miércoles, junio 29, 2005

John Keegan sobre Trafalgar. STOP. A leer. STOP.
Trafalgar was that rare event - a completely one-sided victory. It was won, however, at a terrible cost in human life. Several of the enemy's ships suffered hundreds killed and many more wounded. The worst British casualties were in Victory, with 57 dead including, of course, Nelson himself.
Nelson's victory was not accidental, but carefully planned. Trafalgar was not only a great victory but also a revolutionary battle, in which Nelson cut the enemy off from
escape by sailing his fleet between the enemy lines and the door of flight downwind. The enemy was trapped and forced to fight until battered into submission.
It should console the French and Spanish that many of their forebears fought with heroic courage, including the captain of France's Redoubtable, Captain Lucas, whose ship was fired into by Victory and the Temeraire for two hours before striking. Lucas, only four feet four inches tall, became an object of admiration to the British, as did Infernat, of the Intrepide, which was attacked by seven British ships. Infernat, wrote a lieutenant on HMS Conqueror, deserves to be recorded in the memory of those who admire true courage. Altogether 4,400 French and Spanish sailors died compared with 480 British.
Trafalgar was not only a naval triumph. It also inaugurated the beginning of Britain's century of supremacy. After Trafalgar, Britain dominated the world's oceans and so the world's trade. By the middle of the 19th century, the Royal Navy was equal to the strength of the next seven navies in the world, while the British merchant fleet carried 90 per cent of the world's seaborne goods, taking British coal, iron and steel out, and Argentine beef, North American grain and Australian wool back. Such days will not come again, not even to the United States, Britain's successor as the world's foremost naval power.

A ver si inventan ya las puñeteras máquinas del tiempo y me mudo!