Colleen's Reviews > Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World

Nelson's Trafalgar by Roy A. Adkins
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's review
Jan 01, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: napoleon, history
Read in May, 2010

A very good book--though not "the equal of Antony Beevor's Stalingrad" as the back cover claims.

I think actually what would have improved this to a 5 star rating would be if each chapter focused on the dueling ships in the battle, which is sort of does, but not cohesively. For example, chapters or minisections on just Santa Ana vs. Royal Sovereign, Belleisle vs. Fougueux, etc. Probably more my fault, and I guess it does reflect the general pell-mell of the battle, but by skipping from action from ship to ship, I had to keep referring to the maps to get things clear in my head. Though since this battle was one or two ships slugging it out against each other, I think would have made the book more absorbing.

Either way though, excellent book, chock full of interesting facts. Thought it very interesting after reading Seize the Fire, that the French concept of honor wasn't much different than the British. If Admiral Dumanoir hadn't rather cravenly ignored Villeneuve's orders, than the battle could have gone differently (English probably still would have won) or if the French focused their fire not on the masts but on the lower decks like the English, also a different outcome.

I feel very bad for poor Villeneuve and want to know more about his "suicide" (aka murder by Napoleon, since his body was found in a locked room with a probably forged suicide note with six implausible stab wounds).
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