Though attention this year has been focused on the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, the decisive blows that defeated Napoleon were landed at sea, says James Davey.
Following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, France’s Bourbon monarchy was restored. It was the first, fragile step in a diminished state’s return to the family of European nations.
With his own elaborate imperial court, with his family ensconced on thrones across the continent, and with his overthrow of several historic republics, Napoleon brought Europe to a pinnacle of monarchism.
On the morning of October 21st, 1805, writes Christopher Lloyd, Nelson’s crushing defeat of the combined naval forces of France and Spain won for Britain an unchallenged mastery of the seas that was to last for over a hundred years.