[QODLink]
Archive
Trafalgar day is not all plain sailing
Scores of battleships from across the world lined off the English coast to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar as the British Navy rejected charges it was a show of political correctness.
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2005 18:56 GMT
Ships from 10 nations have taken part in the bicentennary
Scores of battleships from across the world lined off the English coast to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar as the British Navy rejected charges it was a show of political correctness.

Captain Bob Cooling, the commanding officer of the HMS Illustrious which is taking part in the fleet review, told journalists on Tuesday that organisers were not playing down the historic British victory over the French and Spanish navies to avoid inflaming sensitivities among EU allies.
  
But critics, including a direct descendent of Trafalgar's British hero Admiral Horatio Nelson, have scoffed at the plans for skirmishes between red and blue teams, rather than explicitly representing a British naval defeat over Napoleon.
  
"It is nonsense that there is sensitivity about why we're celebrating Trafalgar," Captain Cooling said aboard his aircraft carrier as ships lined up in the Solent channel between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.
  
"They [French and Spanish] enjoy it just as we do," he said on Tuesday.
  
"We're partners now and will be partners forever. We train together, we work together, we go operational together in wars as coalition partners and the bond of friendship couldn't be tighter," Cooling said.

Unimpressed

Prominent among the critics was Anna Tribe, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Admiral Nelson, who died leading the British victory off southern Spain on 21 October 1805.
  
"I think the idea of the blue team fighting the red team is pretty stupid," said the 75-year-old descendent of Nelson and his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton. "I am sure the French and Spanish are adult enough to appreciate we did win that battle.

"I am sure the French and Spanish are adult enough to appreciate we did win that battle" 

Anna Tribe,
descendent of Admiral Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton

"I am anti-political correctness," Tribe told a weekend gathering of some 200 descendents of Trafalgar's sailors who had come from all over the world.
  
British newspaper reports have said the re-enactment was a deliberate sidestep to avoid rubbing salt into French wounds. 
  
The epic Battle of Trafalgar, off the southern coast of Spain, finished the threat of invasion by emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's France and established British naval supremacy for the next century.

Though he was killed in action, Nelson did not lose a single ship, while 18 opposing vessels were destroyed. Some 14,000 French and Spanish sailors died, 10 times the British casualties.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.