Chester Nimitz
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1885
Date of Death: 1966
Cause of Death: Stroke
Occupation: Sailor
Spouse: Catherine Vance Freeman
Children: Chester Nimitz, Jr.
Military Branch: United States Navy
(World War I,
World War II)
Turtledove Appearances:
Days of Infamy
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
Appearance(s): Days of Infamy
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Both
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Admiral Chester William Nimitz (February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) was the Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces for the United States during World War II. He was the United States' leading authority on submarines, as well as Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Navigation in 1939. He served as Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) from 1945 until 1947. He was the United States' last surviving Fleet Admiral.

Chester Nimitz in Days of InfamyEdit

Chester Nimitz oversaw the initial aborted June 1942 American invasion to take Hawaii back from the Empire of Japan, which had taken the islands in February. The invasion fleet was engaged by the Japanese. Two aircraft carriers were sunk, and one was badly damaged. The remaining force retreated.

Nimitz publically accepted all responsibility for the embarrassing failure.[1]

Literary CommentEdit

Nimitz' speech is nearly identical to an unused "defeat message" crafted by Dwight D. Eisenhower on the eve Operation: Overlord in the event the Normandy landings failed.[2]

Chester Nimitz in Joe SteeleEdit

Chester Nimitz survived President Joe Steele's purges of the military in the late 1930s. He was able to conduct the Naval aspect of World War II, as he was interested in winning the war, and not in self-aggrandizement.

For instance, in the spring of 1943, sailors and marines under Admiral Nimitz and soldiers under General Dwight Eisenhower won control of the Solomon Islands from the Japanese in the Pacific theater.[3]

Literary commentEdit

Nimitz is quickly referenced in both the novel and the short story. He explicitly takes the Solomon Islands in the novel. The short story just broadly states that he concentrated on winning battles.


  1. Days of Infamy, pg. 429.
  2. Eisenhower: Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
    Nimitz: Our movement towards the Hawaiian Islands has failed to gain a satisfactory position and I have withdrawn our ships. My decision to attack at this time and in this way was based upon the best information available. The Navy and the air did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.
  3. Joe Steele, pg 269, HC.
Military offices
Preceded by
William Pye
Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet
Succeeded by
Raymond A. Spruance
Preceded by
Ernest King
United States Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
Louis E. Denfeld