Admiral of the fleet

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Common anglophone military ranks
Navies Armies Air forces
Officers
Admiral of the fleet Marshal /
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 Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major /
commandant
Squadron
leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant Lieutenant Flying officer
Ensign 2nd lieutenant Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet
Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Warrant officer Sergeant major /
warrant officer
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman
Hierarchy of naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the navy
Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Lieutenant admiralVice admiral
Counter admiralRear admiralSchout-bij-nacht
Commodore admiralFlotilla admiral
Admiral-superintendentPort admiral

Senior officers:

CommodoreFleet captain
Post captainCaptainCaptain at sea
Captain of sea and warShip-of-the-line captain
CommanderFrigate captain
Captain of the port

Junior officers:

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

Officers in training:

Passed midshipmanMidshipman
Naval cadet

An admiral of the fleet (also known as fleet admiral or grand admiral) is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments. It is usually a rank above admiral (which is now usually the highest rank in peace-time for officers in active service), and is often held by the most senior admiral of an entire naval service.

It is also a generic term for a senior admiral in command of a large group of ships, comprising a fleet or, in some cases, a group of fleets. If actually a rank its name can vary depending on the country. In addition to 'fleet admiral' and 'admiral of the fleet', such rank names include 'admiral of the navy' and 'grand admiral'.[1]

It ranks above vice admiral, rear admiral and usually full admiral, and is usually given to a senior admiral commanding multiple fleets as opposed to just one fleet. It is often classified in NATO nations as a five-star rank.[citation needed]

Admiral of the fleet is equivalent to an army field marshal. It is also equivalent to a marshal of the air force which in many countries has a similar rank insignia to admiral of the fleet.

Etymology[edit]

The title admiral of the fleet can trace its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title was typically granted to a nobleman who was appointed by a monarch to raise and command a navy for a specific campaign.

Usage in specific countries[edit]

The following articles contain specific information on the rank as it pertains to individual countries:

Ambiguity exists when translating the French amiral into English (into admiral of the fleet or admiral). A French title of amiral de la flotte, outranking a full admiral was invented in 1939 for Darlan, who was the only person in French history to hold that title.

Before the fall of the monarchy in 1952, the Egyptian Navy had the equivalent rank of sayed elbehar elazam.

In the Turkish Navy, the corresponding rank büyük amiral, literally meaning "grand admiral", can only be bestowed by the National Assembly, and only given to an admiral who leads the navy successfully in and out of a war, criteria tougher than those for equivalent ranks. No one has ever been bestowed this rank yet in the republican era. During the period of the Ottoman Empire, commanders of the navy carried the rank of kapudan-i derya as equivalent.

Other countries[edit]

The rank also exists or has existed (on paper at least) in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman and Pakistan, although not all of these countries have actually ever bestowed the rank on an individual.

Fictional[edit]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  • Francis E. McMurtrie and Raymond V.B. Blackman (editors), Jane's Fighting Ships 1949-50. New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1949.
  1. ^ In some navies, however, such as the German Kriegsmarine during World War II, "admiral of the navy" has been considered a higher rank than "admiral of the fleet" or its equivalent.