Great Sea Fights: Cape St Vincent (1797) Part 1 - The Events

This episode published on the anniversary of the Battle of St Vincent in 1797 launches the second of our Great Sea Fights series. Dr Sam Willis explores the events of Valentines Day 1797 when Admiral John Jervis daringly cut through a much larger Spanish fleet escorting a mercury convoy home from South America. This was the second major action of the Revolutionary War against France and the first against Spain, then France's allies. The events of the battle remain unique in naval history. The Spanish lost four ships of the line, two of them personally boarded and captured by Horatio Nelson. The events were the first stage in nelson becoming the most famous Englishman on earth and a naval hero like no other.

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