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General Admiral

From Academic Kids

In the German Kriegsmarine, of the Second World War, General Admiral was a rank considered senior to a full Admiral, but junior to a Grand Admiral.

The sleeve insignia for a General Admiral was the same as a regular Admiral, being that of a thick rank stripe below three regular stripes. General Admirals wore a third pip on their shoulder boards to differentiate between regular Admirals. The German Army and Air Force equivalent of General Admiral was the rank Colonel General.

In 1943, a directive was issued that should the Oberbefehlshaber des Kreigsmarine (Commander of the Navy) hold the rank of General Admiral, then the sleeve insignia for a Grand Admiral could be worn, while still wearing the shoulder boards of a General Admiral.

A similar practice was adopted in the German Army, allowing Colonel Generals to wear four pips on a shoulder board when engaged in duties befitting a Field Marshal.


The rank of General Admiral was first given to the future Grand Admiral Erich Raeder on 20 April1936.

Other holders of the title were:

      •   Conrad Albrecht,   1 April 1939,
      •   Alfred Saalwächter,   1 January 1940,
      •   Rolf Carls,   19 July 1940,
      •   Hermann Boehm,   1 April 1941,
      •   Karl Witzell,   1 April 1941,
      •   Otto Schultze,   31 August 1942,
      •   Wilhelm Marschall,   1 February 1943,
      •   Otto Schniewind,   1 March 1944,
      •   Walter Warzecha,   1 March 1944,
      •   Oskar Kummetz,   16 September 1944,
      •   Hans-Georg von Friedeburg,   1 May 1945.

It it interesting to note that Karl Dönitz was made Grand Admiral without becoming a General Admiral first.

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