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Talk:Chester W. Nimitz

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 Definition United States Navy fleet admiral (1885-1966) who was Commander in Chief, Pacific and Pacific Ocean Areas in World War II [d] [e]

Should we have something about the different things that have been named after him? Not little things, but notable things? For instance Nimitz Highway here in Hawaii is a major hub for industry, and tourism. Pearl Harbors main gate is located just off of Nimitz. On the opposite end of the highway, many hotels, and major fishing wharfs are located right along the street.

I'm not saying things like that should or shouldn't be included, merely wondering. And for those of you who know me, I do have a slight interest in that particular example;-) Drew R. Smith 04:05, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I've been pondering that myself. I've driven on the one in Hawaii and also on the major freeway in Oakland, CA, with the same name (or at least more or less). I'm sure that there are other major ones here and there. Are there Bull Halsey Expressways or Ernie King Freeways? Hayford Peirce 04:30, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Sure -- Drew, you probably know the Hawaii things better than I do, but I'm concentrating on the historical. I might also add a big grey boat, USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and indeed the Nimitz-class.
Somewhere, sometime, I drove on a Halsey highway. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think I've driven on an Ernie King Street. But it definitely wasn't notable. Who was he?
So since it's ok to add in the article, what would be the best way to do it? I don't want to accidentally turn this into a "grab bag of facts". I think I'll just write up a quick blurb about the highway in my sandbox and let someone else incorporate it into the article.Drew R. Smith 05:05, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Geez, Ernie King was Chester's boss! He wuz the Chief of Naval Operations! Hayford Peirce 05:10, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I figured I'd get a response like that. I'll admit I don't even know that much about Nimitz though. The "War in the Pacific" never really interested me as much as the European aspect of it. I grew up in, and around the U.S. Air Force, and the bombing runs and dogfights were what really caught my attention.Drew R. Smith 05:23, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, if you'd just bothered to look down through the rest of the Nimitz article you'd have *seen* that Ernie was the CNO *before* Chester became CNO.... Hayford Peirce 05:54, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
My apologies. You are right, I didn't read the entire article before posting. Drew R. Smith 08:15, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I've done my "blurb" on Nimitz Highway, but I got a little carried away and wrote an article.Drew R. Smith 08:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Nobody asked me, but if you want my opinion it is that this WP trivia stuff should have a separate subpage on CZ. Russell D. Jones


It seems to me that Chester W. Nimitz went by Chester W. Nimitz in his lifetime, and is certainly referred to more often as Chester W. Nimitz than as Chester Nimitz. I would favor a cluster move to Chester W. Nimitz. Russell D. Jones 00:09, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Google has 2.6 million hits for "Chester W. Nimitz" and only 95,000 for "Chester Nimitz", so I would certainly support a Move. Hayford Peirce 00:16, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
And JSTOR has about 211 hits for CWN versus about 100 for CN. Russell D. Jones 00:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Plan Orange

This article in the section on "Early Career" notes that Nimitz was responsible for "a basic Pacific Fleet war plan that formed the basis for operations in WWII." Is this article claiming that he was the author of Plan Orange? Can someone verify or falsify this claim? thanks. Russell D. Jones 00:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Probably overstated, but he was an assistant to Horne, the primary author. [1] --Howard C. Berkowitz 00:46, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference Howard. The Miller text says that Nimitz studied under Clarence Williams at the Naval War College and that Williams was one of the authors of Plan Orange; and I've looked at every reference in the text containing "Nimitz" and I'm fairly confident that Miller does not claim that Nimitz was an author of Plan Orange. I'm re-writing the passage. Russell D. Jones 02:22, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Personnel changes

I'm moving this paragraph here because it makes no sense to me. Fletcher was in command throughout the war. He was the commander for the landings at Guadalcanal and he led forces in the battle of the eastern Solomons too. It appears that only after the damage to the Saratoga, was Fletcher not reassigned to a major theater of operations. Furthermore the reference cited says very clearly that "no reason has been assigned" to Fletcher's relief of command following Savo and apparently this was only temporary. This paragraph need to be explained. Russell D. Jones 00:53, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher had turned back from the attempted reinforcement of Wake Island; while he started as senior officer at the Battle of Midway, when his flagship was disabled, he turned tactical command to RADM Raymond Spruance. After the Battle of Savo Island, Nimitz relieved Fletcher. <ref>George Carroll Dyer (1969), Chapter X: Savo--The Galling Defeat, The Amphibians Came to Conquer: The Story of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, U.S. Navy</ref>

He went from a key command — which was Halsey's anyway — to Thirteenth Naval District/Northwestern Sea Frontier in November 1942, and then sent to the Alaskan Sea Frontier in 1943. In 1944, he had a bombardment force. Not exactly a mark of confidence in high command.
No, he wasn't completely dismissed, but, if I may digress, I'm reminded of a family spat where my first wife asked me to sort out the truth about her grandfather, who was an up-and-coming one-star commodore at the last naval battle of Guadalcanal (Rennell Island), and, while having commands, never had one of equal significance. In this case, I was able to go to the Naval Operational Archives, read the logs, and conclude that Ben Wyatt was scapegoated in favor of Ike Giffen, but it was, nevertheless, a blighted career. Fletcher was never really trusted after Midway, while Spruance leapfrogged him. Interestingly, Mitscher also rose after Midway, although there apparently was some suppression of poor performance -- I can get the reference on Monday. Nevertheless, Mitscher and Spruance demonstated progression while Fletcher did not. --Howard C. Berkowitz 01:20, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I know Fletcher's career trajectory, and, yes, when we look at a reassignment to the Aleutians we can certainly assume that he had lost the confidence of his superiors; and I'm also well aware of the criticism against him at Guadalcanal. But I guess I'm saying CZ should do better than assuming. I want the smoking the gun; I want a document wherein Nimitz says, "I reassigned Turner to the Aleutians because ...." I want the historical evidence. I almost moved the Ghormely paragraph too for the same reason but I was then out of steam.... Hell, if Fletcher was really all that bad he'd have been sent stateside; there was certainly a bunch of Lt. Commanders willing to command the Aleutians; and it's not like Nimitz had a short list of two from which to pick. Russell D. Jones 02:12, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

For Ghormley, I'm fairly sure I can find a reference; I do have Layton's book here but not Potter's. That was exceptional, though; senior officer sidetracking is rarely documented, especially in the Navy. Eisenhower was much more explicit about firing people, although I suppose he couldn't shoot Fredendall. Nevertheless, on the one hand, I don't think you'll ever find "I relieved Fletcher", but you'll find a lot of competent observers observing circumstantial evidence. By all accounts, however, Ghormley was visibly exhausted and likely in a clinical depression, not that the diagnosis would have been made at the time.
That may, indeed, be an intelligence analyst perspective. As a very junior analyst at the time, I remember judgments -- often accurate -- being made about power shifts in the North Vietnamese Politburo based on the shifts in order of appearance of their editorials in the party journal. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

The lede sentence and/or paragraph and/or chapter

I have nothing in general against lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg sentences, and have written many of them myself, but I *do* think that the lede is a *little* too long. Also the very last part, about how distinguished his career was, is really pretty convoluted.... Hayford Peirce 02:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Have at it. As far as destroying with edit conflicts, suh, this is war. 15:37, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Another syntax issue

In 1945, during the arguments over service unification, General Jimmy Doolittle snapped in response to Nimitz's sea power "ultimately compelled the Japs to ask for peace." Doolittle had an angry rejoinder, saying, "The B-29 boys are probably resting uneasily in their graves as a result of those statements."<ref name=Time>"Army & Navy: Doolittle v. the Navy", Time, 19 November 1945</ref>

What does this line mean? "... General Jimmy Doolittle snapped in response to Nimitz's sea power 'ultimately ...'".

How did Doolittle snap in response to sea power? I think this is meant to say that "Doolittle snapped in response to a remark that Nimitz's sea power 'ultimately ...'" Or is this meant to say that "Doolittle snapped in response to Nimitz's remark that sea power 'ultimately ....'" Does any one have an answer? Until this is resolved I've moved the whole paragraph here. Russell D. Jones 14:45, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I think it means *both*, although, perhaps, inadventently. Ie. "To Nimitz's assertion that blah-blah etc, Doolittle momentarily lost control of himself [snapped]] and responded sharply [snapped]]. 'Not so!' he cried in a loud voice. 'The B-29 boys etc....' " Howzat? Hayford Peirce 15:14, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
And if it wasn't Nimitz's remark it doesn't belong in this article. Furthermore, (okay maybe now I am quibbling with the content) this paragraph as now written says more about Doolittle than it does about Nimitz. How is this remark of Nimitz's (if it is his remark) indicative of Nimitz's personality, regardless of what Doolittle thinks? Russell D. Jones 15:21, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
And for crying out loud! The source is even about Doolittle and not Nimitz! Now I'm really not in favor of restoring this here. This paragraph is about Doolittle and should be moved to the Doolittle article or to that interservice rivalry article Howard mentioned. Russell D. Jones 15:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
If possible, I will try to find more of the conversation. It goes to Nimitz's personality that he almost never became dramatic -- I won't say emotional, as he was a notably warm man -- but can you picture this conversation between MacArthur and Doolittle? Howard C. Berkowitz 15:34, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, the best thing we can do for the world is to be as accurate and as unflinching as possible regarding MacArthur; he'll sink himself. Russell D. Jones 15:39, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's what we need to show, how unflappable and dignified the guy was. Russell D. Jones 15:41, 28 February 2010 (UTC)


OK, I see you moved rather than deleted. I think it illustrates the interservice tension that led up to the make-no-one-happy Key West Agreement. Perhaps it should go back, but with links to some of the unification battles. I may have more references about this.

Yes, he snapped at a remark; there were no Doolittle fragments on the floor.

There were, indeed, many more battles about the B-29s, such as when the Navy wanted them for minelaying missions, which the USSBS found very effective but LeMay didn't like. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:10, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't have an issue with the content; it's the grammar I'm wondering about. Was it Nimitz's remark? Or someone else's? Russell D. Jones 15:16, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I think I have the source book here, which I shall investigate after underway replenishment of coffee. That's historically accurate -- ever worked in a Navy facility or on ship? Coffee is a religious rite in the Navy. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Coffee ... yum. And now that you brought it up, I suppose you also know why it's called "Jo" (or "Joe"). Russell D. Jones 15:37, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, no. USN grading was coffee, java, joe, carbon remover. Special credit to Black Gang coffee, traditionally with eggshell and salt, and chief's mess. I always regretted it that my mother didn't drink coffee, as she was a chief before being involuntarily direct commissioned into the Army. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:40, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
**** now, I can't find the exact reference. But I found a bunch of others. It seems that the Army and Navy had been using the term during the 19th century, but it came into widespread use during the term of Josephus Daniels as Secretary of the Navy. Daniels banned liquor in the Navy and the old salts turned to drinking copious amounts of coffee, calling it "Joe" in honor of their leader. But that's not the story I remember. I thought it was in reference to a particular WWII captain or admiral. oh well. Russell D. Jones 16:02, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Let's not do little while talking about Doolittle

Since no one seemed to object, or to offer arguments about not doing it, I have taken it upon myself to be less of a Cautionary and more of a DooSomething, and have moved the article and, I hope, all of its subpages to its new place in the CZ firmament with a big fat W. in the middle. Hayford Peirce 16:18, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Not there yet...

But this is, perhaps, in long striking distance of Approval. Is there a third History or Military editor to involve?

Russell, do you have Potter's book, or full text access? I can get it on interlibrary loan. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:21, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

As the resident, or semi-resident, WordSmith WorkGroup Editor, I *refuse* to allow this article to move forward to Approval until that 3,000-word lede sentence has become two 1,500-word sentences or even three 1,000-word sentences! Hayford Peirce 17:01, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
@ Howard: I just created the bibliography for this cluster; and linked to the Potter book at Books.Google. It's available as a limited preview; a huge chunk of the text is available. Russell D. Jones 17:04, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
@ Hayford: I absolutely agree. I think our first priority should be to raise this article to "Developed" status. It's got a long way to go yet. I'll take my red pen to the lede. Russell D. Jones 17:04, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Highways and byways and freeways

I think that in the After retirement section, or somewhere, there could be a modest sentence or so about the various highways, freeways, schools, etc. named after him -- there really do seem to be a fair number.... Hayford Peirce 17:11, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm in favor of a subpage for such stuff. Russell D. Jones 17:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I wonder. There was a McKinley High School in Bangor, Maine, when I grew up. If *I* were involved in the William McKinley article, I would have a sentence like, "Such was the outpouring of grief upon the President's death that 3,307 schools were renamed in his honor, as well as two towns, one city, and 74 filling stations." I have a feeling that there are, literally, thousands of schools across America named McKinley. (Our summer place on the coast of Maine when I was a little kid was right across a small bay from a village called McKinley. I wonder....) McKinley is obviously an extreme example, but in Nimitz's case, at least two of those roads are *major* roads that millions of people have traveled on. There may be a whole lot more of them. Maybe a subpage to *list* the individual ones, but a mention of them *in general* in the article. Hayford Peirce 18:51, 28 February 2010 (UTC)