Did Gene Roddenberry (or anyone else closely involved with production of Star Trek) ever indicate whether the show - mostly as a concept, but at least specific episodes, were influenced by "Heroic captain" type wet navy books? (I mean stuff like Horatio Hornblower, Master and Commander etc..)

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Yes. In The Making of Star Trek (by Stephen Whitfield), the comparison to Horatio Hornblower is made several times. I read the book in the 1970s and had never heard of Horatio Hornblower at the time, so I had to ask my Father about him. And since my Father was an old Navy man, he wanted to find copies of the Hornblower books for me to read -- but he had trouble finding them at the used book stores he loved to browse in.

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