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Horatio Nelson

Data de nascimento: 29. Setembro 1758
Data de falecimento: 21. Outubro 1805
Outros nomes: Lord Horatio Nelson

Horatio Nelson, 1.º Visconde Nelson KB , foi um oficial britânico da Marinha Real Britânica, famoso pelas suas intervenções nas Guerras Napoleónicas. Ganhou várias batalhas da qual se destaca a Batalha de Trafalgar, em 1805, durante a qual foi morto.

Nelson nasceu no seio de uma família moderadamente próspera de Norfolk, e ingressou na Marinha pela mão do seu tio, Maurice Suckling. Evoluiu rapidamente na carreira militar, servindo com alguns dos principais comandantes militares, antes de obter o seu próprio comando em 1778. Ganhou uma reputação de firmeza e bravura, e de desenvolver tácticas inovadoras mas, após o final da Guerra da Independência Americana, adoeceu por diversas vezes, e ficou desempregado. A eclosão da Revolução Francesa permitiu a Nelson retornar o serviço, sendo particularmente activo na região do Mediterrâneo. Participou em pequenas batalhas ao largo de Toulon, e teve um papel importante na captura da Córsega, e posteriormente nas funções diplomáticas com os estados italianos.

Em 1797, durante a Batalha do Cabo São Vicente, distinguiu-se ao comando do navio de guerra HMS Captain. Pouco tempo depois desta batalha, Nelson participou na Batalha de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, onde foi ferido gravemente e forçado a regressar a Inglaterra para recuperar. No ano seguinte, obteve uma decisiva vitória sobre os franceses na Batalha do Nilo, permanecendo no Mediterrâneo para apoiar o Reino de Nápoles contra a invasão francesa. Em 1801, foi enviado para o mar Báltico, conquistando outra vitória, desta vez sobre os dinamarqueses na Batalha de Copenhaga. Posteriormente comandou o bloqueio das frotas espanholas e francesas em Toulon e, após a fuga destes, perseguiu-os até às Índias Ocidentais numa tentativa de travar uma batalha, sem no entanto, o ter conseguido. Depois de um breve regresso a Inglaterra, assumiu o comando do bloqueio a Cádis, em 1805. Em 21 de outubro de 1805 a frota franco-espanhola saiu do porto desta cidade tendo pela frente a frota de Nelson; o encontro de ambas as frotas deu origem à Batalha de Trafalgar. Esta batalha foi uma das maiores vitórias navais da Grã-Bretanha; no entanto, Nelson seria mortalmente atingido por um atirador francês. O seu corpo foi trazido de volta à Inglaterra, onde foi sepultado com honras de estado.

Nelson ficou conhecido pela sua capacidade de inspirar e motivar os seus homens: o "Toque de Nelson". A sua forma inovadora de conceber estratégias e táticas não convencionais resultou em várias vitórias decisivas. Alguns aspectos do seu comportamento pessoal foram considerados controversos ainda em vida, e depois da sua morte: teve um caso amoroso com Emma, Lady Hamilton, enquanto ambos eram casados, que durou até sua morte, e do qual resultou uma filha, Horatia. Além disso, as suas acções durante a campanha de Nápoles foram acusadas de brutalidade excessiva. Nelson poderia, por vezes, ser vaidoso, inseguro e ansioso por ser reconhecido, mas também era zeloso, atencioso e patriótico, bem como corajoso. Seria ferido em combate por diversas vezes, perdendo um braço e um olho. A sua morte em Trafalgar garantiu-lhe ficar reconhecido para sempre como uma das grandes personalidades de Inglaterra. Em sua honra, foram erigidos vários monumentos, destacando-se a Coluna de Nelson, na Praça de Trafalgar, em Londres.

Citações Horatio Nelson

„Now I can do no more. We must trust to the Great Disposer of all Events and the Justice of our Cause. I thank God for this great opportunity of doing my Duty.“

—  Horatio Nelson

In response to the cheer that was raised after he sent the signal "England expects every Man will do his Duty.", as quoted in The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K.B. from His Lordship's Manuscripts (1810) by James Stanier Clarke and John McArthur, p. 667
The Battle of Trafalgar (1805)

„Thank God, I have done my duty.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Statement among his final dying words. [citation needed]
The Battle of Trafalgar (1805)

„I cannot, if I am in the field for glory, be kept out of sight.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Letter to his wife, Frances Nelson (2 August 1796), as published in The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson with Notes (1845) edited Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. II : 1795-1797, p. 203
1790s
Contexto: !-- Had all my actions, my dearest Fanny, been gazetted, not one fortnight would have passed during the whole war without a letter from me: one day or other I will have a long Gazette to myself; I feel that such an opportunity will be given me. --> I cannot, if I am in the field for glory, be kept out of sight. Probably my services may be forgotten by the great, by the time I get Home; but my mind will not forget, nor cease to feel, a degree of consolation and of applause superior to undeserved rewards. Wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps. Credit must be given me in spite of envy. <!-- Even the French respect me: their Minister at Genoa, in answering a Note of mine, when returning some wearing apparel that had been taken, said, ‘Your Nation, Sir, and mine, are made to show examples of generosity, as well as of valour, to all the people of the earth.

„My character and good name are in my own keeping. Life with disgrace is dreadful. A glorious death is to be envied,“

—  Horatio Nelson

Letter from Agamemnon at sea (10 March 1795), in Nelson's letters to his wife and other documents, 1785-1831 edited by Navy Records Society, p. 199
1790s
Contexto: The lives of all are in the hands of Him who knows best whether to preserve it or no, and to His will do I resign myself. My character and good name are in my own keeping. Life with disgrace is dreadful. A glorious death is to be envied, and, if anything happens to me recollect death is a debt we must all pay, and whether now or in a few years hence can be but of little consequence.

„To leave off action"? Well, damn me if I do! You know, Foley, I have only one eye,— I have a right to be blind sometimes . . . I really do not see the signal!“

—  Horatio Nelson

At the battle of Copenhagen, Ignoring Admiral Parker's signal to retreat, holding his telescope up to his blind eye, and proceeding to victory against the Danish fleet. (2 April 1801); as quoted in Life of Nelson, Ch. 7
1800s
Contexto: To leave off action"? Well, damn me if I do! You know, Foley, I have only one eye,— I have a right to be blind sometimes... I really do not see the signal!

„Wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Letter to his wife, Frances Nelson (2 August 1796), as published in The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson with Notes (1845) edited Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. II : 1795-1797, p. 203
1790s
Contexto: !-- Had all my actions, my dearest Fanny, been gazetted, not one fortnight would have passed during the whole war without a letter from me: one day or other I will have a long Gazette to myself; I feel that such an opportunity will be given me. --> I cannot, if I am in the field for glory, be kept out of sight. Probably my services may be forgotten by the great, by the time I get Home; but my mind will not forget, nor cease to feel, a degree of consolation and of applause superior to undeserved rewards. Wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps. Credit must be given me in spite of envy. <!-- Even the French respect me: their Minister at Genoa, in answering a Note of mine, when returning some wearing apparel that had been taken, said, ‘Your Nation, Sir, and mine, are made to show examples of generosity, as well as of valour, to all the people of the earth.

„The bravest man feels an anxiety 'circa praecordia' as he enters the battle; but he dreads disgrace yet more.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Life of Nelson: The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain, Volume 2. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1897, p. 52; attributed by Mahan to Locker's Greenwich Gallery article "Torrington".
1800s

„In honour I gained them, and in honour I will die with them.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Life of Nelson (ch. 9), when asked to cover the stars on his uniform to hide his rank during battle.
1800s

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„First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Before the battle of the Nile (1 August 1797) [citation needed]
1790s

„Before this time to-morrow I shall have gained a peerage, or Westminster Abbey.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Before the Battle of the Nile (1 August 1797), as quoted in Life of Nelson, Ch. 5; alternately reported as "Westminster Abbey, or victory!"
1790s

„Victory or Westminster Abbey.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Life of Nelson Vol. I, Ch. 4 : In the battle off Cape Vincent, giving order for boarding the San Josef
1800s

„Drink, drink. Fan, fan. Rub, rub.“

—  Horatio Nelson

In his dying hours, Nelson was attended by his chaplain, Alexander Scott; his steward, Chevalier; and the purser, Walter Burke. Their accounts have been available to Nelson's modern biographers. This was a request to alleviate his symptoms of thirst, heat, and the pains of his wounds, as quoted in Horatio Nelson (1987) by Tom Pocock, p. 331
The Battle of Trafalgar (1805)

„The measure may be thought bold, but I am of the opinion the boldest are the safest.“

—  Horatio Nelson

Statement to Sir Hyde Parker urging vigorous action against the Russians and Danes (24 March 1801), quoted in "The Book of Military Quotations" by Peter G. Tsouras, p. 54
1800s

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