Admiral

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For other uses, see Admiral (disambiguation).
See also: Admiralty
Navies Armies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal or
Field marshal
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier or
Brigadier general
Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major or
Commandant
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant Lieutenant or
First lieutenant
Flying officer
Ensign Second
lieutenant
Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet
Enlisted grades
Chief petty officer or
Warrant officer
Sergeant major or
Warrant officer
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman
Naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Vice admiralSquadron vice-admiralLieutenant admiral
Rear admiralCounter admiralDivisional admiral
CommodoreFlotilla admiral

Senior officers:

CaptainCapt at seaCapt of sea and warShip-of-the-line Capt
CommanderFrigate captain
Lieutenant commanderCorvette captain

Junior officers:

Captain lieutenantLieutenantShip-of-the-line lieutenant
Frigate lieutenantLieutenant (junior grade)Sub-lieutenant
Corvette lieutenantEnsign
Midshipman

Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM".

The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر‎, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis[1] ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay.

In the Commonwealth and USA, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general in the army, and is above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet (or fleet admiral). In NATO, admirals have a rank code of OF-9.

Etymology[edit]

The word "admiral" in Middle English is believed to from the French word amiral, although the inclusion of a "d" from classical Latin shows that English-speakers were conscious of a similar Latin word. The first written record of the French word is from 1249. The French amiral is generally believed to derive from Medieval Latin. It also resembles the Ottoman title miralay, especially its Arabic version amīralay (أمير آلاي).

The oldest known Latin form, from early 12th century Sicily, is ammiratus, a medieval vulgar Latin variation on the classical Latin admiratus, meaning "admired".

The original Sicilian term was ammiratus, but the terms in Italian (ammiraglio), French (amiral) and English (admiral) all include an "l" ending, suggesting a switch from the Latin title admiratus to the similar Latin title admirabilis, and/or a conflation with an Arabic title beginning amīr-al-..., before the oldest French recorded use of amiral of 1249.

The oldest known use of the title, or at least a similar title, was in Sicily during the reign of the Norman ruler Roger II (1095–1154). Roger II employed a Greek Christian called George of Antioch as his naval commander. He had previously had served as a naval commander for North African Muslim rulers. Roger gave George the title "ammiratus ammiratorum". "Ammiratus ammiratorum" (in classical Latin admiratus admiratorum) means "the [most] admired of the admired". The change from "adm-" to "amm-" is standard in the evolution of Classical Latin to modern Italian, as seen in Italian words such as ammirare ("admire"), amministrare ("administer"), and ammettere ("admit").

Many sources assert a link between ammiratus ammiratorum and Arabic. Some sources assert a link it to a hypothetical Arabic title amīr al-baḥr (Arabic: أمير البحر‎, English: "commander of the sea" or "prince of the sea")[2] while some sources claim "ammiratus ammiratorum" is a medieval vulgar Latin version of the Abbasid title amir al-umara (i.e. "emir of emirs").[3] Sources that derive admiral from Arabic still see the "d" in the word as derived from a conflation with Latin, either admirabilis[1] ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired").

Further history[edit]

The Sicilians use was followed by the Genoese. The Spanish and Portuguese used the word almirante. As the word was used by people speaking Latin or Latin-based languages it gained the "d" and endured a series of different endings and spellings leading to the English spelling "admyrall" in the 14th century and to "admiral" by the 16th century.

The word "admiral" has today come to be almost exclusively associated with the highest naval rank in most of the world's navies, equivalent to the army rank of (full) general. However, this wasn't always the case; for example, in some European countries prior to the end of World War II, admiral was the third highest naval rank after general admiral and grand admiral.

The rank of admiral has also been subdivided into various grades, several of which are historically extinct while others remain in use in most present day navies. The Royal Navy used colours (red, white, and blue, in descending order) to indicate seniority of its admirals until 1864; for example, Horatio Nelson's highest rank was vice admiral of the white. The generic term for these naval equivalents of army generals is flag officer. Some navies have also used army-type titles for them, such as the Cromwellian "general at sea".

Admiral insignia by country[edit]

The rank insignia for an admiral often involves four stars and/or 3 stripes/rings over a broad stripe/ring, but as one can see below, there are many cases where the insignia do not involve four stars.

National ranks[edit]

Australia[edit]

Main article: Admiral (Australia)

Canada[edit]

Main article: Admiral (Canada)

France[edit]

Main article: Admiral of France

Germany[edit]

Admiral is a German Navy OF-9 four-star flag officer rank, equivalent to the German Army and German Air Force rank of General.

See also

Netherlands[edit]

Main article: Admiral (Netherlands)

Russia[edit]

Main article: Admiral (Russia)

Spain[edit]

Admiral of Castile was a post with a long and important history in Spain.

Main article: Admiral of Castile

Sweden[edit]

Main article: Admiral (Sweden)

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Admiral - Definition of admiral by Merriam-Webster". m-w.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Abulafia (2011)

References[edit]

  • Abulafia, David (2011) The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean. (London: Allen Lane). ISBN 978-0-7139-9934-1