The Battle of Trafalgar is one of the most decisive naval battles in history. The momentous battle had a single British fleet defeat the combined forces of both France and Spain. The battle took place on October 21st, 1805 off the coast of Spain.
The battle was led by Admiral Lord Nelson, who had built a reputation by foiling Napoleon Bonaparte. Nelson divided his 27 ships into two divisions and signaled a now-famous message from the flagship Victory: “England expects that every man will do his duty.”
During the five hour battle, England defeated all 19 of the enemy’s ships. They managed to do all of this without losing a single ship of their own. However, 1,500 British seamen were either killed or injured during the battle, including Nelson. He was shot twice by a French sniper and died.
Nelson was honored as the savior of Britain as the win meant that Napoleon would never invade Britain. He was given a massive funeral at London’s St. Paul Cathedral. He is now immortalized by a famous column in Trafalgar Square in central London.