Originally, in the British Navy, promotion to commander meant promotion to the command of a ship smaller than a ‘post’ ship, i.e. not a rated ship, and after 1814 the master aboard a warship was ranked master and commander as he was equivalent in rank to a commander. An officer promoted commander had the title of captain but not the actual full rank, only achieving this when he was posted to a rated ship as a post-captain. In some European navies the nomenclature is still retained for the equivalent rank of commander, e.g. the French capitaine de frégate, the German Fregatten-Kapitän, etc.
Subjects: Maritime History.