Tuesday, December 14, 2021


 14 December 2021 : Hello friends! Sorry the for the delay in posting this week - the past weekend (when I usually try to get these done) was a bit hectic with some major surgery, dental surgery, and some stomach issues - all in the same three day period! But all is well now and we'll get you caught up. 

The Battle of Trafalgar occurred in 1805 and for those of you unfamiliar with the particulars of it, we offer the following - very concise - history lesson. The British fleet, led by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, took on the combined French and Spanish fleets off the coast of Cape Trafalgar on the Southwest coast of Spain. Nelson put up the quickly famous signal, "England expects every man to do his duty"and led his fleet to cut the enemy line. The tactic was successful and England, after some serious losses, carried the day. Sadly, the biggest loss England experienced was the death of Admiral Nelson, killed by a sniper aloft in the rig of one of the French ships. He was shipped home in a cask of spirits and buried in the biggest funeral procession ever seen in London - before or since. His flagship, HMS Victory, still exists, albeit "on the hard" (in a drydock) and without her topmasts. (Victory is the oldest Navy ship in the world. USS Constitution is the oldest warship still afloat)  But, she is open to visitors in the Royal Dockyards, Portsmouth, England, and people can see the exact spot where Nelson was shot and subsequently expired. Worth a visit for sure!

The subject of our story, HMS Implacable, was a French ship which survived the Battle but was captured by the British after Trafalgar. She was just five years into her life. Here's the story, from the British post:


 The Trafalgar survivor that lasted until 1949 before being scuttled | Nostalgia

HMS Implacable was a 74-gun third rate of the Royal Navy.

However, she was originally the French navy's Téméraire-class ship-of-the-line Duguay-Trouin, launched in 1800.

She survived the Battle of Trafalgar five years later only for the British to capture her at the subsequent Battle of Cape Ortegal.

Remarkably Implacable survived the Second World War. Still, the Admiralty scuttled her by an explosive charge on December 2, 1949.

HMS Implacable around 1930 in Portsmouth Harbour

 A fireboat towed her from Portsmouth Harbour to a spot east of the Isle of Wight and she sank into Saint Catherine's Deep, about five miles from Ventnor.

A French warship was in attendance to render honours.

Implacable  was by then the second oldest ship of the navy after HMS Victory, and there were heavy protests against her disposal.

However, given post-war austerity the government decided against restoring her, which was estimated at £150,000 with another £50,000 for re-rigging.


Sometimes, reality affects what we'd like to do - or in this case - hold onto. Maintaining a ship of that age is incredibly expensive and in post war England, there was little left over after pursuing the war for "nice to have" ships!

Until next week, 

                                     Fair winds, 

                                                   Old Salt

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