Archive for the ‘hand grenades’ Category

The Battle of Trafalgar

June 12, 2009

On October 21st, 1805, the English Navy squared off against the combined fleets of France and Spain near the Cape of Trafalgar in southern Spain.  Most historians would probably agree that this pivotal Napoleonic Era sea battle had little, if anything, to do with pottery history.  Those historians may be right, even though ceramic “hand grenades” – jars filled with burning oil – were used in the battle.  And, of course, gaining complete mastery of the seas could only help British dominance of the global pottery trade throughout the 19th century.

Nevertheless, to get an idea of what it must have been like for those hapless sailors, press-ganged into naval service in the early 1800’s – some of whom, surely, must have been from coastal pottery centers like Barnstable and Bidford in Devonshire – follow the video link below.  The entire sequence lasts about 4 minutes.  Be prepared for an initial minute long plot synopsis.  The film itself, though, is quite smashing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwIWPdzjMdI

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