"Commander's intent" and Naval history

So I don’t see a specific thread for historical stuff (maybe thats a hint), since its naval related I figured I put it here…

Who was the first naval commander to make use of what the US military calls “Commander’s Intent” in his orders to his captains?

Hint: one of his captain’s once presented him with a coffin made from the main mast of a vanquished enemy.

Horatio Nelson - yes?

60 some odd views and only one guess? I’ll give you all a bit more time…

Ok, I guess this failed miserably… Can’t shoot me for trying…

Yes, Mario, it was Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson. While not the first time he gave his captains freedom to engaged as they saw fit under his concept, the best example would be prior to the Battle of Trafalgar. Several days before the battle he said to his captains, “Should signals not be understood, or flags obscured, no captain can do very wrong by placing his ship alongside that of the enemy.”

As for the casket. The short story is at the Battle of the Nile, the French flagship, the L’Orient caught fire and exploded. She was a major warship, with tons of gunpowder onboard, and was literally splintered. A large section of her lower mainm’st landed on the deck of Captain Ball’s ship (I blank out on the ship’s name). Captain Ball had a unique personality (and he was one of Nelson’s favorites) which led him to order his carpenter to make the the mast section into a coffin for the Admiral!

But if we all knew that Mario was right (and I’m sure we all did) there was no reason to post after Mario gave the right answer. :slight_smile: