Cao Chao wrote:Boydie wrote:Good mention of Edward Pellew.
Sir Francis Drake was a great ship commander, the raid of Cádiz being probably being his most successful campaign, his tiny fleet destroyed, captured or sunk over 100 ships over a 3 month period and delayed the Spanish plans to invade England by more than a year, giving Queen Elizabeth I precious time to prepare, personally I think if Drake's campaign wasn't successful, I think it would be safe to assume we would be speaking Spanish today.
Sure Nelson wasn't not known as a ship commander, but he does have a lot of experience of being a ship commander, plus if you add his "inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics", he'd make a fearsome foe.
You do realize that Drake's Cadiz raid faced little to no resistance and that most of the 100 ships lost were merchant and fishing vessels, right?
I'm not disparaging Nelson, but merely remarking that he never fought in an one-on-one engagement with any force of equal standing while a frigate or ship of the line captain aside from the Action of 19 December 1796 and the suicidal craziness that brought about the victory at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent (though the Spaniards were incompetent and ill prepared for fleet action).
To be fair, the reason why Drake faced little resistance is because he caught the Spanish by surprise. The Spanish were too slow to repel the English and by the time the Spanish fleet set sail,they were quickly forced to retire back to Cádiz due to the superiority of the English. By the time the the raid was over; the first day 37 Spanish vessels were destroyed, many of them apart of the Spanish fleet, although it is believed that Drake may have taken some ships with him too. Over the 3 month period, I remember watching a documentary stating that Drake had destroyed around 50 Armada Española vessels .* Also as you said; the rest would of been fishing/merchant ships. But still, it's still an impressive feat.
Your second point, point taken.
*If you like, I could try and find that documentary. It's very interesting, I'm sure it's kicking about YouTube somewhere.