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Greatest admiral of all time

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:06 pm
by Karl Heidenreich
Ok. Who´s the one with that honor?
I pick up four to speak about:
1. Andrea Doria. This guy certainly deserves a place after his role at the battle of Lepanto. In the tradition of the best admirals he wasn´t much concerned about obeying orders an following "rules of engagement."
2. Horatio Nelson. Well, Naval History places him as the ONE: the Battle of the Nile, Trafalgar, etc. What a life! Another one that places his fortune on a gamble, not concerning much about the armchair strategists back at London. If we study all his victories they are due to insoburdination and disobedience of his superiors and "rules of engagement".
3. Heihachirö Tögö. My personal choice. No other naval commander had given the enemy so appalling a defeat as he did to the russians. Even, after the end of WWII, the communist russians insisted that his ship, the Mikasa memorial, were to removed of her guns, probably as a vengueance. His victory at Yellow Sea and Tsushima are impecable.
4. Chester Nimitz. Given that his "fleet" at the beggining of 1941 was laughable with only three aircraft carriers, some cruisers and a bunch of escort destroyers ( not a single operational BB and no BCs at all) and, more important, with the initiative in the hands of his enemies, he did a pretty good job turning the tide at Coral Sea and Midway. His gambles are legendary against the greatest fleet ever assembled against the USN.
Another one that might be included is Rear Admiral John "Sandy" Woodward, the Falkland Islands War British Task Force Commander. He really did his job very, very well.
I know, I know, some may feel that Yamamoto, Jellicoe, Beatty, Halsey, Spruance or even Tovey, Scheer and Lütjens must be included but, sincerelly, I don´t feel them to meet the bright of the four mentioned above. And don´t misunderstand me! I´m not saying that they were not fine, capable and even bright officers (specially Yamamoto) but they need oustanding victories to be on the list and neither had them (Pearl isn´t that outstanding because was a surprise attack; the sinking of the Bismarck wasn´t because a complete fleet against a single BB doesn´t seem very OK and Jutland... well, Jutland is Jutland).
So, what you think? :wink:

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:16 pm
by miro777
i would give my vote for Nelson.
His life as u said, IS just amazing!!!
even at young age, there are those myth about him
then how he took those spanish ships (Maria or sumthing)
then St.Vincent, where HE bascially won that battle, Kopenhagen, of the Nile another great battle
then the long chase behind Villeneuve and then his final battle, trafalgar, where he even died, with the message of final victory and therfore the end of the threat of invasion...
that is just heroric and a perfect life...
the way how he commanded ships
tha famous words: right on them!
or the last signal 'england expects everyone to do his duty....'
those are just legendary!
i guess the media made him big as well, but in Britain he is just THE naval hero.

well that's my opinion


worlds greatest admiral

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:29 pm
by peter
yi son shin: He never lost a battle even though he was always out numbered. In one battle he defeated a japanese fleet of over 600 with just 13 of his own.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:16 am
by Bgile
I would vote for Nelson, because he didn’t just win one battle but a whole series of different scenarios during which he demonstrated his excellence.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:17 am
by foeth
Michiel de Ruyter of course ;)

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:24 am
by Bgile
Togo may have been a great admiral, but he had a fleet whose individual ships were so much superior to his enemy that all he really had to do was to get them in range and keep them there until the inevitable happened. I’ve been to see the Mikasa – very nice museum with a nice diorama of the battle.

The American leaders in the war against Spain (Dewey, et. all) were in a similarly advantageous situation. Same with Farragut in the US Civil War.

sorry - never heard of yi son shin.

worlds greatest admiral

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:57 am
by peter
Yamamoto said after being compared to Yi Son Shin, that he would agree to be compared to Nelson, but nobody could be compared to Yi Son Shin. Over a 10 year period at the end of the 16th century, Yi defeated an overwhelming Japonese naval force to save the Korean nation. He never lost a battle in probably 30 some odd engagements. His Korean archers out gunned Japonese muskets. He was usually outnumbered at least three to one. In the end Japan sued for peace instead of conquering first Korea and then China.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:50 pm
by Matthias
foeth wrote:Michiel de Ruyter of course ;)
I would have expected it...;)

None of you citized Francis Drake, but I think he was worth to stay among the other great seamen.What do you think about him?

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:35 pm
by miro777

Francis Drake.
I would seriously not include him in this hall of admirals.
He was a different kind
No doubt a great seamen.
But he was more filled with freedom and need for gold and honor.
Although he did fight for his home country and then later actually became a admiral in the RN??
But just he was different!
i admired him a lot when i was small...
lol child hero (if u might call it that way)


Admiral Suffren

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:45 pm
by George Gerolimatos
I would vote for Suffren,
In the little I've read about him (in Mahan's The Infuence of Seapower Upon History), he seems to have been one of the few French admirals who gave the British a really hard time in India. He ultimately lost, though, because his ships were out of supplies and wretchedly commanded.
George G.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:52 pm
by miro777
so no one actually cares for the suggestions made at the beginning, so i will just put my favorite admiral in here too.

Honestly there are four
Graf Spee
(and now i don't mean the ships, although they are ALL ships as well)

from those 4, i think that Graf Spee was maybe not the best, but defiantly the bravest and the way he died against a superior power, was very honorable and therefore i would give him my vote.


Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:29 pm
by Karl Heidenreich
Still, not one of the Germans achieved an outstanding victory. The idea is not to mention the "favorite" admiral but the "best one". And to be the best an argument like Bgile is important:
I would vote for Nelson, because he didn’t just win one battle but a whole series of different scenarios during which he demonstrated his excellence.
That´s why I choosed those four.
John Campbell at his book about Jutland rules out any brightness for the admirals involved, British and Germans. That deprives WWI of great naval commanders (and thinking about it WWI never showed bright commanders nor on sea or land in any side, at least not as WWII).
The guys with the CombinedFleet site sustained that it is Nimitz the greatest one, even over Yamamoto. I will agree on part of this (not that he is the greatest, but one of the Four) because Yamamoto really failed at Midway while Nimitz never failed as CINCPAC.
De Ruyter must be included, though.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:21 pm
by miro777
ok i got ur point, with the difference between favorite and best.
For me the best is still Nelson as i explained before very clearly.

One factor, which also greatly influenced my decision is that all the later, Nimitz, Yamamoto or Luetjens mainly used tactics to win, etc, and had their fight with long ranged guns, while Nelson ACTUALLY fought.

I don't want to put down the oteher Admirals, but Nelson did actuall go over to other ships and fight with his gun and swrod, after he used his naval abilities to command his whole fleet into a favorable position...

well that's my opinion


Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:41 pm
by Danelov
Nelson and Nimitz.

Also in the "club" Raiso Tanaka, Gunichi Mikawa and Raymond Spruance.

Out of the "club" Woodward in the Falklands, he had loss several ships againts obsolete Argentinian planes(Exception the Super Etendard of the ARA)and his strategie is quite discutable in the landing phases and in the "bomb alley".

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:37 pm
by Gary