How history's only five-star admirals triumphed in World War II and made the United States the world's dominant sea power.
Only four men in American history have been promoted to the five-star rank of Admiral of the Fleet: William Leahy, Ernest King, Chester Nimitz, and William Halsey. These four men were the best and the brightest the navy produced, and together they led the U.S. navy to victory in World War II, establishing the United States as the world's greatest fleet.
In The Admirals, award-winning historian Walter R. Borneman tells their story in full detail for the first time. Drawing upon journals, ship logs, and other primary sources, he brings an incredible historical moment to life, showing us how the four admirals revolutionized naval warfare forever with submarines and aircraft carriers, and how these men -- who were both friends and rivals -- worked together to ensure that the Axis fleets lay destroyed on the ocean floor at the end of World War II.
Only four men have risen to five-star admiral in the U.S. Navy: Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, William Leahy, and William Halsey. Their careers began at the turn of the 20th century and culminated in WWII. Each had a different personality; each played a different role. Halsey was the profane, hard-driving sea dog. Nimitz, imperturbable and measured, developed as arguably history's greatest naval strategist. The abrasive King spoke eloquently for sea power while a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leahy, as discreet as he was blunt-spoken, was chief of staff and unofficial national security adviser to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. The four had in common "an enduring sense of duty, mission, and love of country," and shared an unusually high level of ability and a clear understanding of the military's place in a republic. Freelance historian Borneman (1812) demonstrates comprehensive command of published and unpublished sources, fingertip understanding of the period, and a polished writing style in this unique collective biography of the four men who "with a combination of nimble counsel, exasperating ego, studied patience, and street-fighter tactics" shaped the modern U.S. Navy to win WWII at sea. 16 pages of b&w photos; 11 maps.
A view from the top
I thought his book was excellent. It uses the rank of Fleet Admiral as the starting point. We go back from childhood through flashes of their careers, centering on significant moments in World, service, or National events. How their paths crossed, and the influence they had upon others and how people and places had influenced them. Without realizing it, we become intimate and tied to the lives and careers of these men. So as events affect them, we also feel emotionally invested. It is a very good book, and views our country's history in the majority of the 20th Century through the perspective of these 4 Admirals. Well done, and a great companion book for any studies of the Navy, of WWII, of leadership, of politics, of ethics, of government, and of courage. I highly recommend this book.
Fascinating and colorful analysis of leadership diversity
Well-written and thoroughly researched, this book looks at the interwoven lives and careers of four of the greatest Naval officers the US has ever produced. Their diverse personalities and individual styles highlight different leadership traits which made them successful in the 20TH Century and which are still relevant in the 21ST.
If you’re looking for an in-depth look at the battles which turned the tide in the Pacific, this isn’t the book. But if you are interested in a intimate portrait of the senior commanders, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than The Admirals.
A fascinating journey
I found this book to be absolutely riveting. I am a voracious reader of World War II history and this book satisfied me in a very unique way. Assembled in a single volume was a wonderful account of the four 5 star admirals in World War II revealing heretofore unknown facts to me. Their interaction with each other was fascinating. Especially Admiral Leahy's close relationship with FDR. I highly recommend this as a great read!