Britain’s 10 most significant naval battles

Through victory and defeat, Britain was long regarded as a great naval superpower. Sam Willis selects the 10 battles that have effected the biggest changes to the course of the nation

The battle of the Nile, fought at night in the Abu Qir Bay near Alexandria. (Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the August 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Ask most people to consider Britain’s naval history and they’ll instinctively think of overwhelming victories, particularly in the period 1794–1806, when the British fought seven major actions – against the French, Spanish, Dutch and Danish –  and won them all convincingly.

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