Copenhagen, battle of, 1801, an important incident of the French Revolutionary Wars. In Dec., 1800, Denmark joined Russia, Sweden, and Prussia in declaring the armed neutrality of the northern powers in the French Revolutionary Wars and in announcing that they would not comply with the British rules on neutral navigation. England considered this a threat and, without declaring war, sent a fleet under admirals Sir Hyde Parker and Horatio Nelson into the Baltic. On Apr. 2, 1801, Nelson attacked the Danish fleet at the roadsteads of Copenhagen. During the battle he deliberately fixed the telescope to his blind eye, thus ignoring Parker's signal to discontinue action, and destroyed the Danish fleet after a hard battle.
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