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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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Disobedient that turned out to be a good choice

Hi fellows!

I am wondering about examples of disobedient (soldier refusing to obey an order etc) that finally came to good.

At the moment I have on my mind one example from my own neighbourhood: Sergiusz Piasecki working in polish intelligent service refused to obey the order of killing Józef Mackiewicz, anticommunistic polish journalist and writer that was accused of collaboration with the Nazi. It appeared to be a right choice because time showed that Mackiewicz never helped Nazi and accusations was probably inspired by Soviet secret service.

By the by, I highly recommend literary works of both mentioned above writers (many of which are available in english).
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergiusz_Piasecki"]Sergiusz Piasecki - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
Józef Mackiewicz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #2

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Nelson at Copenhagen comes to mind.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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Rommel when he first arrived in North Africa.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Could you develop yours examples a little? Or past a text about case or give a link?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 04:29 PM   #5

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Originally Posted by Belgarion View Post
Nelson at Copenhagen comes to mind.
Nelson and Rommel are good examples, tho Nelson's first shining moment was at the Battle of Cape St Vincent when he broke away to attack the Spanish all by himself. Fortunately Collingwood saw what he was doing and gave him support. Admiral Bying was shot for trying the same thing about 100 years earlier, tho he didn't manage to pull it off.



Click the image to open in full size.


Decisive action - Nelson orders HMS Captain to wear ship

Nelson, realising that the leading ships of the line were unable to catch the rear of the Spanish division, gave orders to Captain Miller to wear Captain out of the line of battle. As soon as the two deck 74 gun ship was around, he directed her to pass between Diadem and Excellent and ran across the bows of the Spanish ships forming the central group of the weather division. This group included the Santissima Trinidad, the largest ship afloat at the time and mounting 130 guns, the San Josef, 112, Salvador del Mundo, 112, San Nicolas, 84, San Ysidro 74 and the Mexicano 112.

Nelson's decision to wear ship was significant. As a junior commander he was subject to the orders of his Commander in Chief (Admiral Jervis); in taking this action he was acting against the 'form line ahead and astern of Victory' order and using his own wide interpretation of another signal. Had the action failed, he would have been court-martialled for disobeying orders in the face of the enemy with subsequent loss of command and disgrace.

At about 1.30pm, Culloden was gradually overhauling the Spanish rear and began a renewed but not very close engagement of the same group of ships. Jervis signalled his rearmost ship, Excellent to come to the wind on the larboard tack and following this order, Collingwood brought his ship round to a position ahead of Culloden. After a few more minutes, Blenheim and Prince George came up behind and the group of British ships prevented the Spanish from grouping together.

"At about 2.00pm, the Culloden had stretched so far ahead as to cover the Captain from the heavy fire poured into her by the Spanish four-decker and her companions, as they hauled up and brought their broadsides to bear. Of the respite thus afforded to her, the Captain took immediate advantage, replenishing her lockers with shot and splicing and repairing her running rigging.....

At about 2.30, Excellent having been directed by signal to bear up, edged away and at 2.35, arriving abreast of the disabled Spanish three-decker Salvator del Mundo, engaged the latter on her weather bow for a few minutes; then passing on to the next Spanish ship in succession, the San Ysidro, whose three topmasts had already been shot away. This ship Captain Collingwood engaged closely until 2.50pm when, after a gallant defence in her crippled state, the San Ysidro hauled down the Spanish flag.

Very soon after the Excellent and Diadem commenced an attack on the Salvator del Mundo, the 74 stationing herself on the weather bow and the 64 on the lee quarter of the Spanish three-decker, then, with her topmasts gone and otherwise much disabled.... Observing the Victory about to pass close astern, the Salvator del Mundo whose mizzen mast had since shared the fate of the fore and main very judiciously hauled down her flag as soon as some of Victory's bow guns came to bear."

San Nicolas was in close action with Captain when Excellent opened fire on the other side. Passing within ten feet of her starboard side, Excellent poured in a destructive broadside. To avoid Excellent, San Nicolas luffed up and ran foul of the San Josef on her other side.

Captain now came up to the wind, and her foretop mast fell over the side. With their ship almost out of control, Nelson and Captain Miller took Captain alongside the San Josef. As the cathead of Captain locked against the starboard quarter of San Nicolas, Nelson ordered,
Boarders away

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

By about 3.00pm, Excellent was in close action with San Nicolas which, with foretop mast shot away, had been in action against Captain. Excellent fired broadsides into San Nicolas and then made sail to clear ahead. San Nicolas ran foul of San Josef which had suffered the loss of mizen mast and other damage. Captain was by now almost uncontrollable with her wheel shot away. At this point her foretop mast fell over the side leaving her in a completely unmanageable state and with little option but to board the Spanish vessels. Captain opened fire on the Spanish vessels with her larboard (port) side broadside and then put the helm over and hooked her larboard cat-head with the starboard quarter of the San Nicolas

Commodore Nelson now ordered the crew to board the San Nicolas, with the San Josef still held fast on her port side. Nelson himself led the boarders with a cry of, "Westminster Abbey or Glorious Victory!".

Nelson later wrote:

'The soldiers of the 69th, with an alacrity which will ever do them credit, and Lieutenant Pearson of the same regiment, were almost the foremost on this service - the first man who jumped into the enemy's mizen chains was Commander Berry, late my First Lieutenant (Captain Miller was in the very act of going also, but I directed him to remain); he was supported from our sprit sail yard, which hooked in the mizen rigging. A soldier of the 69th Regiment having broken the upper quarter-gallery window, I jumped in myself, and was followed by others as fast as possible. I found the cabin doors fastened, and some Spanish officers fired their pistols: but having broke open the doors the soldiers fired, and the Spanish Brigadier fell, as retreating to the quarter-deck. I pushed immediately onwards for the quarter-deck, where I found Commander Berry in possession of the poop, and the Spanish ensign hauling down. I passed with my people, and Lieutenant Pearson, on the larboard gangway, to the forecastle, where I met two or three Spanish officers, prisoners to my seamen: they delivered me their swords. A fire of pistols, or muskets, opening from the stern gallery of the San Josef, I directed the soldiers to fire into her stern; and calling to Captain Miller, ordered him to send more men into the San Nicolas; and directed my people to board the first-rate, which was done in an instant, Commander Berry assisting me into the main chains. At this moment a Spanish officers looked over the quarter deck rail, and said they surrendered. From this most welcome intelligence, it was not long before I was on the quarter deck, where the captain, with a bow, presented me his sword, and said the admiral was dying of his wounds. I asked him on his honour if the ship was surrendered. He declared she was: on which i gave him my hand, and desired him to call on his officers and ship's company and tell them of it: which he did - and on the quarter deck of a Spanish first-rate, extravagant as the story may seem, did I receive the swords of vanquished Spaniards: which as I received, I gave to William Fearney, one of my bargemen, who put them, with the greatest sang-froid, under his arm.'

Nelson's actions at St. Vincent, capturing two Spanish vessels, was to become known as 'Nelson's patent bridge for boarding enemy vessels'.

Click the image to open in full size.
Ships bell of the San Josef, captured at St. Vincent

The surrender and capture of these two Spanish vessels marks the end of the main battle. By 4.00pm the Spanish ship Santissima Trinidad was relieved by two of her escorts and made away from the scene. Jervis signalled his fleet to cover the prizes and disabled vessels and at 4.15pm the frigates were directed to take the prizes in tow. At 4.39pm the fleet was ordered to take station in line astern of Victory. The battle was by now almost over with only some remaining skirmishing between Britannia, Orion and the departing Spanish covering the Santissima Trinidad (which was to later serve as the Spanish flagship at Trafalgar [1805]).

The battle ends

Nelson remained on board the captured Spanish ships whilst they were made secure - and was cheered by the British ships as they passed. He returned to the Captain to thank Captain Miller and presented him with the sword of the captain of the San Nicolas


What a complete lunatic.

Last edited by Earl_of_Rochester; November 14th, 2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Flamboyant View Post
Could you develop yours examples a little? Or past a text about case or give a link?
Sorry, Rommel was inserted into North Africa with a full panzer division and a light panzer division. He also had a large number of Italian mechanized forces under his command, even though the Italians had taken a horrible beating recently, being forced back across Libya. Rommel was ordered to hold the line. He instead attacked immediately against superior numbers and routed the British for some time.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #7

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Countless people who were in the American revolution, and the wars for independence in Latin America.

hernan Cortez comes to mind - he disobeyed his superior and sailed to Mexico and conquered it.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post

What a complete lunatic.
Thats unfair!

He'd need another eye and an arm before he could be a complete lunatic, he was only an 85% lunatic
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Old November 14th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #9

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Benedict Arnold at Saratoga.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #10

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Nicholas Philip Trist. He negotiated the Treaty of Guadelupe de Hildago against orders.
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