Motto: "In war personality turns the scale."
In the last analysis, the strength of a navy lies in its men, for superiority in this respect will mean victory more often than guns, ships, wealth, or numbers. Material is sterile, and creates nothing; but great men can invigorate the most inefficient organization, until even the material is transformed by the power of personality. Farragut's remark, "Give me plenty of iron in the men, and I don't mind so much about iron in the ships," still contains a profound truth.
We still remember the Victory, the Constitution, the Ark Royal, and the Reale, but we have even greater respect for the men who fought them and whose lives were perhaps sacrificed on their decks. The Victory still exists, it is true, but its dead and decaying timbers owe all their glory to the men who fought on it, and its fame will end the day they are forgotten.
As Mahan says: