An admiral of the fleet or fleet admiral (equivalent rank to admiral of the navy or grand 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 (which is now usually the highest rank in peacetime for officers in active service), and is often held by the most senior admiral of an entire naval service. It is also a generic term for a senior admiral in command of a large group of ships, comprising a fleet or, in some cases, a group of fleets. If actually a rank, its name can vary depending on the country. In addition to "fleet admiral" and "admiral of the fleet", such rank names include "admiral of the navy" and "grand admiral".In some navies, however, such as the German ''Kriegsmarine'' during World War II, "admiral of the navy" has been considered a higher rank than "admiral of the fleet" or its equivalent. It ranks above vice admiral, rear admiral and usually full admiral, and is usually given to a senior admiral commanding multiple fleets as opposed to just one fleet. It is often classified in NATO nations as a five-star rank. Admiral of the fleet is equivalent to an army field marshal. It is also equivalent to a marshal of the air force which in many countries has a similar rank insignia to admiral of the fleet.


The title admiral of the fleet can trace its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title was typically granted to a nobleman who was appointed by a monarch to raise and command a navy for a specific campaign.

Usage in specific countries

The following articles contain specific information on the rank as it pertains to individual countries: * Admiral of the fleet (Australia) * Admiral of the fleet (Bangladesh) * Admiral of the fleet (Ethiopia) * ''Admiral flote'' (Croatia) * ''Großadmiral'' (Germany and Austria-Hungary) * ''Flottenadmiral'' (East Germany) * ''Amiral de France'' or ''amiral de la flotte'' (France)''Amiral de France'' is not a rank but a dignity. The last ''amiral de France'' was François Thomas Tréhouart in 1869. This dignity remains fully valid today - Article 19 of Law No. 2005-270 of 24 March 2005 on the general status of the military

"the title of Marshal of France and that of Admiral of France, is a dignity in the state". It is noteworthy that the French title of ''amiral de la flotte'' was also used in place of ''amiral de France'', and was exceptionally established in 1939 for François Darlan, who is the only person in the history of France to have held this literal and accurate title. It was intended to prevent Vice-Admiral Darlan (who held the highest rank in the French navy) being junior in rank to his allied counterparts who held the rank of admiral of the fleet
* ''Archinavarchos'' (Greece) * Admiral of the fleet (India) * ''Ammiraglio'' (Italy) * ''Gensui-kaigun-taishō'' (Imperial Japan) * ''Wonsu'' (South Korea) * Admiral of the fleet (Malaysia) * Admiral of the fleet (Nigeria) * ''Admiraal'' (Netherlands) * Admiral of the fleet (New Zealand) * Admiral of the fleet (Pakistan) * ''Almirante da armada'' (Portugal) * Admiral of Portugal (Portugal) * Admiral of the fleet (Russia) ** Admiral of the fleet (Soviet Union) ** Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union * Captain general of the Navy (Spain) * ''Chom phon ruea'' (Thailand) * ''Büyük Amiral'' (Turkey) * ''Admiral flote'' (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) * Admiral of the fleet (United Kingdom) * Fleet admiral (United States) ** Admiral of the Navy (United States) (1903-1917) * ''Mushir'' (Middle East) * Admiral of the fleet (Sri Lanka) Ambiguity exists when translating the French ''amiral'' into English (into admiral of the fleet or admiral). A French title of ''amiral de la flotte'', outranking a full admiral was invented in 1939 for Darlan, who was the only person in French history to hold that title. Before the fall of the monarchy in 1952, the Egyptian Navy had the equivalent rank of ''sayed elbehar elazam''. In the Turkish Navy, the corresponding rank ''büyük amiral'', literally meaning "grand admiral", can only be bestowed by the National Assembly, and only given to an admiral who leads the navy successfully in and out of a war, criteria tougher than those for equivalent ranks. No one has ever been bestowed this rank yet in the republican era. During the period of the Ottoman Empire, commanders of the navy carried the rank of ''kapudan-i derya'' as equivalent.


In Poland, the rank is the second-highest and is a 3-star rank. The stars are not used, however, except in the very admiral's flag.

Admiral insignia by country

The rank insignia for an admiral often involves four stars or similar devices and/or 3 stripes over a broad stripe, but as one can see below, there are many cases where the insignia do ''not'' involve four stars or similar devices. File:Royal Australian Navy OF-10.svg|Admiral of the fleet
Royal Australian Navy File:15.RBNF-FM.svg|''أميرال الأسطول''
Royal Bahrain Naval Force File:19.RBrN-FM.svg|''Laksamana Armada''
Royal Brunei Navy File:Rukav zimske odore admirala flote HRM.svg|''Admiral flote''
Croatian Navy File:French Navy NG-OF10.svg|''Amiral de France''
French Navy File:IN Admiral of the NAVY Shoulder curl.png|Admiral of the fleet
Indian Navy (Shoulder Board) File:British Royal Navy (sleeves) OF-10.svg|''Admiral of the fleet''
Indian Navy (Sleeve Insignia) File:23-TNI Navy-FADM.svg|''Laksamana Besar''
Indonesian Navy File:Shoulder rank insignia of ammiraglio of the Italian Navy.svg|Ammiraglio
Italian Navy File:Rank insignia of ammiraglio of the Italian Navy.svg|''Ammiraglio''
Italian Navy File:20.SKN-FADM.svg|''Wonsu (원수)''
South Korean Navy File:Malaysia-navy-OF-10.svg|''Laksamana Armada''
Royal Malaysian Navy File:Sec de Marina SEMAR.gif|''Almirante Secretario de Marina''
Mexican Navy File:Nigeria-Navy-OF-10.svg|Admiral of the fleet
Nigerian Navy File:18.RNO-FADM (Sleeve).svg|Admiral of the fleet
Royal Navy of Oman File:16-Pakistan Navy-FADM.svg|Admiral of the fleet
Pakistan Navy File:POL PMW pagon1 admirał.svg|''Admirał''
Polish Navy File:POR-Navy-OF10.svg|''Almirante da Armada''
Portuguese Navy File:Russia-Navy-OF-9-2013.svg|''Адмирал флота''
Russian Navy File:Russia-Navy-OF-9-Sleeve.svg|''Адмирал флота''
Russian Navy (sleeve) File:Spanish-Navy-OF10.svg|''Capitán general de la Armada''
Armada Española File:RTN OF-10 (Admiral of the Fleet).svg|''จอมพลเรือ''
Royal Thai Navy File:Generic-Navy-O12.svg|''จอมพลเรือ''
Royal Thai Navy (sleeve) File:Generic-Navy-O12.svg|''Büyükamiral''
Turkish Navy File:British Royal Navy OF-10-collected.svg|Admiral of the fleet
Royal Navy File:US Navy O11 insignia.svg|Fleet Admiral
U.S. Navy

Other countries

The rank also exists or has existed (on paper at least) in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman and Pakistan, although not all of these countries have actually bestowed the rank on an individual.

See also

* List of fleet and grand admirals * ''Admiralissimo''



* Francis E. McMurtrie and Raymond V.B. Blackman (editors), ''Jane's Fighting Ships 1949-50.'' New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1949. {{Military units Category:Naval ranks Category:Five-star officers