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Master of Sea Power: A Biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King (Classics of Naval Literature) [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Thomas B. Buell , John B. Lundstrom
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Kurzbeschreibung

Mai 1995 Classics of Naval Literature
A comprehensive study of the most powerful naval officer in the history of the United States and controversial architect of victory in the Pacific.

Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 609 Seiten
  • Verlag: Naval Institute Press; Auflage: 2nd Revised edition (Mai 1995)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1557500924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557500922
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,7 x 14,8 x 4,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.604.498 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen An outstanding biography of an extraordinary figure 15. Oktober 1997
Von Buccaneer
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ernie J. King was one of the least known and yet most important figures of American 20th century military history. While others, such as Nimitz and Halsey, gained laurels in the press, King actually defined the strategy, determined who would lead American naval forces across the Pacific, and single-handedly ran the Navy Department throughout the war. Yet he remains almost unknown to modern generations [during a recent visit to the US Naval Academy, an official tour guide -- a retired Naval officer -- told me that King was buried in Arlington cemetery, when in fact he is buried at the Academy].
Mr. Buell addresses this gap with this extraordinary book. Buell tries -- by all available means -- to get at who the man was, what he was like, and what he did -- no easy task considering that King distrusted the press for much of the war, and was almost universally regarded as an SOB within the Navy Department.

Yet reading this book, I came to understand why it took an SOB to accomplish the defeat of Japan simultaneously with that of Germany -- something that Admiral King seems to have understood as well. I felt that at the end of this book, I understood who King was, what motivated him, and what he was like.

The reproduction of King's 2-page memorandum to FDR about Pacific war strategy is an extraordinary document and a classic example of good business writing.

It is unfortunate that Buell's biography of Raymond Spruance does not manage to capture equally the character of Spruance -- admittedly an enigma.

Buell's bibliography is a marvel of critical assessement of sources -- he uses the same style with his Spruance biography and new Civil War history. For someone interested in sources and original material, Buell's syntheses are unparalleled.
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77 von 78 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An outstanding biography of an extraordinary figure 15. Oktober 1997
Von Buccaneer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ernie J. King was one of the least known and yet most important figures of American 20th century military history. While others, such as Nimitz and Halsey, gained laurels in the press, King actually defined the strategy, determined who would lead American naval forces across the Pacific, and single-handedly ran the Navy Department throughout the war. Yet he remains almost unknown to modern generations [during a recent visit to the US Naval Academy, an official tour guide -- a retired Naval officer -- told me that King was buried in Arlington cemetery, when in fact he is buried at the Academy].
Mr. Buell addresses this gap with this extraordinary book. Buell tries -- by all available means -- to get at who the man was, what he was like, and what he did -- no easy task considering that King distrusted the press for much of the war, and was almost universally regarded as an SOB within the Navy Department.

Yet reading this book, I came to understand why it took an SOB to accomplish the defeat of Japan simultaneously with that of Germany -- something that Admiral King seems to have understood as well. I felt that at the end of this book, I understood who King was, what motivated him, and what he was like.

The reproduction of King's 2-page memorandum to FDR about Pacific war strategy is an extraordinary document and a classic example of good business writing.

It is unfortunate that Buell's biography of Raymond Spruance does not manage to capture equally the character of Spruance -- admittedly an enigma.

Buell's bibliography is a marvel of critical assessement of sources -- he uses the same style with his Spruance biography and new Civil War history. For someone interested in sources and original material, Buell's syntheses are unparalleled.

My only question is: when will Buell take up the story of another fascinating military figure such as Pershing, Arleigh Burke, or McNair?
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Master of Sea Power 26. April 2010
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
A very good, well written biography of WW2 Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. It covered how his decendants arrived in this country from Scotland and settled in Lorain, Ohio where King was born and raised. How he came about testing and getting his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. How he subsequently climbed the ladder in rank having fought and taken part in battles from the Spanish-American War, the war with Mexico, World War 1 up to World War 2. How he recieved his first command of a early World War 1 era four piper destroyer, then moved up through submarines, eventually commanding the submarine training base in New London, Conn.,into aviation and earning his wings at the age of 49. Eventually all of this led to his taking charge of the United States fleet Atlantic Ocean just prior to WW 2. At the start of WW2 he was promoted to Commander-in-Chief U.S. Fleet and then inheriting the job of Chief of Naval Operations. Never before has Anyone held both jobs at one time as directed to him by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, making him the eventual head of what would be through his guidance the most powerful naval fleet in the world. Through his careful direction and influence he guided the nation to victory in a two ocean war that encompassed the whole globe. Under his command and direction were names that have a place in history by themselves, Chester Nimitz, William "Bull" Halsey, Raymond A. Spruance, and Marc Mitcher. All together these help shape the outcome of World War 2.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen King: Absolute Monarch of the Navy 19. Oktober 2011
Von Grover Hartt, III - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I recently read Thomas Buell's biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, first published over 30 years ago. One of the remarkable things about this book is that it remains as one of the few biographical treatments of this important historical figure. If Admiral King appears at all in histories of WWII, he is usually an offstage, often intimidating figure. To be fair, from all accounts, he was an intimidating figure. Even one of his daughters described him as the most even tempered man she had ever known - mad all of the time.

King was not what would be called today a "people person." In some instances, he was brutally unfair. All of that said, he was a smart and tough administrator and strategist during an important period of our history. Mr. Buell's book is worthwhile because it provides a detailed portrayal of this historically significant individual. He had access to the author of King's memoirs and provides a well-footnoted biography of his subject. For these reasons, I recommend this book.

To balance the assessment, I found the author's omission of certain matters odd. King was reputed to be a "womanizer," but he appears to have been devoted to his family. After he became the COMINCH on December 31, 1941, he took up residence on a yacht moored in Washington as his flagship. His family lived at the Naval Observatory a few miles away in Northwest Washington, D.C. Except for dealing with his wife's heart attack, the book makes no mention of his family during the entire war. I found this omission strange.

It is obviously impossible to write a completely linear account of the life of a man who was involved in so many simultaneously occurring events, but I found the author's decisions on which events to include in which subpart to be confusing occasionally. At times, I thought it would have been helpful to reference battles, invasions, or other significant events in the war that were occurring at the same time as some of the maneuvering or bureaucratic infighting was transpiring far away from the combat zones. On the whole, I agreed with another reviewer of this book who had also read Mr. Buell's biography of Admiral Spruance - his depiction of Admiral King is the better of the two, perhaps because of the enigmatic nature of Spruance. The time spent reading either book will be rewarding.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen The right man at the right time 30. November 2011
Von William S. Grass - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
To become a great admiral, one must have not only the ambition to reach flag rank, but also the ability to perform well once that rank is attained. In his book, Master of Sea Power, Thomas Buell shows us not only how Ernest King possessed the requisite ambition and ability, but also how history and circumstances cooperated in King's becoming Chief of Naval Operations and Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet during WW2, allowing him to command more ships, men and aircraft than any other admiral in history.

The early part of the book shows King's upbringing and early naval career. Buell documents how King carefully chose among assignments whenever possible in order to make the move that would best bolster his upward mobility toward flag rank. Even when King was surprised, and did not have the time to decide if a certain assignment would aid his career, he performed well any way, such as in his high profile undertakings to salvage submarines S-51 and S-4. The most interesting achievement I found in King's prewar career was his performance in Fleet Problem XIX, in the spring of 1938, wherein a carrier force, commanded by King, successfully "attacked" targets in and around Pearl Harbor.

When the United States' involvement in WW2 started, King was in the right place as commander of the Atlantic fleet, which placed him outside of the chain of command leading from Pearl Harbor back to Washington. King then became both Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet. As the top admiral in the navy, King was also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States and ipso facto a member of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with top British Officers. King was a persistent advocate of his own service, who saw the Pacific as its exclusive domain, and he kept up the clarion call for more resources for the theater, despite the "Germany first" strategy that had been declared by the Allies. Perhaps his most strategically influential decision was his push for the Guadalcanal invasion, after which, not only were the Japanese on their heels, but the supply flow to the Pacific was steadily increased.

Buell does not spend a lot of time on battles. This is because once a battle began King's job was over with until the battle ended. What Buell does spend a lot time on is the strategic and diplomatic wrangling in choosing objectives and deciding which admirals to place in command, and which ones to relieve when necessary. King had no tolerance for stupidity or incompetence. He only respected people who stood up to him, and then again only those who showed they were right in doing so. Much of King's most important work was done negotiating at the big conferences with FDR, Churchill and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. It was at these conferences that King reinforced his reputation for being abrupt and tactless, but also a sound thinker and strategist. And although he did not get along well with his British counterparts, mutual respect did exist between them.

One place where Buell could have done differently, I believe, has to do with King's personal life: the assertion that King was a philanderer and perhaps even "downright lecherous." In Buell's chapter on King's command of the Lexington before WW2, he states in the notes that King's "marital infidelity and philandering were common knowledge." That may have been, but Buell does not cite a specific source, nor does he ever point out a specific woman. It may be gentlemanly not to name names, but without attribution to a specific source, it has the ring of gossip, and has found its way into other works, such as Adams' "If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War," and Tuohy's "America's Fighting Admirals."

Anyone well-read on the Pacific theater in WW2 has at least come across references to Master of Sea Power in the bibliographical notes of subsequent works. Buell has done such a thorough job in documenting King's role and influence as head of the USN in WW2, that other authors must include Buell to give a full picture of anything decided or influenced by King in the course of the war. Any serious enthusiast of the USN's role in WW2 must read this biography, in order to flesh out the meager characterizations found in other works.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen good story, no maps 12. November 2011
Von oz reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This a very readable biography of E.J. King with one major flaw...no maps so you can easily follow along. It is very detailed and follows King's travels and decisions but would have been helped a lot with at least several area maps. Can't believe the USNI didn't see the need for this. How naive and disappointing.
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