Let us first evoke the spectacle of a single-ship combat. The two vessels advance towards each other. When they come within range, they open fire.
At first the fire is slow, each side feeling for the target. Shell fall all around the ships. As they present themselves bows on, and the distance is changing rapidly, accuracy of fire is not to be counted upon.
At this moment the commander still remains master of his ship and his men; the gunnery officer really controls his guns; the divisional officers have their men in hand. There has been no faltering and the established conditions of battle quarters still subsist. The attitude of each one is all that reveals the difference.