- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I see the Spanish seem to be contemplating a replay of the battle of Trafalgar.
That reminds me of something I read the other day, that Lord Nelson’s form of mission command was very intensive conversation before the fight, very hands off once it began, observed A.B.C. Whipple:
Nelson believed in sharing tactical options with his captains, discussing every possible situation and emphasizing that when battle was in progress, every captain would be on his own. If a captain saw an opportunity to do damage to the enemy, he was free to attack without awaiting signals from the flagship’s masthead. The old line-ahead dogmas of each ship’s blindly following the leader was not only dead, it was replaced by something previously unheard-of in the Royal Navy: delegation of authority.