The Battle of Trafalgar was one of the most iconic naval battles in history. A climactic clash that sank Napoleon's hopes for an invasion of the British Isles, it was perhaps the greatest victory for Royal Navy admiral Horatio Nelson. However, it was also his last victory, as he was shot by a French sharpshooter and succumbed to his wounds as the battle wrapped up.

What if Nelson hadn't died in the battle?
 
The Battle of Trafalgar was one of the most iconic naval battles in history. A climactic clash that sank Napoleon's hopes for an invasion of the British Isles, it was perhaps the greatest victory for Royal Navy admiral Horatio Nelson. However, it was also his last victory, as he was shot by a French sharpshooter and succumbed to his wounds as the battle wrapped up.

What if Nelson hadn't died in the battle?
He would have fought against the US in The War of 1812- & its a safe bet the US Navy would not have won the many dramatic, ship-to-ship victories that IOTL they did win over the Royal Navy in that war.
 
He would have fought against the US in The War of 1812- & its a safe bet the US Navy would not have won the many dramatic, ship-to-ship victories that IOTL they did win over the Royal Navy in that war.
It affects the War of 1812 in some ways especially if the British do better in some land battles of the conflict than in OTL.
 
Horatio Nelson was opposed to Abolition of slavery in the British empire, seeing it as very lucrative due to his experiences on British Caribbean islands. Should Nelson survive to see the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Nelson could use his influence to push back against the growing tide of abolitionist sentiment in the UK, perhaps even forcing its delay for another few years or even a decade due to the respect he commanded.
 
Horatio Nelson was opposed to Abolition of slavery in the British empire, seeing it as very lucrative due to his experiences on British Caribbean islands. Should Nelson survive to see the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Nelson could use his influence to push back against the growing tide of abolitionist sentiment in the UK, perhaps even forcing its delay for another few years or even a decade due to the respect he commanded.
Not really, more importantly he wanted fame and glory, and the more the better. He would want be on the winning side and the winners will be the abolitionists. He would enter politics, Whig or Tory, doesn't matter, the one that can give him the most fame, glory and money. If there's to be a War of 1812, it will go far worse for the US, some or even all of New England would be Canadian.
 
He would have fought against the US in The War of 1812- & its a safe bet the US Navy would not have won the many dramatic, ship-to-ship victories that IOTL they did win over the Royal Navy in that war.
A lot of those victories were one on one. Unless Nelson is actually present for them ITTL how does he affect things on the ground (errr, on the waves)?

In a one on one battle doctrine matters a lot less than other factors.
 
A lot of those victories were one on one. Unless Nelson is actually present for them ITTL how does he affect things on the ground (errr, on the waves)?

In a one on one battle doctrine matters a lot less than other factors.
Yeah, this. The RN vs. USN was like trying to swat hornets with a sledgehammer. Having Nelson commanding the North America Station won't make the USN's half-dozen frigates and half-finished liners come out and be massacred together. Nor is having the living incarnation of "never mind manoeuvres, always go straight at 'em" in command going to make RN frigate captains any less likely to seek out single-ship actions with USN frigates half again as big as theirs, though superior readiness/training might mean they don't lose quite as many.
 
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Not really, more importantly he wanted fame and glory, and the more the better. He would want be on the winning side and the winners will be the abolitionists. He would enter politics, Whig or Tory, doesn't matter, the one that can give him the most fame, glory and money. If there's to be a War of 1812, it will go far worse for the US, some or even all of New England would be Canadian.
No, Horatio Nelson OTL already used his influence to combat British Abolitionism.

The fact that Nelson shared Taylor’s strong dislike for Wilberforce and abolitionism is a stark indication of how out of step he was with the rising humanitarian sentiments of his own times. But in this respect, Nelson was hardly unique. Other British naval officers harboured similar views. Many of them had spent long stretches – months or even years – on one of the Royal Navy’s West Indian stations, often forming strong affinities with white slaveholding colonists.

While stationed in the eastern Caribbean during the 1780s, Nelson met and married his wife, Frances, the niece of a wealthy slaveholder in the British island-colony of Nevis. The Duke of Clarence (and future King William IV) had also served with the Royal Navy in the region, and spoke up forcefully in parliament against Wilberforce and his plans for the abolition of the slave trade. So too did Admiral Lord Rodney, who before Nelson’s dramatic rise had been the most celebrated British naval commander of his age. The influence of such men helped to ensure that the early abolition campaigns of the 1780s and 1790s ended in failure. No wonder slaveholders like Simon Taylor were keen to cultivate their friendship.

 
A lot of those victories were one on one. Unless Nelson is actually present for them ITTL how does he affect things on the ground (errr, on the waves)?

In a one on one battle doctrine matters a lot less than other factors.
Maybe- but knowing Nelson, I just can’t help but believe he would have managed to be present @ at least a few of these fights- & then.... Also, his leadership & mere presence could not but helped to have made the Royal Navy better.
 
Maybe- but knowing Nelson, I just can’t help but believe he would have managed to be present @ at least a few of these fights- & then.... Also, his leadership & mere presence could not but helped to have made the Royal Navy better.
Nelson would have been a fleet admiral by then. He'd be in London or somewhere else on land most likely - not commanding a ship.

And even if he were at sea, the individual American ships were stronger and had more guns. There's only so much a captain can do when his ship is inferior.

Not that a few scattered American victories did anything to change the overall nature of the war mind you.
 
ISTR reading somewhere that Nelson (in his lifetime) pissed off a lot of people in London (not just at the Admiralty, but also in Whitehall and the East India Company).

The Admiralty is understandable/self-explanatory.
Whitehall is probably the result of the fact that First Sea Lord at the end of Nelson's life wasvSpencer, and IIRC he and Nelson didn't like one another much. Nelson had made some rather unflattering comments about Spencer*.
The East India Company/City Merchants were also opposed to him for some reason.

*Nelson, while much ink gets spilled on him about his genius and life, little gets said that he was genuinely not a very nice person. I'm not talking about his opposition to abolition of slavery, I'm talking about his actual personality. Several contemporaries - friend and enemy alike - all commented on it IIRC. ISTR of the people who personally didn't like him were William, duke of Clarence (future William IV) who had served with Nelson; and Maria Karoline of Austria, queen of Naples (she tolerated Nelson because she liked Emma Hamilton).

As for Nelson going into politics, he and Wellington apparently absolutely loathed one another (this was a personal animosity AIUI), so I suspect Nelson will wind up in the party opposite to Wellington's.

Another thing, regarding promotions, is that after Trafalgar, there were no further major major naval engagements (certainly none that would be defined as battles or worthy of promotion). A surviving Nelson will likely languish as Vice-Admiral of the White (a post he'd only held since April 1804) until he's at least 50 (1808). SUre, Trafalgar was a big win and all, but IIRC the British navy at the time ran on "seniority" and "patronage" (and Nelson having made the "enemies" he had (Clarence, Spencer, Wellington) had been a big reason why his promotion had been delayed previously. So unless he hits his head at Trafalgar and becomes a miraculously nicer person...think Nelson's future for the short term is pretty bleak.
 
ISTR reading somewhere that Nelson (in his lifetime) pissed off a lot of people in London (not just at the Admiralty, but also in Whitehall and the East India Company).

The Admiralty is understandable/self-explanatory.
Whitehall is probably the result of the fact that First Sea Lord at the end of Nelson's life wasvSpencer, and IIRC he and Nelson didn't like one another much. Nelson had made some rather unflattering comments about Spencer*.
The East India Company/City Merchants were also opposed to him for some reason.

*Nelson, while much ink gets spilled on him about his genius and life, little gets said that he was genuinely not a very nice person. I'm not talking about his opposition to abolition of slavery, I'm talking about his actual personality. Several contemporaries - friend and enemy alike - all commented on it IIRC. ISTR of the people who personally didn't like him were William, duke of Clarence (future William IV) who had served with Nelson; and Maria Karoline of Austria, queen of Naples (she tolerated Nelson because she liked Emma Hamilton).

As for Nelson going into politics, he and Wellington apparently absolutely loathed one another (this was a personal animosity AIUI), so I suspect Nelson will wind up in the party opposite to Wellington's.

Another thing, regarding promotions, is that after Trafalgar, there were no further major major naval engagements (certainly none that would be defined as battles or worthy of promotion). A surviving Nelson will likely languish as Vice-Admiral of the White (a post he'd only held since April 1804) until he's at least 50 (1808). SUre, Trafalgar was a big win and all, but IIRC the British navy at the time ran on "seniority" and "patronage" (and Nelson having made the "enemies" he had (Clarence, Spencer, Wellington) had been a big reason why his promotion had been delayed previously. So unless he hits his head at Trafalgar and becomes a miraculously nicer person...think Nelson's future for the short term is pretty bleak.
Maybe he's invited to help reorganise some friendly-to-Britain nation's navy? "Founder of the Brazilian Navy", perhaps?
 
ISTR reading somewhere that Nelson (in his lifetime) pissed off a lot of people in London (not just at the Admiralty, but also in Whitehall and the East India Company).

The Admiralty is understandable/self-explanatory.
Whitehall is probably the result of the fact that First Sea Lord at the end of Nelson's life wasvSpencer, and IIRC he and Nelson didn't like one another much. Nelson had made some rather unflattering comments about Spencer*.
The East India Company/City Merchants were also opposed to him for some reason.

*Nelson, while much ink gets spilled on him about his genius and life, little gets said that he was genuinely not a very nice person. I'm not talking about his opposition to abolition of slavery, I'm talking about his actual personality. Several contemporaries - friend and enemy alike - all commented on it IIRC. ISTR of the people who personally didn't like him were William, duke of Clarence (future William IV) who had served with Nelson; and Maria Karoline of Austria, queen of Naples (she tolerated Nelson because she liked Emma Hamilton).

As for Nelson going into politics, he and Wellington apparently absolutely loathed one another (this was a personal animosity AIUI), so I suspect Nelson will wind up in the party opposite to Wellington's.

Spencer and Nelson did have a rocky relationship but Spencer left the Admiralty four years before Trafalgar, succeeded by the Earl of St Vincent who was one of Nelson's most prominent patrons (hence he got a succession of plum commands). As for managing to upset the Duke of Clarence and the East India merchants, I'd have thought most people would consider that a personal recommendation! There doesn't seem to be any doubt that Nelson could be completely insufferable but he had at least as many fans as detractors.
 
Spencer and Nelson did have a rocky relationship but Spencer left the Admiralty four years before Trafalgar, succeeded by the Earl of St Vincent who was one of Nelson's most prominent patrons (hence he got a succession of plum commands). As for managing to upset the Duke of Clarence and the East India merchants, I'd have thought most people would consider that a personal recommendation! There doesn't seem to be any doubt that Nelson could be completely insufferable but he had at least as many fans as detractors.
Not sure having a prince dislike you is a great recommendation
 
Maybe he's invited to help reorganise some friendly-to-Britain nation's navy? "Founder of the Brazilian Navy", perhaps?
Brasilians can correct me, but I think João VI was pretty desperate to "offset" British influence in South America OTL, so I don't really see that going forward TBH
 
As for managing to upset the Duke of Clarence and the East India merchants, I'd have thought most people would consider that a personal recommendation!
How is pissing off a member of the royal family in that day and age a good idea? Likewise for pissing off the richest people in the capital, who are usually the ones patronizing politicians? Personal recommendation? Perhaps. Political suicide definitely. While Clarence was "silly Billy" for much of his father and brother's reigns, and without real influence AFAIK, the EIC was not.
 
A lot of those victories were one on one. Unless Nelson is actually present for them ITTL how does he affect things on the ground (errr, on the waves)?

In a one on one battle doctrine matters a lot less than other factors.
I'm fairly sure that Nelson tended to encourage captains under his command to overcrew their ships which was actually rather valuable at the time.

This could result in better performance.

That said it was common enough practice to overcrew Ships so I'm not sure Nelson's presence would help that much.
 
I'm fairly sure that Nelson tended to encourage captains under his command to overcrew their ships which was actually rather valuable at the time.

This could result in better performance.

That said it was common enough practice to overcrew Ships so I'm not sure Nelson's presence would help that much.
Overcrew with what men? If the British had all these spare men lying around they wouldn't need to impress Americans in the first place.

The RN of 1812-15 was very stretched out between blockading French Europe, blockading the US, defending trade fleets from the occassional French or American privateers, and hunting down the half-dozen American frigates. Of those four obligations (and there are of course more) winning a few battles against American frigates is are and away the lowest priority. Can't see that changing no matter who sits at Admiralty.
 
He would have fought against the US in The War of 1812- & it's a safe bet the US Navy would not have won the many dramatic, ship-to-ship victories that IOTL they did win over the Royal Navy in that war.
Nelson (I belief he was a Whig (and likely would be anti- American war) is unlikely to be recalled, his heath (which was and issue before Trafalgar). Also, the War of 1812 was frigate/ sloop/ privateer naval war, remember this is the UK's unwanted war and an alive Nelson won't want to kill Colonials (and there were alot of senior officers who refused to fight the Americans), and he is too senior for the American Squadron and there are alot of CAPTs, and Flags in England, on half-pay looking for Full paid billets.

The US Navy fought like British, and unlike the French and Spanish, USN ships went out to sea, regularly, and practiced fighting, Basically, the RN was fighting its younger brother and as we younger brother going to win some fights.

The British's problem was it took time for British learn that the USN wasn't the Spanish and/or the French.
 
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