Pierre Charles Villeneuve

Villeneuve, Pierre Charles


Born Dec. 31, 1763 in Valensole; died Apr. 22, 1806, in Rennes. French vice admiral (1804).

Villeneuve joined the fleet in 1778. He took part in Bonaparte’s Egyptian expedition, commanded the rear guard at Abukir (1798), and defended Malta. From 1804 he commanded the squadron which acted jointly with the Spanish fleet. After several successes in battle with the English fleet in the Atlantic, he returned to Spain, where his indecisive acts aroused the dissatisfaction of Napoleon. Villeneuve then set out with a French and Spanish squadron to meet the English fleet, was routed by H. Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), and was taken prisoner. Upon his return to France, he committed suicide.