Talk:Imperial German Navy

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Link to list of ships[edit]

I don't know this material well enough to make a call here, but I came across the link / de-link of SMS while patrolling RC. Would it be appropriate to link either SMS or the words themselves to List of ships of the German navies? That page seems to have a more complete list than the few mentioned here. SWAdair | Talk 08:51, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for notifying us of this. I have put in a See also for the link, since that will probably be the best to draw the readers' attention to the fact that such a list exists. --Wernher 10:09, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Jack pic[edit]

Is the picture of the jack genuine? The iron cross in the middle seems heavily pixelated, as if it were pasted on a German tricolor by a computer artist, circa 1985. LeoO3 02:59, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Fixed. Greentubing 03:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC)


Doesn't SMS stand for Sein Majestäts Schiff? I'm not sure is it Sein or Seiner (I have a C in German ;) ), but it's definitely Majestäts, not Majestät.

-- 22:14, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

No, the article is correct. For reference, check the German wikipedia entry for SMS. (The genetive of the noun proper 'Majestät' is indeed 'Majestät', not 'Majestäts' -- a form which is only used in composita such as 'Majestätsbeleidigung'.)

-- 16:10, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

...though 'Majestät' is a common, not a proper, noun. Deipnosophista (talk) 06:42, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

SMS stands for "Seiner Majestät Schiff" (Ship of His Majesty). "Majestät" is a feminine noun in the genitive case, hence does not take "s" as it would do if masculine or neuter. ---GMB, 9 October 2011


This is not the German Wikipedia. The title of the article should be in English. Leaving it in German is pretentious and is unhelpful to non-German speakers. Deipnosophista (talk) 13:53, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Then you must demonstrate that "German Imperial Navy" is a more common term than "Kaiserliche Marine" in English usage. It's not about being pretentious or anything of the sort; it's about common usage. Parsecboy (talk) 23:08, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

The two run together in this case. But since the language of the encyclopedia is English, it is for those using other languages, not those using English, to justify their usage by demonstrating its currency. Deipnosophista (talk) 06:40, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Another thing to consider is, do we not use Kriegsmarine for the German Navy during the Nazi period? As for sources demonstrating usage in English, there are the following books found on a Google Books and/or Google Scholar search: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, and a report by the US National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics: 9. Parsecboy (talk) 14:26, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I would have to say it really doesn't matter how many books use that term, a title needs to be understood. Only people who have already read such a book would even be able to guess at the german term. I have now read several books about WW1 naval matters and understand what is meant, but I got to this page by clicking on a link which said "imperial german navy". The link presumably said 'imperial german navy', because it was thought in the article I came from that would be better understood than its german translation. Which basically demonstrates the argument being made by Deipnosophista. I could not have found it typing in "Kaiserlach marine", because 1) I wouldn't have known it and 2)I can't spell it. Titles are not supposed to be for the benefit of experts but for non-experts. (so they can find something and become experts!)
Having said that, I am nowadays less convinced it matters, provided all likely titles will redirect you to the actual article.Sandpiper (talk) 07:59, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 19:18, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposed change of name to "Imperial German Navy" or "German Imperial Navy"[edit]

I am in agreement with Deipnosophista and Sandpiper in the section headed 'Language' above. From my own reading in English language sources, "Imperial Navy", "Imperial German Navy", and "German Imperial Navy", are more prevalent than "Kaiserliche Marine", and I see that the "further reading" list in the article includes two English language titles, which both seem to confirm this view ("By Order of the Kaiser, Otto von Diedrichs and the Rise of the Imperial German Navy 1865-1902" and "'Luxury Fleet', The Imperial German Navy 1888-1918"). Wikipedia naming policy is to use the commonest name used in English language sources, which I think should be interpreted as reliable sources. Shall we discuss where the balance now lies? Moonraker (talk) 00:55, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Moonraker, as you noted on your talk page, Gottschall's book By Order of the Kaiser does use the English translation in the title, but in the book, he actually uses Kaiserliche Marine (see for instance the first page of the preface, where he writes "[Diederichs] took part in the strategic and operational development of the Kaiserliche Marine", and in the index, the listing is Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy)). Parsecboy (talk) 01:02, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I have to say this one niggles me, as well. All the sources I’ve seen use "Imperial German Navy", or some English rendition of the term; no-one I can think of (off-hand) uses the German. Halpern springs to mind, and Massie; Hoyt, Grey, Schmalenbach. The fact that translations of German works sometimes use the term (some will, some won't) is probably neither here nor there; the fact that works written in English invariably seem to use an English term should be conclusive.
I would have thought we should be using the English, unless there was a compelling reason not to (ie that the non-english term was actually standard in English; that certainly isn’t the case here). Xyl 54 (talk) 13:21, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Last I checked we didn't have article names for other non-English speaking fleets. No Kungliga flottan, Российский императорский флот or 大日本帝国海軍. Judging by the references to various writers, the English term is preferred. And it seems painfully obvious that no one cares for Kaiserliche Marine in the lead. So what exactly is the reason for this exception? That German is cooler?
Peter Isotalo 21:43, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
change is a good idea. A name like "Imperial German Navy" will be much more useful to our English-speaking readers. Rjensen (talk) 21:51, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I did some searches on Google Books and came up with the following results:
All searches are for books in English, though it seems as if some German-language works have slipped into the search for the German name. As such, it seems as if WP:COMMONNAME and WP:USEENGLISH are pretty much fulfilled. I'm going to be a bit bold and move the article to "Imperial German Navy", but if anyone feels the reasons given here aren't sufficient, just move it back.
Peter Isotalo 17:48, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Anti-German bias[edit]

This article has a peculiar anti-German bias. The single initial change which I made to the text is an example of a crafty acceptance by Herwig, or whatever he is, of one of the worst abuses of the Armistice by the British. This "Internment at Scapa Flow" nonsense was in fact the first clear naval "stab in the back", possibly with the connivance of German democratic politicians, which placed the German negotiators under such heavy duress at Versailles and of course subsequently. The phrase "The German surface navy proved ineffective during World War I" is evidently absurd: it was the German Admiralty which proved ineffective by tying down the Fleet in home waters. The article needs to be looked at from a fresh viewpoint and with a bibliography which is not limited mainly to one book.

Geoffreybrooks/9 October 2011. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Geoffreybrooks (talkcontribs) 21:08, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

The references to Admiral Tirpitz fail to explain the context to his statements: Specifically the first navy law is a response to the anti german position adopted by Great Britain and the Royal Navy as a consequence of the Kruger Telegram. The RN formed the "Flying Squadron" specifically for offensive naval operations against German shipping. The second navy law has nothing to do with "the Boxer revolt" (as written in this article) and everything to do with the seizure of german merchant ships of the coast of South Africa in January 1900. And by the way I notice a modicum of censorship creeping in to Wikipedia (my comments on a talk page becoming unaccessable!) Revisionist99 (talk) 16:27, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Help needed: heavier than air naval aviation[edit]

Hello, all,

You would never know it by the present iteration of this article, but not only did the Imperial Navy operate squadrons of airplanes during World War I, but it had its own fighter aces. For instance, the leading German naval fighter ace, Gotthard Sachsenberg, not only scored 31 victories, but took the unusual course of becoming a militant anti-Nazi in later years.

Please, can't someone fill this gap in information? I lack any info on it.

Georgejdorner (talk) 23:58, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

I have added a "starter" paragraph on the existence of the Marinefliegerkorps, in hopes someone will further develop it. Although a bit more info is available from Above the Lines, I would recommend further research. One text I know of is Naval Aces of World War 1 part 2, ISBN 978-1849086646.

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:48, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

World War I[edit]

By the start of the First World War, the German Imperial Navy possessed 22 pre-Dreadnoughts,[39] 19 dreadnought battleships and 7 battle-cruisers.

You're right, and the four Königs weren't completed until after the start of the war. The seven battlecruisers is also wrong, since it includes the 3 Derfflingers, which weren't completed yet either (and Hindenburg wasn't ready until 1917). Parsecboy (talk) 18:14, 1 March 2014 (UTC)