When I first saw the great 1956 movie Captain Horatio Hornblower, starring Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo, sometime in the 1980s, I was thrilled and excited.
I'd heard that supposedly Gene Roddenberry had described the Kirk character as a 23rd-century Hornblower. I'd read C Northcote Parkinson's Hornblower books (which are TERRIFIC by the way).
Now here was the Hornblower character come to life, as it were, on film.
So when Kirk destroyed the Enterprise in STIII, I couldn't help but see the resemblance to Hornblower's actions in Ship of the Line, where he sinks his doomed ship in the mouth of a bay, thereby blocking the French fleet from entering or getting out.
Anyway, here are my meditations on a Kirk/Hornblower comparison, with the literary conceit that the article is a Starfleet Academy student's paper comparing the (real) Kirk with the (fictional) Hornblower.
So this article made it into 1990's Best of Trek #15.
By the way friends, please comment if you wish!