Greatest admiral of all time

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Who was the greatest admiral in History?

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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Mon May 19, 2014 11:13 am

I find it interesting that Nimitz is listed here, did he actually do any operational planning or command in ww2? I thought he was overall c in c pacific and delegated operational matters to operational commanders.
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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Mon May 19, 2014 6:01 pm

An interesting question - does an admiral have to be personally exposed to enemy fire in order to qualify for admission to the list?

My thinking is probably not.
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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Mon May 19, 2014 10:28 pm

In which case there are others that could be added to the list. Lord Barham springs immediately to mind.
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tameraire01
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby tameraire01 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:39 pm

The Best British admiral of WW2 is not on that list. One Admiral Andrew Cunningham. Taranto his greatest achievement and with only with ONE carrier, He showed the world that the age of the Battleship was dead. He did his job following orders he did not like EG: attacking the French fleet.
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:20 am

Nelson is the greatest IMHO, perhaps not for his strategic competency but for the acts and the example given !

Also a word for Togo (for the decisive victories over Russians), for Makarov (who was Togo's only true opponent and who was very unlucky) and for Caio Duilio (who gave to Rome the control of Mediterranean Sea). I also agree with Temeraire01, Cunningham was far better then the others in WWII.

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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:57 pm

I can fully agree with all of Alberto's comments above.
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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:03 am

I think Togo is greatly overrated for his victory at Tsushima, he had all the advantages and no disadvantages. But Gaius
Duilius is underrated, the Roman admiral during the 1st Punic War when Rome was the underdog and Carthage the great seapower.
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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:04 pm

neil hilton wrote:I think Togo is greatly overrated for his victory at Tsushima, he had all the advantages and no disadvantages..


However Togo had the pressure that with the battle taking place right on Japan's doorstep he had to win - otherwise Japan would have lost the war.

In some ways this battle was similar in strategic terms to Leyte Gulf, stripping away the air power and with a much greater proximity to Japan. Similar but not exact, particulary as the Russians unlike the US didn't have almost limitless resources with which to fight Japan at sea.
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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:39 am

If Togo had lost at Tsushima would Japan have lost the war? I don't think so, maybe caused a negotiated peace but I don't think Tsarist Russia could have invaded Japan if Makarov had cleared the way, or if they tried they would have been embroiled in an unwinnable war.
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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:19 pm

Japan would have lost the war because the IJN would no longer have control of the Sea of Japan and would be open to blockade (albeit probably a limited one) in which the IJA fighting the Russians in Manchuria would be cut off from home. The IJA if it couldn't be supplied would either have to withdraw, if it could, or face having to surrender.

It is also likely that Russia's principal ally at the time, Germany, could also have declared war on Japan and send some of the High Seas Fleet to back up the Russians.

An invasion of Japan would not be necessary; the Japanese would have to make settlement with the Russians which would amount to defeat in all but name.

Another point is that under the Treaty of London Japan's ally Britain would not be obliged to intervene because Japan started that war by an act of aggression.
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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:22 pm

Would pre extreme right wing Imperial Japan have surrendered without an invasion, they certainly wouldn't in ww2 until 2 nukes were dropped, would Japanese martial machismo have allowed them to surrender, that is what I doubt.
I believe the only way to make Japan surrender is to smash them flat, without mercy. Anything less would only bring a stalemate and negotiated peace. Losing an army in Manchuria I dont think would force them to surrender.
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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:51 am

The principal reason for Hirohito's decision to surrender in 1945 was the Soviet declaration of war and invasion of Manchuria on 8 August 1945. The two atomic bombs were only incidental factors as the Emporer was not immediately aware of the full extent of damage and casualties in those two attacks - because American bombing had wrecked most communications inside Japan and he IJA withheld what information it did have.

The Russo-Japanese war of 1904/1905 featured a major campaign in Manchuria which descended into stalemate and had huge casualties on both sides. Some historians have held it as a pre-cursor to the trench warfare of WW1. Both sides were totally exhausted by the time the decisive battle of Tsushima happened. Had Japan lost decisively at Tsushima they would have been in a very weak position. They would not have been able to continue the war, there would be no martial machismo left to sustain it.
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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:45 am

Whether it was the Russian declaration of war or the 2 nukes or a combination of them both which caused japan to surrender in 1945 is just the straw that broke the camels back, Japan was already pretty much smashed flat!
In 1905 the Russo Japanese war never touched the mainland, ie the population and infrastructure were untouched. I don't see why Japan would surrender without a blockade to starve them into surrender or an invasion, after all Germany didn't until the RN blockade forced them to in 1918. Huge army casualties ie bleeding the enemy white didn't work in WW1 why should it in 1905.
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RF
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby RF » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:03 am

Japan would not have been able to continue the war indefinately. There would most likely be negotiations in a third country (such as the US), an armistice, followed by a peace treaty, in which Japan would gain nothing - Russia would have retained Port Arthur and the whole of Sakhalin.

You are right in saying that the RN blockade largely forced Germany into signing an armistice, together with the huge military casualties. Other factors include a breakdown in discipline not just in the army and navy but in the civilian population as well, and it was that which forced the Kaiser to abdicate. Above all by July 1918 there was no prospect of Germany winning due to the US involvement on the Western Front, and Germany's allies were collapsing. Apart from Alsace up until the Armistice Germany's home territory had not been touched by any land fighting at all, and the realisation of imminent invasion combined with fears of revolution prompted the signing of the Armistice.
These are the sort of political pressures that could have faced Japan if their fleet had been destroyed at Tsushima.
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neil hilton
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Re: Greatest admiral of all time

Postby neil hilton » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:40 pm

Japanese civilians have always been very subservient up until the democratic movement beginning after ww2, i doubt there would be any civil discontent no matter how bad a war became in 1905.
Also Japanese military personnel again pre democracy have always been more willing to die for the emperor than any other nation, so a break down in discipline and morale is most unlikely.
The ones who made the decisions pre democracy were the politicians and the military brass, so the only way to get japan to surrender, IMO is to convince them with extreme violence or negotiation etc.
A defeat at Tsushima and even the loss of a whole army in Manchuria I doubt would make them fold on their own, it probably would bring them to the table but the negotiations would be hard bargaining.

As for Germany in 1918, the RN blockade was the most important factor in the armistice (the other factors obviously had an effect) but it was the blockade that that was the real kill shot, if the Germans hadn't folded in 1918 there would have been a famine of biblical proportions in 1919.
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