Yep'r. Today's FbF is a ponder'n one. A "how it should be done" FbF about Fullbore leaders who did it right - and a reminder of what is doing it wrong.
Via Ian Jack;
Chivalry at sea became an essential British ideal, and proof of the superiority of Anglo-Saxons (a category that included North Americans and most northern Europeans) over more panicky peoples from the south and east. The annals of old shipwrecks are filled with implications of their alleged poor behaviour. "I saw a lot of Latin people all along the ship's rails," recalled the Titanic's fifth officer, Harold Lowe. "They were glaring more or less like wild beasts, ready to spring." No Birkenhead drill for him: Lowe was sitting in a lifeboat at the time, being lowered past the still-crowded upper decks, but the awkwardness of his position as an officer leaving his passengers behind to drown seems never to have occurred to him. "Latins" weren't to be trusted in an emergency, and therefore didn't count.The lessons of 3.5 yrs ago - and still apply today; as do those decades before.
The spectre now haunting Italy is that this label has stuck. "We've gone straight into the Titanic nightmare [and] Italy is once again the laughing stock of foreign newspapers," wrote a blogger, Caterina Soffici, this week. In Il Giornale, the columnist Cristiano Gatti wrote that the rest of the world would be delighted to rediscover "the same old rascally Italians: those unreliable cowards who turn and run in war and flee like rabbits from the ship, even if they are in command". But are either of these statements really true? People who know about ships and seafaring in Britain take pity on Schettino, rather than laugh at him. They puzzle over the course he took that led to the collision with the reef, they wonder how many people were on the bridge with him at the time, and why nobody raised a warning. Perhaps they snigger a little at his account of tripping and falling into a lifeboat ("How odd that his first officer seems to have done the same thing"), but on the whole they understand the torrent of guilt and self-recrimination that must threaten to overwhelm him, first for losing a ship and so many lives and, second, for his subsequent behaviour. None, at least of those I talked to, went as far as Professor Craig Allen of the US Coastguard Academy and accused him of "abject cowardice".
But his transgression is enormous. The rule that a captain must be the last man (or woman) to leave a ship in difficulties is never written down, but everywhere understood. In the words of a former P&O captain: "At sea, you have a great sense of responsibility for the people who are beneath you – it's moral as well as legal. You need to stay as long as anyone else remains."
In this altruistic sense, the mystique of captaincy has survived into its third century. Sentiment, if not always practicality, will ensure it continues. For who can resist the gallantry of David Hart Dyke staying aboard the tilting hull of HMS Coventry, or Noel Coward and what remains of his crew clinging to their life-raft in In Which We Serve, and Coward commanding, as his destroyer finally goes down: "Three cheers for the ship!"