Véhicule Magazine: Vincent Debanne, Battleship
When I show Battleship for an exhibition, I associate the photographic series with the following parodic text of the letter to the Minister of Marine written by the French Commander-in-Chief admiral Villeneuve on the 5th of November 1805, after Trafalgar Battle:
“At midday I signalled to the fleet to begin firing as soon as the enemy was within range and at a quarter past twelve the opening shots were fired by the INTREPID and the EAGLE II at the PERFECT PERSUASION, which led the enemy’s starboard column, with the flag of GEORGE TOWN.
The firing broke off for a brief interval, after which it reopened fiercely from all the ships within range. It could not, however, prevent the enemy from breaking the line astern of the OFFICE. The port column, led by the KAISER, with the flag of GEORGE TOWN, came on in much the same way. She appeared as if she was aiming to break the line between the FIRECRACKER and the bows of the STORM.
Whether, however, they found our line too well closed up at that point, or from some other reason, when they were almost within half pistol-shot while we, for our part, prepared to board and had our grappling-irons ready for throwing they swung off to starboard and passed astern of the STORM I. The ALLIGATOR had the station of the DOMINATOR, which had fallen to leeward, and she heroically fulfilled the duties of the second astern to the flagship.” – Vincent Debanne