Re: Greatest Admiral In History?
Nelson was only a romantic/heroic figure... never a serious contender for greatest Admiral.
You are right sylla, yes, but I see there are still no great admirals from the modern era to vote for and most people who voted for Nelson did so before reading (my explanation of) why Nelson thought (quite rightly) before hand that he expected to capture more than half of the French fleet at Trafalgar.
And why was that Sylla? You know very well, because you have been reading my posts and have not been able to answer them satisfactorily.
Could it be... that between the revolutionary terror of decapitating his officer class, and the fact that Napoleon was using some two thousand soldiers as sailors in the French fleet at Trafalgar, that his headless fleet was clearly no match for the RN?
Let's start the vote again and see if people still think Nelson is the greatest admiral or even such a great hero?
When they realize he never had one hour of doubt that he was going to win, between those battles? Ha Ha! Nelson's only worry was finding the French and getting them to come out to fight. Remember the French captains had voted to stay in the harbor... but the reckless Napoleon had different ideas...sending them all out to get blown out of the water or captured. Nelson can be considered a great admiral... but simply can never be considered the greatest admiral, because the French officers who had kept their heads (literally) after the revolution, were never a match against the experienced British officers and French soldiers firing from a moving platform were never going to be a match for experienced RN gunners full stop. The whole premise is laughable.
Yi was also not the greatest Admiral, because he either had home "tide" advantage for many of his victories or the technological advantage of a ship that could not be destoyed. The Turtle Ship... remember the huge photo I put up. It was a tank on the ocean commanded by a man who knew his own waters and very fast tides infinitely better than anyone who came against him.
It was Nimitz, or as has been pointed out by others, Spruance who came from the darkest times in Western naval history to defeat a well trained and highly motivated enemy. And at a time when the US and her allies definitely did not have the upper hand militarily and could have been completely extinguished from the Pacific. These admirals clawed back from defeat twice (Midway and the last three Savo Island battles) to overwhelm the desperate Japanese. An enemy, who after Pearl had boastfully asked (in English), "..so where is the much vaunted US Navy now?"
Nelson was a brave and colorful little fellow and I like his stories very much, but he had no enemy in his era that could even go close, let alone match his RN. He was the darling and savior of European and Islamic royalty and his heroic stories reflected, in a fairy tale like way, that very fact.