On 21 October 2005 the Royal Navy marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, proudly celebrating the victory of Britain's most famous admiral and his "band of brothers" over the combined French and Spanish fleet commanded by Admiral Pierre Villeneuve. The presence of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, or his spirit, was no doubt palpable.
Nelson's plan at Trafalgar was audacious, simple, and brilliant. With his 27 men-of-war, Nelson would cut Villeneuve's line-ahead formation of 33 ships in two places, effectively neutralizing the enemy fleet's van, which, because of the wind, could not quickly reverse course. This maneuver achieved temporary British numerical superiority over a larger enemy fleet. Nelson in HMS Victory led one column; Cuthbert Collingwood in HMS Royal Sovereign led the second.