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- "No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy."
- –Horatio Nelson
Although its first use in battle is a matter of debate (ranging from 1502 to 1652 AD), by 1675 the "line-of-battle" tactic was the most common formation being used by European navies. In contrast to the usual naval melees, in line-of-battle each warship could fire its broadside without hitting friendly vessels, allowing for both concentrated and continuous fire.