RF wrote -
" ... my question is this: does hindsight make us a better decision maker than the person criticised?
Could we as forum members have made a better job of commanding and making better decisions in battle in the shoes of the actual commanders without the benefit of hindsight??
Or are we only good commanders purely because of the hindsight?"
- - -
In America, "hindsight" is colloquially termed "Monday morning quarterbacking" - i.e., the critics always would have selected a better play or strategy in the game/match played on the previous day.
Most of us, had we been standing in Captain Leach's place on the compass platform at the moment of the hit, would probably have soiled ourselves in paralyzed terror. Sitting in comfort before one's PC screen ..... well ..... it's just not the same thing. As to the value of hindsight, all one can reliably point to is the broad outcome of the event. There is IMO no guarantee that the "hindsight" we draw upon is in all respects either complete, correct, or properly weighted in terms of relative importance. It has all been selected, processed, interpreted, misinterpreted, ignored, suppressed, omitted, etc, etc. by others ..... and sometimes even by ourselves.
FWIW, this Monday morning quarterback considers Capt Leach's decision to disengage a wise move on several levels.