admiral

admiral butterfly

Any of several species of butterflies (family Nymphalidae) that are colourful, fast-flying, and much prized by collectors. The migratory red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), widespread in Europe, Scandinavia, North America, and North Africa, feeds on stinging nettles. The Indian red admiral (V. indica) is found in the Canary Islands and India. The white admiral (Limenitis camilla, or Basilarchia arthemis), a Eurasian and North American species, feeds on honeysuckle.

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Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral (equivalent to full general) and above Vice Admiral and below Admiral of the Fleet/Fleet Admiral. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm." or "ADM". Where relevant, Admiral is a 4 star rank.

History

The word Admiral in Middle English comes from Anglo-French amiral, "commander", from Medieval Latin admiralis, "emir", admirallus, "admiral", from Arabic amir-al- أمير الـ, "commander of the" (as in amir-al-bahr أمير البحر, "commander of the sea") Crusaders learned the term during their encounters with the Arabs, perhaps as early as the 11th century. The Sicilians and later Genoese took the first two parts of the term and used them as one word, amiral, from their Catalan opponents. The French and Spanish gave their sea commanders similar titles while in Portuguese the word changed to almirante. As the word was used by people speaking Latin or Latin-based languages it gained the "d" and endured a series of different endings and spellings leading to the English spelling "admyrall" in the 14th century and to "admiral" by the 16th century.

Although temporary navies were established for engagement in naval battles beforehand, the Chinese established their first permanent, standing navy in 1132 AD, during the Song Dynasty. China's main headquarters and office for the admiral at that point was established at Dinghai, with the main base near what is now modern Shanghai.

The word Admiral has today come to be almost exclusively associated with the highest naval rank in most of the world's navies, equivalent to the Army rank of (Full) General.

The rank of Admiral has also been subdivided into various grades, several of which are historically extinct while others are used by most present day navies. The Royal Navy used colours (red, white, and blue, in descending order) to indicate the seniority of its admirals until 1864; for example, Horatio Nelson's highest rank was Vice Admiral of the White. The generic term for these naval equivalents of army generals is Flag Officer. Some navies have also used army-type titles for them, such as the Cromwellian General at Sea.

Admiral insignia by country

See also

References


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