In October 1805, Britain had been almost continuously at war with Napoleonic France and under the constant menace of invasion across the narrow English Channel at Boulogne. There stood nearly a quarter million men under the personal command of Napoleon himself. The Armee d'Angleterre was the finest army on the continent of Europe and stood ready to invade and humble the "nation of shopkeepers", as the French Emperor contemptuously called his most implacable enemy. Standing between him and the beaches of Kent was the British navy. Napoleon had conceived a clever plan to unite the French and Spanish fleets and temporarily attain naval superiority in the Channel, long enough to get his army across. If he succeeded, he later claimed, "it would have been all over with England." This is the story of England's most famous naval commander of all time and how he managed to utterly annihilate the combined Franco-Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain in about five hours, losing his own life in the battle. Upon the outcome of this one battle on the high seas the fate of three empires were were sealed and the world would never be the same again.