By Javier Escudero Cuervas Mons.
Photos of Rodrigo Hernandez Cabos.
The English victory in Trafalgar demonstrated the relative facility to break the enemy line when introducing a factor of change in the traditional system battle between two fleets. On the other hand the British fleet was in 1805 prepared that the franc-Spanish far better. A dangerous and difficult manoeuvred that in other conditions been it had led the failure. The Spanish fleet was composed by very old ships already and bad equipped, by inexperienced crews, result of the drafting, and with an inexpert officiality in the combat. The French, after the Revolution, had seen diminish the amount of her officials, falling in the absolute indiscipline, without this situation with the measures of Napoleon had been able to remedy itself totally.
Most of the historians they agree in the opinion of which the battle was lost beforehand. In spite of the systematic critics spilled against the admiral of the combined one, Villeneuve, is necessary to consider that a sailor with long years of valiant services immediately realized possibility few of victory. To Villeneuve it has been described to him as cowardly, weak and defeatist. Possibly outside the latest and is evident that it committed serious errors in the battle that accelerated the defeat.
But before an attack so planned by Nelson, it was very difficult to reach the decisive advantage. On the other hand, England needed a victory desperately, not only by its own survival, but also to recover the moral lost after its uproarious one and silenced to failure in Cartagena de Indias at hands of D. Blas de Lezo, in which it was called the "War of the ear of Jenkins" and the shamefaced defeat of Nelson in the Canary Islands.
The Napoleonic dream to invade the British islands was condemned the failure, since the English fleets were made up of a very superior number of ships and far better organized that the fleets French and Spanish meetings. For England, to lose a fleet meant the effort to have to resort to another one of which it had in good condition; for France and Spain it was the disaster.
The Ship Prince of Asturias, had indicated performance during and after the combat of Trafalgar (21 of October of 1805) to the control of D. Antonio de Escaño and Garcia de Cáceres (1752-1814), named greater general of the square and to the orders of Gravina.
The artillery superiority inclined clearly of the Hispanic-French side (2,989 tubes the combined one, as opposed to 2,306 the English). Nevertheless this superiority was resisted by the best training of the English artillerymen who managed to load their tubes in a minute in front of three of the French and Spaniards, which tripled its firepower. In an ideal count, by each 2,989 firings of the combined one, the English made 6,918, everything in about three minutes. To this it is necessary to add that while the English concentrated their fleet on the centre of the combined one, many of these boats extended in one disordered row of twelve kilometres took hours in reaching to the English with their fire. There were some did not get to enter into combat. This way it became the Maxima certain of Nelson; "Only the number can annihilate".
Until they concluded the Napoleonic wars, the naval gunnery as soon as it evolved, but for "the carronade" introduction of, short piece and of heavy calibre destined to sweep with shrapnel the cover of the enemy boats and that only could be used to short distance. The normal reach of the artillery of century XVIII and first years of century XX as soon as it exceeded the quarter of mile, reason why the ships had to be put closely together of others, teaching their flanks filled with guns. Even so the effects of the combats were small. In Trafalgar, the English lost 449 men and of who lost French and the 4,408 Spaniards the majority suffocated in the storm that was declared after the battle. At the end of the war, England were lost 216,933 sailors, of who 113,273 were deserters and the rest, only a 6 percent, died in combat; the others perished by diseases, accidents or shipwreck. The tubes took their corresponding equipment formed by a heavy rope that held the tube to hauls in it to avoid the excessive displacement of the tube when shooting and that panties are called. In order to return the piece to its firing position, an equipment with pulleys or motors was used handled by the servants. By each two tubes one formed a team of 14 men and a gun commander. In order to load first the bore with the "worm" was cleaned, that was an iron piece in spiral. Later the powder was introduced with the spoon, that was stored in glasses of copper, and used to be surrounded in a paper cartridge, it was attacked with packing and later the bullet put or the type of projectile that went away to use and became to attack with the packing. Placed the piece in its firing position, the powder cartridge was broken introducing a striker pin by the ear and this one with powder filled up. Finally one scored by means of wedges and handles and the wick was applied on the ear. There were different types from projectiles as the bullet strickles, commonest, than it used to be of iron or stone. Also he was frequent to use chained or connected bullets to dismast the enemy. The red bullet was a ball of iron warmed up to the fire very effective, but very dangerous for such artillerymen who used it. The shrapnel was made up of the most improbable objects and it only could be used in very near combats. In the time of Trafalgar the explosive grenades were already known, but a great amount of officials refused to use them to consider their dishonourable use for a sailor.
We can imagine to the servants of the pieces moments before begin battle, keeping absolute silence, seized and in tension, hoping the terrible order to open fire, after to have taken the corresponding ration of spirits. The gun commander inclined on her with the prepared wick and the eye in the sight. The rest of the ready men to recharge the tube and to put it in its firing position, the scattered arms of boarding in handfuls by the cover, the sand it blood and to avoid chips... Personnel of batteries low hardly if account of the situation could occur in which it was, locked up between the pieces, in penumbra, place setting of sweat and closely watched over the navy infants, hoping the fatal order. Suddenly the followed signal of the deafening noise. The projectiles when striking the hull produced a serious sound of bell and on the cover they flew the pieces of yards, equipments and chips. To the few minutes to begin the artillery fire, the atmosphere became irrespirable and was difficult to see few meters. The deeds were directly thrown by the small windows and the wounded taken to the infirmary. The shouts became infernal. The servants, trained well, loaded and unloaded more quickly than the their gun commanders orders of and their official could under. He did not have a little while of breathing for anybody. When the cease-fire order occurred, the survivors, exhausted, dropped themselves on cover between equipments and rubbish, stunned and without thinking absolutely that still they remained in this world.
“El Príncipe de Asturias in Trafalgar. The base Constructed on a table of agglomerate, covered by nailed and polished wood strips of linden tree with the edge of a blade. In order to simulate the deterioration product of the blows, the drag objects, etc, has gone a sandpaper of heavy grain, scraping in diverse senses. The tracks of the wheels of the tubes have been marked with the end of a pin. When happening a light patina of diluted judaico turpentine spirit bitumen, over the varnished surface, is left all these signals noticeable, as well as the caulking one.
The frames have been cut in plywood of five millimetres, and they have paid attention on one of the edges of the base. Eight frames altogether located: two in the ends and the rest in both sides of the small windows. These have been made and placed before covering it hauls in it, in walnut wood, as much the outside as the interior. The braces that support the cover are also of walnut, as well as the covers of give.
One is concretely one of the alleys of the third cover, made by means of strips of fir, cut in segments of about 20 centimetres to simulate the planks.
The colours of the hull.
They are painted according to was general norm of the time for the Spanish boats: to black and yellow lists and the black portholes on the other hand outer. One says that the Santísima Trinidad, the greatest ship of the time, with four bridges and 130 tubes, went painted to black bands and red. Before painting we have given a alquil primer. When giving the painting we have rubbed with a cloth to take part to us of the primer and to simulate chipped and the successive painting layers that used to take these ships. It has been left without painting the superior strip of the helmet that in the Spanish boats went painted of ochre.
On the cover of it gives have paid attention the hammocks of the ship's crew, that were used like protection or trench against the shrapnel. The network that holds them has made previously on a frame, gluing the twine and painting it of black. The sand coats for the blood are of paper as the sailings. On cover great amount of sand was thrown, but we have done without, in this case, to put it not to totally cover the made work, reason why as soon as it is insinuated. In the outside of the hull we have reproduced some impacts of bullet and of shrapnel and in one of them there is an inlaid bullet.
The columns that support to the cover and the balustrade one of the "well of open space" have been worked in the winch. Artillery has been left from the naval guns of 24 Lbs., scales 1/35. The gun carriages have been constructed according to the planes published by the Marine Museum of Barcelona according to Real Decrees of Navy of 1765. The tubes, of turned brass, have been aged, painting them with old bronze: green, sienna toasted, red and golden painting. The barrels and buckets also have been turned in wood of has to which it has aged with "Judaic bitumen".
The sail are of paper silk soaked in diluted white water tail and painted with ochre and target in fresh, to fuse better the colours and to remove tonalities. The blocks are the currents that are in the market, aged with walnut dye. The ends howling fine are hardened and smoothed with white tail. The bullets of the tubes are heavy pellets and: it agrees to paint them of black and to fix them with glue. Some have been united with a piece of fine chain. The "worms", "rammers", etc., are cylindrical rods of walnut. In one of the ends one has stuck it shivers of paper covered with wood paste to make the rammers. The "worms", are brass wire subject, also, with strips of paper and painted of black. The guns are of Multi-Pose with the painted and metalized black tubes with graphite dust, as well as the knives. The wood has been simulated painting it of brown and giving it a patina of Judaic bitumen. The yard fallen on cover is a wood piece of broom, trenched and aged with Judaic bitumen. The support for the boom of the wing, is a double brass thread to which a fine wire has been coiled him.
Diorama is made up of thirteen figures of Spanish sailors, twelve artillerymen and an official. They are transformations of figures of different trade names from plastic figures. The artillerymen have been made from the group of partisans of Esci and two figures of English artillerymen of Tamiya. The official is an American soldier of 2"World war of MultiPose de Airfix. The transformations have been done peeling the original clothes and the footwear, conforming the musculatures to blade in form of curved gouge (he is very practitioner to use mini-it drill with strawberry in leaf form to polish the figures). The pieces in general come with the complete body except for the arms, reason why it has been necessary to cut the torsos, heads and legs to look for the possible most violent escrows. In many cases it was necessary to practically remodelled all the figure with putty and acetone to make wrinkles and to conform the naked parts, as well as the hair, caps, strips, the dress coat of the official and its hat, the boots, etc. Enamel paintings have been used to oil with colours you kill: red, white, black, navy blue, gold, meat, ochre and yellow, and like dissolvent pure turpentine spirit. In order to give a greater dramatic quality to the faces the cheeks have sunk to pronounce plus the pommels. To some the jaw has been opened to them to the mouth cutting and returning to model it with putty.
The legs. Once polished the thighs and conformed to putty the wrinkles of ingles, he came himself to make the boots, of high cane, also with putty, having special taken care of when doing the duplexes of leather in the ankles.
The dress coat.
The original one takes jacket ample that of course there is to adapt, with the blade, to which it is a dress coat fitted to the body. The apron has been made with a piece of fine plastic and putty, modelling to the openings with brush and acetone. Like the pockets, neck and lapels, are modelled with putty, giving relief to the gallons with fine blade when the putty not yet had dried absolutely. Also the hair and the bow have modelled with putty and the end of a small stick. The hat is of putty to model of two components, modelling gallons and insignia. The straps and belt are of the tin of a toothpaste tube. The megaphone is fine a plastic cone doubled and the handle a piece of staple stuck with cianocrilato. The bellboys plastic are stretched, who when bringing closer an end to the fire, without it touches it, is wrinkled, cut the ends and they stick to the dress coat.
Figures with the naked torso
Are advisable to use drawings of naked that serve as model for the musculature. The normal thing is to begin carving the extremities and the torso separately and soon to unite them to make the necessary adjustments with the blade and the putty. The strips are of putty and have been modelled when he was almost dry. The blood, although we are not in favour to represent it, has taken control of two types of red brilliant, one very alive and darker other. In some, with very fine brush, drops of sweat with shining varnish have been simulated.