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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lwd
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby lwd » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:13 pm

I think you are mixing "incompetencies". In the sence that the Japanese managed to maneuver themselves into a situation where they had no culturally acceptable way out and now way to win. Yes they were incompentent. That doesn't mean that their militaries or pieces there of were incompetent. Or that if different measures of competency are used that they would fail there as well.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:55 pm

frankwl:

Oh, all right, the Empire of Japan was incompetent.


Incorrect! They were not. I will be addressing these issues later today but that is not an explanation, only a bias from the western way of reading History.
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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:28 pm

frankwl wrote:Oh, all right, the Empire of Japan was incompetent.


No, you have decided to adopt an extreme position in reaction to the reasoned argument presented in previous posts.

I have outlined that the Japanese economy was not operating at full efficiency, there were no strategic goals or proper planning to achieve objectives that were attainable, and that the Japanese military overestimated its own strength and greatly misunderstood the will and strength of their enemies.
Now none of that invalidates the fighting efficiency and courage of the Japanese soldier, sailor or airman or the initial victories they achieved. That was at a tactical level. The bottom line is that Japan lost the war and indeed had practically no chance of winning because their economy and leadership was insufficient to win the war.

To win you need to see the whole picture, at grand strategic level. Looking with blinkers on at one aspect of the conflict and ignoring all else renders you blind to the true position.

It is also necessary to be broad minded in your analysis and not see things purely in black and white terms. That is what I mean by adopting extreme positions.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:31 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:frankwl:

Oh, all right, the Empire of Japan was incompetent.


Incorrect! They were not. I will be addressing these issues later today but that is not an explanation, only a bias from the western way of reading History.


I await with eager anticipation, with the evidence of Japan's absolute defeat in August 1945 as exhibit one in my case that they were politically incompetant.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:57 pm

I think that it is better to move to another thread to discuss this, because the thread is for great admirals and we are talking of another thing completely. I will open a thread in WWII and name it "Japan Options for WWII".

Is it fair?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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lwd
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby lwd » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:59 pm

Not only fair but a good idea we should have thought of several posts ago.

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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby frankwl » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:12 pm

Excuse me, Karl, I was being sarcastic. Don't quote me out of context. Best.

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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby frankwl » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:58 pm

The Japanese military (not to be confused with the Japanse people) made the classic mistake of believing its own PR. Convinced of their martial and moral superiority they took on the U.S. and as a superb middleweight bushwhacked the heavyweight United States thinking that bloodying its nose would cause it to back off out of the Pacific. Imagine their surprise when America got up off the canvass, wiped its nose, and said, all right, let's get to it. Yamamoto knew Japan couldn't win against the industrial might of the U.S. and he never bought into the bullshit that Americans can't fight. He should go down as one of the greatest admirals but his side lost and he ran afoul of some P38s sent to kill him. He was not assisinated as some people assert, he was killed in action taking the same risks as any serving soldier. Maybe the special effort of the U.S. to do away with him confirms his status as a great admiral.

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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby frankwl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:08 am

This is such a great site! The contributors are so knowledgeable and I just love reading their opinions, whether I agree or not. And the lack of spurious invective over a difference of opinion is really refreshing. I live in a world where to say HMS Canopus brings just a blank stare and Bismarck is just an old Johnny Horton song so it's wonderful to find a place where I can share my interests. Wish I wasn't such a dilettante and knew as much as the contributors I'm reading.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:57 am

frankwl:

I know what do you mean and what do you feel. Believe me, without this forum the world would have been a lonier place for me.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:22 am

frankwl wrote:. Yamamoto knew Japan couldn't win against the industrial might of the U.S. and he never bought into the bullshit that Americans can't fight. He should go down as one of the greatest admirals but his side lost and he ran afoul of some P38s sent to kill him. He was not assisinated as some people assert, he was killed in action taking the same risks as any serving soldier. Maybe the special effort of the U.S. to do away with him confirms his status as a great admiral.


You are quite right in what you say, but others have commented on Yammamoto's plan for what became the Midway battle that it was too complex and prevented a concentration of Japanese firepower at the crucial point - where the Jap carriers were located. This has been offered as evidence that perhaps Yammamoto wasn't the greatest.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

frankwl
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby frankwl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:27 pm

There's no doubt the Japanese plan for an advance towards Midway was incredibly complex with diversions as far away as the Aleutians. Clausewitz would have had a ball analyzing the dangers of "friction" in an overly complicated scheme.

lwd
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby lwd » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:37 pm

frankwl wrote:There's no doubt the Japanese plan for an advance towards Midway was incredibly complex with diversions as far away as the Aleutians. ...

The Aleutians as a part of Midway hypothesis has been called to question recently I believe. Again if you haven't read it yet I strongly recommend Shattered Sword.

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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby frankwl » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:46 pm

I've never heard that about the Aleutians operation. Thanks. I should get a copy of Shattered Sword, sounds interesting. I learn something every time I enter this site.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:24 am

lwd:

The Aleutians as a part of Midway hypothesis has been called to question recently I believe. Again if you haven't read it yet I strongly recommend Shattered Sword.


Lee is correct with this on the Aleutians. Those were not a diversion but part of an extraordinary complex plan but a target themselves for the Japanese. The book that Lee is recomending I highly regard as the best work on Midway from the Japanese side.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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