On this day, Oct. 21, 1805, in one of the greatest naval battles in history, British Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated the combined Spanish and French fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar off the coast of Spain. This ended Napoleon’s power on the sea. The cannonades and musket shots ripped apart the ships at point-blank range, killing or wounding nearly 10,000 men. In the fighting that ensued, Adm. Nelson was fatally shot in the spine. He was carried below deck to the ship’s surgeon where he died. Horatio Nelson’s last words were: “Thank God I have done my duty.”

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