Nelson Sends a Signal to Southgate. (with modern translation) Sir, attached is battle plan in event of meeting the French or Belgian fleet:
- “Form up in any battle order” (any man in the squad might be required to play his part, and we might need to adjust the formation during the game).
- “Engage enemy closely” (tackle hard, press, and take the game to them).
- “Concentrate our fire on their weakest point” (know your opponent -tactics to suit).
- “Aim for a knock out punch and all out victory – the boldest action is often the safest” (no translation required!)
- “Be prepared to battle through the night if necessary.” (be prepared for penalties!)
Nelson was a capable leader, who despite drawing attention to himself with his flamboyant dress, knew that victory often rests on the capability and spirit of those who you gather around you … the few, the happy few, the band of brothers …