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  • Trafalgar

  • The Biography of a Battle
  • By: Roy Adkins
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Summary

This is the true story of the Battle of Trafalgar, Britain's most significant sea battle, as seen through the smoke-hazed gunports of the fighting ships. In an atmosphere of choking fumes from cannon and musket fire, amid noise so intense it was almost tangible, the crews of the British, French and Spanish ships did their best to carry out their allotted tasks. For over five hours they were in constant danger from a terrifying array of iron and lead missiles fired from enemy guns, as well as the deadly wooden splinters smashed from the ships' hulls by the cannonballs.

While the men manoeuvred the ships and kept the cannons firing, the women helped the surgeons tend the sick or helped the boys - the 'powder monkeys' - in the hazardous job of carrying gunpowder cartridges from the central magazine to the gun decks. Trafalgar set the seal on British naval supremacy, which became the mainspring for the growth of the British Empire, and in the short term not only prevented Napoleon from invading Britain, but also enabled Britain and its Continental allies to mount the campaign that would eventually defeat the French emperor: without Trafalgar there would be no Waterloo.

©2005 Roy Adkins (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I really

enjoyed this book,it was interesting to hear both sides of the story,I can barely imagine one of those battles,such courage and stoicism,incredible,loved listening to the letters from officers and young gentlemen,vey poignant,we've lost something in our use of language.

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Exceptional

This is by far the best book on the Battle of Trafalgar in my opinion! The story is eloquently told, the narrator is excellent and I had the additional Kindle book which contained useful diagrams to explain everything. I have read other books on the subject, however I found some of the intricacies of the ship movements and timings tedious. Here Adkins manages to cover all points well and in enough detail to understand what's going on, however I always found myself having to re-read battle descriptions in any book. The storm is covered well, the context is excellent, understanding the times and the people is so important with history; and aftermath and consequenties are explained. This gives a full round view. The letters and personal stories bring the men to live, from a boy on a ship (the lowest rank) to Admiral Viscount Nelson himself. This made me proud of their achievements in horrific circumstances and will help to remember these heros. Excellent work!