The national hero of England and the great naval commander, who stood out even among the greatest figures of his country - Admiral Nelson, thanks to the influence of cinema and painting, is presented as a man in a naval uniform and with an eye patch. There is even a joke that the expression "talk face to face" occurred after the meeting between Admiral Nelson and Kutuzov. In fact, Nelson never wore an eye patch.
He did not wear anything on his damaged right eye, but the only healthy eye - the left - the admiral covered from the sun's rays with a special eyecup embedded in his hat.
It is true that Nelson was "blind" in one eye. During the siege of Calvi in Corsica in 1794. Sand and chips were hurled at him with a French cannonball, but the eye still looked normal. You will not find a single portrait of those years where Nelson would have been with a bandage, and, contrary to the beliefs of most people who supposedly "saw with their own eyes, " the column in Trafalgar Square depicts the great admiral without any bandage. They began to paint a black eye patch only after Nelson's death - to give more pathos to his portraits.
Nelson used his damaged right eye to his advantage more than once. During the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, he ignored the signal from his superior, Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, to retreat. Nelson, who was in a better position and saw that the Danes fled, said to the captain of his flagship: "You know, Foley, I have only one eye - and sometimes I have the right to be blind."
Then he raised the telescope to the "blind" eye and said: "I don't see any signal!" Usually this phrase is quoted incorrectly: "I do not see any ships."
Nelson was an outstanding tactician, a charismatic leader and an undeniable daredevil - if he lived in our time, he would have long been introduced to at least three Victoria Crosses - but he was also a vain and ruthless man.
As captain of the warship Boreas, in 1784, Nelson ordered the whipping of 54 of his 122 sailors and 12 of his 20 Marines — 47 percent of the crew. In June 1799, Nelson treacherously executed 99 prisoners of war in Naples - and this despite the fact that the British garrison commander personally guaranteed their safety.
During his stay in Naples, a love affair with Lady Emma Hamilton, the wife of the British ambassador, began, which continued until Nelson's death. Emma's father was a blacksmith, and she herself (before her marriage to Sir William) was a minor prostitute in London. Emma was overweight and spoke with a Lancashire accent.
In September 1805, Nelson's squadron blocked the Franco-Spanish fleet in Cadiz, and on October 21 defeated it in the Trafalgar naval battle, in which Nelson was mortally wounded by a French sniper on the first day of the battle, when attacking the combined forces of the French and Spanish fleets. The corpse of the admiral was transported to London in a barrel of brandy. Hence the myth arose that supposedly sailors secretly from their superiors drank from this barrel through straws. This is unlikely, since the body of the deceased was guarded around the clock.
Despite general grief at the news of Admiral Nelson's death, the Earl of Saint Vincent and eighteen other admirals of the British Royal Navy refused to attend his funeral.