Großadmiral

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Alfred von Tirpitz in the uniform of a Großadmiral

Großadmiral was the most senor regular flag officer rank in the historic naval forces of Germany and Austria-Hungary, comparable to NATO rank codes OF10[citation needed], and to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces.

It was equivalent to Generalfeldmarschall or Feldmarschall of the German army. As sign of the high rank and honor the Großadmiral wore the "Großadmiral´s baton" (German Großadmiralsstab).[1]

Germany[edit]

Command post flag Großadmiral of the Imperial German Navy

In the Imperial German Navy, the rank Großadmiral was the equivalent of a British admiral of the fleet or a United States fleet admiral. It was created in 1901, and like field marshals its holders were authorised to carry a baton.[2]

World War I[edit]

Before and during World War I, the following were made grand admirals of the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine):

World War II[edit]

rank insignias for Großadmiral of Kriegsmarine
sleeve insignia
shoulder board
command post flag
Corps colour (Navy blue)

There were no more grand admirals until 1939. The following were made grand admirals of the German Kriegsmarine ("war navy")

  • Erich Raeder, then-Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine, was made a grand admiral on 1 April 1939
  • Karl Dönitz, commander of the U-Boat fleet and was made a grand admiral on 30 January 1943 upon succeeding Raeder as Commander-in-Chief.
junior Rank
Generaladmiral
War Ensign of Germany 1938-1945.svg

(German flag officer rank)
Großadmiral

senior Rank
None

Austria-Hungary[edit]

rank insignias k.u.k. Großadmiral
sleeve insignia
command post flag
Corps colour (Navy blue)

Anton Haus, commander of the Austro-Hungarian navy for part of World War I, was given the title of Großadmiral in 1916. No other active-duty officer (except members of the Imperial family) was ever given this rank (although Haus's immediate successor, Maximilian Njegovan, was promoted to grand admiral on the retired list in 1918).

References[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
  1. ^ BROCKHAUS, The encyclopedia in 24 volumes (1796–2001), Volume 9: 3-7653-3660-2, page 164; definition: «Großadmiral»
  2. ^ The Times, 1 January 1901.[page needed]