• Nimitz at War

  • Command Leadership from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay
  • By: Craig L. Symonds
  • Narrated by: L.J. Ganser
  • Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (258 ratings)

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Nimitz at War

By: Craig L. Symonds
Narrated by: L.J. Ganser
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Publisher's Summary

From America's preeminent naval historian, the first full-length portrait in over fifty years of the man who won the war in the Pacific in World War Two.

Only days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tapped Chester W. Nimitz to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. Nimitz transformed the devastated and dispirited Pacific fleet into the most powerful and commanding naval force in history.

Facing demands from Washington to mount an early offensive, he had first to revive the depressed morale of the thousands of sailors, soldiers, and Marines who served under him. And of course, he also confronted a formidable and implacable enemy in the Imperial Japanese Navy, which, until the Battle of Midway, had the run of the Pacific.

Craig Symonds's Nimitz at War captures Nimitz's composure, discipline, homespun wisdom, and most of all his uncanny sense of when to assert authority and when to pull back. As Symonds's absorbing, dynamic, and authoritative portrait reveals, it required qualities of leadership exhibited by few other commanders in history, qualities that are enduringly and even poignantly relevant to our own moment.

©2022 Craig L. Symonds (P)2022 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Nimitz at War

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Excellent Story Solid Narration

There is very little here about Nimitz prior to the war. Nimitz is a bit elusive here. This is a chronology of the American naval perspective of the war through the lens of what Nimitz was doing at the time.

The one thing I would have liked more of is leadership analysis. There is a bit but it’s not very deep.

But overall this is a solid listening experience for anyone with an interest in h the Pacific War. I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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The greatest naval man

Thus is the greatest story of Nimitz ever told. It is a outstanding piece of literature !

1 person found this helpful

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Another Excellent Book from Craig Symonds

Craig Symonds is the best history writer I have read, no exceptions.

General Hagee CEO of the Nimitz Foundation, which manages the National Museum of the Pacific War, once told me that Craig will write and rewrite a sentence or paragraph several times until he feels it is acceptable. This obvious in his writing.

This book rivals my other favorite of his works, “Midway.”

I will recommend any of his books to anyone interested in WWII, the cival war, or naval history.

1 person found this helpful

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Good but not as good as Nimitz

Good but not nearly as good as Nimitz and not worth reading if you read Nimitz

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Top notch.Very well narrated and insightful

Top notch.Very well narrated and insightful. I have read many books of the fighting in the Pacific but this is first one looking at the top down view.

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Very informative

I never knew a lot about Mimitz but I was really drawn to him as a result of the book. Highly recommend

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This should have been an essay!

Having read and admired Craig Symonds's writing and historical accounts of the War in the Pacific, I anticipated an insightful and interesting perspective on Nimitz's handling key issues.

That's not quite what was delivered. The character traits and leadership qualities could be summarized in several pages. Instead they were repeated throughout with little additional information. The other commanders were so two dimensional in description and the scenarios offered so barely presented, that they added little in the way in the development of lessons learned.

My recommendation is to read Ian Toll's trilogy on the Pacific theatre for a better description of Nimitz and the complexities of the battles. Symonds's book lacks context on the logistical and planning aspects that would have been key to Nimitz's decision making.

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Evan's Review

Very good book I strongly recommend it. The decision of giving Admiral Ninitz of Central Theater was a great decision because he had to work with General MacArthur which was difficult in itself then handling all of the other moving parts.

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A good listen

I enjoyed it. The story and the person reading were excellent. I highly recommend this.

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  • Kay L.
  • 08-25-22

Perfect complement to author’s Battle of Midway book

It approaches the events leading up to the Battle of Midway from the leadership, planning, strategic and tactical side of things. Complements nicely the author’s “the battle as it is happening” perspective in his previous book on Midway. Also, this book goes beyond Midway to the hard, desperate slog that were the battles in the South and Central Pacific. As pivotal as Admiral Nimitz’s leadership was to the naval battles in the Pacific theatre in WW2, I hadn’t realised that he was Commander of the land battles as well, and was behind the grim island by island fight to reclaim Guadalcanal, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa etc. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. We owe much to Admiral Chester Nimitz for the world we have today.

The narrator isn’t as good as the narrator in the Battle of Midway book. I found it rather distracting to have the constant sound of air escaping between the narrator’s teeth and also thought his voice was on the thin side. However, he was good at putting himself into the voice of the characters as they speak. I got used to him about a third of the way through the book but overall, I think Craig Symons could have done with a better narrator.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-17-22

learned a life lesson

loved it. never stopped once started
it was not only a war story as a commander but also teach us a lesson and attitude to carry with each others life.