Naval Historical Society of Australia
Preserving Australia's Naval History
Why does Trafalgar matter and why is it a part of Australia’s history. It is widely recognised that Nelson’s Victory at sea negated any attempt by Bonaparte to invade southern England in 1805 which he had hoped to achieve in order to remove his most irreconcilable enemy. A decade later final victory on land was achieved at Waterloo after millions of Europeans and Russians had died in battle from famine and disease. It was widely recognised that it was maritime power that had prevented Bonaparte from achieving victory in Europe and an expanded French global Empire. It was that Victory at sea which fuelled the expansion of British trade and migration. That was the means by which the settler Empire in Australasia was consolidated and expanded without risk from a competing European seapower.
Desmond Woods has served for more than 45 years in the RNZN, the RN the British Army and the RAN asan education officer teaching naval and military history to junior officers. From 2003 – 2010 he was theCourse Officer for the Strategic Studies Course at the RANC. While on the staff of the Australian Commandand Staff College he ran the CDF’s 2010 International Counterinsurgency conference.He was the Military Support Officer to the Defence Community Organisation in Canberra for two years beforejoining the staff of the RAN’s International Fleet Review in 2013. This was followed by a year as Staff officerCentenary of Anzac (Navy) before joining CN’s personal staff as his Research Officer. After time as aHeritage Research Officer at the RAN’s Seapower Centre in Canberra he became the Navy’s BereavementLiaison Office in which role he is still serving.He is a councillor of the Australian Naval Institute and the Australian Institute for International Affairs (ACT)a member of the USI (ACT) and is a regular contributor of naval articles and book reviews to Australian andinternational naval historical journals.