Two hundred years after his death, the spirit of Britain's greatest naval hero is set to dominate a Birmingham planning committee as councillors fire the final shots in the ' Battle of Nelson's Railings'.
Hammerson, owners of the £550 million Bullring shopping centre, will appear before the committee today to be accused of acting unlawfully by failing to replace railings around the refurbished statue of Admiral Lord Nelson.
And, like the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar, Hammerson can expect to be sunk without trace.
Committee members are being urged to refuse a request for a certificate of lawful existing use - effectively forcing the company to replace the cast iron railings, which are modelled on pikes used by Nelson's crew on HMS Victory.
Failure to comply would almost certainly result in legal action from the council, which is keen to see the matter resolved in time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in October.
The issue has been addressed for three years by the top legal brains from the council and Hammerson.
Hammerson's case is that the railings are entirely separate from the 1809 Grade ll listed statue and they are not compelled to replace them.
Council chief legal officer Mirza Ahmad has ruled that the railings are an integral part of the listed monument and failure to replace them would be an "unlawful development" by Hammerson.
Mr Ahmad said the company was under an obligation to reinstate the railings.