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  • Trafalgar

  • The Biography of a Battle
  • By: Roy Adkins
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Summary

This is the true story of the Battle of Trafalgar, Britain's most significant sea battle, as seen through the smoke-hazed gunports of the fighting ships. In an atmosphere of choking fumes from cannon and musket fire, amid noise so intense it was almost tangible, the crews of the British, French and Spanish ships did their best to carry out their allotted tasks. For over five hours they were in constant danger from a terrifying array of iron and lead missiles fired from enemy guns, as well as the deadly wooden splinters smashed from the ships' hulls by the cannonballs.

While the men manoeuvred the ships and kept the cannons firing, the women helped the surgeons tend the sick or helped the boys - the 'powder monkeys' - in the hazardous job of carrying gunpowder cartridges from the central magazine to the gun decks. Trafalgar set the seal on British naval supremacy, which became the mainspring for the growth of the British Empire, and in the short term not only prevented Napoleon from invading Britain, but also enabled Britain and its Continental allies to mount the campaign that would eventually defeat the French emperor: without Trafalgar there would be no Waterloo.

©2005 Roy Adkins (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Trafalgar

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Exceptional

This is by far the best book on the Battle of Trafalgar in my opinion! The story is eloquently told, the narrator is excellent and I had the additional Kindle book which contained useful diagrams to explain everything. I have read other books on the subject, however I found some of the intricacies of the ship movements and timings tedious. Here Adkins manages to cover all points well and in enough detail to understand what's going on, however I always found myself having to re-read battle descriptions in any book. The storm is covered well, the context is excellent, understanding the times and the people is so important with history; and aftermath and consequenties are explained. This gives a full round view. The letters and personal stories bring the men to live, from a boy on a ship (the lowest rank) to Admiral Viscount Nelson himself. This made me proud of their achievements in horrific circumstances and will help to remember these heros. Excellent work!

2 people found this helpful

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Second listen.

Listened again and picked up more this time. I suspect this is one of those books that can be listened to several times and the depth of information releases more each time. cracking read.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing detail

I finished this book and started it again straight away. If you love history, have visited HMS Victory and want to know about Trafalgar in brilliant detail, this is the book. Well read too.

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excellent detail

a thorough review of the battle, well told with brilliant detail. history brought to life

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fantastic

an absolutely fascinating, well researched book, narrated amazingly well. the build up, the battle and the aftermath are treated fantastically well.
one of the best books on the subject I have heard and it was a lot easier to remember details than others.
if you even have the slightest interest then you have to get this.

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superb

Loved it. My first historical narrated audible . Just loved it from start to finish.
I'm a great lover of the sea and any other nautical topics.
Hoping to listen to more in the future. This title was very gripping and very much informative on the true accounts of one of the most epic sea battles that ever took place.

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Trafalgar

I've read a number of books on the Battle of Trafalgar ans enjoyed listening to this book as much as any other on the subject. Well read and very interesting

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Seems like everything is in here

Feels very complete and I found it fascinating.

Sometimes it’s not obvious when a quote or extract is being read out rather than the main text.

But not going to drop this excellent work a star for that.

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Great account.

Enjoyed every minute. Detail was just right. Good balance about what happened in the battle and wider issues and characters. Always enjoyed learning about trafalgar and learned lots more from this. Can’t really think of a criticism it was just the right length and informative.

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Time travelling

The story is full of detail and insight, superbly narrated. The aftermath and legacy of the battle is very well explained.