- Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, later Reichspräsident of Germany President of Germany In office
30 April 1945 – 23 May 1945
Chancellor Joseph Goebbels
Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk (Leading Minister)
Preceded by Adolf Hitler
Paul von Hindenburg
Succeeded by Theodor Heuss
Personal details Born 16 September 1891
Berlin, German Empire
Died 24 December 1980(aged 89)
Aumühle, West Germany
Nationality German Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) (1944-1945) Spouse(s) Ingeborg Weber Military service Nickname(s) Der Löwe (The Lion) Allegiance German Empire (1910–1918)
Weimar Republic (1920–1933)
Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
Service/branch Kaiserliche Marine
Years of service 1910–1945 Rank Großadmiral Commands SM UC-25 (February–September 1918)
SM UB-68 (September–October 1918)
Torpedo Boats (1920s)
1st U-boat Flotilla (1935–1936)
Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht (April–May 1945)
Battles/wars World War I Awards U-boat War Badge with Diamonds
World War I U-Boat War Badge
1939 Clasp to the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Karl Dönitz (German pronunciation: [ˈdøːnɪts] ( listen); 16 September 1891 – 24 December 1980) was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine, or "Imperial Navy") during World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of UB-68, the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner. While in a prisoner of war camp, he formulated what he later called Rudeltaktik ("pack tactic", commonly called "wolfpack"). At the start of World War II, he was the senior submarine officer in the German Navy. In January 1943, Dönitz achieved the rank of Großadmiral (Grand Admiral) and replaced Grand Admiral Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine). On 30 April 1945, after the death of Adolf Hitler and in accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Dönitz was named Hitler's successor as Staatsoberhaupt (Head of State), with the title of Reichspräsident (President) and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. On 7 May 1945, he ordered Alfred Jodl to sign the German instruments of surrender in Rheims, France. Dönitz remained as head of the Flensburg Government, as it became known, until it was dissolved by the Allied powers on 23 May.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Inter-war period
- 3 World War II
- 4 Dönitz's relationship to Jews and Nazism
- 5 Nuremberg war crimes trials
- 6 Later years
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 Summary of career
- 9 See also
- 10 References & Notes
- 11 External links
Early life and career
Dönitz was born in Grünau in Berlin, Germany to Anna Beyer and Emil Dönitz, an engineer. Karl had an older brother, Friedrich. In 1910, Dönitz enlisted in the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). He became a sea-cadet (Seekadett) on 4 April. On 15 April 1911, he became a midshipman (Fähnrich zur See), the rank given to those who had served for one year as officer's apprentice and had passed their first examination.
On 27 September 1913, Dönitz was commissioned as a Acting Sub-Lieutenant (Leutnant zur See). When World War I began, he served in the light cruiser SMS Breslau in the Mediterranean Sea. In August 1914, Breslau and the battlecruiser SMS Goeben were sold to the Ottoman navy; the ships were renamed the Midilli and the Yavuz Sultan Selim, respectively. They began operating out of Constantinople (now Istanbul), under Rear Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, engaging Russian forces in the Black Sea. On 22 March 1916, Dönitz was promoted to Navy First Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See). When Midilli put into dock for repairs, he was temporarily assigned as airfield commander at the Dardanelles. From there, he requested a transfer to the submarine forces, which became effective in October 1916. He served as watch officer on U-39, and from February 1918 onward as commander of UC-25. On 5 September 1918, he became commander of UB-68, operating in the Mediterranean. On 4 October, this boat was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner on the island of Malta.
During the interwar period, Dönitz continued his naval career in the naval arm of the Weimar Republic's Armed Forces (Reichswehr). On 10 January 1921, he became a Lieutenant (Kapitänleutnant) in the new German Navy (Vorläufige Reichsmarine). Dönitz commanded torpedo boats by 1928, becoming a Lieutenant-Commander (Korvettenkapitän) on 1 November of that same year.
On 1 September 1933, Dönitz became a full Commander (Fregattenkapitän) and, in 1934, was put in command of the cruiser Emden. Emden was the ship on which cadets and midshipmen took a year-long world cruise in preparation for a future officer's commission.
Throughout 1935 and 1936, Dönitz had misgivings regarding submarines due to German overestimation of the capabilities of British ASDIC. In reality, ASDIC could detect only one submarine in ten during exercises. In the words of Alan Hotham, British Director of Naval Intelligence, ASDIC was a "huge bluff".
German doctrine at the time, based on the work of American Naval Captain Alfred Mahan and shared by all major navies, called for submarines to be integrated with surface fleets and employed against enemy warships. By November 1937, Dönitz became convinced that a major campaign against merchant shipping was practical and began pressing for the conversion of the German fleet almost entirely to U-boats. He advocated a strategy of attacking only merchant ships, targets relatively safe to attack. He pointed out that destroying Britain's fleet of oil tankers would starve the Royal Navy of supplies needed to run its ships, which would be just as effective as sinking them. He thought a German fleet of 300 of the newer Type VII U-boats could knock Britain out of the war.
Dönitz revived the World War I idea of grouping several submarines together into a "wolfpack" to overwhelm a merchant convoy's defensive escorts. Implementation of wolf packs had been difficult in World War I owing to the limitations of available radios. In the interwar years, Germany had developed ultra-high frequency transmitters which it was hoped would make their radio communication unjammable, while the Enigma cipher machine was believed to have made communications secure. Dönitz also adopted and claimed credit for Wilhelm Marschall's 1922 idea of attacking convoys using surface or very near surface night attacks. This tactic had the added advantage of making a submarine undetectable by sonar.
At the time, many — including Erich Raeder — felt such talk marked Dönitz as a weakling. Dönitz was alone among senior naval officers, including some former submariners, in believing in a new submarine war on trade. He and Raeder constantly argued over funding priorities within the Navy, while at the same time competing with Hitler's friends, such as Hermann Göring, who received greater attention at this time.
Since the surface strength of the Kriegsmarine was much less than that of the British Royal Navy, Raeder believed any war with Britain in the near future would doom it to uselessness, once remarking all the Germans could hope to do was die valiantly. Raeder based his hopes on war being delayed until the German Navy's extensive "Z Plan", which would have expanded Germany's surface fleet to where it could effectively contend with the Royal Navy, was implemented. The "Z Plan", however, was not scheduled to be completed until 1945.
Dönitz, in contrast, had no such fatalism and set about intensely training his crews in the new tactics. The marked inferiority of the German surface fleet left submarine warfare as Germany's only naval option once war broke out.
On 28 January 1939, Dönitz was promoted to Commodore (Kommodore) and Commander of Submarines (Führer der Unterseeboote).
World War II
In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany, and World War II began. The Kriegsmarine was caught unprepared for war, having anticipated that the war's outbreak would be in 1945, not 1939. The Z Plan was tailored for this assumption, calling for a balanced fleet with a greatly increased number of surface capital ships, including several aircraft carriers. At the time the war began, Dönitz's force included only 57 U-boats, many of them short-range, and only 22 oceangoing Type VIIs. He made do with what he had, while being harassed by Raeder and with Hitler calling on him to dedicate boats to military actions against the British fleet directly. These operations had mixed success; the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous and battleship Royal Oak were sunk, and battleships HMS Nelson damaged and Barham sunk, at a cost of some U-boats, diminishing the small quantity available even further. Together with surface raiders, merchant shipping lines were also attacked by U-boats.
Commander of the submarine fleet
On 1 October 1939, Dönitz became a Rear Admiral (Konteradmiral) and "Commander of the Submarines" (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, BdU, the German equivalent of ComSubPac or ComSubLant); on 1 September the following year, he was made a Vice Admiral (Vizeadmiral).
By 1941, the delivery of new Type VIIs had improved to the point where operations were having a real effect on the British wartime economy. Although production of merchant ships shot up in response, improved torpedoes, better U-boats, and much better operational planning led to increasing numbers of "kills". On 11 December 1941, following Adolf Hitler's declaration of war on the United States, Dönitz immediately planned for implementation of Operation Drumbeat (Unternehmen Paukenschlag). This targeted shipping along the East Coast of the United States. Carried out the next month, with only nine U-boats (all the larger Type IX), it had dramatic and far-reaching results. The U.S. Navy was entirely unprepared for antisubmarine warfare, despite having had two years of British experience to draw from, and committed every imaginable mistake. Shipping losses, which had appeared to be coming under control as the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy gradually adapted to the new challenge, skyrocketed.
On at least two occasions, Allied success against U-boat operations led Dönitz to investigate possible reasons. Among those considered were espionage and Allied interception and decoding of German Navy communications (the naval version of the Enigma cipher machine). Both investigations into communications security came to the conclusion espionage was more likely, or else the Allied successes had been accidental. Nevertheless, Dönitz ordered his U-boat fleet to use an improved version of the Enigma machine (one with four or five rotors, which was even more secure), the M4, for communications within the fleet, on 1 February 1942. The German Navy (Kriegsmarine) was the only branch to use the improved version; the rest of the German armed forces (Wehrmacht) continued to use their then-current three-rotor versions of the Enigma machine. The new system was termed "Triton" ("Shark" to the Allies). For a time, this change in encryption between submarines caused considerable difficulty for Allied codebreakers; it took ten months before Shark traffic could be read (see also Ultra codebreaking and Cryptanalysis of the Enigma).
By the end of 1942, the production of Type VII U-boats had increased to the point where Dönitz was finally able to conduct mass attacks by groups of submarines, a tactic he called "Rudel" (group or pack) and became known as "wolfpack" in English. Allied shipping losses shot up tremendously, and there was serious concern for a while about the state of British fuel supplies.
During 1943, the war in the Atlantic turned against the Germans, but Dönitz continued to push for increased U-boat construction and entertained the notion that further technological developments would tip the war once more in Germany's favour while briefing the Führer. At the end of the war, the German submarine fleet was by far the most advanced in the world, and late-war examples, such as the Type XXI U-boat, served as models for Soviet and American construction after the war. These, the Schnorchel (snorkel) and Type XXI boats, appeared late in the war because of Dönitz's personal indifference, at times even hostility, to new technology he perceived as disruptive for the production process. His opposition to the larger Type IX was not unique; Admiral Thomas C. Hart, who commanded the United States Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines at the outbreak of the Pacific War, opposed fleet boats as "too luxurious".
Dönitz was deeply involved in the daily operations of his boats, often contacting them up to seventy times a day with questions such as their position, fuel supply, and other "minutiae". This incessant questioning hastened the compromise of his ciphers, by giving the Allies more messages to work with. Furthermore, replies from the boats enabled the Allies to use direction finding (HF/DF, called "Huff-Duff") to locate a U-boat using its radio, track it, and attack it (often with aircraft able to sink it with impunity).
Dönitz wore on his uniform both the special grade of the U-Boat War Badge with diamonds, and his U-Boat War badge from World War I, along with his World War I Iron Cross 1st Class with World War II clasp.
Commander-in-chief and Grand Admiral
On 30 January 1943, Dönitz replaced Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine) and Grand Admiral (Großadmiral) of the Naval High Command (Oberkommando der Marine). His deputy, Eberhard Godt, took over the operational command of the U-boat force It was Dönitz who was able to convince Hitler not to scrap the remaining ships of the surface fleet. Despite hoping to continue to use them as a fleet in being, the Kriegsmarine continued losing what few capital ships it had. In September, the battleship Tirpitz was put out of action for months by a British midget submarine, and was sunk two months later by RAF bombers. In December, he ordered the battleship Scharnhorst (under Konteradmiral Erich Bey) to attack Soviet-bound convoys, having considered her success in the early years of the war with sister ship Gneisenau, but she was sunk in the resulting encounter with superior British forces led by the battleship HMS Duke of York
In the final days of the war, after Hitler had installed himself in the Führerbunker beneath the Reich Chancellery gardens in Berlin, Hermann Göring was considered the obvious successor to Hitler, followed by Heinrich Himmler. Göring, however, had infuriated Hitler by radioing Hitler in Berlin asking for permission to assume leadership of the Reich. Himmler also tried to seize power himself by entering into negotiations with Count Folke Bernadotte. On 28 April, the BBC reported that Himmler had offered surrender to the western Allies and that the offer had been declined.
In his last will and testament, dated 29 April, Hitler surprisingly named Dönitz his successor as Staatsoberhaupt (Head of State), with the title of Reichspräsident (President) and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The same document named Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels as Head of Government with the title of Reichskanzler (Chancellor). Further, Hitler expelled both Göring and Himmler from the party.
Rather than designate one person to succeed him as Führer, Hitler reverted to the old arrangement in the Weimar Constitution. Hitler believed the leaders of the German Army (Heer), Air Force (Luftwaffe), and SS (Schutzstaffel) had betrayed him. Since the German Navy had been too small to affect the war in a major way, its commander, Dönitz, became the only possible successor more or less by default.
However, on 1 May—the day after Hitler's death—Goebbels committed suicide. Dönitz thus became the sole representative of the crumbling German Reich. He appointed Finance Minister Count Ludwig Schwerin von Krosigk as "Leading Minister" (Krosigk had declined to accept the title of Chancellor) and they attempted to form a government.
That night, Dönitz made a nationwide radio address in which he spoke of Hitler's "hero's death" and announced that the war would continue "to save Germany from destruction by the advancing Bolshevik enemy." However, Dönitz knew even then that Germany's position was untenable and that the Wehrmacht was no longer capable of offering meaningful resistance. During his brief period in office, Dönitz devoted most of his efforts to ensuring the loyalty of the German armed forces and trying to ensure German troops would surrender to the British or Americans and not the Soviets. He feared vengeful Soviet reprisals against Nazi party members and high-ranking officers like himself, and hoped to strike a deal with the western Allies. In the end, the tactics of Dönitz were somewhat successful in that they enabled about 1.8 million German soldiers to avoid Soviet capture. However, this came at a high cost in bloodshed.
The rapidly advancing Allied forces limited the Dönitz government's jurisdiction to an area around Flensburg near the Danish border, where Dönitz's headquarters were located, along with Mürwik. Accordingly his administration was referred to as the Flensburg government. The following is Dönitz's description of his new government:
“ These considerations (the bare survival of the German people) which all pointed to the need for the creation of some sort of central government, took shape and form when I was joined by Graf Schwerin-Krosigk. In addition to discharging his duties as Foreign Minister and Minister of Finance, he formed the temporary government we needed and presided over the activities of its cabinet. Although he was restricted in his choice to those men who were in northern Germany, he nevertheless succeeded in forming a workmanlike cabinet of experts.
The picture of the military situation as a whole showed clearly that the war was lost. As there was also no possibility of effecting any improvement in Germany's overall position by political means, the only conclusion to which I, as Head of the State, could come was that the war must be brought to an end as quickly as possible, in order to prevent further bloodshed.
—Karl Dönitz, Ten Years and Twenty Days
Late on 1 May, Himmler attempted to make a place for himself in the Flensburg government. The following is Dönitz's description of his showdown with Himmler:
“ At about midnight he arrived, accompanied by six armed SS officers, and was received by my aide-de-camp, Walter Luedde-Neurath. I offered Himmler a chair and I myself sat down behind my writing desk, upon which lay, hidden by some papers, a pistol with the safety catch off. I had never done anything of this sort in my life before, but I did not know what the outcome of this meeting might be.
I handed Himmler the telegram containing my appointment. "Please read this," I said. I watched him closely. As he read, an expression of astonishment, indeed of consternation, spread over his face. All hope seemed to collapse within him. He went very pale. Finally he stood up and bowed. "Allow me," he said, "to become the second man in your state." I replied that that was out of the question and that there was no way in which I could make any use of his services.
Thus advised, he left me at about one o'clock in the morning. The showdown had taken place without force, and I felt relieved.
—Karl Dönitz, as quoted in The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan
On 4 May, German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark, and northwestern Germany under Dönitz's command surrendered to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery at the Lüneburg Heath, just southeast of Hamburg, signalling the end of World War II in northwestern Europe.
A day later, Dönitz sent Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, his successor as the commander in chief of the German Navy, to U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower's headquarters in Rheims, France, to negotiate a surrender to the Allies. The Chief of Staff of OKW, Colonel-General (Generaloberst) Alfred Jodl, arrived a day later. Dönitz had instructed them to draw out the negotiations for as long as possible so that German troops and refugees could surrender to the Western Powers. However, when Eisenhower let it be known he would not tolerate the Germans' stalling, Dönitz authorised Jodl to sign the instrument of unconditional surrender at 1:30 a.m. on the morning of May 7. Just over an hour later, Jodl signed the documents. The surrender documents included the phrase, "All forces under German control to cease active operations at 23:01 hours Central European Time on 8 May 1945." At Stalin's insistence, on 8 May, shortly before midnight, General Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) Wilhelm Keitel repeated the signing in Berlin at Marshal Georgiy Zhukov's headquarters, with General Carl Spaatz of the USAAF as Eisenhower's representative. At the time specified, World War II in Europe ended.
On 23 May, the Dönitz government was dissolved when its members were arrested by the Allied Control Commission at Flensburg.
Dönitz's relationship to Jews and Nazism
Despite his postwar claims, Dönitz was seen as supportive of Nazism during the war. Several naval officers described him as "closely tied to Hitler and Nazi ideology." On one occasion, he spoke of Hitler's humanity. Another event, in which he spoke to Hitler Youth in what was defined as an "inappropriate way", earned him the nickname of "Hitler Youth Dönitz." He refused to assist Albert Speer in stopping a scorched earth policy dictated by Hitler and is also noted as saying, "in comparison to Hitler we are all pip-squeaks. Anyone who believes he can do better than the Führer is stupid."
There are several antisemitic statements on the part of Dönitz known to historians. When Sweden closed its international waters to Germany, he blamed this action on their fear and dependence on "international Jewish capital." In August 1944, he declared, "I would rather eat dirt than see my grandchildren grow up in the filthy, poisonous atmosphere of Jewry."
On German Heroes' Day (12 March) 1944, Dönitz declared that, without Adolf Hitler, Germany would be beset by the "poison of Jewry", and the country destroyed for lack of National Socialism, which, as Dönitz declared, gave defiance of an uncompromising ideology. At the Nuremberg Trials, Dönitz claimed the statement about the "poison of Jewry" was regarding "the endurance, the power to endure, of the people, as it was composed, could be better preserved than if there were Jewish elements in the nation." Initially he claimed, "I could imagine that it would be very difficult for the population in the towns to hold out under the strain of heavy bombing attacks if such an influence was allowed to work."
Author Eric Zillmer argues, that from an ideological standpoint, Dönitz was anti-Marxist and anti-Semitic. Later, during the Nuremberg Trials, Dönitz claimed to know nothing about the extermination of Jews and declared that nobody among "his men" thought about violence against Jews.
Dönitz told Leon Goldensohn, an American psychiatrist at Nuremberg, "I never had any idea of the goings-on as far as Jews were concerned. Hitler said each man should take care of his business, and mine was U-boats and the navy". To Goldensohn, Dönitz also spoke of his support for Admiral Bernhard Rogge, who was of Jewish descent, when the Nazi Party began to persecute the admiral.
Nuremberg war crimes trials
Following the war, Dönitz was held as a prisoner of war by the Allies. He was indicted as a major war criminal at the Nuremberg Trials on three counts: (1) conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; (2) planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; and (3) crimes against the laws of war. Dönitz was found not guilty on count (1) of the indictment, but guilty on counts (2) and (3).
During the trial, Gustave Gilbert, an American Army psychologist, was allowed to examine the Nazi leaders who were tried at Nuremberg for war crimes. Among other tests, a German version of the Wechsler-Bellevue IQ test was administered. Dönitz scored 138, the third highest among the Nazi leaders tested.
Dönitz disputed the propriety of his trial at Nuremberg, commenting on count (2) that "One of the 'accusations' that made me guilty during this trial was that I met and planned the course of the war with Hitler; now I ask them in heaven’s name, how could an admiral do otherwise with his country's head of state in a time of war?" Numerous (over 100) senior Allied officers also sent letters to Dönitz conveying their disappointment over the fairness and verdict of his trial.
At the trial Dönitz was charged with:
- Waging unrestricted submarine warfare against neutral shipping (see below).
- Permitting Hitler's Commando Order of 18 October 1942 to remain in full force when he became commander-in-chief of the Navy, and to that extent responsibility for that crime. His defence was that the Order excluded men captured in naval warfare, and that the order had not been acted upon by any men under his command.
- That knowing that 12,000 involuntary foreign workers were working in the shipyards, he did nothing to stop it.
- Advice in 1945 when Hitler asked Dönitz whether the Geneva Convention should be denounced. Hitler's motives were twofold. The first was that reprisals could be taken against Western Allied prisoners of war and second it would deter German forces from surrendering to the Western Allies (as was happening on the Eastern front where the Geneva Convention was in abeyance). Instead of arguing that the conventions should never be denounced, Dönitz suggested that it was not currently expedient to do so, so the court found against him on this issue; but as the Convention was not denounced by Germany, and British prisoners in camps under Dönitz's jurisdiction were treated strictly according to the Convention, the Court considered these mitigating circumstances.
Among the war-crimes charges, Dönitz was accused of waging unrestricted submarine warfare for issuing War Order No. 154 in 1939, and another similar order after the Laconia incident in 1942, not to rescue survivors from ships attacked by submarine. By issuing these two orders, he was found guilty of causing Germany to be in breach of the Second London Naval Treaty of 1936. However, as evidence of similar conduct by the Allies was presented at his trial, and with the help of his lawyer Otto Kranzbühler, his sentence was not assessed on the grounds of this breach of international law.
On the specific war crimes charge of ordering unrestricted submarine warfare, Dönitz was found "[not] guilty for his conduct of submarine warfare against British armed merchant ships", because they were often armed and equipped with radios which they used to notify the Admiralty of attack but the judges found that "Dönitz is charged with waging unrestricted submarine warfare contrary to the Naval Protocol of 1936 to which Germany acceded, and which reaffirmed the rules of submarine warfare laid down in the London Naval Agreement of 1930... The order of Dönitz to sink neutral ships without warning when found within these zones was, therefore, in the opinion of the Tribunal, violation of the Protocol... The orders, then, prove Dönitz is guilty of a violation of the Protocol... the sentence of Dönitz is not assessed on the ground of his breaches of the international law of submarine warfare."
His sentence on unrestricted submarine warfare was not assessed, because of similar actions by the Allies: in particular, the British Admiralty on 8 May 1940 had ordered that all vessels in the Skagerrak should be sunk on sight; and Admiral Chester Nimitz, wartime commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, stated that the U.S. Navy had waged unrestricted submarine warfare in the Pacific from the day the U.S. entered the war. Thus although Dönitz's was found guilty of waging unrestricted submarine warfare against unarmed neutral shipping by ordering all ships in designated areas in international waters to be sunk without warning, no additional prison time was added to his sentence for this crime.
Dönitz was released on 1 October 1956, and he retired to the small village of Aumühle in Schleswig-Holstein in northern West Germany. There he worked on two books. His memoirs, Zehn Jahre, Zwanzig Tage (Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days), appeared in Germany in 1958 and became available in an English translation the following year. This book recounted Dönitz's experiences as U-boat commander (10 years) and President of Germany (20 days). In it, Dönitz explains the Nazi regime as a product of its time, but argues he was not a politician and thus not morally responsible for much of the regime's crimes. He likewise criticizes dictatorship as a fundamentally flawed form of government and blames it for much of the Nazi era's failings.
Admiral Dönitz's second book, Mein wechselvolles Leben (My Ever-Changing Life) is less known, perhaps because it deals with the events of his life before 1934. This book was first published in 1968, and a new edition was released in 1998 with the revised title Mein soldatisches Leben (My Life as a Soldier).
Late in his life, Dönitz made every attempt to answer correspondence and autograph postcards for others. Dönitz was unrepentant regarding his role in World War II since he firmly believed that no one will respect anyone who compromises with his belief or duty towards his nation in any way, whether his betrayal was small or big. Of this conviction, Dönitz writes (commenting on Himmler's peace negotiations):
The betrayer of military secrets is a pariah, despised by every man and every nation. Even the enemy whom he serves has no respect for him, but merely uses him. Any nation which is not uncompromisingly unanimous in its condemnation of this type of treachery is undermining the very foundations of its own state, whatever its form of government may be.
Dönitz lived out the rest of his life in relative obscurity in Aumühle, occasionally corresponding with American collectors of German Naval history, and died there of a heart attack on 24 December 1980. As the last German officer with the rank of Grand Admiral, he was honoured by many former servicemen and foreign naval officers who came to pay their respects at his funeral on 6 January 1981. However, he had received only the pension pay of a captain because the West German government ruled all of his advances in rank after that had been because of Hitler. He was buried in Waldfriedhof Cemetery in Aumühle without military honors, and soldiers were not allowed to wear uniforms to the funeral. However a number of German naval officers disobeyed this order and were joined by members of the Royal Navy, such as the senior chaplain the Rev Dr John Cameron, in full dress uniform. Also in attendance were over one hundred holders of the Knight's Cross.
Wife and children
On 27 May 1916 Dönitz married a nurse named Ingeborg Weber, the daughter of a German general. They had three children whom they raised as Protestant (Evangelical) Christians, viz., daughter Ursula (b. 1917) and sons Klaus (b. 1920) and Peter (b. 1922). Both sons were killed during the Second World War. The younger son, Peter, was a watch officer on U-954 and was killed on 19 May 1943, when his boat was sunk in the North Atlantic with all hands. After this loss, the older brother, Klaus, was allowed to leave combat duty and began studying to be a naval doctor. Klaus was killed on 13 May 1944 while taking part in an action against his orders. Klaus convinced his friends to let him go on the torpedo boat S-141 for a raid on Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient Günther Hessler.
In popular culture
Karl Dönitz has been portrayed by the following actors in film, television and theater productions.
- Gert Hänsch in the 1976 Czechoslovakian film Osvobození Prahy
- Richard Bebb in the 1973 British television production The Death of Adolf Hitler.
- Raymond Cloutier in the 2000 Canadian/U.S. T.V. production Nuremberg
- Peter Rühring in the 2005 German T.V. miniseries Speer und Er
- David Mitchell in the 2006 British T.V. sketch comedy That Mitchell and Webb Look.
- Simeon Victorov in the 2006 British television docudrama Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial.
- Thomas Kretschmann in the 2011 British/German T.V. production, The Sinking of the Laconia.
Summary of career
Dates of rank
- Fähnrich zur See (Midshipman): 15 April 1911
- Leutnant zur See (Acting Sub-Lieutenant): 27 September 1913
- Oberleutnant zur See (Sub-Lieutenant): 22 March 1916
- Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant): 1 January 1921
- Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander): 1 November 1928
- Fregattenkapitän (Commander): 1 October 1933
- Kapitän zur See (Captain): 1 October 1935
- Kommodore (Commodore): 28 January 1939
- Konteradmiral (Rear Admiral): 1 October 1939
- Vizeadmiral (Vice Admiral): 1 September 1940
- Admiral (Admiral): 14 March 1942
- Großadmiral (Grand Admiral): 30 January 1943
- Cadet training on board the SMS Hertha: April 1910–March 1911
- Naval school: April 1911–September 1912
- Serving on board the SMS Breslau: October 1912–September 1916
- Airfield commander, San Stefano and Dardanelles: September–December 1916
- U-boat training: December 1916-January 1917
- Watch Officer, 1st U-boat Flotilla: September 1935–October 1936
- Führer der U-Boote: January 1936–October 1939
- Befehlshaber der U-Boote: October 1939–January 1943
- Oberbefehlshaber der Marine: January 1943–April 1945
- Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief North: April 1945
- Reichspräsident and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht: May 1945
- Glossary of German World War II military terms
- Glossary of Nazi Germany
- Last will and testament of Adolf Hitler
- List of Nazi Party leaders and officials
References & Notes
- ^ Howard D. Grier (2007): Hitler, Dönitz, and the Baltic Sea. The Third Reich's last hope. Naval Institute Press, ISBN 1591143454, p. 256 Footnote 8, Chapter 10.
- ^ Dönitz, Karl. Memoirs.
- ^ Hamilton, Charles (1996). Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol. 2, R. James Bender Publishing, pp. 285, 286.
- ^ a b Dönitz, Karl, Grossadmiral, Zehn Jahre und Zwanzig Tage, translated by R. H. Stevens as Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1959)
- ^ a b Dönitz, Memoirs.
- ^ Otto Kretschmer preferred to fight on the surface for exactly that reason. Robertson, Terrence. The Golden Horseshoes. (London, Pan, 1957).
- ^ Dönitz, Ten Years and 20 Days.
- ^ Commonly Drumbeat, with connotations of "tattoo" or "thunderbolt" in German
- ^ http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/atlantic/bitterend.aspx
- ^ von der Porten, op. cit.
- ^ Blair, Silent Victory
- ^ "Eberhard Godt". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/men/godt.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- ^ Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography, W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 943-946
- ^ Steinweis, Alan E.; Rogers, Daniel E.; Grier, David (2003). The Impact of Nazism: New Perspectives on the Third Reich and its Legacy. Harris Center for Judaic Studies. p. 182. ISBN 0803242999. http://books.google.com/books?id=ks2IpI9zccsC&pg=PP1&dq=The+impact+of+Nazism:+new+perspectives+on+the+Third+Reich+and+its+legacy&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- ^ a b William Shirer. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Fawcett Crest. New York. 1983. ISBN 0-449-21977-1
- ^ Kershaw (2008) p. 962
- ^ Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047, Page 242
- ^ a b c d e f g h i The Impact of Nazism: New Perspectives on the Third Reich and Its Legacy by Alan E. Steinweis, Daniel E. Rogers, University of Nebraska Press 2003 pages 186–188.
- ^ a b "What would have become of our country today if the Fuehrer had not united us under National Socialism? Split by parties, beset with the spreading poison of Jewry and vulnerable to it, because we lacked the defence of our present uncompromising ideology, we would long since have succumbed under the burden of this war, and delivered ourselves up to the enemy who would have mercilessly destroyed us." The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
- ^ Zillmer, Eric A. (1995). The Quest for the Nazi Personality: A Psychological Investigation of Nazi War Criminals. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 141.
- ^ Leon Goldensohn. The Nuremberg Interviews. Vintage Books. New York. 2004. ISBN 1-4000-3043-9
- ^ a b c d e f g Judgement: Dönitz the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School.
- ^ Mosley, Leonard. Reichmarshal
- ^ Dönitz, Karl. Memoirs: Ten years and Twenty days
- ^ Blair, Clay, Hitler’s U-boat War: Vol. II, The Hunted, 1942–1945. Random House, 1998, pp. 704–5
- ^ Dönitz in Ten Years & Twenty Days and Edward P. von der Porten in The German Navy in World War Two argued that by being armed and reporting the position of submarines to Royal Navy forces, British merchantmen placed themselves beyond the protection of international law;
- ^ Natalino Ronzitti, The Law of Naval Warfare: A Collection of Agreements and Documents with Commentaries, Martinus Nijhoff, 1988, ISBN 9024736528. p. 359
- ^ Dönitz case for the defence at Nuremberg trials
- ^ Dönitz p. 477
- ^ Robert Cowley, Geoffrey Parker. The Reader's Companion to Military History. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. http://books.google.com/books?id=qOEu4ALwR-IC&pg=PA139&lpg=PA139&dq=unrepentant+%22karl+donitz%22&source=web&ots=sgzDFd4BXc&sig=fSDwnWmODYZk4Dr-5flXewYmph4.
- ^ The Lion Is Out - TIME
- ^ Ten Years and Twenty Days, page 190, first edition
- ^ DAMON STETSON (1980, December 26). "Doenitz Dies; Gave Up for Nazis :Admiral Doenitz Is Dead; Surrendered for the Nazis.". New York Times.
- ^ David Miller. U-Boats: The Illustrated History of the Raiders of the Deep. Brassey's. p. 145.
- ^ "Karl Dönitz (Character)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0048225/. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
- ^ "The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973) (TV)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283307/. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
- Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 – Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
- Dönitz, Karl, Grossadmiral. Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days. Da Capo Press, USA, 1997. ISBN 0306807645. (reprints 1958 German-language Athenäum-Verlag edition).
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Guðmundur Helgason. "Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote (BdU) Karl Dönitz." at Uboat.net.
- Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-88740-748-X.
- Padfield, Peter. Dönitz: The Last Führer. Cassell & Co, UK, 2001
- Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-355-0.
- Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham – Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-20-3.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Cremer, Peter. U-Boat Commander: A Periscope View of the Battle of the Atlantic. 1984. ISBN 0870219693
- Davidson, Eugene. The Trial of the Germans: Account of the Twenty-two Defendants Before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. 1997. ISBN 0826211399
- Hadley, Michael L. U-Boats Against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian Waters. McGill-Queen's University Press: 1985. ISBN 0773508015.
- Macintyre, Donald. U-boat Killer. 1999. ISBN 0304352357
- Werner, Herbert A. Iron Coffins: A U-boat Commander's War, 1939–45. 1999. ISBN 0304353302
- Prien, Gunther. Fortunes of War: U-boat Commander. 2000. ISBN 0752420259
- Herwig, Holger H. Innovation ignored: The Submarine problem in Murray, Williamson and Millet Allan R. ed. "Military Innovation in the Interwar Period". Cambridge University Press 1998
- Failure to Learn: American Anti-submarine Warfare in 1942 in Cohen, Eliot A. and Gooch, John. Military Misfortunes Vintage Books 1991
- Jason Pipes The Reichsmarine 1919–1935
- Jason Pipes Kriegsmarine – The Navy 1935–1945
- Re-birth of the U-boat
- Quotations related to Karl Dönitz at Wikiquote
- Archives of news and details about Karl Dönitz
- uboat.net Comprehensive reference source for WW I and WW II U-boat information.
Military offices Preceded by
Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine
Hans-Georg von Friedeburg
Political offices Preceded by
(as Führer and Reich Chancellor)
President of Germany
Allied military occupation 1945–1949
Divided into East and West in 1949
West Germany: Theodor Heuss
East Germany: Wilhelm Pieck
Awards and achievements Preceded by
Hein ter Poorten
Cover of Time Magazine
2 February 1942
Robert A. Lovett
Kenneth Arthur Noel Anderson
Cover of Time Magazine
10 May 1943
Harold L. George
- Karl Dönitz
- Erich Raeder
U-boat lists U-boat flotillasWorld War I
I · II · III · IV · Flanders · Pola · ConstantinopleWorld War II
1. · 2. · 3. · 4. · 5. · 6. · 7. · 8. · 9. · 10. · 11. · 12. · 13. · 14. · 18. · 19. · 20. · 21. · 22. · 23. · 24. · 25. · 26. · 27. · 29. · 30. · 31. · 32. · 33.
Commanders Wolfpacks Major engagements Capital ships sunkWorld War IWorld War II Technology Concepts Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves Recipients of 1940 Recipients of 1942
Oskar von Boddien · Hans Jordan (Swords) · Karl-Wilhelm Specht · Hans Freiherr von Wolff · Hans-Valentin Hube (Swords & Diamonds) · Karl-Heinz Noak · Joachim Helbig (Swords) · Otto Hitzfeld (Swords) · Wilhelm Wegener (Swords) · Hans Traut · Werner von Gilsa · Hermann Breith (Swords) · Rolf Kaldrack · Heinrich Borgmann · Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist (Swords) · Georg-Hans Reinhardt (Swords) · Walter Model (Swords & Diamonds) · Willibald Freiherr von Langermann und Erlencamp · Walter Wessel · Walter Hagen · Albert Kesselring (Swords & Diamonds) · Gerhard Köppen · Kurt Ubben · Max-Hellmuth Ostermann (Swords) · Franz Eckerle · Wolf-Dietrich Huy · Hans Strelow · Wilhelm Spies · Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller (Swords) · Erich Topp (Swords) · Theodor Eicke · Reinhard Hardegen · Wolfgang Späte · Alfred Wünnenberg · Theodor Scherer · Hermann Graf (Swords & Diamonds) · Adolf Dickfeld · Eberhard von Mackensen · Leopold Steinbatz (Swords) · Hans-Joachim Marseille (Swords & Diamonds) · Helmut Lent (Swords & Diamonds) · Robert-Georg Freiherr von Malapert · Ludwig Wolff · Friedrich Geißhardt · Heinrich Setz · Walter von Brockdorff-Ahlefeldt · Rolf Mützelburg · Adalbert Schnee · Erwin Clausen · Viktor Bauer · Franz-Josef Beerenbrock · Anton Hackl (Swords) · Traugott Herr (Swords) · Werner Kempf · Gerhard Kollewe · Walter Gorn (Swords) · Kurt Brändle · Johannes Steinhoff (Swords) · Walter Sigel · Johann Zemsky · Alfred Druschel (Swords) · Ernst Bormann · Gerhard Hein · Werner Ziegler (Swords) · Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke (Swords) · Klaus Scholtz · Heinz Schmidt · Heinrich Bleichrodt · Friedrich-Karl Müller · Wilhelm Crinius · Wolfgang Tonne · Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild · Hans Beißwenger · Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert (Swords) · Karl Torley · Johannes Kümmel · Günther Rall (Swords) · Ludwig Kirschner · Konrad Hupfer · Max Stotz · Heinrich Schweickhardt · Wolfgang Schenck · Hermann Seitz · Josef Zwernemann · Wolfgang Lüth (Swords & Diamonds) · Werner Töniges · Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz (Swords & Diamonds) · Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke (Swords & Diamonds) · Josef Wurmheller (Swords) · Karl-Friedrich Merten · Friedrich Lang (Swords) · Alwin Boerst (Swords) · Ekkehard Kylling-Schmidt · Ernst Nobis · Wolfgang Fischer · Karl Allmendinger · Heinrich Paepcke · Hermann Balck (Swords & Diamonds) · Walter Heitz · Hermann Fegelein (Swords) · Helmuth von Ruckteschell · Felix Steiner (Swords) · Hubert Lanz · Helmuth Schlömer · Maximilian Reichsfreiherr von Edelsheim (Swords) · Hartwig von Ludwiger · Harald von Hirschfeld · Josef Bremm (Swords) · Helmut Thumm · Helmuth von Pannwitz · Martin Fiebig
Recipients of 1943
Reiner Stahel (Swords) · Fritz Feßmann (Swords) · Friedrich Guggenberger · Heinz Frank · Ernst Kupfer (Swords) · Bruno Dilley · Gerhard Barkhorn (Swords) · Wend von Wietersheim (Swords) · Johann Mohr · Friedrich Paulus · Karl Willig · Günter Goebel · Günther von Kluge (Swords) · Waldemar von Gazen (Swords) · Hans Kreysing (Swords) · Reinhard Günzel · Hugo Primozic · Willy Riedel · Georg Michael · Gustav Pressler · Carl Rodenburg · Reinhold Knacke · Erwin Fischer · Hermann Hogeback (Swords) · Helmut Bruck · Alfons König (Swords) · Kurt Meyer (Swords) · Paul Gildner · Werner Streib (Swords) · Ludwig Becker · Werner Baumgarten-Crusius · Fritz Witt · Hans Mikosch · Walter Scheunemann · Gustav Schmidt · Eberhard Zahn · Johann Mickl · Wilhelm von Malachowski · Bruno Kohnz · Georg Lassen · Erich von Lewinski (Swords) · Georg Rietscher · Karl Langesee · Josef Kult · Walter Hörnlein · Theodor Nordmann (Swords) · Georg-Wilhelm Postel (Swords) · Robert Ritter von Greim (Swords) · Hans-Karl von Scheele · Heinrich Schüler · Helmut Hudel · Hinrich Schuldt (Swords) · Otto Kumm (Swords) · Rudolf Schlee · Karl Dönitz · Albrecht Brandi (Swords & Diamonds) · Gerhard von Kamptz · Siegfried Wuppermann · Erich Klawe · Peter Frantz · Hans-Ulrich Rudel (Golden Oak Leaves, Swords & Diamonds) · Paul-Werner Hozzel · Georg Dörffel · Egon Mayer (Swords) · August Dieckmann (Swords) · Otto von Bülow · Willibald Borowietz · Hans-Günther Stotten · Paul Laux · Gustav Höhne · Karl-Adolf Hollidt · Gerhard von Schwerin (Swords) · Wilhelm Niggemeyer · Franz Griesbach (Swords) · Erich Bärenfänger (Swords) · Richard Grünert · Ernst Kruse · Georg Bochmann (Swords) · Karl Löwrick · Martin Grase · Friedrich Kemnade · Robert Gysae · Hans von Obstfelder (Swords) · Karl Göbel · Friedrich Höhne · Günter Klappich · Gustav Rödel · Carl Emmermann · Werner Henke · Fritz Bayerlein (Swords) · Walther von Hünersdorff · Bernhard Sauvant · Paul Hausser (Swords) · Franz Bäke (Swords) · Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld · Manfred Meurer · Heinrich Ehrler · Theodor Weissenberger · Joachim Kirschner · Werner Schröer (Swords) · Hajo Herrmann (Swords) · Bruno Kahl · Lothar Rendulic (Swords) · Dietrich von Müller (Swords) · Georg von Küchler · Ernst Busch · Georg Lindemann · Paul Conrath · Otto Baum (Swords) · Hans Freiherr von Funck · Alexander Conrady · Erhard Raus · Dietrich von Saucken (Swords & Diamonds) · Hans Gollnick · Alfred Eidel · Paul Schultz · Hans-Detloff von Cossel · Walter Krüger (Swords) · Rolf Rocholl · Hartmann Grasser · Wolf-Udo Ettel · Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (Swords) · Hans Zorn · Horst Großmann · Walter Nowotny (Swords & Diamonds) · Joachim Lemelsen · Erich Jaschke · Heinz Harmel (Swords) · Hermann Prieß (Swords) · Friedrich Hoßbach · Siegfried Thomaschki · Walter Lange · Günther Pape · Theodor Tolsdorff (Swords & Diamonds) · Sylvester Stadler (Swords) · Ulrich Kleemann · Kurt Student · Alfred-Hermann Reinhardt (Swords) · Hans Fritsche · Bodo Spranz · Josef Schreiber · Hubert-Erwin Meierdress · Hans-Gotthard Pestke · Julius Ringel · Rudolf Freiherr von Roman · Ernst Voß · Herbert Otto Gille (Swords & Diamonds) · Albert Graf von der Goltz · Ernst Ziemer · Eugen König · Hermann Recknagel (Swords) · Siegfried Grabert · Heinrich Kiesling · Otto von Knobelsdorff (Swords) · Maximilian de Angelis · Erich Brandenberger · Otto-Ernst Remer · Georg Christiansen · Hans Dorr (Swords) · Josef Heindl · Willy Johannmeyer · Karl-Friedrich Brill · Johannes Block · Hasso von Manteuffel (Swords & Diamonds) · Gotthard Heinrici (Swords) · Hans Schmidt · Karl Mauss (Swords & Diamonds) · Hans-Henning Freiherr von Beust · Dietrich Hrabak · Wilhelm Lemke · Otto Schünemann · Walter Hartmann (Swords) · Ernst-August Fricke · Ernst Wellmann · Alfred Druffner · Anton Grasser · Kurt Walter · Adolf Weitkunat · Walter Elflein · Willy Langkeit · Andreas Thorey · Sigfrid Henrici · Heinrich Voigtsberger · Karl Baacke · Christian Tychsen · Alfred Müller · Hans-Joachim Kahler · Ernst Kühl · Kurt von der Chevallerie · Wilhelm Schmalz · Albert Frey · Heinrich Ochs
Recipients of 1944
Bernd Klug · Klaus Feldt · Walter Krauß · Horst Hannig · Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt · Helmut Kalbitz · Josef-Georg Mulzer · Maximilian Fretter-Pico · Hans Schlemmer · Heinrich Boigk · August Schmidt · Friedrich Wiese · Walter Krüger · Karl Koetz · Hugo Kraas · Eduard Hauser · Joachim Peiper (Swords) · Walter Fries (Swords) · Walther Sievers · Michael Wittmann (Swords) · Bernhard Flachs · Richard Heidrich (Swords) · Walther Nehring (Swords) · Botho Kollberg · Erich Löwe · Günther Hilt · Fritz Breithaupt · Robert Martinek · Josef Schneider · Walter Möse · Friedrich Kirchner (Swords) · Hans Källner (Swords) · Theodor Wisch (Swords) · Heinrich-Walter Bronsart von Schellendorff · Karl Lorenz · Meinrad von Lauchert · Josef Karl · Ferdinand Schörner (Swords & Diamonds) · Wilhelm Stemmermann · Theo-Helmut Lieb · Robert Kaestner · Ernst-Günther Baade (Swords) · Rudolf Kolbeck · Maximilian Wengler (Swords) · Walter Mix · Otto Benzin · Werner Forst · Helmuth Weidling (Swords) · Friedrich Mieth · Hermann Hohn (Swords) · Erich Walther (Swords) · Ludwig Heilmann (Swords) · Kurt Bühligen (Swords) · Horst Ademeit · Walter Krupinski · August Geiger · Hans-Dieter Frank · Johannes Wiese · Reinhard Seiler · Erich Hartmann (Swords & Diamonds) · Hermann-Heinrich Behrend (Swords) · Gustav Stühmer · Fritz von Scholz Fritz von Scholz Edler von Rarancze (Swords) · Willi Thulke · Josef Rettemeier · Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (Swords) · Josef Bregenzer · Friedrich Schulz (Swords) · Werner Mummert (Swords) · Hans-Joachim Jabs · Bernhard Jope · Wilhelm Schmitter · Maximilian Otte · Hansgeorg Bätcher · Georg Koßmala · Georg Grüner · Eduard Tratt · Fritz Petersen · Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin · Ludwig Müller · Heinz Wittchow von Brese-Winiary · Herbert Schwender · Hans Kroh (Swords) · Günther Radusch · Johannes Frießner · Alfred Grislawski · Erich Rudorffer (Swords) · Emil Lang · Otto Kittel (Swords) · Rudolf Schoenert · Wilhelm Herget · Anton Hafner · Johannes Mayer (Swords) · Heinrich Hogrebe · Rudolf Geisler · Heinrich von Vietinghoff · Egon von Neindorff · Wilhelm Drewes · Karl-Lothar Schulz (Swords) · Günther Schack · Otto Pollmann · Hans-Karl Stepp · Martin Möbus · Albin Wolf · Heinz Vinke · Karl Decker (Swords) · Erich Lorenz · Wilhelm Eggemann · Theodor von Lücken · Otto Deßloch · Leopold Münster · Max Sachsenheimer (Swords) · Martin Hrustak · Johann Schwerdfeger · Emil Vogel · Rudolf Freiherr von Waldenfels · Fritz Müller · Kilian Weimer · Walter Schmidt · Karl Ullrich · Karl Henze · Willy Marienfeld · Ferdinand Wegerer · Wolf Hagemann · Hans Strippel · Friedrich Hochbaum · Ernst-Eberhard Hell · Alfons Hitter · Wolfgang Pickert · Gottfried Weber · Horst Niederländer · Georg Bonk · Hubert Pilarski · Ernst-Wilhelm Hoffmann · Konrad Zeller · Joachim Domaschk · Emil Kaminsky · Edwin Stolz · Rudolf Petersen · Götz Freiherr von Mirbach · Diddo Diddens · Ernst Sieler · Erich Marcks · Albert Brux · Horst Kaubisch · Hendrik Stahl · Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer (Swords & Diamonds) · Adolf Glunz · Eduard Skrzipek · Reinhard Egger · Josef-August Fitz · Herbert Huppertz · Clemens-Heinrich Graf von Kageneck · Werner Kolb · Martin Unrein · Erich Abraham · Fritz-Hubert Gräser (Swords) · Friedrich Dollmann · Gerd von Rundstedt (Swords) · Hermann Wulf · Erich Buschenhagen · Heinz-Otto Fabian · Karl Palmgreen · Heinrich Hoffmann · Heinz-Georg Lemm (Swords) · Wilhelm Batz (Swords) · Willy Kientsch · Heinz Strüning · Karl-Heinz Weber · Otto Weßling · Rudolf Frank · Herbert Lamprecht · Wilhelm von Salisch · Gerhard Kruse · Otto Carius · Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski (Swords) · Rudolf Demme · Paul Schulze · Kurt von Tippelskirch · Hubert Mickley · Willy Wesche · Carl Hilpert · Heinrich Nickel · Curt Schille · Martin Strahammer · Karl Kloskowski · Gerhard Simons · Max Wünsche · Dietrich Kraiß · Rudolf Bacherer · Andreas von Aulock · Hermann Siggel · Gerhard Pick · Heinz Macher · Hinrich Warrelmann · Rudolf Wulf · Werner Schulze · Walter Melzer · Bruno Hinz · Hellmuth Mäder (Swords) · Rudolf Holste · Kurt Pflugbeil · Wilhelm Bittrich (Swords) · Eugen Meindl (Swords) · Hermann Flörke · Martin Bieber · Hermann Klein · Jakob Gansmeier · Walter Misera · Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock · Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz (Swords) · Heinz Greiner · Christian Sonntag · Hellmuth Pfeifer · Rudolf Flinzer · Walter Neitzel · Richard Seuss · Otto Lasch · Alois Weber · Gerhard Lindemann · Johannes Bölter · Gustav Reimar · Otto Kähler · Erich Pietzonka · Walter Gericke · Heinrich Trettner · Hans Thurner · Paul Zorner · Hans von der Mosel · Rudolf Haen · Helmut Scholz · Otto Schury · Werner Marcks · Ehrenfried-Oskar Boege · Hellmuth Becker · Johannes Mühlenkamp · Friedrich-August Schack · Ernst König · Ernst-Georg Philipp · Wolfgang Kretzschmar (Swords) · Otto Meyer · Hermann Scharnagel · Konrad Sauer · Jörg Burg · Gerhard Behnke · Gerhard Kunert · Wilhelm Kohler · Heinz Reinefarth · Erich Straube · Georg Graf von Rittberg · Mortimer von Kessel · Willi Koch · Friedrich Strohm · Theodor Krancke · Georg Jakob · Walter Schuck · Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte · Herbert Bauer · Franz Kieslich · Diether Lukesch · Wilhelm Bleckwenn · Arthur Jüttner (Swords) · Johann-Georg Richert · Werner Gust · Othmar Kreuzinger · Franz Weller · Karl Thieme (Swords) · Hans-Christian Stock · Gustav Schubert · Johann Schalanda · Helmut Leicht · Günther Tonne · Benno Reuter · Paul Ecker · Paul Freiherr von Hauser · Fritz-Rudolf Schultz · Heinrich Busse · Eduard Brunner · Max Simon · Johannes Blaskowitz (Swords) · Klaus Hilgemann · Gerhard Friedrich · Maximilian Felzmann · Johann-Heinrich Eckhardt · Werner Hartmann · Walter Weiß · Gustav-Adolf von Zangen · Gerd Ruge · Wilhelm Weidenbrück · Helmut Dörner (Swords) · Albrecht Krügel · Emil Badorrek · Klaus Mietusch · Heinz Meyer · Wilhelm Antrup · Heinrich Höfer · Gerhart Schirmer · Hans Seidemann · Hans Hoßfeld · Werner Dörnbrack · Hubert Pölz · Rudolf Witzig · Georg-Peter Eder · Rudolf Rennecke · Otto Dommeratzky · Karl Kennel · Gerhard Michalski · Gerhard Bremer · Klaus von Bismarck · Artur Phleps · Otto Wöhler · Helmuth Reymann · Curt Ehle · Kurt Maier · Georg Sattler · Walther Hahm · Christian Braun · Fritz Arndt · Gerhard Engel · Jürgen Wagner · Friedrich Jakob · Harry Hoppe · Eduard Crasemann · Andreas Kuffner · Fritz Biermeier · Paul Klatt · Günther-Eberhardt Wisliceny (Swords) · Otto Weidinger (Swords) ·
Recipients of 1945
Heinrich Baron von Behr · Kurt-Hermann Freiherr von Mühlen · Walter Lucht · Sigmund-Ulrich Freiherr von Gravenreuth · Kurt Gröschke · Kurt Herzog · Alois Eisele · Volprecht Riedesel Freiherr zu Eisenbach · Joachim Brendel · Wilhelm Hasse · Hans-Detlef Gollert-Hansen · Claus Breger · Bruno Streckenbach · Max Reinwald · Richard Henze · Walther Risse · Alexander Löhr · Gerhard Schmidhuber · Wilhelm Schöning · Herbert Kündiger · Albert Henze · Erich Reuter · Kurt Dahlmann · Kurt Plenzat · Herbert Rollwage · Max Schäfer · Karl Pröll · Hellmuth Böhlke · Walter Süß · Wilhelm Spindler · Karl Arndt · Kurt Wahl · Joachim Rumohr · August Zehender · Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch · Walther Dahl · Karl Roßmann · Ernst Jansa · Jürgen Harder · Otto Vincon · Joachim Sander · Georg Graf von Plettenberg · Maximilian von Weichs · Wilhelm Osterhold · Georg Jauer · Karl-Heinz Oesterwitz · Herbert Wittmann · Herbert Schramm · Anton-Otto Frank · Anton Müller · Eduard Zorn · Willi Schülke · Günther Blumentritt · Josef Heichele · Georg Gebhardt · Ernst Knebel · Fritz Klasing · Edmund Blaurock · Ludwig Schulz · Rolf Hermichen · Hans Krebs · Heinz-Martin Ewert · Fritz-Georg von Rappard · Josef Jakwert · Horst Warschnauer · Hans-Babo von Rohr · Ernst-August Krag · Heinrich Schmelzer · Traugott Kempas · Arthur Kullmer · Michael Pössinger · Ottmar Pollmann · Bern von Baer · Hans Reichardt · Werner Ebeling · Hermann Niehoff (Swords) · Heinrich Götz · Rudolf von Bünau · Bruno Karczewski · Erich Schneider · Kurt Welter · Helmut Renschler · Wolfgang Rust · Friedrich Sixt · Kurt Witschel · Clemens Betzel · Franz Rogalski · Johannes Grimminger · Ernst Kutschkau · Egon Aghta · Wilhelm Schröder · Karl-Heinz Becker · Heinz Rökker · Robert Weiß · Werner Pötschke · Alfred Matern · Fritz Vogt · Karl-Heinz Jaeger · Max Wandrey · Hans Engelien · Heinrich Ruhl · Bruno Frankewitz · Paul Scheuerpflug · Martin Becker · Gerhard Werner · Ernst-Georg Kedzia · Kuno von Meyer · Walter Prüß · Günther Konopacki · Hans-Georg Herzog · Rudolf Trittel · Karl Wanka · Harald Freiherr von Elverfeldt · Friedrich Jeckeln · Fritz Fullriede · Johannes Spielmann · Heinrich Keese · Lothar Berger · Helmuth Hufenbach · Erich Schroedter · Horst von Usedom · Günther Josten · Alexander Gläser · Wilhelm Stähler · Gerhard Stüdemann · Walter Girg · Horst von Mellenthin · Martin Steglich · Rudolf Neubert · Friedrich Richter · Ernst Kuppinger · Otto Paetsch · Hans von Tettau · Gerhard Thyben · Theodor Burchardi · August Thiele · Bruno Richter · Otto Skorzeny · Ernst-Anton von Krosigk · Helmut Borchardt · Carl Becker · Kurt Röpke · Friedrich Rögelein · Alfred Simm · Gerhard Raht · Hans-Arno Ostermeier · Max Hansen · Herbert Lütje · Helmut Lipfert · Josef Kraft · Martin Drewes · Hermann Greiner · Paul Semrau · Adolf Raegener · Hans-Peter Knaust · Franz Hack · Paul-Albert Kausch · Josef Brandner · Eberhard Rodt · Joachim Ziegler · Hans-Joachim Kappis · Karl Schrepfer · Josef Prentl · Rolf Thomsen · Hans-Günther Lange · Heinz-Oskar Laebe · Heinrich Hax · Hanns Laengenfelder · Richard Daniel · Wolfgang von Obstfelder · Wolfgang von Bostell · Gerhard Mokros · Werner Ostendorff · Rudolf Lehmann · Karl Kreutz · Heinz Werner · Alfred Jodl · Adalbert von Blanc · Hermann Plocher · Franz Graßmel · Friedrich Lier · Oskar-Hubert Dennhardt · Matthias Kleinheisterkamp · Hanns-Heinrich Lohmann · Alfred Montag · Hans Meier · Alfons Rebane · Walter Schlags-Koch · Erich Schmidt · Joachim von Siegroth · Paul Stahl · Georg Störck · Franz Sensfuß · Joseph von Radowitz
(as individuals in the military of allies of the Third Reich)
in chronological order
see also: List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipientsRelated recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
- Adolf Borchers, Hermann Borchers and Walter Borchers
- Georg von Boeselager (Oak Leaves & Swords) and Philipp von Boeselager
- Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin and Hubertus von Bonin
- Hellmut von der Chevallerie and Kurt von der Chevallerie (Oak Leaves)
- Hermann Fegelein (Oak Leaves & Swords) and Waldemar Fegelein
- Friedrich Foertsch and Hermann Foertsch
- Maximilian Fretter-Pico (Oak Leaves) and Otto Fretter-Pico
- Helmut Friebe and Werner Friebe
- Adolf Galland (Oak Leaves, Swords & Diamonds) and Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland
- Rudolf Geisler (Oak Leaves) and Siegfried Geisler
- Helmut Haugk and Werner Haugk
- Otto Heger and Rudolf Heger
- Hartmut von Hößlin and Roland von Hößlin
- Alfred Jodl (Oak Leaves) and Ferdinand Jodl
- Clemens-Heinrich Graf von Kageneck (Oak Leaves) and Erbo Graf von Kageneck (Oak Leaves)
- Friedrich Kittel and Heinrich Kittel
- Günther von Kluge (Oak Leaves & Swords) and Wolfgang von Kluge
- Eckardt Köppen and Gerhard Köppen (Oak Leaves)
- Boris Kraas and Hugo Kraas (Oak Leaves)
- Friedrich Krüger and Walter Krüger (Oak Leaves & Swords)
- Albrecht Lanz and Hubert Lanz (Oak Leaves)
- Erhard Milch and Werner Milch
- Johann Pflugbeil and Kurt Pflugbeil (Oak Leaves)
- Franz Schlieper and Fritz Schlieper
- Hans-Jürgen Stumpff and Horst Stumpff
- Gerd Suhren and Reinhard Suhren (Oak Leaves & Swords)
Brothers in law Cousins
- Ernst Lindemann and Georg Lindemann (Oak Leaves)
- Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz (Oak Leaves & Swords), Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (Oak Leaves & Swords) and Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz (Oak Leaves, Swords & Diamonds)
- Franz Ruhl and Heinrich Setz (Oak Leaves)
- Gerd von Rundstedt (Oak Leaves & Swords) and Gotthard Heinrici (Oak Leaves & Swords)
- Hans Graf von Sponeck and Theodor Graf von Sponeck
- Siegfried Weber and Werner Winter
Father and son Father and son in lawRecipients of the U-boat War Badge with DiamondsAlbrecht Brandi • Heinrich Bleichrodt • Otto von Bülow • Karl Dönitz • Carl Emmermann • Engelbert Endrass • Friedrich Guggenberger • Robert Gysae • Reinhard Hardegen • Werner Henke • Otto Kretschmer • Hans-Günther Lange • Georg Lassen • Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock • Heinrich Liebe • Wolfgang Lüth • Johann Mohr • Rolf Mützelburg • Karl-Friedrich Merten • Günther Prien • Joachim Schepke • Adalbert Schnee • Klaus Scholtz • Viktor Schütze • Herbert Schultze • Reinhard Suhren • Erich Topp in alphabetical orderRecipients of the Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds
Karl Angerstein · Ion Antonescu · Italo Balbo · Werner Baumbach · Nicolaus von Below · Werner von Blomberg · Karl Bodenschatz · Alfonso de Orleans y Borbón · Bernd von Brauchitsch · Friedrich Christiansen · Otto Deßloch · Eduard Dietl · Josef Dietrich · Alfred Druschel · Karl Dönitz · Francisco Franco · Carl August Freiherr von Gablenz · Adolf Galland · Hubert-Marie Joseph de Geffrier · Gordon Gollob · Hermann Graf · Ulrich Grauert · Robert Ritter von Greim · Hermann Göring · Martin Harlinghausen · Erich Hartmann · Joachim Helbig · Hans-Joachim Herrmann · Heinrich Himmler · Miklós Horthy · Hans Jeschonnek · Josef Kammhuber · Paul Karadjordjevic · Gustav Kastner-Kirdorf · Alfred Keller · Albert Kesselring · Hans Kettenbeil · Alfredo Kindelán · Günther Korten · Helmut Lent · Bruno Loerzer · Günther Lützow · Alexander Löhr · Carl Gustav Emil Freiherr Mannerheim · Hans-Joachim Marseille · Erhard Milch · d'Astiè de la Vìgerie Moragilia · Werner Mölders · Frederick Navratil · Walter Nowotny · Walter Oesau · Albert Parani · Dietrich Peltz · Jacques Petitjean · Johann Pflugbeil · Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke · Hanna Reitsch · Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen · Erwin Rommel · Hans-Ulrich Rudel · Schmidlein · Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer · Otto Skorzény · Hugo Sperrle · Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg · Paul Stehlin · Kurt Student · Hans-Jürgen Stumpff · Heinrich Trettner · Ernst Udet · Ugo Valle · Joseph Vuillemin · Walther Wever
Presidents of Germany Weimar Republic (1918–1933) Third Reich (1933–1945) The Schwerin von Krosigk Cabinet – 2 May 1945 to 23 May 1945Major defendants at the Nuremberg Trials Sentenced to death Imprisoned (terms) Acquitted No decision 1 in absentia. 2 Committed suicide. 3 Found unfit to stand trial; charges dropped due to extremely poor health and senility.
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Karl Dönitz — als Großadmiral, 1943 Karl Dönitz (* 16. September 1891 in Grünau bei Berlin; † 24. Dezember 1980 in Aumühle bei Hamburg) war ein deutscher Marineoffizier (seit 1943 Großadmiral … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Karl Dönitz — (Berlín, 16 de septiembre de 1891 Hamburgo, 24 de diciembre de 1980). Gran Almirante de la Marina alemana y efimero Jefe de Estado de este país al final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial … Enciclopedia Universal
Karl Dönitz — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar … Wikipedia Español
Karl Doenitz — Karl Dönitz (* 16. September 1891 in Grünau bei Berlin; † 24. Dezember 1980 in Aumühle bei Hamburg) war ein deutscher Marineoffizier (seit 1943 Großadmiral) und Oberbefehlshaber der deutschen Kriegsmarine im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Von Hitler… … Deutsch Wikipedia
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DÖNITZ (K.) — DÖNITZ KARL (1891 1980) Entré comme cadet dans la marine impériale allemande en 1910, Karl Dönitz participe à la Première Guerre mondiale dans les submersibles; en 1918, il est fait prisonnier par les Anglais. S’étant spécialisé dans les sous… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Dönitz — Stadtteil of Klötze … Wikipedia
Dönitz — bezeichnet: Dönitz (Klötze), Ortsteil der Stadt Klötze im Altmarkkreis Salzwedel in Sachsen Anhalt Dönitz ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Karl Dönitz (1891–1980), Oberbefehlshaber der deutschen Kriegsmarine im Zweiten Weltkrieg und… … Deutsch Wikipedia