German Imperial Naval Cabinet

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The German Imperial Naval Cabinet (Marinekabinett) was a government office of German Imperial Navy, 1871-1918, which was responsible for the commanding naval officers, marine officers, engineers, naval stores, and munitions.

In 1889 Kaiser Wilhelm II reorganised top level control of the Navy by creating a Navy Cabinet (Marine-Kabinett), equivalent to the German Imperial Military Cabinet which had previously functioned in the same capacity for both the army and navy. The Head of the navy cabinet was responsible for promotions, appointments, administration and issuing orders to naval forces.

Captain Gustav Freiherr von Senden-Bibran was appointed as its first head and remained so until 1906. The existing Imperial admiralty was abolished and its responsibilities divided between two organizations. A new position was created, the chief of the Imperial Naval High Command, being responsible for ship deployments, strategy and tactics. The holder of the title was equivalent to the supreme commander of the Army.

The Naval Cabinet became, in practice, the decisive authority in personnel matters for naval officers. It was directly subordinate to the Emperor and not accountable to the Reichstag.

The Chief of the Naval Cabinet was always a high naval officer who also acted as an adjutant to the Emperor. The first Chief of the Naval Cabinet (1889 to 1906) was Admiral Baron Gustav von Senden-Bibran. His successor, until 1918, was Admiral Georg Alexander von Müller.

The Cabinet served also as the naval cabinet of Prussia.

In December 1918, the Cabinet became the Reich Naval Personnel Office of the Weimar Republic.

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