Naval station

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Until 1943, naval stations were high command authorities of the German navies inland. Up until the First World War there were also stations abroad in overseas regions. The chief of the naval station was usually a flag officer .

The naval inspections subordinate to the naval stations corresponded to the brigade commands of the army, were commanded by rear admirals and regulated the operations of the sailor and shipyard divisions as well as the ship reserve divisions. In addition, each naval station command was subject to a station yacht as well as all warships that were not part of a permanent command association, e.g. B. Test drive commands. The administrative authorities of both naval stations were the general offices, garrison administrations and station cashiers, the building authorities, clothing offices, catering offices and laundry facilities.

Until 1890 the naval stations of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were under the command of the Navy . They led the naval forces in their region, which in turn were divided into squadrons , and were responsible for their deployment. Forces in foreign waters were led directly by the High Command of the Navy.

In 1891 the command of the maneuvering fleet, later referred to as the fleet command, was formed, which was subordinate to the high command of the navy next to the naval stations and led the naval forces operationally. With this they had lost their operational role. The Admiral's staff took the place of the high command in 1899 . This structure essentially continued until 1918.

After the downsizing of the German fleet at the end of the First World War, the fleet command was dissolved and the remaining naval forces were again distributed among the naval stations. You were now under the naval command in the Reichswehr Ministry . As early as 1923, the naval forces were spun off from the naval stations and placed under the command of the naval forces. The naval stations remained in existence until 1943 despite several reclassifications of the Reichsmarine and the Kriegsmarine, until they were finally renamed Naval High Command North and East and again took over operational expenses. The previous tasks of the naval stations were taken over by the respective 2nd admiral and continued until the end of the Second World War.

Naval station of the Baltic Sea

The naval station of the Baltic Sea was set up by the Prussian Navy on May 1, 1854 in Danzig ; in March 1865 she was moved to Kiel . It was subordinate to the I. Marine Inspection with the sailors division and the shipyard division, from 1898 the inspection of the marine infantry with the sea ​​battalions and from 1896 the inspection of the torpedo system . - In June 1935 the service title was changed to Commanding Admiral of the Naval Station of the Baltic Sea and on February 1, 1943 to Naval High Command East.

North Sea naval station

The North Sea naval station was set up in Wilhelmshaven on May 19, 1870 by the Navy of the North German Confederation . It was responsible for the II. Marine Inspection , from 1883 the inspection of naval artillery (Wilhelmshaven), from 1904 the inspection of ship artillery (Sonderburg) and the inspection of coastal artillery and mining (Cuxhaven), from 1913 also the airship and aviation departments . In June 1935 the service title was changed to Commanding Admiral of the Naval Station of the North Sea and on February 1, 1943 to Marine High Command North.

Stations abroad

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

In order to protect German economic and colonial interests, warships were used for station service in foreign waters. In particularly important or politically troubled areas, warships constantly patrolled in the capacity of "stationary". Stations abroad were already established for the Navy of the North German Confederation in autumn 1867, namely 1. for the area of East Asia , East Africa , East India, 2. for the east coast of North America and the area of West India , 3. for the west coast of America, 4. for the east coast South America, 5th for the Mediterranean. In 1884, permanently manned stations were set up off southwest Africa and in the South Seas . The use on these stations and their occupancy changed over the years depending on the requirements.

With the SMS Augusta , which reached the operational area of ​​the West Indian station in March 1868 , the official presence of the (north) German navy began at the foreign stations.

On the eve of the First World War, the foreign stations of the Imperial Navy were manned as follows:

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Konrad Ehrensberger ; 100 years of organization of the German Navy 1890 - 1990 ; Bonn 1993; ISBN 3-7637-5913-1
  2. The Prussian Navy
  3. Gerhard Wiechmann: The Royal Prussian Navy in Latin America 1851 to 1867. An attempt at German gunboat policy , in: Sandra Carreras / Günther Maihold (ed.): Prussia and Latin America. In the field of tension between commerce, power and culture (Europa-Übersee vol. 12), Münster 2004, p. 47.
  4. For the stations in the Pacific, see Andreas Leipold: The German Sea Warfare in the Pacific in 1914 and 1915. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2012, ISBN 978-3-447-06602-0 , pp. 267f.
  5. ^ German (and allied) ships in East Asia - August 1914


  • Wolfgang Petter: The overseas base policy of the Prussian-German navy, 1859-1883. Dissertation: Freiburg i.Br. 1975.
  • Willi A. Boelcke : This is how the sea came to us. The Prussian-German Navy overseas, 1822–1914. Frankfurt a. M./Berlin-West/Wien 1981.
  • Hans H. Hildebrand, Albert Röhr, Hans-Otto Steinmetz: The German warships. Biographies - a mirror of naval history from 1815 to the present. Hamburg 1979–1983.
  • Station yachts, service yachts. In: Erich Gröner , Dieter Jung, Martin Maass: The German warships 1815-1945. Koblenz 1989. Volume 6, pp. 202-205.
  • Colonial vehicles. In: Erich Gröner, Dieter Jung, Martin Maass: The German warships 1815-1945. Koblenz 1992. Volume 7, pp. 216-226.
  • Lawrence D. Sondhaus: Preparing for World Politics. German Sea Power before the Tirpitz Era. US Naval Institute: Annapolis, MD 1997.
  • Walter Nuhn : Colonial Policy and Navy. The role of the Imperial Navy in establishing and securing the German colonial empire, 1884–1914. Bonn 2002.