Royal Naval Museum



Battle of Trafalgar Conference

Held at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Friday 14th – Saturday 15th October 2005

The Naval Campaign – Summer 1805 - Brian Lavery, National Maritime Museum

The balance of naval power after two years of war, and the effect of the Franco-Spanish alliance. The crisis in the British Admiralty and the impeachment of Lord Melville. Lord Barham as First Lord. The state of the British fleet - old ships and tired men. British naval defences against invasion – blockade of Brest, Cadiz and Toulon, the North Sea Fleet, the Downs and Boulogne Squadron, the Sea Fencibles. Rockets, submarines and balloons. Nelson in the Mediterranean, his ships, bases, sources of supply, administration and strategy. Napoleon’s plans - evasion of the British fleet and invasion of Britain. Nelson’s intelligence on French movements. The chase across the Atlantic. Nelson and Villeneuve in the West Indies. The reaction in the British colonies. False intelligence makes Nelson go south. The voyage of the Curieux. Barham’s fleet distributions. Calder’s Action and the end of the French invasion plans.  The growth of the Combined Franco-Spanish fleet. The British build-up off Cadiz. Villeneuve comes out

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