It was at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent on 14 February 1797, when the Royal Navy won a great victory over the Spanish, that Nelson first came to public fame. Five months later in the attack on Santa Cruz on 22-25 July he suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of the Spanish and lost an arm. These two events, one a success the other a humiliating failure, played a key role in shaping Nelson’s character and style as a leader. Taken together they mark a significant turning point in his life.In this new and provocative work, Colin White has drawn together previously untapped contemporary sources, and recently published Spanish research, into an enthralling narrative account that places the two battles in their strategic and political contexts. He challenges some aspects of the familiar story and offers some answers to questions that have long perplexed historians: when Nelson left the line of battle at Cape St Vincent was he acting contrary to his admiral’s orders? Why did he risk his life so carelessly in the boat action off Cadiz? Why did he order the disastrous second attack at Tenerife? And why did his arm take so long to heal after its amputation?The conclusion is that the traditional British accounts of both battles need careful reassessment and that the time has come to review Nelson’s whole career in the light of the new material that is emerging. More than forty carefully selected illustrations drawn mainly from the Royal Naval Museum collections support the authoritative text, together with a set of six new plans for both battles.
Book Condtion=Ex public library book.library plate and stamp.generally excellent condition