Born 16 Sept, 1891 Berlin
Deceased 24 Dec, 1980 Aumühle/ Hamburg
Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz
07/11/1914 : Iron Cross 2nd class (EK II)
05/05/1916 : Iron Cross 1st class (EK I)
18/09/1939 : Spange 1939 zum EK II 1914
20/12/1939 : Spange 1939 zum EK I 1914
27/02/1940 : U-Bootkriegsabzeichen
21/04/1940 : Knights Cross
06/04/1943 : Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
01/04/1910 : Seekadett
15/04/1911 : Fähnrich zur See
27/09/1913 : Leutnant zur See
22/03/1916 : Oberleutnant zur See
10/01/1921 : Kapitänleutnant
01/11/1928 : Korvettenkapitän
01/10/1933 : Fregattenkapitän
01/10/1935 : Kapitän z. See
28/01/1939 : Kommodore
01/10/1939 : Konteradmiral
01/09/1940 : Vizeadmiral
14/03/1942 : Admiral
30/01/1943 : Grossadmiral
Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz had served in U-boats during World War I and remained in the German Navy after the war. When Germany began to rebuild their U-boat fleet, Doenitz was chosen to organize the new U-boat service, and became Chief of U-boat Forces.
When war broke out, in 1939, he was promoted to Rear Admiral, but had far fewer U-boats than were required by the war plans (which did not expect a war to start before 1942). In spite of this, U-boats were highly successful.
During 1941 and 1942 Doenitz's U-boats nearly won the war for Germany, sinking a large percentage of the allied ships carrying essential supplies to Britain and the Soviet Union. This success was partly due to faulty anti-U-boat strategy that the Allies were slow to abandon. However, it was mostly the result of Doenitz’s imaginative coordination of reconnaissance aircraft, supply vessels (milch cows) and multiple-U-boat wolf-packs, all of which allowed his U-boats to strike where they were most effective and least expected
Doenitz was appointed to Commander in Chief of the Navy in January 1943. However, this personal triumph nearly coincided with the beginning of the end for his U-boats, in the Battle of the Atlantic. The Allies had built large numbers of destroyer escorts, corvettes and anti-U-boat patrol bombers needed to guard their convoys. They had found the correct tactics to counter the wolf packs and had become proficient through many months of practical experience. New Allied weapons, like RADAR or the escort carrier, more than matched new German innovations like the Schnorkel. But most important, they were building new cargo ships faster than the U-boats could sink them, and if that was true, there was no way the U-boats could win, because their objective in the Battle of the Atlantic wasn't to sink ships, it was to starve Britain! At one point during 1941, Briton was only weeks away from what some termed "total starvation" due to the lack of supplies reaching their country. Winston Churchill was quoted to have said "The only thing that ever frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril".
In April 1945 Doenitz became Head of State.
Signed postwar 4" x 5 3/4" photo
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