Franz von Hipper

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Vice Admiral Hipper (1916)

Franz Hipper , since 1916 Ritter von Hipper (* 13. September 1863 in Weilheim , † 25. May 1932 in Othmarschen ) was a German admiral in the Imperial Navy in the First World War .


Hipper came from a Bavarian host family. He was the son of Anton Hipper and his wife Anna, née Miller. After finishing school, he joined the Imperial Navy in April 1881 at the age of 18 . There he began his military career as a cadet on the frigates Niobe and Leipzig . After graduating from naval school , he was promoted to lieutenant at sea on December 19, 1885 with a patent from November 21, 1884 . After various on-board and land commands, u. a. As a navigation officer on the Imperial Yacht Hohenzollern , Hipper rose to become corvette captain until 1902 .

From October 1, 1902, Hipper was in command of the II. Torpedo Department and was in command of the Leipzig light cruiser from April 20 to August 22, 1906 . Subsequently made available for a short time to the chief of the North Sea naval station , Hipper was given command of the great cruiser Friedrich Carl on September 30, 1906 . From March 6th to September 30th 1908 he was in command of the great cruiser Gneisenau . Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1912 , from October 1913 he was in command of the reconnaissance forces of the deep-sea fleet . With the outbreak of World War I, he successfully led the battlecruisers in combat against the Royal Navy . The English coastal towns of Scarborough , Whitby and Hartlepool were shelled in December 1914 , resulting in civilian casualties.

Vice Admiral Hipper and his staff in 1916, 2nd from the left is
Erich Raeder , who later became Commander in Chief of the Navy

Hipper led the reconnaissance unit in the battle on the Dogger Bank (January 24, 1915) and in the Battle of the Skagerrak (May 31, 1916). In the latter battle heavy losses were inflicted on the Royal Navy . Hipper was then considered a great naval leader in both Germany and Great Britain. On June 5, 1916, Hipper received the highest Prussian valor award, the order Pour le Mérite, from Wilhelm II . The Bavarian King Ludwig III. honored his achievements a day later with the award of the Commander's Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order . Associated with this was the elevation to the personal nobility and he was allowed to call himself Ritter von Hipper after his entry in the nobility register .

In August 1918, Hipper was appointed as the successor to Reinhard Scheer as Admiral and Chief of the Deep Sea Fleet. When the mutiny broke out in Kiel , he unsuccessfully appealed to the seafarers. Hipper then resigned from his post on November 30, 1918, was given leave of absence until December 13, 1918 and then put up for disposition at his request .

He spent the rest of his life in Hamburg-Othmarschen , where he died after a long illness. The funeral service took place at the Ohlsdorf cemetery , where admirals Erich Raeder and Wilhelm Souchon held commemorative speeches; the 3rd torpedo boat semi-flotilla of the Reichsmarine provided a mourning delegation. Admiral von Hipper found his final resting place in the cemetery of his hometown Weilheim, where his urn was later transferred.


The heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper of the Kriegsmarine , the school frigate Hipper of the German Navy , the Admiral-Hipper-Straße in Weilheim and a building on the premises of the naval operations school of the German Navy in Bremerhaven were named after him. In addition, Hipper held the following medals and decorations :


  • 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. 106-108.
  • Hugo von Waldeyer-Hartz : Admiral Hipper. Kittler. Leipzig 1933.
  • Jürgen Busche : Hero's test. The denied World War I legacy. Deutsche Verlags-anstalt, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-421-05779-6 .
  • Walther HubatschHipper, Franz Ritter von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , pp. 203 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Rudolf von Kramer, Otto Freiherr von Waldenfels: VIRTUTI PRO PATRIA. The Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order. Acts of War and Book of Honor 1914-1918. Self-published by the Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order, Munich 1966, pp. 321–322.
  • Chapter 10: Franz Ritter von Hipper , in: Wilhelm Wolfslast : Heroes of the Sea. Volume 1. Entdecker und Admirale , Berlin 1944, pp. 157–174.
  • Philbin, Tobias R., III (1982). Admiral von Hipper: The Inconvenient Hero. Amsterdam: BR Grüner Publishing Co.

Web links

Commons : Franz von Hipper  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ranking list of the Imperial German Navy for the year 1918. Ed .: Marine-Kabinett. Mittler & Sohn publishing house. Berlin 1918. p. 6.