Only four men in American history have been promoted to the five-star rank of Fleet Admiral: William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, Chester W. Nimitz, and William F. Halsey. They were the best and the brightest Annapolis produced, and together they led the U.S. Navy to victory in World War II, establishing the United States as the world's greatest sea power. In The Admirals, award-winning historian Walter R. Borneman tells their combined story in full and dramatic detail for the first time.
Divided into three sections, The Admirals takes us from the end of the nineteenth century through the end of World War II. Part One, “Sailors, 1897-1918”, profiles the admirals’ early years and their rise through the naval ranks. Part Two, “Ships, 1918-1941”, chronicles the myriad commands each officer held on a variety of vessels—battleships, submarines, aircraft carriers—and how the development of each type of vessel influenced the course of naval warfare. While battleships had reigned as the queens of the seas, their supremacy was soon challenged by the advent of the carrier. Leahy—the oldest of the four—clung to his view of the battleship’s power. Nimitz was an advocate of the submarine as an effective weapon. Halsey was a devotee of the destroyer but eventually came to understand the fearsome potential of naval aviation, as did King.
Part Three, “Admirals”, begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After the initial panic had subsided, President Roosevelt began placing his top naval commanders. King was appointed Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet. Nimitz replaced Husband E. Kimmel as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. Halsey took his flagship carrier, USS Enterprise, into the Pacific to engage the Japanese, leading hit and run raids in the Gilbert and Marshall islands and conducting the Doolittle raid. And Leahy was appointed Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Army and Navy, the President of the United States. From Pearl Harbor to the U.S. defeat at Wake Island, the first days of the war were desperate, indeed—but eventually, the Navy began to see great successes, including the Battle of the Coral Sea—the first clash in which aircraft carriers engaged each other—the Solomon Islands Campaign, and the turning point in the Pacific, the Battle of Midway. The combined talents and experience of the Navy’s top admirals—along with the new technologies they had championed—ensured that, from that point on, the United States would enjoy supremacy in the Pacific.
Drawing upon journals, ship logs, and other primary sources, Borneman brings an incredible historical moment to life, showing us how four extraordinary men helped ensure victory in World War II, and revolutionized naval warfare forever.
Hardcover Book : 576 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( May 01, 2012 )
Item #: 13-562542
Product Dimensions: 6.0 x 9.25 inches
Product Weight: 27.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I found this book to be very fascinating and educational. I had little knowledge of the Admirals, having heard their names but not much else. I agree with everyone else about the way the author wrote the book. He kept the narrative moving along very smoothly. I also learned some personal history, as my dad served on the USS Bennington (TFG 38.1) during the time of the second typhoon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it!
Reviewer: Cheryl N
I agree with the comment on a great approach. The authors skillfully tracked ech of their careers at the same delivering a great narrative on the key battles. Could not put this book down.
Reviewer: Mike G
For a large book (500+)covering multiple characters, the author does a great job in keeping it interesting and imformative. I appreciated how he rotated through each of the admirals a little at a time. Also, by keeping the narrative on more of a strategic level rather than tactical, especially concerning key battles, kept the book from bogging down with detail. I really did not know anything about King, Leahy and little about Halsey and Nimitz except their in WW2. Enjoyable read, highly recommend it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the approach of this book, from the background of these leaders to their role in World War II. In particular, I found the portion on Admiral William Leahy to be interesting. There has been very little recent analysis of his role as FDR's personal representative to the Joint and Combined Staffs, and, in effect, as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Reviewer: Larry S