Admiral Chester W. Nimitz commanded the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet and the Pacific Ocean Areas Theater during World War II, but his contributions to victory have been obscured by his modest leadership style. An “accommodating” and “nurturing” nature—well described by historians Craig L. Symonds and E. B. Potter—meant that Nimitz was content to see his subordinates receive accolades for battlefield successes while he remained in the background.1 But Nimitz’s style belied the extent of his skills. He used an aggressive theory of combat to overcome the inherent uncertainty of war and shape the conflict in the Pacific. Nimitz had an artistic ability to seize emerging opportunities, impose his command’s will on the enemy, and bring the war to a successful, and surprisingly rapid, conclusion.
Nimitz’s Theory of Combat
Nimitz developed his skills decades before the war. As a young officer, he was influenced by the Navy’s efforts to develop a coherent doctrine for naval combat. In the early 1920s, when Nimitz attended the Naval War College, that doctrine emphasized aggressive action to seize the initiative, control the pace of battle, and keep the enemy off balance.2
Nimitz’s thinking reflected these ideas. In his Naval War College thesis from 1923, he enumerated four “main and unchanging principles of warfare.” They were, first, “to employ all the forces . . . available with the utmost energy,” second, “to concentrate superior forces . . . where the decisive blow is to be struck,” third, “to avoid loss of time,” and, fourth, “to follow up every advantage gained with utmost energy.” To these, Nimitz added a series of “minor principles.” The most important were “attempt to surprise and deceive the enemy” and “great results cannot be accomplished without a corresponding degree of risk.”3
While Nimitz’s principles reflected the Navy’s emerging doctrine, the clarity with which he articulated his ideas was notable. His emphasis on timing, deception, and risk aligned well with the uncertainty of combat. He recognized that war was a “realm of probabilistic complexity” in which chance and the vagaries of human decision-making led to unpredictable and nonlinear outcomes.4 Alfred Thayer Mahan had brought this perspective to the Naval War College and integrated it in the curriculum. According to historian Jon T. Sumida, Mahan stressed the need for officers to develop an “artistic sensibility” that would allow them to continuously adjust their perspective to the dynamic circumstances of naval combat. Rigid plans were inadequate. Instead, officers had to approach combat like improvisational musicians and continually revise their plans based on the dynamics of energy, timing, and tempo to maximize the impact of their performance.5
Nimitz did just that during World War II. He used his tactical principles to integrate theory, experience, and action in a coherent whole that allowed him to deal with the “difficult, complex, and unpredictable” nature of war in the Pacific. He repeatedly displayed three approaches that translated his principles into action. He employed a disciplined approach to risk that allowed him to concentrate superior force at the decisive point; he used deception and surprise to keep the enemy off balance; and he deliberately created options to allow his forces to continually seek advantage as the war unfolded.6
Those interested in Naval and Military History can read the rest. The point is that Nimitz had a vision of victory and sound principles to guide him in achieving it. The Communists masquerading as Democrats have a vision of victory; the former American Republic firmly under the control of wicked totalitarian tyrants; and they strictly adhere to sound principles to achieve it. These treacherous thugs have succeeded in taking our focus of both what our glorious Constitution grants us and the very fact that we are in a war to enslave us.
In this covert, undeclared war the Republic will not be saved by our military nor by our politicians. It will be won by We the People. To that end General (Ret.) Michael Flynn and retired Sargent Boone Boone Cutler have authored the excellent and highly recommended The Citizen’s Guide to Fifth Generation Warfare: Introduction to 5GW Humanity’s Fight Against Globalism. To get it directly from General Flynn, click the image.
To quote from the Catholic Rite of Ordination of Deacons: “the bishop places the Book of the Gospels in the ordinand’s hands saying, ‘Believe what you read, teach what you believe, live what you teach.'” We have been given the Holy Scriptures and the Constitution. Now it is up to each one of us to believe what we read, teach what we believe and live what we teach.