  with  his
wife and her lover at his side.
                            Victory at Trafalgar.

      Bonoparte was known to be preparing for renewed  war,  and,  two  days
before it broke  out,  Nelson,  in  May  1803,  was  given  command  in  the
Mediterranean, hoisting his flag in  the  Victory.  Once  again  he  was  to
blockade Toulon, now with the object of preventing a rendezvous between  the
French ships there with those at Brest in  the  Atlantic  and,  after  Spain
declared war on Britain, with Spanish ships  from  Cartagena  and  Cadiz.  A
combined force of that size could well enable Bonaparte to  invade  England;
and early  1805,  Napoleon,  who  the  previous  year  had  crowned  himself
emperor, ordered the fleets to converge for this purpose. In March,  Admiral
Pierre Villeneuve, who was to be in overall command,  broke  out  of  Toulon
under cover of bad weather and  disappeared.  Nelson  set  off  in  pursuit.
Villeneuve cut short his  marauding,  but  his  fleet  was  intercepted  and
damaged by a British  squadron,  Failing  to  win  control  of  the  English
Channel, he ran south to Cadiz.
      Nelson put into Gibraltar,  made  dispositions  for  the  blockade  of
Cadiz, and returned to England. During his 25 days at home, he  planned  the
strategy for the confrontation with the Franco-Spanish  fleets  that  seemed
inevitable; 34 enemy ships were blockaded in Cadiz by smaller numbers  under
Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood. Although Napoleon, abandoning the  plan  of  a
cross-Channel invasion, began to redeploy the Grand  Army,  in  Britain  the
danger of invasion seemed as pressing  as  ever,  and  Nelson  appeared  the
country's hope.
      When his orders came, Nelson on September 15 sailed in the Victory. He
was now at the height of his professional powers. Worshiped by his  officers
and sailors alike,  he  was  confident  that  his  captains  understood  his
tactical thinking  so  well  that  the  minimum  of  consultation  would  be
required. On his 47th birthday he dined 15  captains  in  his  flagship  and
outlined his plans to  bring  on  a  "pell-mell  battle"  in  which  British
gunnery and offensive spirit would be decisive. He  planned  to  advance  on
the Franco-Spanish fleets in two divisions to break their line  and  destroy
them piecemeal. This was the final abandonment of  the  traditionally  rigid
tactics of fighting in line of battle.
      After receiving Napoleon's orders that he  must  break  the  blockade,
Villeneuve, on October 20, sailed out  of  Cadiz.  At  dawn  next  day,  the
Franco-Spanish  fleets  were  silhouetted  against  the  sunrise  off   cape
Trafalgar, and the British began to form the two  divisions  in  which  they
were to fight, one by Nelson, the other  by  Collingwood.  As  the  opposing
fleets closed, Nelson made signal. "England expects that every will  man  do
his duty". The  Battle  of  Trafalgar  raged  at  its  fiercest  around  the
victory. A French sniper from  the  mast  of  the  Redoutable,  shot  Nelson
through the shoulder and chest. He was carried below to the surgeon, and  it
was soon clear that he was dying. When told that 15  enemy  ships  had  been
taken, he replied, "That is well,  but  I  had  bargained  for  20".  Thomas
Hardy, his flag captain, kissed his forehead in farewell  and  Nelson  spoke
his last words, "Now I am satisfied. Thank God, I have done my duty".
      Although the victory of  Trafalgar  finally  made  Britain  safe  from
invasion, it was, at the time, overshadowed by the news of  Nelson's  death.
A country racked with grief gave  him  a  majestic  funeral  in  St.  Paul's
Cathedral, and his popularity in  countless  monuments,  streets,  and  inns
named after him and, eventually, in the preservation at  Portsmouth  of  the
Victory. Emma Hamilton and his daughter, however, were ignored.  Emma  died,
almost destitute, in Calais nine years later. Horatia, showing her  father's
resilience, married a clergyman in Norfolk and became the  mother  of  large
and sturdy family.

      Nelson had finally broken the unimaginative strategical  and  tactical
doctrines of the previous century and taught individual  officers  to  think
for themselves. His flair and forcefulness as a  commander  in  battle  were
decisive factors in his two major victories- the battles  of  the  Nile  and
Trafalgar. In the former, he had  destroyed  the  French  fleet  upon  which
Napoleon Bonaparte had based his hopes  of  Eastern  conquest,  and  in  the
latter he had  destroyed  the  combined  French  and  Spanish  fleets,  thus
ensuring the safety of the British Isles from invasion and the supremacy  of
British sea power for more than a century. Spectacular  success  in  battle,
combined with his humanity as a commander and his scandalous  private  life,
raised Nelson to godlike status in his lifetime,  and  after  his  death  at
Trafalgar in 1805, he was enshrined in popular myth and iconography.  He  is
still generally  accepted  as  the  most  appealing  of  Britain’s  national