Billy Budd Chapters 4 & 5
Inventions have altered sea warfare; newer ships lack the symmetry of the great old war ships. Admiral Nelson won the battle of Trafalgar and was wounded. He wrote his last will before he died and his second in command lost the fleet in shipwreck. Such events weigh heavily on the mind of British navy officers.
The British naval mutinies were put down but the grievances were not addressed. The fleet, because it was overly large, had to be maintained in any way possible. Nelson switched his flag ship to the Theseus to win the loyalty of new recruits. It worked for a while, but sometimes men still resisted orders:
"When it did, the lieutenants assigned to batteries felt it incumbent on them, in some instances, to stand with drawn swords behind the men working the guns." Chapter 5, pg. 444