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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Fleet of 168 ships for Trafalgar commemoration

The news that 168 ships from around the world will gather to commemorate the Battle of Tralagar (reportedhere) is interesting, especially since the article points out the decline of the Royal Navy, which once ruled the waves.
The review on Tuesday, part of a six-day festival in Portsmouth, will include 67 British warships. Navy officials hope to use the event to "re-engage" the public when the service is under pressure to cut spending and is seeing its main surface ships cut in number from 34 to 25...Navy officials hoped the Trafalgar events would show the "relevance" of the navy in a post-cold war world, and argued tasks such as protecting shipping lanes and countering piracy were critical to ensuring global trade. (A complete list of the Royal Navy fleet is here.)

Admiral West said more than 95 per cent of British trade came by sea and the maritime industry generated £3.7bn in revenues every year, twice that of aerospace.(emphasis added)
"Rule, Britannia, Britannia rule the waves,
Britons never will be slaves!"
The review will include aircraft carriers from the French and Spanish navies - the two countries that made up the fleet defeated by the Royal Navy under Horatio Nelson in 1805. Charles de Gaulle, the French carrier, will be the largest ship in the review. The US is sending the USS Saipan, a helicopter carrier.

HMS Ark Royal:

USS Saipan:

French nuclear carrier de Gaulle:

Spain's aircraft carrier Principe de Asturias

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