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Naval history of Great Britain
by
William James
1805 Battle of Trafalgar 56

captain. It is doubtful if the whole of this damage and loss was inflicted by the English Achille : the Argonauta must have exchanged some broadsides in passing with other British ships. The Berwick was dreadfully cut up in her hull, and her three masts were left in a tottering state. The Achille's officer, who took possession of the ship, counted, upon her decks and in her cockpit and tiers 51 dead bodies, including that of her gallant captain, M. Camas ; and the wounded of the Berwick, according to the report of her few surviving officers, amounted to nearly 200 : her loss in officers was very severe, the quarterdeck having been twice cleared. Nearly the whole of this loss was attributable to the close and unremitting cannonade kept up for more than an hour, by the English Achille. On the other hand, the principal part of the latter's damage and loss was caused by the steady fire and determined opposition of the Berwick.

We quitted the Victory at about 1 h. 30 m. P.M., or just as lord Nelson had been carried to the cockpit, mortally wounded from the mizentop of the Redoutable. * So destructive to the Victory was the fire kept up from the Redoutable's tops, as well as from her second-deck guns, occasionally pointed upwards, that, within a few minutes of Lord Nelson's fall, several officers and about 40 men, nearly the whole of them upon the third or upper deck, were killed or wounded. A single 18-pounder carronade on the poop, mounted upon an elevating carriage might very soon have destroyed the Redoutable's mizentop and all that were in it ; but the Victory had no guns whatever mounted on her poop. The same effect might have been produced upon the fore and main tops by one of the 68-pounder carronades ; but their carriages would not give the required elevation. Nor, we believe, could the 68-pounder on the starboard side be even fired a second time upon the decks the Redoutable, owing to some accident that had since befallen it.

Although, from the loss of the men stationed at them, the 12-pounders of the Victory were for the most part abandoned, the larboard guns, her 24 and 32 pounders upon the decks below continued to fire, for a few minutes (until the English Neptune and ships astern of her intervened), distantly at the starboard quarters of the Bucentaure and Santisima-Trinidad, and the starboard guns, with much more certain effect, right into the hull of the Redoubtable. "The starboard guns of the lower and middle decks," says Dr. Beatty, " were depressed and fired with a diminished charge of powder, and three shot each, into the Redoubtable. This mode of firing was adopted by Lieutenants Williams, King, Yule, and Brown, to obviate the danger of the Téméraire's suffering from the Victory's shot

*  See p. 43

  See p. 42

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