Battle of Copenhagen
On the morning of 2 April 1801, Nelson began to advance into Copenhagen harbour. The battle began badly for the British, with HMS Agamemnon, HMS Bellona and HMS Russell running aground, and the rest of the fleet encountering heavier fire from the Danish shore batteries than had been anticipated. Parker sent the signal for Nelson to withdraw, reasoning:
I will make the signal for recall for Nelson's sake. If he is in a condition to continue the action he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be attached to him.
Nelson, directing action aboard HMS Elephant, was informed of the signal by the signal lieutenant, Frederick Langford, but angrily responded: 'I told you to look out on the Danish commodore and let me know when he surrendered. Keep your eyes fixed on him.' He then turned to his flag captain, Thomas Foley and said 'You know, Foley, I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes.' He raised the telescope to his blind eye, and said 'I really do not see the signal.' The battle lasted three hours, leaving both Danish and British fleets heavily damaged. At length Nelson despatched a letter to the Danish commander, Crown Prince Frederick calling for a truce, which the Prince accepted. Parker approved of Nelson's actions in retrospect, and Nelson was given the honour of going into Copenhagen the next day to open formal negotiations. At a banquet that evening he told Prince Frederick that the battle had been the most severe he had ever been in. The outcome of the battle and several weeks of ensuing negotiations was a 14 week armistice, and on Parker's recall in May, Nelson became commander-in-chief in the Baltic Sea. As a reward for the victory, he was created Viscount Nelson of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, on 19 May 1801. In addition, on 4 August 1801, he was created Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Hilborough in the County of Norfolk, this time with a special remainder to his father and sisters. Nelson subsequently sailed to the Russian naval base at Reval in May, and there learned that the pact of armed neutrality was to be disbanded. Satisfied with the outcome of the expedition, he returned to England, arriving on 1 July.
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... On the morning of 2 April 1801, Nelson began to advance into Copenhagen harbour ... The battle began badly for the British, with HMS Agamemnon, HMS Bellona and HMS Russell running aground, and the rest of the fleet encountering heavier ... telescope to his blind eye, and said 'I really do not see the signal.' The battle lasted three hours, leaving both Danish and British fleets heavily damaged ...
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