Lord Admiral nelson




 
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February 15th, 2005  
Anya1982
 
 

Topic: Lord Admiral nelson


Quote:
Every year on October 21, England commemorates Trafalgar Day. One cannot use the term "celebrates," for although this holiday does commemorate one of the greatest victories at sea, it also memorializes the death of England's most beloved admiral. In the years that have passed since the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 his reputation has not been surpassed, but rather has grown as the admirals of other navies have looked to his life for inspiration and tactical instruction. Although many admirals have been compared to him, none has ever been set above him. Even Raymond Ames Spruance, who won an overwhelming victory over a superior Japanese force at Midway and went on to win many other great battles of World War II in the Pacific, can never take better than second place to this extraordinary man.

Horatio Nelson was born on September 29, 1758, to Catherine (Suckling) Nelson, the wife of Edmund Nelson, rector of Burnham Thorpe, in the county of Norfolk. He was a sickly child from the start and grew up small and slender. His mother died on Boxing Day in 1767, when young Horatio was only nine years old.When the Falklands Crisis of 1770 arose, young Horatio saw this as an opportunity to contribute his effort to the problem and asked his older brother William to write a letter to their father asking him to have their uncle Maurice Suckling take him to sea.

Captain Suckling was dubious about this idea, but he agreed and Horatio entered the Navy on January 1, 1771. At the time he was only twelve years old, but this was common. Horatio's introduction to the Navy was singularly unpromising, for when he arrived at Chatham he was unable to find his ship and no one would direct him to it. The slender young boy wandered about the docks until someone finally took pity on him and delivered him to the Raisonnable, but his uncle (who was the ship's captain) was not aboard and would not arrive for days. Thus he spent several nights alone before his uncle finally arrived and welcomed him to the service.

In spite of this less than promising beginning, the young Nelson stuck it out and worked his way up the ranks. At the age of twenty he "made post," achieving the rank of captain. Always a romantic, the young Nelson was quick to fall in love with pretty young women, although his friends were able to warn him off the more unsuitable ones. But near the end of his duty as captain of HMS Boreas , he met a young widow by the name of Fanny Nisbet. Still trying to get over his hopeless passion for the beautiful Mary Montray and captivated by Fanny's little boy Josiah, he failed to notice that this woman was a total mismatch for his personality. However his marriage to her seemed to be happy enough for the next several years, mostly because he had nothing else to compare his marriage to, and because he was unhappily beached.

Only after the French Revolution did his efforts to gain a new sea command finally pay off, and he entered the phase of his life that would make him famous. However it also cost him dearly. While doing joint operations with the army ashore at Calvi he was wounded in the face, costing him the sight of his right eye (although the eye itself was not disfigured, contrary to popular belief). Shortly after his dramatic success at the Battle of St. Vincent he undertook an ambitious plan to capture a treasure ship supposedly anchored at Santa Cruz de Teneriffe in the Canary Islands. This ill-conceived and tactically meaningless campaign concluded with him badly wounded while storming the mole of Santa Cruz, his right arm so badly mangled that it could not be saved.

Any other admiral might well have hauled down his flag for good and retired ashore. However Nelson only took long enough to recover from his wounds before he got himself assigned a new flagship, H. M. S. Vanguard and was back to the Med. Here he chased the French fleet to Egypt and crushed them in the Battle of the Nile. Although it was a far larger victory than had ever been won before, he was not the area CinC, so the government saw fit to give him only the lowest title of nobility and he became Baron Nelson of the Nile.

In the course of the battle he was wounded in the head, which apparently caused him some minimal brain damage. Certainly his personality was unsettled and he was uniquely vulnerable to the temptations that he would find as he put in at Naples. There he would meet the beautiful Emma, Lady Hamilton. Recognizing the limitations of a one-armed admiral, she made herself indispensable to him through dozens of small assistances. She quickly discovered how susceptable he was to flattery and fed that. Soon he was hopelessly her captive, to the point that he came to actively detest his lawful wife.

All his Neapolitan campaigns went disastrously wrong and in time he was relieved of command. Instead of going straight home to England, he accompanied the Hamiltons through Germany, thus growing constantly closer and closer to his new mistress. By the time he got home, scandal had preceeded him. After a few disgusting scenes, the Admiralty decided that the only thing to do was to get him off to sea and away from Lady Hamilton.

His new command, in the Baltic and under the command of the utterly imagination-free Sir Hyde Parker, was not exactly his idea of an ideal posting. But he dutifully raised his flag and set himself to work planning to deal with the problem of the Northern Alliance. This was the Battle of Copenhagen, in which he created naval history. Midway through the battle Sir Hyde lost his nerve and sent out the recall signal. Nelson, knowing that this was no time to flee, put his blind eye to good use by putting his telescope to it and saying, "I really don't see the signal." Sticking out the fight, he crushed the Danish fleet. Subsequently he was made a viscount, the title he would take with him to his death.

After a brief stint of duty patrolling the English Channel, Nelson was permitted to go into a pleasant retirement which he fully believed to be permanent. He then joined Lady Hamilton, purchasing for her an estate at Merton, just outside of London. Together with elderly Sir William Hamilton, he and Emma enjoyed two of the happiest years in their lives, marred only by the fact that they could not make their relationship legitimate and thus provide for their daughter Horatia. Even when old Sir William died, there remained the matter of Fanny, and all of Emma's behind-the-scenes manipulations could not drive her to her grave.

Not long after Sir William's death, the political climate changed. Lord Nelson received orders to hoist his flag aboard H. M. S. Victory and patrol the Medeteranian, containing the French fleet at Tulon. He would remain aboard that ship for all but a month of the rest of his life. For the next two years he did not once stir himself from his flagship, although it wandered many nautical miles in its patrols. In a day before modern accomodation ladders it was simply too much work for a one- armed admiral to come and go, so he let everyone else come to him.

In August of 1805, sick with weariness after a fruitless chase to the West Indes and back, Nelson applied for and received a leave of absense. Immediately he went to Merton to join his beloved Lady Hamilton. But that leave would be cut short after problems in the fleet led the Admiralty to call him back. Although he misliked going to sea so quickly, duty was too much a part of his personality for him to refuse.

There is something of the cosmic in the unfolding of that last month as he proceeded toward the final battle. Even almost two hundred years after the fact, a well-written account of how Lord Nelson went into the Battle of Trafalgar can bring tears to a reader's eyes. Even as he was winning his greatest victory ever, he was struck down by a sniper's bullet. He lingered on in great agony for several hours, long enough to know that he had won a victory grander than he'd ever won before. However he would not live to reap its glory, which would go to his unworthy brother William. The true line, represented by his daughter Horatia, would be tormented by privation and obscurity while others would bask in the radiance of his legacy.
I think its about time that people know about this great Admiral................he has set history for 100's of years and obv. to this day is still looked up at by the Royal Navy. His famous last words were

"Kiss me Hardy"

He was a great Leader and its with respect that his life and battles live on to this day.

So how much do you all know about Nelson?
February 15th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I would be very very surprised if there are any true history buffs that have not heard of Lord Admiral Nelson. Nice for him to have his own thread. Without a doubt, he is one of the best naval commanders of all time. Very likely THE best, depending on your opinion.
February 15th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Yeah it would be hard to call yourself a history buff and not have heard of Admiral Nelson. "England expects every man to do his duty" is a battlecry as well known as any other. You don't even really have to be a history buff to have known of him though. It would be tantamount to saying "yes I've heard about the US but have no idea who this guy Washington was". I agree with Thunder though that it is good to see him have a thread of his own here.
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February 15th, 2005  
Blue_Eyes
 
 

Topic: h


I been on HMS Victory, she is in Portsmouth Dockyard, restored to her former beauty, well close enough lol

He was a good Admiral and respectable.

LIVE LONG
February 15th, 2005  
redcoat
 
 
While there is no doubt that Nelson was a great military leader, any doubts about him as a person are dispelled by reading the prayer he wrote just before Trafalgar,
http://www.twogreens.com/wakeup/nelson/prayer.htm
February 20th, 2005  
Bellerophon
 
yes,so much has been written about Nelson.These are from people who knew him.

Samuel Colridge said of him:"Lord nelson was an admiral every inch of him.He looked at everything,not merlely in its possible relations to the naval service in general,but its immediate bearings on his own sqaudron;to his officers,his men,to the particular ships themselves,his affections were as strong and ardent as those of a lover.Hence,though his temper was constitutionally irritable and uneven(he was constantly in pain),yet never was a commander so enthusiastically loved by men of all ranks,from the captain of the fleet to the youngest ship-boy.Hence too the unexampled harmony which reigned in his fleet,year after year,under circumstances that mightwell have undermined the patience of the best-balanced dispositions."

His 2nd in command at Trafalgar,Lord Collingwood,said after his death:"His loss was the greatest grief to me.There is nothing like him left for gallantry and conduct in battle.It was not foolish passion for fighting for he was the most gentle of all human creatures and often lamented the cruel necessity of it,but it was a principle of duty which all men owed their country in defence of her laws and liberty.He valued life only as it enabled him to do good,and would not preserve it by any act he thought unworthy...he is gone,and I shall lament him as long as I remain."

Has any other Admiral won so many great victories?Blake,Tromp,De Ruyter all suffered defeat.Hawke,had only one great victory,as did Rodney.No other Admiral comes close.
February 20th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
"No other Admiral comes close."

Perhaps you're forgetting Fleet Admiral Nimitz?
February 20th, 2005  
Bellerophon
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
"No other Admiral comes close."

Perhaps you're forgetting Fleet Admiral Nimitz?
Sorry.Nimitz comes close.But I would say that carrier operations are totally differant from fleet operations.

Nelson would have loved aircraft carriers,and would have been a fine carrier commander.Almost as good as Nimitz
February 20th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Yes, indeed, the age of sail was another world from carrier operations, but as you said "admiral" and nothing more...

I quite agree with you. I think Nelson would have loved carriers.

One British admiral I'd like to mention is Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay. His accomplishments in WWII are largely forgotten as he was unfortunate to have died just as the war was ending in a plane crash and so did not share in the honors bestowed upon the victors. I doubt any other than military history buffs remember him now outside of Britain and the Commonwealth. His command of fleet operations at Dover during during Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, Operation Torch, and Operation Neptune for D-Day were extremely well done.
September 24th, 2005  
Padre
 
 
Nelson was indeed a great Admiral, however it is a shame his fame has overshadowed an equally great but almost forgotten Admiral named Edward Hawke. Hawke was awarded decorations, peerages, huge pensions, had songs written about him, and so on, but hardly anyone knows anything about him - yet the English would now be speaking French and or Spanish if it wasn't for Hawke (no offence to the Spaniards or French)