Felix von Bendemann

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Bendemann in China (around 1901)

Felix Eduard Robert Emil Bendemann , from 1905 von Bendemann (born August 8, 1848 in Dresden , † October 31, 1915 in Berlin ) was a German admiral in the Imperial Navy .



Felix was a son of the painter Eduard Bendemann and his wife Lida , daughter of the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow . The painter Rudolf Bendemann was his youngest brother. All four Bendemann brothers served in the Franco-German War , which also shaped Bendemann's further naval career.

Military career

Flagship of the East Asia Squadron SMS Hertha
Admiral Felix von Bendemann (right), Consul General Wilhelm Knappe and the envoy Alfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein (left) after his arrival in China in front of the Imperial Consulate General in Shanghai

When the news of the beginning of the Franco-German war arrived, Bendemann was a lieutenant at sea on the gunboat SMS Meteor under commandant Eduard von Knorr off the coast of Florida . On November 9, 1870, the SMS Meteor fought off the coast of Cuba in a sea battle with the French Aviso Bouvet , who brought Bendemann the Iron Cross, 2nd class.

Bendemann attended the Naval Academy from 1872 and belonged to the first graduates of the newly founded Naval Academy in Kiel in 1872/73 and 1873/74 . Promoted to lieutenant captain, he then took on as III. Officer of the corvette SMS Gazelle under the command of the sea captain Georg von Schleinitz from 1874 to 1876 took part in its research expedition and circumnavigation. In 1876/77 Bendemann was in command of the gunboat SMS Sperber . As a corvette captain in 1884 he was in command of SMS Olga with the West African squadron (again) under Admiral Eduard von Knorr in action off the coast of Cameroon . Due to the use of this squadron, Cameroon was recognized by England and France as a German colony.

In 1894, as a sea captain and commander of SMS Brandenburg , he survived a burst of the main steam pipe on a test drive due to a design fault, which cost the lives of more than 40 members of the crew. From 1899 he was Vice Admiral from March 14 to December 13, 1899, Chief of the Admiralty Staff of the Imperial Navy. His successor was Vice Admiral Otto von Dieterichs (1843-1919) , who was returning from the East Asia Squadron. From February 1900 to February 1902, Bendemann commanded the East Asia Squadron from board its flagships , the large cruisers SMS Hertha and SMS Fürst Bismarck . The mission in the Boxer Rebellion saw him involved in taking the Taku forts with the large cruisers SMS Hansa and Hertha and the small cruisers SMS Gefion and SMS Irene .

From 1903 Bendemann was head of the North Sea naval station in Wilhelmshaven . In this position, he was promoted to admiral on November 14, 1903 and on January 27, 1905 by Kaiser Wilhelm II raised to the hereditary Prussian nobility . On 18 May 1907 he was in approval of his leave request with the statutory board for disposition and also à la suite made of Seeoffizierkorps.

After his adoption, Bendemann worked from 1909 as a member of the lawless society in Berlin . He died in Berlin in 1915 at the age of 67 and was buried in the old St. Matthew Cemetery in Schöneberg . The grave has not been preserved.


Bendemann married on April 17, 1873 in Berlin with Helene Sturz (1847–1915), daughter of the Brazilian Consul General in Berlin, Johann Jakob Sturz (1800–1877). The following children were born from the marriage:

  • Walter (* 1874), Prussian captain
  • Eduard (* 1877), painter ⚭ Margarete Susman (1872–1966), German journalist , essayist and poet
  • Irma (* 1881) ⚭ Paul Wolfram, German frigate captain
  • Lida (* 1883) ⚭ Hugo Luschinger, businessman
  • Felix (* 1885), German first lieutenant at sea
  • Ruth (* 1889) ⚭ Gerhard Sachau, first lieutenant in the reserve


His friend, Reich Commissioner Wilhelm Knappe , named "Mount Bendemann" on the island of Dyaul and "Bendemann Harbor" in what is now the province of New Ireland ("New Mecklenburg") of Papua New Guinea after him.


  • Hans Roemer:  Bendemann, Felix. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 37 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Dermot Bradley (eds.), Hans H. Hildebrand, Ernest Henriot: Germany's Admirals 1849-1945. The military careers of naval, engineering, medical, weapons and administrative officers with admiral rank. Volume 1: A-G. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1988, ISBN 3-7648-1499-3 , pp. 91-92.
  • Jürgen W. Schmidt: The devastating accident on the liner BRANDENBURG on February 16, 1894. Technical causes and judicial punishment. In: German Shipping Archive. Vol. 30 (2007), pp. 323-346.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Briefadeligen houses. 1908. Second year, Justus Perthes, Gotha 1907, p. 51.
  2. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende: Lexicon of Berlin tombs. Haude & Spener, Berlin 2006, p. 299.
  3. ^ Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Briefadeligen houses. 1917. Eleventh year, Justus Perthes, Gotha 1916, p. 53.