Not only did Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson lose the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife on this day in 1797, but he lost his arm as well.
The British were attempting a beach landing followed by a ground attack on the Spanish port but they were mown down by Spanish cannon, mortar and guns, many of which were manned by civilians. Nelson is reported to have said, pointing to his right arm, "Doctor, I want to get rid of this useless piece of flesh here." Following amputation, the arm was thrown overboard, despite the admiral's wish to keep it.
We're sure Nelson would have needed a stiff drink - we'd have offered a Suffering Bastard.
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