Military Archive Research
by Dr. Stuart C Blank
Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS)
Member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (RAFHS)
Member of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association (NHCRA)
Member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Member of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS)
Member of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS)




The Third Reich's Kriegsmarine

The Kriegsmarine is the name of the German Navy during the period 1935 to 1945. In essence it was the Navy of the Third Reich (Nazi Germany) and supremely commanded by Adolph Hitler. The Kriegsmarine can trace its origins back to the Kaiserliche Marine (the Kaiser's Navy) and the Reichsmarine (the German Navy 1921 - 1935). The Treaty of Versailles made the Germans surrender any vessels after the end of World War 1 and placed strict restrictions on it the Navy's future development.

After Hitler's rise to power the development of the Kriegsmarine accelerated. They introduced a Naval Air Arm (Luftwaffenkommando See), a fleet of submarines (U-boats) and surface ships such as the famous Pocket Battleships.

The main avenues of research that can be pursued with regards to the Kriegsmarine are:

a) the history and birth of the Kriegsmarine (its forerunners, and the Treaties of Versailles & Washington)

b) the development of naval aviation, submarines and surface ships

c) weapons development (e.g. mines and torpedoes)

d) U-boat policy and construction

e) the organisation of the Kriegsmarine, the German Fleet and U-Boats

f) operations and battles involving Kriegsmarine vessels

g) technical design criteria for the range of vessels operated (battleships, pocket battleships, cruisers, destroyers, torpedo boats, minesweepers etc)

h) the uniforms, awards and insignia of the Kriegsmarine

i) research into famous personalities of the navy.