This biographical dictionary provides short biographies of more than 500 individuals who have served as admiral vice admiral or rear admiral in the world's naval forces. While naval officers from the American British French and Japanese navies make up the bulk of the work several biographies are included on admirals from 22 countries including Australia Canada Germany India Italy the Netherlands Russia and Spain. While the majority of entries are fairly detailed some are considerably shorter because of limited naval records or lack of available information.The main criteria for inclusion was that each person must have actively served in the rank of at least rear admiral although each individual did not necessarily become involved in enemy action over the course of his or her career. This effectively rules out people who were granted the rank on retirement or as a courtesy title or as in the case of several 'tombstone admirals' who were granted the title posthumously. The book also includes a list of the admirals organized by nationality a timeline and a general index.