Greatest Naval Commander of WW2??




View Poll Results :Who was the Greatest Naval Commander of World War II??
Admiral Karl Dönitz (Germany) 4 11.76%
Admiral, Erich Raeder (Germany) 0 0%
Admiral Andrew B. Cunningham (United Kingdom) 6 17.65%
Admiral William "Bull" Halsey (USA) 3 8.82%
Admiral Chester Nimitz (USA) 13 38.24%
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Japan) 4 11.76%
Admiral Chuichi Nagumo (Japan) 0 0%
Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher (USA) 0 0%
Admiral Raymond A Spruance 2 5.88%
Admiral Raizo Tanaka 2 5.88%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

 
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March 1st, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 

Topic: Greatest Naval Commander of WW2??


World War II saw some spectacular naval battles. The misnamed Battle of the Atlantic pitted the minds of Admiral Raeder and Admiral Dönitz against the very potent British Royal Navy. That chessmatch did not completely end until the final surrender of Germany by Admiral Dönitz in 1945. (I find an overall lack of documentation of notable British commanders for some strange reason and that makes no sense to me.) The Italian navy was the star "lets sit here and do nothing at all" player in that game.

The Pacific War saw the largest naval conflict in history. The Japanese had built an extremely potent navy and scored a brilliant victory at Pearl Harbor under the command of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. The star players of the Japanese were Admiral Chuichi Nagumo and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Victorious early on, but ultimately overwhelmed by the USA's superior production in the long run. On the USA's side, some brilliant victories against superior forces shortly after Pearl Harbor put an exclamation on the brilliance of the US Naval leadership. Best known stars: Admiral William "Bull" Halsey and Admiral Chester Nimitz. Other stars worth noting: Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher captured victory against the odds at the Battle of the Coral Sea and then, perhaps the most amazing victory, the Battle of Midway under the direction of Nimitz, although Admiral Raymond A Spruance deserves more credit that Fletcher at Midway as the man on scene that got it done. Of course, the overall victory at Midway belongs to Nimitz.

With all the outstanding stars, who deserves to be called "the Greatest Naval Commander of World War II"?
March 1st, 2005  
Zucchini
 
Tanaka.
March 1st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
My heart would like to vote for Admiral Halsey as my family owes him a debt we can never repay. However, I voted for Admiral Nimitz. His overall strategy and shouldering of massive responsibility in the Pacific war were beyond measure. I agree with you up to a point about Midway, Thunder, but Spruance while the tactical commander was not the commander who bet his career and the US Navy's ability to continue the war on that battle. It was Nimitz who made the call and Nimitz who would have been destroyed had he been wrong. Also it was Nimitz who decided where Spruance would be to await the Japanese and it was Nimitz who had the repair crews perform the miracle of getting USS Yorktown back into the fight after being seriously damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea. So it was both of them who deserve credit for Midway and equally as neither's contribution can truly be quantified.
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March 1st, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
I've been a long admirer of Karl Donitz because he made great use of very limited resources. In the end though I went for Nimitz simply because he made most of the calls that had to be made and the Pacific Theatre was by far the biggest sphere of naval operations in WW2.
March 1st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Captain Walker really shouldn't be in this list. It is certainly true that he pioneered the most effective ways of anti-submarine warfare that went a long way to winning the the Battle of the Atlantic and he literally worked himself to death in doing so, but he was not a force commander (though he did command a small group of ships) and it isn't right for him to be in a list of them.
March 1st, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
I like Nimitz, I love Halsey.
March 1st, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
I agree with you up to a point about Midway, Thunder, but Spruance while the tactical commander was not the commander who bet his career and the US Navy's ability to continue the war on that battle. It was Nimitz who made the call and Nimitz who would have been destroyed had he been wrong. Also it was Nimitz who decided where Spruance would be to await the Japanese and it was Nimitz who had the repair crews perform the miracle of getting USS Yorktown back into the fight after being seriously damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea. So it was both of them who deserve credit for Midway and equally as neither's contribution can truly be quantified.
I agree and did not intend for it to come out quite that way. As I reread my post, I see what you mean. You just automatically assume that Nimitz is the key in every major battle. Spruance was the hero on the scene of the battle, so while Fletcher was truly in command at Midway, Spruance deserves more credit than Fletcher for victory that day. Lets be honest, dumb luck was our greatest friend in the Battle of Midway, but we must celebrate the heroes of that day for brilliant success as well. Nimitz was an extraordinary master in the greatest naval chessmatch in history.

Walker is the result of a dilema I ran into: An overall lack of extraordinary British Commanders other that ABC himself. I'd like to have a British replacement for him, but there isn't anyone I can think of to list.
March 1st, 2005  
Zucchini
 
Rear Admiral Tanaka was widely respected by the USN. He was a fierce fighter - often scoring amazing victories against long odds.
March 1st, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zucchini
Rear Admiral Tanaka was widely respected by the USN. He was a fierce fighter - often scoring amazing victories against long odds.
Excellent, can you give his full name so I can get him added? Mods have to do it unfortunately.
March 1st, 2005  
Zucchini
 
Rear-Admiral Raizo Tanaka


Here is a website about him:

http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/tanaka.html



Just me, but I'm going to like combat guys better than "big picture" guys.

My dad was on the USS New Orleans when it was torpedoed off Guadacanal. When he was a kid he used to tell me the Japanese commander who defeated their task force that night deserved Japan's version of the medal of honor. About 5 years ago he repeated the story and I sat down at a computer and typed "USS New Orleans" into the search engine.

I asked him if he was in the "Battle of Tassafaronga" and he said he'd never heard of it. I told him that he was in it, which he was. And then I was able to tell him the name of the Japanese commander, and after that he said computers were okay.

That article incorrectly leaves the USS New Orleans off the list of ships heavily damaged by Tanaka's Long Lance counterattack at Tassafaronga.