Schniewind in 1933
|Born||14 December 1887|
|Died||26 March 1964 (aged 76)|
Linz am Rhein
|Years of service||1907–45|
|Commands held||cruiser Köln|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Schniewind entered the Kaiserliche Marine in 1907 as a cadet. During the First World War he served as a commander of torpedoboats. When the German fleet surrendered to the British he commanded a squadron of torpedo boats, with this he partook in the Scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow, after which he was taken prisoner by the British.
After being released Schniewind continued to serve in the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt and later the Reichsmarine. From 1925 to 1926 he served as adjutant to the Minister of War Otto Gessler. In 1932 Schniewind became captain of the light cruiser Köln. In 1934 Schniewind was appointed to another staff function. He was promoted to Konteradmiral (rear admiral) in 1937 and to Vizeadmiral (vice admiral) in 1940.
He served as Chief of Staff of the Seekriegsleitung from 1938 to 1941. After the sinking of the Bismarck Schniewind was appointed as successor to Günther Lütjens as the fleet commander of the Kriegsmarine after Lütjens was lost with his ship. In 1943 Schniewind became commander of Marinegruppenkommandos Nord. On 1 March 1944 Schniewind was promoted to Generaladmiral. On 30 July 1944, Schniewind was relieved of command and for the duration of the war he saw no further employment.
After the War he was arrested and prosecuted during the High Command Trial for his role in the invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung) but he was acquitted, after which he was released from captivity. From 1949 to 1952 he served with the Naval Historical Team in Bremerhaven.
- Iron Cross (1914) 1st Class (5 January 1918)
- Order of the Sword, Commander 2nd Class (Sweden) (30 June 1936)
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th to 1st Class (2 October 1936)
- Order of St. Sava 2nd Class (1 June 1939) (Yugoslavia)
- Order of the Crown of Italy, Grand Officer (23 September 1939)
- Order of Naval Merit (Spain) in White (21 August 1939)
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 April 1940 as Vizeadmiral and chief of staff of the Seekriegsleitung in the OKM
- Order of the Sacred Treasure 1st Class (Japan)
- Hildebrand 1989, pp. 247–248.
- Dörr 1996, p. 230.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 678.
- Dörr, Manfred (1996). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 2: L–Z [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Surface Forces of the Navy—Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2497-6.
- Hildebrand, Hans (1989). P–Z. Deutschlands Admirale 1849–1945. Die militärischen Werdegänge der See-, Ingenieur-, Sanitäts-, Waffen- und Verwaltungsoffiziere im Admiralsrang (in German). 3. Osnabrück: Biblio. pp. 247–248. ISBN 3764814993.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
| Chief of Staff of the Seekriegsleitung
October 1938 – 10 June 1941
Admiral Kurt Fricke
Admiral Günther Lütjens
| Chief of Fleet of the Kriegsmarine
June 1941 – July 1944
Admiral Wilhelm Meendsen-Bohlken