Worst admiral of all time

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
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RF
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby RF » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:12 pm

The Duke of Medina Sidonia was surely worse, in 1588?
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby Adolfo Ceño » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:10 pm

Talking about ”black pages” in the history of naval warfare … we can not forget admiral Vernon, even worse that the Duke of Medina Sidonia, in his battle of Cartagena de Indias in 1741.

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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby RF » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:28 pm

Maybe, but Admiral Vernon was attacking part of the Spanish Empire remote from the centre's of power in Europe, whereas the Duke of Medina Sidonia was supposed to be partaking in the invasion of England, which if successful would have had far greater strategic consequences and implications for world history....
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:29 am

I still regard Villeneuce the top enchilada in maritime disgraces.
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby RF » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:09 am

Even more so than Admiral Aneya?
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby downes51 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:39 am

Bey was in an unfortunate position. He should have resigned. That would have been one action showing he had some naval savvy.
Instead he was rather being in the position of a small kid being forced by the school bully (Donitz, and Hitler behind him) to fight another kid he had no chance of beating.


Just like poor Cradock at Coronel in fact.

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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby downes51 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:48 am

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Beattie.

He arrived at Jutland with 5 BCs and 5 fast new battleships up against 5 of Hipper's BCs. He managed to shake off his own Battleships resulting in them being late arrivals at the fight, and on engaging Hipper's cruiser squadron he opened fire after Hipper did (despite Beattie having longer range guns). And his fleet gunnery was poor too, becaused he hadn't given the crews enough practice.

And the less said about the Dogger Bank battle the better.

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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby RF » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:08 pm

downes51 wrote:
Just like poor Cradock at Coronel in fact.


Craddock was supposed to have the old battleship Canopus in company, with its four 12 inch guns. Unfortunately the old battleship couldn't keep pace with the other ships in the force......
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby Dguts1813 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:46 pm

Getting back to the discussion of Erik Bey, what of his immediate predecessor in command in Norway, Oskar Kummetz. It was his abject failure to take advantage of the situation at the Battled of the Barents Sea (where he had the opportunity to smash an Arctic Convoy) that led to Reader downfall and further undermined the KM's position with Hitler. It seems that virtually all the Ger. Admirals were far too concerned with avoiding damage & not concerned enough with hurting the enemy.

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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby tommy303 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:32 am

Kummetz's plan at the Barents Sea actually worked well enough. Kummetz with Hipper drew off the close escort from the convoy as he was supposed to do, leaving the convoy to be attacked by Luetzow and destroyers. Her captain, Stange, was hampered by poor visibility and although he had radar contract, the lack of IFF prevented him from attacking decisively as he was uncertain as to the identity of the contacts on his radar. Both Kummetz and Stange, though, were hampered by Hitler's no unnecessary risks order, as would be Bey later on at North Cape.

On a closing note, Bey at North Cape was deputizing for Kummetz who had gone on leave.

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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:17 pm

tommy303 wrote:Kummetz's plan at the Barents Sea actually worked well enough. Kummetz with Hipper drew off the close escort from the convoy as he was supposed to do, leaving the convoy to be attacked by Luetzow and destroyers. Her captain, Stange, was hampered by poor visibility and although he had radar contract, the lack of IFF prevented him from attacking decisively as he was uncertain as to the identity of the contacts on his radar. Both Kummetz and Stange, though, were hampered by Hitler's no unnecessary risks order, as would be Bey later on at North Cape.

On a closing note, Bey at North Cape was deputizing for Kummetz who had gone on leave.



It is now known the Luetzow had IFF equipment as did all the German units at that time. It was switched on and working. Stange just didn't use it....
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby aurora » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:46 pm

Kummetz also lost the new heavy cruiser Blucher (sunk) and the Lutzow damaged up a Norwegian fjord to audacious shore battery fire-he was sailing as in a gala procession!! Not a care in the world!! :oops: :oops:

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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby RF » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:09 pm

Not quite - the Germans were tasked with reaching Oslo right at the head of Oslo Fjord and capturing the Norwegian Government and King. This involved going right up the fjord at maximum speed to achieve total surprise and achieve their objectives before the Norwegians could react.

The fact that they did react can hardly be blamed on Kummetz, who in fact then made the correct decision with respect to Lutzow in disembarking its troops further down the fjord.

With respect to Blucher - the ship was hit by two blank 11 inch shells from the Oscarberg fortress, one hit starting a fire in Blucher's engine room oil feed. The fact that the ship's crew had insufficient training in fire fighting was more the fault of that ships captain than Oscar Kummetz.
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby aurora » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:41 pm

Admiral Karel Doorman, in command of the doomed ABDA fleet in the Battles of Java Sea
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Re: Worst admiral of all time

Postby RF » Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:46 pm

Well, in the case of Doorman fighting a battle with no possibility of winning when there is no realistic alternative, it doesn't really make him a useless admiral. The strategic situation was not of his making; all he can do is his best.
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