HMS Victory: Nelson's Great War Ship
Rob discovers the incredible story of HMS Victory – Admiral Nelson’s personal flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar. When Victory was built over forty years previously, she was the largest warship in the world with firepower equivalent to a whole army on land. Yet Rob discovers that this titan of the seas was very nearly scrapped long before the battle that would ultimately seal her place in history.
Climbing on board this vast ship, Rob discovers the extraordinary feats of engineering behind Victory’s construction – from the 6000 oaks felled for her planking, to the 27 miles of rope used for her rigging. Yet if Victory was exceptional, then so too was her most famous captain, Nelson – a celebrity renowned as much for a scandalous ménage-à-trois as for his dazzling military leadership. At Trafalgar, Nelson used Victory’s formidable power to spearhead a brutal new style of naval combat – yet came to pay the ultimate price at the hour of his greatest triumph.
Finally, Rob explores Victory’s extraordinary survival into the modern era. Today, her dedicated crew of 17 naval officers bear witness to the fact that this great ship isn’t simply a monument to Britain’s maritime past, but also the world’s oldest, fully commissioned warship.