French Eyewitness Account From Battle Of Trafalgar Uncovered
Details of the sea battle, in which British boats chased and captured the French vessels, appear in the helmsman's log. The document, taken from the French ship Mont Blanc, was discovered by researchers from the British National Archives among the vessel's muster roll, the lists of payments to the crew on board.
Alistair Hanson, a historian at the National Archive, said: 'This discovery is of significance because it provides us with a rare French eyewitness account of the battle. It will also be valuable to French genealogists who will be able to track those seamen who died.'
The incident occurred towards the end of the Battle of Trafalgar as the boats Mont Blanc, Scipion, Duguay-Trouin and Formidable formed part of a vanguard of a combined fleet commanded by Rear Admiral Dumanoir Le Pelley.
Because of a breakdown in communication and a lack of wind, the ships were out of range for most of the battle. By the time they came face to face with the English, the Battle of Trafalgar had all but been won and the French fled. But they were captured and became the only enemy vessels to be brought back to the UK.
Bruno Papparlardo, naval historian at The National Archives, said: 'The log is one of the most exciting finds in recent times for naval historians and anyone interested in the Battle of Trafalgar.
'Together with the muster rolls for the ship and rolls for the Duguay- Trouin, the Scipion and the Formidable, this unique find will allow us to be able to make direct comparisons between the British and the French ships and give us a better insight into their battle plans.'
comments powered by Disqus
John Allan Wilson - 11/6/2005
Now that's what I call History News. Can someone post details, please?
- Most Millennials Resist the ‘Millennial’ Label
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- AHA President Vicki L. Ruiz named National Humanities Medalist
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis