Imperial Navy

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Wilhelm II as Grand Admiral (Adolph Behrens, 1913)
Front ornament with imperial crown , Hohenzollern coat of arms and unclear anchor at the Naval School Mürwik

The Imperial Navy was the official name of the naval forces of the German Empire from 1872 to 1918 . Originally, it was aimed at coastal defense. From around 1900 it developed into one of the largest and most modern war fleets in the world, which was favored by imperial aspirations and the naval enthusiasm of the German Emperor Wilhelm II . In 1914 the Imperial Navy was the second strongest navy in the world after the Royal Navy and before the United States Navy . This enormous armament challenged Great Britain as the leading naval power and led to the German-British naval battle . It contributed to the start of the First World War .

The fact that the fleet remained largely ineffective was mainly due to the geopolitical location of the German coasts and the lack of large overseas naval bases. The German surface forces therefore did not play a major role in the World War. Only in the Battle of the Skagerrak in 1916 was there a major exchange of blows with the Royal Navy, which ended in a strategic stalemate. The submarine warfare , however, added the British Merchant Navy to serious damage, but favored by their ruthless leadership the USA entered the war on the side of the enemies of Germany.
On the night of October 29th to 30th, 1918, triggered by the naval order of October 24th, 1918 , there was a refusal to
raise anchor on board three ships and open mutiny on two battleships . The Kiel sailors' uprising is considered to be the trigger for the November Revolution and the end of the monarchy in Germany .

To the prehistory

On June 14, 1848, the Frankfurt National Assembly founded the Reichsflotte, the first all-German navy in German naval history . This was dissolved again in 1852/53 (details here ).

After the German-Danish War (1864) and the German War (1866), the Navy of the North German Confederation was established by law of November 9, 1867 . It emerged from the Prussian Navy . The other federal states of the North German Confederation did not have their own naval forces.

1871 to 1890

Naval flags of the German Empire

The Imperial Constitution of April 16, 1871 describes the Reich's navy mostly as the Kriegsmarine , but at one point also as the Imperial Navy . It was the sole responsibility of the empire, with the emperor being responsible for the supreme command (Art. 53). At first it was built up slowly. For naval use, the latter name was introduced on February 1, 1872. The ship names of the Imperial Navy - comparable to the tradition in the British Navy (HMS = His / Her Majesty's Ship) - are preceded by the abbreviation SMS (for " S a M ajestät S chiff "). In addition to the active fleet, there was a sea ​​rifle as part of the reserve analogous to the Landwehr in the army.

The Imperial Navy emerged from the Navy of the North German Confederation . On February 1, 1872, their previous naval authorities were combined to form the Imperial Admiralty , the first chief of which was General of the Infantry Albrecht von Stosch . The supreme command had the Emperor held.

The “imperial” navy was financed from the budget decided by the Reichstag . For the maintenance of the land forces , however, the federal states were responsible.

Map of the foreign stations of the Imperial Navy 1901–1914

Initially, the main task was coastal protection and the protection of German sea ​​trade routes . The first foreign stations were soon established and expanded globally by 1900:

  1. East Asian Station (Asia, station location Tsingtau )
  2. East American Station (East Coast of America, no fixed station location, logistical locations including Saint Thomas and Newport News )
  3. West American Station (West Coast of America, no fixed station location, logistical location during the Mexican Civil War, San Francisco )
  4. Australian station (Australia and South Seas, station location Matupi )
  5. West African station (west coast of Africa, logistics location Cape Town , actual station location Duala )
  6. East African station (east coast of Africa, logistical location Cape Town, actual station location Dar es Salaam )
  7. Mediterranean station (station location Constantinople ).

The two American stations (originally West Indian station) were barely manned in the 1880s / 90s, but at least in the Caribbean they were regularly called at by shipboy's school ships.

Sailor of the Imperial Navy in a tropical landing suit around 1910
SMS Olga during the bombardment of Hickorytown (Duala), Cameroon, December 1884

In the 1880s / 90s, the Imperial Navy played a key role in the development of the German colonial empire in Africa , Asia and Oceania . The Port of Kiel (on the Baltic Sea ) and the Jadehafen of Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea were in accordance with Article 53 of the constitution Reich naval ports .

The tasks of the navy also included general representation of the Reich abroad, especially overseas. As was customary at the time, the Prussian Navy had already used foreign cruisers to support the diplomatic representation of interests of Prussia and later the Reich, especially with regard to smaller states. A special example of this form of cooperation between diplomacy and the navy, the classic gunboat diplomacy , was the so-called Eisenstuck affair in Nicaragua from 1876–1878.

Development, construction and delivery of the first German torpedo boats (1884)

The Schichau works already had experience with the construction of torpedo boats for export, as the German Navy contract for the development, design and construction of six torpedo boats issued. The demanding construction program for a torpedo boat fleet worked out by the Reichsmarineamt required extraordinarily seaworthy ships at high speed. The length should not exceed 37 meters, the boats should be armed with four torpedoes and two rapid-fire guns. The displacement resulted from consideration of the functional living quarters of the crew, the size of the engine room and the bunkers to 85 tons of coal. The triple expansion machine had the power of 900  PSi and met expectations; In the tests of torpedo boats carried out by various shipyards in Eckernförde Bay in 1884, the “S-Boats” from Schichau performed best.

1890 to 1914

In memory of the South American voyage of the ships Kaiser , König Albert and Strasbourg in February 1914: Postcard with the Theatro Municipal (Rio de Janeiro) , Brazil
Sailor of the Imperial Navy (around 1890)
Kaiser Wilhelm II (center) on board the small cruiser SMS Geier (1894)
U-boat harbor in Kiel (1914)

Under the seafaring and naval enthusiast Kaiser Wilhelm II (1888–1918) the navy gained in importance. A large maritime arms industry emerged. The Kaiser Wilhelm Canal , completed in 1895, enabled the naval forces to be relocated quickly between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea .

With the establishment of the Navy Cabinet , High Command of the Navy and Reichsmarineamt , the management structure changed from 1889. In 1897, Alfred von Tirpitz became State Secretary of the Reichsmarineamt .

In 1898 the Reichstag passed a new naval law that stipulated further expansion. The high command was replaced by the admiralty's staff in 1899 , and the emperor took over the command again . Tirpitz succeeded with his “head of propaganda” Ernst Levy von Halle and the German Fleet Association to generate great enthusiasm for the fleet in the German Reich. For a continental power like Germany this was by no means a given.

As in other navies of the time, naval armor was characterized by rapid technical development. One after another, new weapon systems were introduced, such as the sea ​​mine , the torpedo , the submarine and the naval aviators with airplanes and airships . Although all these developments had already been used with simple models in the American Civil War , their importance for future naval wars was initially hardly recognized.

A change in the doctrine of defensive war and naval battles resulted in a German-British arms race with the establishment of the deep-sea fleet . The isolation of the German Empire resulting from the German-English conflict had a decisive influence on the beginning of the First World War .

One of the major problems facing the Imperial Navy until the end of the First World War was inadequate internal coordination. Since the emperor himself exercised the supreme command, there was a lack of coordination between the various directly subordinate naval agencies with direct prior consultation with the emperor, the so-called immediate agencies , of which there were at times up to eight. These included the State Secretary of the Reichsmarineamt, the chief of the deep sea fleet, the chiefs of the naval stations.

Organizationally, the deep sea fleet formed the core of the Imperial Navy from the beginning of the 20th century. In addition, there was the East Asia Squadron , the Mediterranean Division and various land departments, such as the Marine Station of the North Sea and the naval base of the Baltic Sea .

Deep sea fleet

Until the end of the 19th century it was common practice to keep fleets active only in the summer months, while most ships were laid up in winter . After the activation in the spring, major exercises were required to make the ships operational. For this purpose, the so-called training or maneuvering fleet was brought together every year in the Imperial Navy, headed by an admiral as the fleet chief . Around 1900 the training fleet was first renamed the battle fleet and in 1906 the deep sea fleet . Their first boss was the Emperor's brother, Prince Heinrich . The deep sea fleet formed the core of the Imperial Navy.

At the start of the war in August 1914, their strengths were:

category number
Large line ships 14th
Ships of the line 22nd
Coastal armored ships 8th
Large cruisers ( battle cruisers ) 4th
Large cruisers ( armored cruisers ) 7th
Small cruisers 12
Torpedo boats
(in fleet service)
Submarines 19th
Starboard side of the SMS Rheinland (1910)

The battleships, ships of the line and coastal armored ships formed six squadrons at that time , the cruisers formed five reconnaissance groups:

Fleet flagship
SMS Friedrich the Great
I. Squadron II Squadron III. squadron IV Squadron V. Squadron VI. squadron
SMS Ostfriesland ( flagship ) SMS Prussia (flagship) SMS Prinzregent Luitpold (flagship) SMS Wittelsbach (flagship) SMS Kaiser Wilhelm II. (Flagship) SMS Hildebrand (flagship)
SMS Helgoland SMS Germany SMS Kaiser SMS Wettin SMS Kaiser Wilhelm the Great SMS Heimdall
SMS Thuringia SMS Hanover SMS Empress SMS Zähringen SMS Emperor Barbarossa SMS Hagen
SMS Oldenburg SMS Pomerania SMS King Albert SMS Swabia SMS Kaiser Friedrich III. SMS Frithjof
SMS Nassau SMS Schleswig-Holstein SMS king SMS Mecklenburg SMS Emperor Charlemagne SMS Odin
SMS Westphalia SMS Silesia SMS Great Elector SMS Braunschweig SMS Wörth SMS Beowulf
SMS Rheinland SMS Hessen SMS Markgraf SMS Alsace SMS Brandenburg SMS Siegfried
SMS poses
I. Reconnaissance group II. Awareness Group III. Reconnaissance group IV. Awareness Group V. Reconnaissance Group
SMS Seydlitz (flagship) SMS Cöln (flagship) SMS Munich (flagship) SMS Roon (flagship) SMS Hansa (flagship)
SMS Moltke SMS Mainz SMS Danzig SMS Yorck SMS Vineta
SMS Von der Tann SMS Stralsund SMS Stuttgart SMS Prince Adalbert SMS Victoria Louise
SMS Blücher SMS Kolberg SMS Hela SMS Prince Heinrich SMS Hertha
SMS Derfflinger SMS Rostock SMS women praise
SMS Strasbourg
SMS Graudenz

Furthermore, the fleet torpedo boats were divided into eight, the submarines into two flotillas .

During the war, large units were still being completed:

In addition to the units listed above, the high seas fleet included four port flotillas with small cruisers and torpedo boats as well as 17 type FL explosives .

East Asia Squadron

The East Asia Squadron emerged in 1897 from the former cruiser squadron of the Imperial Navy . It was an independent association of two large and two small cruisers, which was stationed in Tsingtau (today's spelling Qingdao ) and had the task of supporting German interests in the Asia-Pacific region. After the beginning of World War I, Japanese troops landed in China and began the siege of Tsingtau . The squadron then tried to break through to Germany under Vice Admiral Graf Spee around South America. It came off the Chilean coast on November 1, 1914 to the sea ​​battle at Coronel , in which Spees squadron sank two British armored cruisers under Vice-Admiral Christopher Cradock . On December 8, 1914, the German squadron was placed in the Falkland Islands by superior forces of the Royal Navy . Six out of eight ships were sunk; the small cruiser Dresden and the hospital ship Seydlitz managed to escape.

The First World War

Sea captain Titus Türk

Initial phase (1914-1915)

After the beginning of the First World War , the Imperial Navy was mobilized from its peacetime strength of almost 80,000 men. A personnel reserve of 171,500 men formed in peacetime (naval reservists, sea ​​service men , naval replacement reservists ) was available for this purpose.
However, the initially expected major collision between the German and British fleets in the North Sea did not materialize. The first major confrontation between heavy British and German units occurred after a German advance in August 1914 in the naval battle off Heligoland , which ended in a German defeat. It forced the German leadership to be more cautious about offensive undertakings. Although the numbers were far superior, the Royal Navy also avoided a direct confrontation with the Imperial Navy, as there was no strategic need to do so and, moreover, it feared unnecessary losses of its own.

Instead, the British Admiralty imposed a blockade across the entire North Sea in order to cut off the German Reich from the overseas supply of war-essential goods and food. This “hunger blockade”, which quickly proved to be extremely effective, was not expected by the German naval command. Only the East Asia Squadron stationed in Tsingtau under Admiral Graf von Spee and the two small cruisers SMS Karlsruhe and SMS Königsberg , which were located in East American and East African stations, enjoyed a certain freedom of movement, at least in the first weeks and months of the war. These ships achieved some successes against the relatively weak colonial fleets of the enemy. ( SMS Emden's trade war in the Indian Ocean. The sea ​​battle at Coronel on November 1, 1914 caused a sensation .). After the destruction of Spee's squadron in a naval battle near the Falkland Islands in December 1914, the Imperial Naval Command gave up all hope of global naval warfare. With the fall of Tsingtau in November, the only fully-fledged German naval base outside the home waters was lost.

Deep sea fleet on a training march

The situation in the North Sea remained almost unchanged. The management of the German fleet speculated on the possibility of luring out and fighting down parts of the British Grand Fleet anchored in Scapa Flow by provocative forays by the deep-sea fleet to the north . Such operations remained almost the only missions of the large battleship squadrons that were stationed in Wilhelmshaven (" Reichskriegshafen ") throughout the war .

In December 1914, fast large cruisers of the 1st Reconnaissance Group pushed forward to the east coast of England and on December 16 bombarded the port cities of Scarborough , Hartlepool and Whitby . The attacks achieved little military benefit. There were over a hundred dead and hundreds injured. There was also no moral impact on the British population. On the contrary, public opinion in England against Germany grew even more because most of the victims of the bombing were civilians.

In January 1915 a new advance was dared, which again ended in a German defeat in the battle on the Dogger Bank .

The sinking of three British armored cruisers off the Dutch coast by the submarine SM U 9 in September 1914 was one of the few great success reports of the Imperial Navy during the first phase of the war the torpedo hits were initially considered by the British teams to be the effects of a minefield . The commander of U 9, Otto Weddigen , was quickly stylized as a war hero and the submarines were portrayed as the new “ miracle weapon ” against the British blockade. Even at this early stage, the low value of the high-powered, but ultimately too weak, deep-sea fleet was evident.

A German association consisting of the large cruiser SMS Goeben and the small cruiser SMS Breslau achieved a rather indirect success when it evaded its British pursuers in the Mediterranean after bombarding French ports in North Africa and was able to escape to Constantinople . The appearance of the German ships contributed significantly to the entry of the Ottoman Empire into the war on the part of the Central Powers .

In response to the British blockade, the naval command quickly placed high hopes in the effectiveness of the submarines. These began with a trade war against opposing ships in British territorial waters, initially waged strictly according to international price law . In February 1915, the German leadership decided to wage unrestricted submarine warfare in the war-zone waters around the British Isles. The reasons for this were the increasing endangerment of the attacking boats from submarine traps (armed merchant ships) and the hope that the blockade would end quickly. When, in May 1915, the British passenger steamer RMS Lusitania fell victim to a German submarine that had dived and fired a torpedo without warning, almost 1,200 people died, including 128 US citizens. The Lusitania affair had far-reaching consequences: On the one hand, due to massive international protests, it forced the German leadership to stop unrestricted submarine warfare, and on the other, it increasingly pushed the neutral USA into the camp of Germany's opponents.

Battle of the Skagerrak and unrestricted submarine warfare (1916–1917)

Apart from a few lure attempts in the North Sea, the deep-sea fleet had no effect on the naval war until the spring of 1916. Mutual reconnaissance using new weapon systems (aircraft, airships ) usually prevented larger opposing formations from actually meeting each other in combat. However, when on one occasion at the end of May 1916 this type of reconnaissance did not work as expected due to the weather conditions, almost the entire German deep-sea fleet under Admiral Reinhard Scheer and the British Grand Fleet under Admiral John Jellicoe collided in the Skagerrak sea ​​area . The sea ​​battle in front of the Skagerrak ( English Battle of Jutland , Battle of Jutland ), which mainly took place in the evening and night hours of May 31 / May 1. June 1916 was fought, is still considered to be the largest naval battle in history, fought exclusively between ships armed with guns, in which more than 200 ships were involved. Nonetheless, neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage: the German fleet managed to avoid destruction and also inflict heavy losses on the British, while the British for their part were able to maintain the blockade unchanged. The undecided outcome of the battle finally proved the low value of the costly capital ships and directed the attention of the naval war command even more strongly to the submarine weapon.

In the hope of finally forcing a decision by radically stepping up the submarine war against Great Britain, the leadership decided to start again with the unrestricted submarine war on February 1, 1917: every ship, whether hostile or neutral, has now been attacked without warning in the war zone around Great Britain. This type of warfare did indeed lead to enormously high ship losses (over 7 million GRT by the end of 1917), but at the same time as the United States entered the war in April 1917 on the side of the Entente. It was hoped, however, that all-out submarine warfare would force a decision before the economic and military might of the United States could come into its own.

Last ventures and outbreak of the revolution (1917/18)

Cruiser Association (1917)

After the February Revolution in Russia in 1917 , the German Reich stepped up its operations against the enemy in the east. The Albion company in September and October 1917 was the last major success of the German fleet. In the course of this enterprise there was the battle in Moon Sound , in which German naval units defeated a large Russian naval unit.

In the first months of 1918 the deep-sea fleet made last forays into the North Sea; these remained without major contact with the enemy. At the same time, the Allied leadership developed the convoy system , in which the merchant ships sailing across the Atlantic were combined in large units protected against submarine attacks. This made it possible to counter the danger posed by the submarines effectively.

When it became clear in autumn 1918 that the war could no longer be ended successfully by military means, the Imperial Navy planned to fight the Royal Navy in one last major battle ("honorable downfall") ( fleet order of October 24, 1918 ). This “sacrifice” was not supported by the simple seamen on board the capital ships and ultimately prevented by the Kiel sailors' uprising . This culminated in the November Revolution , which marked the end of the Empire .

The losses of human life of the Imperial Navy in the First World War are given as 1,569 officers , 8,067 deck officers and NCOs and 25,197 men. The Laboe Naval Memorial near Kiel, inaugurated on the 20th anniversary of the Skagerrak Battle in 1936, commemorates them .

Chiefs of the deep sea fleet in the First World War
1914–1915 Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl
1915–1916 Admiral Hugo von Pohl
1916–1917 Admiral Reinhard Scheer
1917–1918 Admiral Franz Ritter von Hipper

Self-sinking of the deep sea fleet

Scapa Flow

After the fighting ended, the deep-sea fleet was interned in Scapa Flow , Scotland, in accordance with the armistice regulations . In January 1919, some Communists who were already involved in the sailors' uprisings of 1917 and 1918 (including Ernst Wollweber ) tried in vain to take control of the most important warships and to hand them over to Soviet Russia instead of to Great Britain. In Scapa Flow, the ships had been disarmed and only manned by emergency crews. When the conditions of the Versailles Treaty and the associated delivery of large parts of the fleet to the victorious powers became known in the summer of 1919 , Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter had the deep-sea fleet under his command sunk on June 21, 1919. This destroyed the core of the Imperial Navy.

With the sinking, the navy had regained part of the reputation it had lost in the war and especially during the revolution, but the consequences were severe. The Allies not only demanded the handover of other ships, some of which were very modern, which should have formed the basis for the new Reichsmarine , but also the largest part of the German merchant fleet that still existed .

The ships, which were rendered unusable by the sinking, still had a large scrap value. They also blocked the best anchorages in Scapa Flow Bay. Therefore, most of them were lifted and scrapped by the Second World War . Basically the ships of the line SMS König, SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm and SMS Markgraf as well as two small cruisers are still lying aground. High-quality steel and non-ferrous metals for medical devices were recovered from the wrecks several times. Since the materials were not exposed to radioactive particles during their manufacture and processing by melting and rolling during the time of the above-ground nuclear tests , they are well suited for the construction of such measuring devices.

Balance sheet

Max Reichpietsch on a GDR postage stamp (1967). The sailor of the large liner SMS Friedrich der Große was sentenced to death for mutiny and shot in autumn 1917.

While the navy had not yet played a practical role in the wars of unification of 1866 and 1871 , it was built up in the following years to meet the needs of the empire. After Bismarck's dismissal in 1890, the great naval armament began under Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tirpitz, which was one of the main but not the only causes of the First World War. It was an element of a failed alliance and arms policy. Tirpitz's idea of ​​the so-called “ risk fleet ” (a sea war with Germany should pose such a great risk for Great Britain that it would not dare to do so) had become irrelevant at the beginning of the war. The deep-sea fleet was never strong enough for a real test of strength with the Royal Navy. Paradoxically, the weakest parts of the navy at the beginning of the war in 1914 ultimately turned out to be the most effective - namely the independently operating small cruisers, the East Asian squadron and the submarine weapon, which was only being developed. That the German naval command had recognized this - too late - is proven by the fact that the heavy units started or under construction during the war (battleships of the Bavaria class ; battle cruisers of the Mackensen class ) did not favor submarine construction have been completed or not started at all.

The short operational range of the capital ships, the strategic narrowness of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and the lack of willingness to take risks when deploying the fleet lead to the verdict in the specialist literature: the German fleet did not deserve the name “deep sea fleet”.

From a technical point of view, the more modern capital ships in the fleet were basically on par with their British counterparts, but had decisive weaknesses: They were significantly more cumbersome and their guns still had the relatively inadequate caliber of 30.5 cm than British battleships had long since had 38 cm - Guns were armed. The ships only had a real lead in their extremely effective armor protection, which became the trademark of German capital shipbuilding. The steadfastness was also the main reason for the relatively low losses of the Imperial Navy in the Battle of the Skagerrak. The construction of submarines, on the other hand, quickly led to enormous technical developments in the areas of propulsion, pressure resistance, range and maneuverability, which made a decisive contribution to the effectiveness of German boats in the second phase of the war. Allied submarines were far superior to the Germans. The growing gulf between officers and men in the Imperial Navy with increasing duration of the war and inactivity of the fleet resulted in numerous disciplinary difficulties on board as early as 1917, some of which grew into real mutinies ( Max Reichpietsch , Albin Köbis ). In the Royal Navy, it was a matter of course for the ship's command to try to make life easier for simple seafarers and to make things easier for them in everyday life on board. This was completely alien to the Imperial Navy.

Some lines of tradition of the Imperial Navy have endured beyond the Reich and Kriegsmarine to this day: These include the naming of ships according to regions and cities, commonalities in uniforms and the conscious memory of individual ships and members of the Navy. The most popular example is the cruiser SMS Emden , which is particularly well-known due to its success in the cruiser warfare in the Indian Ocean and above all the chivalry shown to the enemy .

Social and national importance

The enormous importance of the Imperial Navy for social development in Germany has been forgotten. While the leadership of the Prussian Army was essentially reserved for the nobility , the fleet , which was already highly technical for the time, needed “technical intelligence” that the soldier nobility could not provide in terms of nature and number. The officer corps of the Imperial Navy was a bourgeois domain from the beginning - which Kaiser Wilhelm knew and promoted. With the training at the Naval Academy and School (Kiel) and from 1910 at the Naval School Mürwik , the officers were taken into the aristocratic leadership of the armed forces. The navy was “anchored” much more firmly in the middle class than the army . The lieutenant at sea was in higher esteem than the university professor . Recent research shows that bourgeois arrogance was a deep reason for the Kiel sailors' uprising : the rising bourgeoisie played nobility and let the NCOs and crews feel their disdain.

In addition, there is another important fact: Even in peacetime the navy was under the highest orders and it was the only German military . Not the empire but the four kingdoms had their own army. The Prussian Army with the XIV Army Corps in the Grand Duchy of Baden , the Bavarian Army , the Saxon Army and the Württemberg Army made up the German Army . During the war it was subordinate to the emperor as supreme warlord . In this way the Navy promoted the national unity.

See also

Details on partial aspects of the Imperial Navy
Amphibious warfare
Ranks of the Imperial Navy
Naval aviators
Naval airships
Sea warfare in the First World War
Uniforms of the Imperial Navy
Gunboat Policy
Lists and categories
List of ships of the Imperial Navy
List of German battleships and battle cruisers
List of German U-Boats (1906-1919)
List of German cruisers
List of German large torpedo boats (1898–1919)
List of A Class coastal torpedo boats
Other internal links
History of the German Navy
Broad pennant
Champagne tax
Fleet Hundreds
Admiralty Council


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  • Gerhard Wiechmann: The Prussian-German Navy in Latin America 1866-1914. A study of German gunboat policy . Hauschild, Bremen 2002, ISBN 3-89757-142-0 .
  • Gerhard Wiechmann (ed.): From foreign service in Mexico to the sea battle of Coronel. Captain Karl von Schönberg. Travel diary 1913–1914. Bochum 2004, ISBN 3-89911-036-6 .
  • Nicolas Wolz: And we're rusting in the harbor. Germany, Great Britain and the War at Sea 1914–1918 . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-423-28025-9 .
  • Jörg-Michael Hormann, Eberhard Kliem: The Imperial Navy in the First World War. Bucher Verlag, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-7658-2031-1 .
  • Peter Max Gutzwiller: The German navy in the 19th century, facts - data - connections. Duncker & Humblot Verlag, Berlin-Steglitz 2014, 446 pages, ISBN 978-3-428-14228-6 .
  • Curt von Maltzahn : sea ​​power and navy . In: Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II. 1st volume, 4th book. Reimar Hobbing, Berlin 1914, pp. 25–54 ( Wikisource )


Web links

Commons : Imperial Navy  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Legal texts  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Götz Wiedenroth: Analysis of the Image (2013)
  2. Meyer's Large Conversation Lexicon at
  3. ^ Konrad Ehrensberger: 100 years of organization of the German navy . Bonn 1993, ISBN 3-7637-5913-1 .
  4. The World War 1914 to 1918. War Armament and War Economy, Volume 1, Berlin 1930, p. 220.
  5. see turnip winter and the film The Effect of the Hunger Blockade on Public Health by Nicholas Kaufmann . Germany imported a great deal of grain from Russia; see e.g. B. here (PDF)
  6. Coronel was the first Navy defeat since 1812 ( Battle of Plattsburgh ) or 1810 ( Sea Battle of Grand Port ) and demonstrated the firepower and accuracy of modern German warships
  7. Jann M. Witt, Christian Jentzsch (2016): Der Seekrieg 1914–1918: The Imperial Navy in World War I , p. 180 ISBN 978-3-8062-3272-1
  8. Jan von Flocken, Michael f. Scholz: Ernst Wollweber - saboteur, minister, non-person. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-351-02419-3 , p. 20.
  9. ^ Gerhard Koop, Klaus-Peter Schmolke: ships of the line: from the Nassau to the king class. Bernard & Graefe, Bonn 1999, ISBN 3-7637-5994-8 , p. 147.
  10. ^ Co-op, Schmolke: Ships of the Line. 1999, p. 147 f.
  11. see Herwig: Das Elitekorps (1977)
  12. Thomas Eugen Scheerer : The naval officers of the Imperial Navy - socialization and conflicts . Publishing house Dr. Dieter Winkler, 2002, ISBN 978-3-930083-98-5 .