Leading Factors

Owner: Gwen H., Contributor: Lisa S.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte: 

"The secret of war lies in the communications."

In what way did commumincations impact the start of the Battle of Trafalgar?

Napoleonic Wars Timeline

Why were the British battling off the coast of Spain anyway?  In this timeline of the Napoleonic Wars, you'll see that tensions between the French and Spanish allies and Britain were building. 

The Beginning

After the Royal Navy and British fleets retreated for various reasons upon the passing of the Treaty of Amiens, Napoleon was planning dominance in Europe.  He planned to invade England in order to free the seas for French trade.  Since the only way the French could safely move was to control the English Channel, Napoleon ordered his fleets to move out of their ports and into the English Channel.  Admiral Villeneuve evaded Nelson and his troops, and Nelson assumed the French fleet was heading into Egypt.  Nelson realized the mistake he had made  and therefore  pursued Villeneuve.  Napoleon eventually abandoned his plan to invade England, and he instead focused on Austria.  Threatened by British fleets, Napoleon ordered Villeneuve to sail back into the Meditteranean, after which Villeneuve was replaced by Admiral Rosily.  Villeneuve was then ordered to sail to Naples to assist with 4,000 landing troops, sent to defend against British General Craig.  Villeneuve planned to capture or drive away British forces. However, significant confusion evolved, and the unfortunate result was the Battle of Trafalgar.  

Photo Credits

Learn more at Broadside:  Battle of Trafalgar and by viewing "Battle Style" on the "Leaders Involved" page. 


Having read information about the factors that led to the Battle of Trafalgar, who do you think was ultimately responsible for the Battle's onset?  What led you to your opinion?

Horatio Nelson: 0 votes (0%)
Admiral Villeneuve: 1 votes (100%)
Napoleon Bonaparte: 0 votes (0%)
Admiral Rosily: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 1

What Was the Impact?

Photo Credits

Napoleon decided to send Villeneuve back into the Mediterranean, and he replaced Villeneuve with Admiral Rosily. How do you think Napoleon's decisions impacted the situation at sea?  

Napoleonic Wars Map Links

The  link below will take you to regions depicting nearly 15 years of the Napoleonic wars.  If you are interested in viewing the geographical movement during the wars, please follow the link.