RF wrote:Oberwarrior wrote:
I agree with Karl, Heihachirö Tögö is my favorite, however sadly he seems a little forgotten, only getting 2% of the vote. I think given the differences in technology he proved himself both a great tactical and strategic admiral, his handling of his fleet at both Tsushima and Yellow Sea was classical, he cross the T and send in his torpedo boats, routing the Russians and destroying their fleet. He always kept strategic objectives in mind, had he not been mindful of these the campaign could have worked out very differently.
Right, lets ask a question here. How far was Togo's victory at Tsushima down to the fact that he was on home territory while the Russian Baltic Fleet had sailed halfway round the world and was hardly in tip top condition?
Could Togo have taken his fleet round the world into the Baltic and fought the Russians there, with no logistical or other support from countries bordering on the Baltic? And win?
Cohaagen wrote:Forgot to add - Cunningham benefited greatly from his practice of building up a circle of highly competent and trusted staff officers - people like Royer Dick - to keep him regularly briefed. It was Royer Dick, a fluent French speaker, who was instrumental in translating Cunningham's negotiations with French Admiral Rene Godfroy to disarm his fleet and dump their fuel - thus preventing another ignominious Mers-el-Kebir -type incident. British naval intel in the Med was excellent, moreso given that Cunningham was one of the few people to gain regular ULTRA updates (which, naturally, had to be disguised somehow as HUMINT and other sources such as seaplane spottings...the Italians were eventually convinced there were moles in their admin depts).
ABC had very detailed knowledge of the Italian fleet. He considered the Venetos to be particularly dangerous - their possession of flashless propellant was seen as a great advantage over the RN, along with excellent light AA armament the latter of which the RN appropriated at every opportunity. Materially speaking, the Italians were by no means the pushover they were seen as post-war. An example of a force equipped with advanced weaponry undermined by the human factor.
RF wrote:This certainly an impressive record, and a commander who understood logistics and supply, and who also knew how to get the most out of his men. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he had been available to fight against the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895 or during the annexation of Korea in 1910.
However - I don't think he had as great a long term influence on history to the extent that Nelson did, as neither Korea or China went on to become great empires in the way Britain did, or indeed the Japanese ultimately did.
It would also have been interesting if he was in a later age, say the 1930's, and a senior Admiral in the IJN......
Antonio Bonomi wrote:Ciao all,
as said I do admire H. Nelson as well, and many others too.
But my vote goes to Andrea Doria.
maega wrote:Lol, Nelson...
It comes down to what makes an Admiral "Great". Those who have a desk job can influence the development and success of a naval policy far more than those at sea, can set up the general strategies and logistics for the future and make a real long-term impact.
But if it comes down to admirals at sea, then I guess you would have to define "greatest" as he who achieved the most with the less and won battles by sheer genius and brilliance.
And Nelson clearly doesn't fill into any of those categories. If you look at his most renowned victories, Aboukir and Trafalgar, there's nothing brilliant or surprising in them. The outcome was obvious and came as a result of blatant RN superiority in terms of quality of the ships and quality of the equipment and manpower and to overwhelmingly favourable circumstances.
Let's look at Aboukir; The French anchor their ships forming a line of defense. Some british frigate captain discovers a safe passing between the shallow waters and the last ship of the anchored french line. Result; The british fleet engages the french fleet with local superiority of 3/4 to 1, destroying the french ships one by one. Nothing awesome about that. It was simply a terrible french mistake.
What would have happened if there was no gap in the line ?? I would like to know that too..
Trafalgar; Villeneuve was a clown. He had been a clown is entire life. And he was about to be called back to Paris by Napoleon for being a useless clown. Only thing that Villeneuve knew about this and decided to set sail against the British Fleet in spite of every single Spanish Admiral and Commander advising him against that cause they knew it was a suicidal stupid move.
The british fleet had better and more maneuvarable ships. The british fleet's sailors and marine infantry were second to none. On the other side, the franco-spanish fleet had been blockaded for months and many of the ships were in disarray,. the crews, gangpressed into action with many of them having no naval experience at all (many of the gunners were army gunners). The ranks of sailors filled in a hurry with folks that had no experience at all and some of them had sea sickness. The entire fleet was unprepared for a battle.
Then the battle. The wind, on th side of british fleet. The franco-spanish fleet, which had never operated together before, consisted of and heteregoneous group of ships of very different sizes and designs, some of them in really poor state (not counting the crews...) and presented with the task of coordinating french and spanish naval styles and trying to form a line of battle (which of course never happened) in the face of an enemy orderly spearheading against the center of the franco spanish formation with the wind in their favour and both the allied vanguard and rearguard awol? (Sorry, I meant the rearguard, cause in the vanguard there were the french ships and they fled the battle as soon as it started).
Good thing is they were caught some days later and sunk/surrendered.
Hmmm, excuse me... where's the merit in this British victory or the awesome prowess and skills displayed by Nelson in the face of overwhelming numbers and unfavourable circumstances?
PD: Nelson was a pretty good naval officer but a great admiral?? We'll never know.
I go with De Ruyter or Blas de Lezo.
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