Admiral

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Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic : أمير البحر, romanized:  amīr al-baḥr, lit.  'commander of the sea'. Alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay. The French version—amiral without the additional d—tends to add evidence for the Arab origin. [1]

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In the Commonwealth nations and the United States, 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 as a four-star rank.

Etymology

The word admiral in Middle English comes from Anglo-French amiral, "commander", from Medieval Latin admiralis, admirallus. These themselves come from Arabic amīr , or amīr al- (أمير الـ), "commander of", as in amīr al-baḥr (أمير البحر), "commander of the sea". [2] The term was in use for the Greco-Arab naval leaders of Norman Sicily, which had formerly been ruled by Arabs, at least by the early 11th century.

The Norman Roger II of Sicily (1095–1154), employed a Greek Christian known as George of Antioch, who previously had served as a naval commander for several North African Muslim rulers. Roger styled George in Abbasid fashion as Amir of Amirs , i.e. "Commander of Commanders", with the title becoming Latinized in the 13th century as ammiratus ammiratorum. [3]

The Sicilians and later Genoese took the first two parts of the term and used them as one word, amiral, from their Aragon opponents. [4] The French and Spanish gave their sea commanders similar titles while in Portuguese the word changed to almirante. [5] 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. [6] [7]

Further history

The word "admiral" has come to be almost exclusively associated with the highest naval rank in most of the world's navies, equivalent to the army rank of general. However, this was not 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. [8]

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 the 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. [9] Some navies have also used army-type titles for them, such as the Cromwellian "general at sea". [10]

Admiral insignia by country

The rank insignia for an admiral often involves four stars or similar devices, or three stripes over a broad stripe, but there are many cases where the insignia do not involve four stars or similar devices.

National ranks

Australia

Canada

France

Germany

India

Japan

Post-World War II rank is Bakurocho taru kaishō or Kaishō serve as Chief of Staff, Joint Staff with limited function as an advisory staff to Minister of Defense (Japan) , compared to Kaigun-taishō (Imperial Japanese Navy) during 1872–1873 and 1898–1945.

Netherlands

Pakistan

Russia

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

United States

See also

Notes

  1. Chief of Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Related Research Articles

Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to Brigadier and Air Commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as the most junior of the flag officers rank or may not hold the jurisdiction of a flag officer at all depending on the officer's appointment. Non-English-speaking nations often use the rank of flotilla admiral, counter admiral, or senior captain as an equivalent, although counter admiral may also correspond to rear admiral.

Vice admiral NATO rank code of OF-8

Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to lieutenant general and air marshal. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral. In many navies, vice admiral is a three-star rank with a NATO code of OF-8, although in some navies like the French Navy it is an OF-7 rank, the OF-8 code corresponding to the four-star rank of squadron vice-admiral.

Rear admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to a major general and air vice marshal and above that of a commodore and captain, but below that of a vice admiral. It is regarded as a two star "admiral" rank. In many navies it is referred to as (OF-8)/(O-8).

A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines.

Brigadier general or brigade general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000 troops. In some countries a brigadier general is informally designated as a one-star general (OF-6).

General admiral

General admiral was a Danish, Dutch, German, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish naval rank. Its historic origin is a title high military or naval dignitaries of early modern Europe sometimes held, for example the (nominal) commander-in-chief of the Dutch Republic's navy.

Mushir is an Arab word meaning "counsellor" or "advisor". It is related to the word shura, meaning consultation or "taking counsel".

Counter admiral is a rank found in many navies of the world, but no longer used in English-speaking countries, where the equivalent rank is rear admiral. The term derives from the French contre-amiral.

Admiral of the fleet military naval officer of the highest rank; generic term for a senior admiral

An admiral of the fleet or fleet 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, and is often held by the most senior admiral of an entire naval service.

Lieutenant admiral is a senior naval military rank in some countries of the world.

Ranks in the French Navy

The rank insignia of the French Navy are worn on shoulder straps of shirts and white jackets, and on sleeves for navy jackets and mantels. Until 2005, only commissioned officers had an anchor on their insignia, but enlisted personnel are now receiving them as well. Although the names of the ranks for superior officers contain the word "Capitaine", the appropriate style to address them is "Commandant", "Capitaine" referring to "lieutenant de vaisseau", which is translated as lieutenant. The two highest ranks, Vice-amiral d'escadre and Amiral (Admiral), are functions, rather than ranks. They are assumed by officers ranking Vice-Amiral (Vice-Admiral).

Military ranks of the Soviet Union

The military ranks of the Soviet Union were those introduced after the October Revolution of 1917. At that time the Imperial Russian Table of Ranks was abolished, as were the privileges of the pre-Soviet Russian nobility.

Five-star rank U.S. grade insignia for generals of the army, fleet admirals, and generals of the air force

A five-star rank is a very senior military rank, first established in the United States in 1944, with a five-star general insignia, and corresponding ranks in other countries. The rank is that of the most senior operational military commanders, and within NATO's "standard rank scale" it is designated by the code OF-10.

A four-star rank is the rank of any four-star officer described by the NATO OF-9 code. Four-star officers are often the most senior commanders in the armed services, having ranks such as (full) admiral, (full) general, or air chief marshal. This designation is also used by some armed forces that are not North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members.

An officer of three-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-8. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, three-star officers hold the rank of vice admiral, lieutenant general, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air marshal.

Two-star rank U.S. grade insignia for major generals and rear admirals (upper half)

An officer of two-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-7. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, two-star officers hold the rank of rear admiral, counter admiral, major general, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air vice-marshal.

The Military ranks of Iraq are the military insignia used by the Iraqi Armed Forces.

Colonel general is a three or four-star rank in some armies, usually equivalent to that of a full general in other armies. North Korea and Russian Federation have used the rank in that fashion throughout their histories. The rank is also closely associated with Germany, where Generaloberst has formerly been a higher rank above full General but below Generalfeldmarschall.

Captain (United States O-6) Rank in the United States uniformed services, O-6

In the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, captain is the senior-most commissioned officer rank below that of flag officer. The equivalent rank is colonel in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

The Military ranks of Turkey are the military insignia used by the Turkish Armed Forces.

References

  1. "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  2. "Definition of ADMIRAL". Merriam-Webster .
  3. David Abulafia (2011). The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean. London: Allen Lane. ISBN   978-0-7139-9934-1.
  4. Harry Thurston Peck; Selim Hobart Peabody; Charles Francis Richardson, eds. (1899) [1885]. The International Cyclopedia: A Compendium of Human Knowledge. 1. Dodd, Mead & Co. p. 103.
  5. Antonio Vieyra (1851). A dictionary of the English and Portuguese languages. 2. p. 48.
  6. The English Charlemagne Romances: The Boke of Duke Huon de Bordeaux. 1534. p. 143.
  7. John Ehrman (2011) [1953]. The Navy in the War of William III 1689-1697: Its State and Direction. Cambridge University Press. p. 190. ISBN   978-1-107-64511-0.
  8. Erich Raeder (2001). Grand Admiral (1st ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 430. ISBN   0306809621.
  9. Brian Lavery (2003). Horatio Lord Nelson. Trustees of the National Maritime Museum. p. 139. ISBN   0-8147-5190-3.
  10. William Hepworth Dixon (1885). Robert Blake, Admiral and General at Sea: Based on Family and State Papers. Ballantyne Press.