1935 to 1945
Kriegsmarine 1935 to 1945 Development history
of the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during Second World War
including, Bismarck, Admiral Graf Spee, Tirpitz, Gneisenau,
and many more, career service, technical data and photographs.
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy between 1935
and 1945, during the Nazi regime, superseding the Reichsmarine.Under
the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was only allowed
a minimal navy. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Hitler
soon began to ignore many of the Treaty restrictions and to
accelerate German rearmament. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement
of 18 June 1935 then allowed Germany to build a navy equivalent
to 35% of British surface ship tonnage and 45% of British
submarine tonnage battleships were to be limited to no more
than 35,000 tons. Following the 1938 crisis of German demands
on Czechoslovakia, Germany abandoned all pretensions of adherence
to treaty limitations on its navy.
The so called Plan Z, the blueprint for the German naval construction
program finalized in 1938, envisaged building a navy of about
800 ships over the next eight years 1939 to 1947 including
10 battleships and battlecruisers, 4 aircraft carriers, 15
armoured ships 5 heavy cruisers, 44 light cruisers, 158 destroyers
and torpedo boats, and 249 submarines, along with numerous
smaller craft. Personnel strength was planned to rise to over
Since the simultaneous and rapid build up of the German army
and airforce demanded substantial effort and resources, the
planned naval program was not very far advanced by the time
World War II began. Indeed, implementation only began in January
1939 when two H-class battleships were laid down. On 1 September
1939, the navy still had a total personnel strength of only
78,000 and it was not at all ready for a major role in the
war. With expectations in Germany of a quick victory by land,
Plan Z was essentially shelved and the resources initially
targeted for its realization were largely redirected to the
construction of U-boats.
News articles from around the world WWII News
War Two Timeline, detailing every event, day by day from 1935 through to 1945.
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