I've just finished rereading The Mauritius Command. Jack Aubrey was studying Admiral Hamelin's moves when Maturin asked his intentions. He described his plans and options which all depended on Hamelin's moves. If he…then I will… and after that if he…..then I will…. with all the ramifications of his thoughts spelled out rationally and most of all based on his knowledge of human behavior, sea, winds, ships and guns. A profound professional knowledge like that has to be the base on which one can build success. His professional knowledge matched with the ability to project actions and consequences in the future make him the remarkable commanding officer and commodore we admire. At a certain point he had a disadvantage as far as the number of ships was concerned. Yet he was sure he would win. He felt the enemy lacked the determination to fight. And that was enough.


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