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Zachary HotchkissMr. MullinsSocial studies 818 January 2018Karl Dönitz   Karl Dönitz was born in Berlin Germany on September 16, 1891. Dönitz was a grand general, came up with a great naval strategy which is still used, and he was Adolf Hitler’s successor. This essay will discuss Karl Dönitz’s early life, his time in before and during WW2, and his time after the war.   Karl Dönitz had one brother who was older than him. His name was Friedrich Dönitz. His parents were Emil Dönitz and Anna Beyer. His father was an engineer. Dönitz a a good relationship with his father because his mother died on March 6, 1895 while he was only three years old. He attended a prep school for 6 months while he was six years old but he had to move due to his father moving to a different location for work. After this he attended Realschule where he received a good education along with his brother. He enlisted into the navy in 1910 at the age of 18.   Karl Dönitz become an officer on the cruiser SMS Breslau after being in the navy for three years. At the beginning of World War 1 he was transferred to the naval air arm. While he was there he was a flight observer and he also was the leader of a seaplane squadron. He began to serve with the submarine fleet in 1916 and 1918. He service ended because he was captured by the British after his ship sunk. He remained in British captivity for nine months. He became an inspector of torpedo boats when he joined the German Navy in 1919. He remained in the navy for 16 years. He was appointed to raise the U-boat arm of the navy by general admiral Raeder in 1935. Karl Dönitz was a strong supporter of the Nazi party. He also looked up to Adolf Hitler. He was promoted to admiral and received the Knight’s Cross in 1942. Within a year he was promoted to Grand Admiral. After this he took general admiral Reader’s position as supreme commander of the German Navy. He led the German navy to sinking 15 million tons of allied shipping. He also came up with a U-boat strategy that could have one the war for Germany. This strategy was called “wolf pack”. This strategy was used to attack allied shipping and defeat the convoy system that was introduced by the British. Before this strategy U-boats would attempt to attack these convoys with being coordinated. The strategy was to gather a bunch of U-boats together and would not attack until all the U-boats were in their positions to perform a huge and organized attack on the convoys. This strategy would cause the defenses of the convoys to become overwhelmed by all of the U-boats. The boat with the biggest role was called the shadower. The shadower’s role was to remain a safe distance away from the convoy to not be seen, and the shadower has to report where the convoy is. The shadower usually travels on top of the water at night, but submerged during the day. Eventually the U-boats would get the signal to attack. Once they received the signal they were free to use whatever strategies they wished to used when attacking. Some of the U-boats went right to the middle of the convoy while others attacked from long range. These attacks lasted many days. The U-boats would attack during the night and retreat during the day. By using this strategy many ships were sunk which benefited the Germans. A great example of this tactic was the second happy time. In the second happy time multiple allied ships were brought down by the German in the Atlantic off the coast of America. The strategy was eventually countered by the microwave radar. Dönitz met with Hitler on multiple occasions because Hitler believed that submarine warfare was crucial for the Germans to win the war. He was also named Hitler’s successor in Hitler’s will. Once word Hitler’s death got out he was named the supreme commander of armed force. He was leader for 20 days before he was captured by the British on May 23, 1945.   After the war Dönitz attended the Nuremberg Trials where he was being charged for war crimes. He told the prosecutors that he had no idea that Hitler was committing war crimes, and all he did was obey his orders. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was found guilty of planning aggressive warfare. Once he was released he went on to live in a small town near Hamburg, Germany. While he lived there he wrote two memoirs. The first memoir was about him claiming that he didn’t know about the war crimes, and the second memoir was Nuremberg trial process. Dönitz married Ingeborg Weber on may 27, 1916. He had one daughter and two sons with her. Their names were Ursula, Klaus, and Peter. On December 24, 1980 he died at his house in Aumuhle, Germany. Works (2018). Karl Doenitz Facts. online Available at: Accessed 23 Jan. (2018). Second Happy Time. online Available at: Accessed 23 Jan. 2018.Your Bibliography: (2018). U-Boat Tactics: The Wolf Pack. online Available at: Accessed 23 Jan. 2018.


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