There is a great truth in that saying as I know first hand. Fun part is it doesn't always relate to war time or naval actions.
An example from my own past:
A man pulled a kitchen knife (chef's) or what we called a butcher knife then on me.
I was empty handed without any kind of weapon.
Police were called by witnesses.
Police were going to arrest me because of my past history in regards to legal defense actions.
They let the man go with out any more than a verbal warning. Told me I would be arrested if any thing what so ever happened to the man.
I knew the man received a large check once a month from an insurance claim. I knew where he cashed that check and his routine afterwards.
A few days later I got drunker than all heck and went into a bar where the bad crowd hung out (there is one in every port town), you know the place even police only go into with shotguns in hand.
Some how while I was drunk and drinking in that bar I gave out the man's information on that check and his routine.
The next time he received a check I was in a restaurant having coffee, reading a book and greeting the cops who warned me about any thing happening to the man.
Funny part is the man was robbed and beaten very badly. I had a perfect alibi I could not have done the crime (the nice cops).
Cops figured out exactly what I did and cussed me out. I just said it was their own fault.
Its funny how many variations on that theme are possible.
I should add the fact that the cops would have to prove I was sober and not drunk.
The only evidence was eyewitness testimony to the drunk part.
They could prove a motive but had no evidence to prove the sober (premeditated) part.
That is why I laughed at them.
We all knew the answer but they had no evidence that would stand up in court. Reason I can safely mention it now is the statute of limitations has definitely run out on that case.
Revenge can be so sweet at times.