Squadron vice-admiral

Squadron vice-admiral (French: Vice-amiral d'escadre) is a naval rank found in navies of the world which follow the French tradition of naval ranks. The squadron vice-admiral leads a squadron and is typically senior to a vice-admiral and junior to an admiral. In that sense, it is close to Lieutenant admiral as a literal translation of the corresponding designation. 

This translation is not often used in practice, as the rank is usually kept in the original language or rendered as vice-admiral. The main navy to use the rank of squadron vice-admiral is the French Navy (vice-amiral d'escadre), where it is a three-star rank with a NATO code of OF-8, equivalent to corps general or lieutenant general in seniority. Officially, it is not a rank, but a style and position (rang et appelation in French) bestowed upon some vice-admiral (which is the highest actual substantive rank and is a three-star rank with NATO code OF-7 equivalent to rear admiral (upper half) or major general).

In other countries, this corresponds to Ammiraglio di squadra (equivalent to OF-8) such as the Italian Navy.

Marque VAE
Pennant of a French vice-amiral d'escadre

Other countries

Equivalent to OF-8

  • Colombia (Almirante de Escuadra)
  • Italy (Ammiraglio di squadra)
  • Poland (Admirał floty)

Equivalent to OF-9

  • Brazil (Almirante-de-Esquadra)
  • Italy (Ammiraglio di squadra con incarichi speciali)
Admiral of the Blue

The Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Admiral of the White (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence third; after 1805 it was the fourth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. The command flag for an Admiral of the Blue is a plain blue flag.

Admiral of the Red

The Admiral of the Red was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Admiral of the Fleet (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. The rank did not exist prior to 1805 and until 1864 this rank was the second highest rank in order of precedence. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank (pictured opposite is the command flag for an Admiral of the Red).

Admiral of the White

The Admiral of the White was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Admiral of the Red (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence second; after 1805 it was the third. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. (pictured opposite is the command flag for an Admiral of the White).

Battle of Cape Matapan

The Battle of Cape Matapan (Greek: Ναυμαχία του Ταινάρου) was a Second World War naval engagement between British Imperial and Axis forces, fought from 27–29 March 1941. The cape is on the south-west coast of the Peloponnesian peninsula of Greece. Following the interception of Italian signals by the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy, under the command of the Royal Navy's Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, intercepted and sank or severely damaged several ships of the Italian Regia Marina under Squadron-Vice-Admiral Angelo Iachino. The opening actions of the battle are also known in Italy as the Battle of Gaudo.

Captain (naval)

Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.

Equivalent ranks worldwide include "ship-of-the-line captain" (e.g. France, Argentina, Spain), "captain of sea and war" (e.g. Portugal), "captain at sea" (e.g. Germany, Netherlands) and "captain of the first rank" (Russia).

The NATO rank code is OF-5, although the United States of America uses the code O-6 for the equivalent rank (as they do for all OF-5 ranks).

Captain at sea

Captain at sea is a naval rank corresponding to command of a ship-of-the-line or capital ship.

The equivalent in other navies is ship-of-the-line captain or the naval rank of captain in the Commonwealth of Nations and the U.S. Navy.

Counter admiral

Counter admiral is a rank found in many navies of the world, but no longer used in English-speaking countries, where the equivalent rank is rear admiral. The term derives from the French contre-amiral.In modern navies that use it, rear (counter) admiral is generally, although not always, the lowest flag officer rank (in the German Navy, for instance, Flottillenadmiral ranks below Konteradmiral; in the Royal Canadian Navy, contre-amiral/rear admiral ranks above commodore).

Flag captain

In the Royal Navy, a flag captain was the captain of an admiral's flagship. During the 18th and 19th centuries, this ship might also have a "captain of the fleet", who would be ranked between the admiral and the "flag captain" as the ship's "First Captain", with the "flag captain" as the ship's "Second Captain".

Unlike a "captain of the fleet", a flag-captain was generally a fairly junior post-captain, as he had the admiral to keep an eye on him, but – like a "captain of the fleet" – a "flag captain" was a post rather than a rank.

Flotilla admiral

Flotilla admiral is the lowest flag rank, a rank above captain, in the modern navies of Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden. It corresponds to the ranks of commodore or rear admiral (lower half) in the navies of the United States, United Kingdom, and certain other countries.

Insignias of flotilla admirals

Frigate lieutenant

Frigate lieutenant is a rank in some navies, especially those of Spain (Spanish: Alférez de Navío) and Latin America, roughly equivalent to a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy or a lieutenant (junior grade) in the US Navy. The French Navy equivalent is a ship-of-the-line ensign (first class) (French: enseigne de vaisseau de première classe).

The NATO rank code is OF-1 (senior)

Military ranks of the Armed Forces of Gabon

The rank insignia of the Armed Forces of Gabon are worn on jackets and shoulder epaulettes. Being a former colony of France, the Armed Forces of Gabon share a rank structure similar to that of France. However, unlike those of France, it has additional field officer and junior officer ranks.

Rear-Admiral of the Blue

The Rear-Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Rear-Admiral of the White. Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence ninth; after 1805 it was the tenth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank (pictured adjacent is the command flag for an Rear-Admiral of the Blue).

Rear-Admiral of the White

The Rear-Admiral of the White was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Rear-admiral of the red (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence eighth; after 1805 it was the ninth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. (pictured opposite is the command flag for an Rear-Admiral of the White).

Rear-admiral of the red

The Rear-Admiral of the Red was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Vice-Admiral of the Blue (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence seventh; after 1805 it was the eighth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. (pictured opposite is the command flag for an Rear-Admiral of the Red)..

Second Battle of Heligoland Bight

The Second Battle of Heligoland Bight, also called the Action in the Helgoland Bight was an inconclusive naval engagement fought between British and German squadrons on 17 November 1917 during the First World War.

Vice-Admiral of the Blue

The Vice-Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Vice-Admiral of the White (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence sixth; after 1805 it was the seventh. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. The command flag for an Vice-Admiral of the Blue is pictured opposite.

Vice-admiral of the White

The Vice-Admiral of the White was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Vice-Admiral of the Red (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805, this rank was fifth in order of precedence; after 1805, it was the sixth. In 1864, it was abolished as a promotional rank (pictured opposite is the command flag for a Vice-Admiral of the White).

Vice-admiral of the red

The Vice-Admiral of the Red was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Admiral of the Blue (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence fourth; after 1805 it was the fifth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. (pictured opposite is the command flag for an Vice-Admiral of the Red).

Vice admiral

Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to lieutenant general and air marshal. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral. In many navies, vice admiral is a three-star rank with a NATO code of OF-8, although in some navies like the French Navy it is an OF-7 rank, the OF-8 code corresponding to the four-star rank of squadron vice-admiral.

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