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Kaiserliche Marine (German)

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rider View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Jul 2009 at 19:09

I personally consider it the finest navy around except for the British. Speaking of the German one, (apparently, the Austrians named themselves the same).

I was wondering though, if anyone could help me with figuring out what the command structure of the Marine was. I understand that with Wilhelm I, the Navy was a very small and concentrated structure and part of the army command structure, while Wilhelm II reformed the navy as a separate institution with himself in the top? How did the Seekriegsleitung and Oberste Heeresleitung get along during the war?

Also, who were the main disainers for the new war-ship classes (they seem to have released a newer and bigger ship class almost every year) and were any of Wilhelm II's personal designs given into the factories as well (I read somewhere that he was too impractical but better to be safe and ask a confirmation)?
 
Thanks,


Edited by rider - 07 Jul 2009 at 19:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2009 at 02:17
That does sound correct. The only thing is that i believe is that at the time of the great war, he (Wilhelm II) gave his reformed admiralty staff more power to conduct the naval war then he otherwise would have in a time of peace.

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How did the Seekriegsleitung and Oberste Heeresleitung get along during the war?


That is a good question and one worth looking into. AFAIK, at the beginning of the war the communication between the two was incredibly poor. i.e. the navy's ignorance for the Army's Schlieffen plan. Did it get better as the war progressed? I honestly do not know, but i am inclined to highly doubt it.

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Also, who were the main disainers for the new war-ship classes (they seem to have released a newer and bigger ship class almost every year) and were any of Wilhelm II's personal designs given into the factories as well (I read somewhere that he was too impractical but better to be safe and ask a confirmation)?


Could you be a little more specific in which time period of the imperial German navy for the info you are seeking; Seeing that ship designs that were used in the great war ranged from 1871 to 1918? Or perhaps you are referring to each individual ship(s) designs themselves?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2009 at 07:56
Mostly, I'm just looking around for general information (eg the entire period). Plus, I'd bet that if there was a good designer, then he would have drawn up several ships one after the other.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pabbicus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2009 at 20:37

As far as I know, Wilhelm's many Naval Reform & Expansion bills, which were fiercely targeted by British diplomatic ploys, were based on the British model for the most part, and at least early on they followed the most popular contemporary doctrines and designs. The major force in the Naval bill apart from Wilhelm himself, who was almost consumed by his goal of creating a naval force to rival the british, was Grand Admiral von Tirpitz, generally accepted as the most important naval officer in Germany, and perhaps in Europe as well, as it was with his assistance, guidance and many suggestions that the naval bills were drafted, and during his appointment the German Navy expanded to nearly 80% the size of the British Royal Navy by 1914, a staggering development considering their relatively small and, for the purposes of maintaining a colonial empire, rather useless level of naval force in 1888, after the tragic "Year of Three Emperors" in Germany saw Wilhelm I die of old age and health complications, and Friedrich III's even more tragic death due to complications from treatment to his cancer of the Larynx and quite shocking mistreatment by doctors resulting in further complications and an uncomfortable last several months, wherein he could not speak and was forced to communicate almost entirely by writing.

But Tirpitz' "Risk Theory" was what propelled britain and Germany into their famous naval arms race and contributed to World War I's catastrophic outbreak.

All of this, however, is a bit off-track from your question, and to that I would answer with the following; The German Navy itself based most of it's designs on the british models of the same classes, with modifications based on the decisions of the Marine Cabinet. At least, that is my understanding of their strategy.



Edited by Pabbicus - 20 Oct 2009 at 20:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2009 at 21:36
OK folks, any discussion here would have to begin with Alfred Thayer Mahan and his "Theory of Sea Power" in 1890. Given the "jingoism" of the 1890s, the book was a runaway best seller among the world's naval nuts. The book got into the hands of not only Von Tirpitz, but several rather forceful but unstable personalities: Theodore Roosevelt and Kaiser Wilhelm II! There is always a good dash of ironic humor in the exposition of History, and this little Internet tidbit says all that is needed to say about the "Risk Theory" of Von Tirpitz as practiced by Wilhelm II:
 
 
We all know what happened to Von Spee and all those nifty cruisers on German colonial postage. At least he went down with his vessel...Willy snuck off to Holland.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2009 at 09:47
Wasn't it von Spree?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2009 at 12:04
von Spee.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warwolf1969 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2010 at 14:28
Got a site for the German Navy during both world wars.
http://www.german-navy.de/index.html.  Might be of interest.
 
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