Academic journal article Military Review

Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater

Academic journal article Military Review

Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater

Article excerpt

ADMIRAL NIMITZ: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater

Brayton Harris, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2012, 238 pages, $26.00

ADMIRAL NIMITZ: THE Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater is a welcome addition to the few studies that analyze the career of fleet admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Brayton Harris uses U.S. Naval Institute oral histories from the 1960s and 1970s and other secondary sources to compose his biography of Nimitz. He examines Nimitz's life and naval career, particularly his service in World War II.

Harris sets the stage by summarizing Nimitz's early years in Texas and as a student at the U.S. Naval Academy. He recounts Nimitz's naval service from his naval academy graduation in 1905 through his assignment as the chief, Bureau of Navigation, which began in 1939. Harris tells of Nimitz's numerous afloat commands, particularly those associated with submarines.

The author rightfully focuses much of the book on Nimitz's World War II record. President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally selected Nimitz to take command of the battered Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and, subsequently, the Pacific Ocean areas. As Commander in Chief, Pacific Command, and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Area, Nimitz led extensive maritime efforts across the south and central Pacific through the war's end. …

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