|Naval history of Great Britain
||Battle of Trafalgar
a line of 24 sail, on whichever line the commander-in-chief may direct. The second in command will, after my intentions are made known to him, have the entire direction of his line, to make the attack upon the enemy, and to follow up the blow until they are captured or destroyed.
"If the enemy's fleet should be seen to windward in line of battle, and that the two lines and the advanced squadron could fetch them, they will probably be so extended that their van could not succour their rear. I should therefore probably make the second in command's signal, to lead through about the twelfth ship from their rear, or wherever he could fetch, if not able to get so far advanced. My line would lead through about their centre ; and the advanced squadron, to cut two, (cut through ?) three, or four ships ahead of their centre ; so as to ensure getting at their commander-in-chief, whom every effort must be made to capture. The whole impression of the British fleet must be, to overpower two or three ships ahead of their commander-in-chief (supposed to be in the centre) to the rear of their fleet. I will suppose 20 sail of the enemy's line to be untouched : it must be some time before they could perform a manoeuvre to bring their force compact to attack any part of the British fleet engaged, or to succour their own ships ; which indeed would be impossible without mixing with the ships engaged. The enemy's fleet is supposed to consist of 46 sail of the line : British 40 ; if either is less, only a proportionate number of enemy's ships are to be cut off. British to be one fourth superior to the enemy cut off. Something must be left to chance. Nothing is sure in a sea fight, beyond all others : shot will carry away the masts and yards of friends as well as of foes ; but I look with confidence to a victory before the van of the enemy could succour their rear ; and then that the British fleet would, most of them, be ready to receive their 20 sail of the line, or to pursue them should they endeavour to make off. If the van of the enemy tack, the captured ships must run to leeward of the British fleet ; if the enemy wear, the British must place themselves between the enemy and the captured, and disabled British, ships; and should the enemy close, I have no fear for the result.
"The second in command will, in all possible things, direct the movements of his line, by keeping them as compact as the nature of the circumstances will admit. Captains are to look to their particular line, as their rallying point ; but, in case signals cannot be seen or clearly understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy.
"Of the intended attack from to-windward, the enemy in the line of battle ready to receive an attack :
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