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Trafalgar: the men, the battle, the storm / Tim Clayton and Phil Craig

May 9, 2014

Waterloo, Agincourt, Gallipoli. There are many battles that stand out for various reasons as historic – Trafalgar is one of them. This book gives a very balanced view of all aspects of the battle, the leadership and crews, the British and the enemy, the technology and the environment.

battle trafalgarThis book was a pleasant surprise as, although it was 444 pages long with very few illustrations, it flowed well. It was logical and accurate.

While the book itself is a history of the battle and subsequent storm afterwards, it also has a balanced coverage of the social and personal aspects of Trafalgar. Trafalgar is synonymous with Nelson and Hardy, and their lives are covered as are the Spanish and French commanders, and the commanders of the British, French and Spanish ships. Also included are the sailors, professional and pressed, long-term and prisoners, of all three nations and normal citizens of each who had stories to tell  (and the tales are worth reading as some are the last messages to family and loved ones). It shows that no matter what time period it is, war is vicious and brutal, and while many heroes are born in war, I think it shows that it is ultimately futile.

This what a history book should be;  interesting and informative, teaching the reader something  he/she did not know before.  If you are a fan of naval history, Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars, even naval technology of the time or just the state of the world of that period – all is discussed, and I believe there will be something new for all readers to learn.

– Darren

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From → Non-Fiction, Review

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