The Holy League naval expedition that led to the Battle of Lepanto was an organizational disaster from start to finish; it was only eventually successful because, to lead it, the Emperor appointed his 22-year-old bastard half-brother with no naval experience. #meritocracy
(Erratum: Philip II Habsburg was King of Spain but not Holy Roman Emperor. He did appoint his 22 year old brother to command highly experienced admirals because Chad.)
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