Is it better for a flagship to arrive first or last in a battle and/or war?
What are the benefits to either answer?
in the principle of OODA which stands for OBSERVE, ORIENT, DECIDE AND ACT... it is not necessary to arrive first in the battle...
I assume we're talking about the old days, because modern warfare of course is very different in the way weapons and personnel are used.
To arrive first was inspirational, and may have been motivational for the troops/sailors behind. It would also show the men under your command that you were with them and that you weren't asking them to do something you were too frightened to do.
On the other hand, to arrive last was perhaps tactically more sound - to see the flagship in front go down in battle may be demoralising and leave your side leaderless. Watching from the rear allowed a better appreciation of how the battle was developing and how strategy needed to be adjusted. I would say that it was generally better for the leader to travel with his men but not to make himself an easy target for the enemy by being out in front.
I'm glad you asked ME this question as I am the most qualified on Hubpages or any other pages, to answer it seeing as how I have been a Naval Captain for many years in Neverland, chasing down Captain Hook and other very serious endeavors for the Canadian Government, much too 'hush-hush' to talk about here, but rest assured, so long as I am around, the Naval Fleet of Neverland and Canada are safe as houses and twice as expensive.
So your question " has many levels," as everyone is fond of spouting these days, and I know them all.
First, it depends on the type of battle. A flagship can boost morale, lower enemy chutzpa, and all that, depending on it's flag. The Pirate Flag is best for it scares the enemy ship to bits and even if you are not a Pirate (and I hope you are not!) the trick works like a charm to send the blighters paddling in the opposite direction.
Second point. If the battle is one of the supernatural variety, such I encounter now and again when I sail through the Ottawa Canal, where mischief if often afoot with demons and angels going at it tooth and nail (and demons do have both in abundance) then the flagship is best left at the rear, where, in an act of desperation it can be trundled forth and it's flag emblazoned with the Mighty Maple Leaf, it will in almost all cases, send the Demons packing. (they are allergic to maple leaf trees.)
So there you have the best answer you are likely to receive on this question. I suggest printing it out and mailing it to all your naval-buddies for confirmation.
Is the flagship wherever the admiral's flag is being flown or is it the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed?
If you are referring to the former, it is best to arrive last since it has no tactical value, and if the latter it should arrive first to provide a better chance of getting the job done and avoid loss of more ships.
If the flag ship is flying the Obama flag, it doesn't matter because it will be leading from "the behind" and the battle is already lost.
What a strange question... oddly enough, I think the norm was for the flagship to arrive with the squadron.
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