Battle of Trafalgar anniversary sunk by PC forces

23rd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, May 22 (AFP) - Admiral Horatio Nelson may have guided the British naval fleet to a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, but he faces a far tougher foe during celebrations to mark its 200th anniversary - the massed forces of political correctness.

LONDON, May 22 (AFP) - Admiral Horatio Nelson may have guided the British naval fleet to a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, but he faces a far tougher foe during celebrations to mark its 200th anniversary - the massed forces of political correctness.  

According to a newspaper report on Sunday, organisers of a re-enactment of the sea battle next month have decided to bill it as between a "Red Fleet" and a "Blue Fleet", rather than Britain and its French and Spanish adversaries.  

This is being done to avoid the embarrassment of assembled French dignitaries at the event feeling humiliated by watching their nation routed again, The Sunday Times said.   Official literature for the planned event next month will also be toned down, describing the extravaganza as a re-enactment not of Trafalgar but of "an early 19th century sea battle".  

The plan is for a mass of tall sailing ships gathered off the southern English coast near Portsmouth, Nelson's home base, to create a spectacular fake battle using pyrotechnics, lights and special effects.  

A series of events are planned as part of the "Trafalgar 200" celebrations in the months leading up to the bicentenary of the battle itself, on October 21, 2005.  

Trafalgar, in which the British Royal Navy saw off a combined Franco-Spanish fleet off the southern coast of Spain, marked a crucial defeat for Napoleon's sea power.  

Nelson himself fell during the battle, mortally wounded by a French sharpshooter.  

The decision to remove all mention of nationality from the re-enactment had puzzled some of the event's commercial sponsors, The Sunday Time said.  

"It seems remarkable that we are not saying this is Britain versus France in this re-enactment," one told the paper under cover of anonymity.  

"Surely 200 years on, we can afford to gloat a bit. Not even the French can try and get snooty about this."  

A spokeswoman for the Royal Navy, which is organising the event, said the re-enactment was only meant to be "theatre on water".  

"This will not be a French-bashing opportunity," she said.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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