Nelson voted greatest British military hero of all time

The British public has voted for Nelson as the greatest British military hero of all times.

Nelson who, along with Wellington (who finished third in the survey), helped to put an end to Napoleon and his nefarious ways.

Others in the Top 10 included Montgomery, Richard the Lionheart, King Henry V and Bomber Harris.

Nelson voted greatest British military hero of all time

Nelson is the greatest British military hero of all time, according to a survey which placed him above Montgomery and Wellington.

by Graham Tibbetts
07 Aug 2008
The Telegraph

Nelson: known for bold action and a disregard for orders from his superiors Photo: PA

The naval leader, who became a national icon after his death in the battle of Trafalgar, comfortably topped a poll whose results covered more than 800 years of British military history.

They ranged from Richard the Lionheart, whose exploits on the Crusades earned him fourth place on the list, to Lt Col Herbert "H" Jones, posthumous winner of a Victoria Cross for charging Argentine positions during the Falklands War in 1982, who came eighth.

Admiral Lord Nelson, who received 27 per cent of the vote, was known for bold action and a disregard for orders from his superiors.

He pulled off an audacious victory at the battle of the Nile in 1798 when he sailed his ships between the shore and the unprepared French fleet who were expecting an attack from the opposite direction.

Three years later Nelson, who lost his right eye and arm in combat, destroyed the Danish navy at Copenhagen after ignoring a signal to disengage by placing a telescope to his blind eye with the remark: "I really do not see the signal."

His finest hour came in 1805 when he inspired his men to victory at Trafalgar with the message "England expects that every man will do his duty".

Bomber Harris: No5

Second on the list of leaders was Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, voted for by 19 per cent of the 1,006 adults polled.

He took command of the Eighth Army in North Africa and masterminded the defeat of Erwin Rommel's troops at El Alamein, turning the tide in the Second World War.

Behind him on 11 per cent was the Duke of Wellington, who led allied forces to victory over Napolean at Waterloo in 1815.

Other revered military leaders were Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, King Henry V and Lord Kitchener.

However, the survey indicated that almost a quarter of young adults say they "don't know" who is the best of Britain's past heroes.

The ComRes poll was commissioned by the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA), which campaigns for a "sufficient, appropriate and fully-funded Armed Forces".

Andy Smith, UKNDA spokesman, said: "I'm not surprised that Horatio Nelson has been voted Britain's greatest ever military hero.

"Nelson was a brilliant naval commander and a charismatic leader who won a series of battles against Britain's enemies, culminating in the decisive British victory over a combined French and Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805 - tragically dying from his wounds at the moment of victory.

"Trafalgar put an end to Napoleon's plans for the invasion of Britain, and ensured British dominance of the world's oceans for the rest of the 19th century."

:: Britain's greatest military heroes - according to the ComRes poll - are:

1. Admiral Lord (Horatio) Nelson - 27% (44% among age group 18-24)
2. Field-Marshal the Viscount Montgomery - 19%
3. The Duke of Wellington - 11%
4. Richard the Lionheart - 8%
5. Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris - 3%
6. King Henry V - 2%
7. Lord Kitchener - 2%
8. Colonel 'H' Jones - 2%
Alfred the Great, 849 - 899, should be on, if not at the top of the list. Not only did he repulse the Danes but he united the English kingdoms under the Saxon monarchy in doing so. Britain would be a much different place today, except for Alfred.
Nelson was quite a leader. I've been aboard his flag ship, seen the exact spot on the ship he died on. Inspiring story. I think Sir Winston Churchill should definately be up there somewhere, he was a great leader and quite a character.

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