Kriegsmarine facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kriegsmarine (KM)
Kriegsmarine insignia casco.svg
Founded 1935
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Wehrmacht
Type Navy
Size 810,000 peak in 1944
1,500,000 (total who served 1939–45)
Part of Wehrmacht
Engagements Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)
World War II (1939–1945)
Disbanded 1945
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Erich Raeder
Karl Dönitz
Insignia
War ensign (1935–1938) War Ensign of Germany (1935-1938).svg
War ensign (1938–1945) War Ensign of Germany 1938-1945.svg
Land flag Marinefahne links.svg
Aircraft flown
Bomber Junkers Ju 87
Fighter Messerschmitt Bf 109
Reconnaissance Fieseler Fi 167

The Kriegsmarine was the name of the Navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It replaced the Imperial German Navy of World War I. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (as for all branches of armed forces during the period of absolute Nazi power) was the "Führer" Adolf Hitler, who exercised his authority through the Oberkommando der Marine (High Command of the Navy).

History

U-Boot-Klasse 205 U-9
German museum ship U-9, a Type 205 submarine

The Kriegsmarine was developed during the German naval rearmament of the 1930s. The Treaty of Versailles had limited the size of the German navy after World War I. It also prevented Germany from building submarines. But by 1934 Germany had secretly stockpiled most of the parts they needed to construct submarines (called U-boats).

In early 1935 Hitler ordered the U-boats to be built. In January 1939 Plan Z was ordered, calling for the construction of many naval vessels. The ships of the Kriegsmarine fought during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. The commander of the Kriegsmarine was Karl Dönitz.

Ships

Kriegsmarine uniforms and insignia
Kriegsmarine uniforms and insignia

The Kriegsmarine's most famous ships were the U-boats. Most of them were built after Plan Z was abandoned at the beginning of World War II. Wolfpacks were groups of submarines that attacked British convoys. Most of the attacks were during the first half of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Along with the U-boats, commerce raiders and cruisers were used to disrupt Allied shipping in the early years of the war. The most famous of these were the heavy cruisers Admiral Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer and the battleship Bismarck.

After the Second World War in 1945, the Kriegsmarine's remaining ships were divided up among the Allied powers and were used for various purposes including minesweeping.

Images for kids


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