Battle of Trafalgar

Arguably the most famous naval battle in British history, we delve into the events and personal accounts of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

From Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson's strategic battle plan and famous flag signal, to the battle itself and Nelson's death, immerse yourself in the story of Trafalgar.

History of the Battle of Trafalgar

The background to the battle How did the confrontation between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets come about?

Trafalgar timeline What happened during the battle - and how did Nelson's plan play out?

Nelson's last words How did Nelson die - and what were his final words?

Delve deeper: Who shot Nelson's killer?

Explore more

Nelson’s letter to Cornwallis

Discover some of the letters sent by ordinary sailors written before and after the Battle of Trafalgar.

Nelson's Coat National Maritime Museum L8624-070_slider.JPG

Visit the free Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery at the National Maritime Museum to explore the life and times of great British hero Horatio Nelson and the history of the Royal Navy and British people from 1688–1815.

The ship as icon: Battle of Trafalgar_attraction_slider.jpg

The Battle of Trafalgar took place on 21 October 1805. Find out what led up to the British attack on the Franco-Spanish fleet - and how Nelson laid the plans for victory.

Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), before the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805_banner.jpg

The Battle of Trafalgar is one of the most famous naval battles in British history. Nelson led Britain to victory over a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was shot and died during the battle. 


Nelson was killed by a fatal gunshot wound at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Read more about the circumstances of his death and the debate surrounding his final words below.


HMS Victory was Lord Nelson's flagship in his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Discover more about the history of the famous ship.

Buonaparte hearing of Nelson's Victory swears by his Sword to Extirpate the English from off the Earth PW3964_slider.JPG

The lives and careers of Horatio Nelson and Napoleon Bonaparte are inextricably linked, as two dominant leaders and adversaries.