Greatest admiral of all time

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.

Who was the greatest admiral in History?

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paul mercer
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Post by paul mercer » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:54 am

I'm think that Jellicoe should be included, he (or to be correct, the QE class battleships) saved Beatty from a awful hiding at Jutland!

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RF
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Post by RF » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:11 am

What strategic genius was demonstrated at Jutland by Jellicoe?
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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:46 pm

At Jutland no side demostrated any genius. If some admiral can be credited, at least, for not commiting basic mistakes, I believe it was Hipper. And he didn´t distinguished himself neither.
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iankw
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Post by iankw » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:03 pm

You really can't knock the way Jellicoe deployed his fleet, with minimal help from his scouting forces. That took a cool head and good judgement. However, that one action doesn't qualify him for a place on the list, much as I might like him there.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:57 pm

iankw:

You really can't knock the way Jellicoe deployed his fleet, with minimal help from his scouting forces. That took a cool head and good judgement. However, that one action doesn't qualify him for a place on the list, much as I might like him there.

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I agree. What incredible fact that neither fleet, being the greatest two modern ones ever assembled, showed such a lack of genius that could have changed History in a couple of hours, like Nimitz at Midway.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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RF
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Post by RF » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:46 am

Jellicoe was able to deploy his fleet in full knowledge of the German plans, courtesy of wireless code breaking facilitated by the Russian capture of the code books of SMS Magdeburg.
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RF
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Post by RF » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:52 am

Nimitz didn't change the course of history at Midway, he merely gave it a push and shortened a war that would have only one winner anyway.

If the Japs won at Midway and sank the US carriers instead the Americans would still have won in 1945 - it might have taken three or four mushroom clouds instead of two, but Togo would still be signing the instrument of surrender in Tokyo Bay.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

iankw
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Post by iankw » Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:44 pm

RF - you mean Jellicoe knew that the HSF was going to steam blindly into the centre of his line before it happened? Also, that Jellicoe deliberately deployed late, risking having a turning point for the HSF to aim at? I am sorry to disagree with you but that certainly isn't my reading of history. According to Marder, and Andrew Gordon, Jellicoe was desperate to know where the HSF were and what heading they were on, so that he could deploy his columns into line effectively. His scouting forces, including Beatty, seemed reluctant to supply him with this information. In the end he made an instinctive decision which was almost perfect (a little too late to be perfect, because the line wasn't quite formed).

In addition having the code books of the Magdeburg didn't help because the HSF maintained radio silence whilst at sea. The Admiralty used the code books to give Jellicoe false information because Jackson didn't bother to ask Room 40 the full meaning of a signal they had decoded, which indicated the HSF was still in harbour. So, on the whole I think Jellicoe did a cracking job, considering the disadvantages he was under, but it was still only one action, which doesn't qualify him for the list, imo.

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Ian

paul mercer
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Post by paul mercer » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:39 pm

What about Cunningham in the Med, is he ranked?

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RF
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Post by RF » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:27 am

iankw wrote:So, on the whole I think Jellicoe did a cracking job, considering the disadvantages he was under, but it was still only one action, which doesn't qualify him for the list, imo.

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Ian
I don't disagree with any of that post, but Jellicoe I don't think was a srategic genius. He still had the opportunity to destroy the HSF but given his responsibility of maintaining the British fleet intact he was understandably defensive.

Another point I would mention was that he was nearly caught pants down at the Falklands.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

iankw
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Post by iankw » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:45 pm

That was Sturdee, RF. I believe he was having a shave at the time. Fisher never forgave him for using so much ammunition to finish the job, mind you Fisher didn't like him before either.

Ian

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RF
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Post by RF » Tue May 01, 2007 10:03 am

Yes your'e right, my mistake!
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iankw
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Post by iankw » Wed May 02, 2007 2:46 pm

Hi RF

I've had a quick look back and I can't see anyone referring to Jellicoe as a strategic genius, but it really was a quick look, so I may have missed it. IMO you are right though, strategically Jellicoe was poor, almost disastrous as 1st Sea Lord in fact. Tactically very shrewd though, given the accepted practices of the time.

Ian

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RF
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Post by RF » Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:40 am

iankw,

Your references to Fisher in your earlier post reminded me of his suggestion in the years before WW1 started that the Grand Fleet should ''Copenhagen'' the German HSF - in reflection not a bad idea!

Fisher was not directly involved in any campaign as such but it shows he had strategic vision.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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RF
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Post by RF » Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:46 am

iankw wrote:Hi RF

strategically Jellicoe was poor, almost disastrous as 1st Sea Lord in fact. Tactically very shrewd though, given the accepted practices of the time.

Ian
Fortunately for him the German naval leadership was worse when it came to strategic vision - no proper pre-war planning for a naval campaign against Britain (or even France for that matter) and allowing their HSF to be bottled up in the North Sea. Rather ironic as the HSF was originally designed to protect the seaways to Germany's colonial empire....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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