The Enemy at Trafalgar
Eyewitness Narratives, Dispatches and Letters from the French and Spanish fleets
by Edward Fraser
Found in: Naval Sail
All Chatham Books
Published: 15 April 2004
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• Dramatic first-hand accounts of sea life and battle • The only available English-language versions of most French and Spanish reports • Well edited to make a readable continuous narrative In the century since this book was first published much has been written about the greatest sea battle of the age of sail, but very little of it in English is from the perspective of the defeated. This gives the work an enduring value to all but those with access to French and Spanish naval archives. Edward Fraser, an experienced writer on naval subjects, compiled and translated a collection of official dispatches and personal accounts by the participants, weaving his first-hand material into a vivid and eminently readable continuous narrative. This takes the story from Napoleon's strategic intentions for the Combined Fleets, through the events while it was blockaded at Cadiz, to the details of the battle itself, the storm which followed, and the terrible aftermath for victors and vanquished alike. Largely drawn from French and Spanish sources, the unusual illustrations range from contemporary portraits and seascapes to detailed maps of the action, as seen from the Franco-Spanish side. Originally published to celebrate the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, this book is now fittingly reissued on the approach of the bicentenary. Edward Fraser specialised in popular naval topics with stirring titles like Champions of the Fleet, but he also wrote a major history of the Royal Marine Artillery.
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