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Raeder file photo [939]

Erich Raeder

Given NameErich
Born24 Apr 1876
Died6 Nov 1960


ww2dbaseErich Johann Albert Raeder was born into a middle-class family in Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany. He joined the Imperial German Navy in 1894. By 1912 he was already the Chief of Staff for Franz von Hipper. During WW1, he participated in the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915 and the Battle of Jutland in 1916. He joined the admiral rank in 1922 with a promotion to rear admiral. He was promoted vice admiral in 1925 and full admiral in 1928. Although he disliked the Nazi philosophy, he supported Adolf Hitler's rise for the opportunity to strengthen the navy. On 20 Apr 1936, Hitler presented him with the rank of general admiral; he was later awarded the rank of grand admiral in 1939.

ww2dbaseWhen the military phase of WW2 broke out in Europe, Raeder was instrumental in Germany's interest in Denmark and Norway, which gained the Kriegsmarine valuable ports on the long Norwegian coast. Understanding that his navy cannot compete with its British counterparts, he voiced against a German invasion of Britain, but the planning for Operation Sealion continued nevertheless. That plan was later postponed indefinitely after Göring's inability to win the Battle of Britain. Raeder also voiced his recommendation against an invasion of Russia, but as the Russian invasion largely involved land forces, he had even less influence on the decision making process. During 1943, his career became overshadowed by the recent successes of Admiral Karl Dönitz. Raeder finally resigned from his position in May 1943; Dönitz had already taken over Raeder's command position in Jan 1943.

ww2dbaseAfter the war Raeder was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg Trials for waging a war of aggression. The sentence was later reduced, and then he was released early on 26 Sep 1955 for health reasons. He wrote an autobiography in 1957 and passed away in Kiel in 1960.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2006

Erich Raeder Timeline

24 Apr 1876 Erich Raeder was born.
15 Nov 1939 Anticipating Adolf Hitler's wishes, Erich Raeder asked his staff officers to evaluate the possibility of an invasion of Britain.
15 Dec 1939 Erich Raeder suggested that the pocket battleship Lützow and the blueprints for the Bismarck-class battleships could be made available for sale to the Soviet Union if the Soviet Union was willing to pay a good price.
21 Jun 1940 Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler to discuss the invasion of Britain.
11 Jul 1940 Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler at Obersalzberg, München-Oberbayern, Germany to discuss the invasion of Britain and the establishment of navy bases in Norway.
13 Aug 1940 Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler and attempted to convince Hitler to reduce the landing front for the planned invasion of Britain as the German Navy had little means to maintain the security of a wide landing area.
6 Sep 1940 Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler in regards to the invasion of Britain.
26 Sep 1940 Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler, noting that the Italian territories in the Mediterranean Sea was in danger of being attacked by the British as he deduced from the importance the British had placed on the region historically. To prevent this, he recommended Hitler to make plans to seize Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, and the Suez Canal.
27 Dec 1940 Erich Raedar met with Adolf Hitler in Berlin, Germany.
4 Feb 1941 Erich Raeder thought that the US entry into the war might be advantageous for the Germans as it would force Japan into belligerency.
18 Mar 1941 Adolf Hitler met with Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, and Erich Raeder; Raeder urged Hitler to convince Japan to attack Singapore and recommended Hitler to reveal the plans of the Soviet invasion to Japan.
20 Apr 1941 Erich Raeder attempted to convince Adolf Hitler to allow German submarines to attack American ships; Hitler rejected the request, citing his unwillingness to provoke the Americans to fully enter the war.
22 Apr 1941 Erich Raeder reported to Adolf Hitler regarding American belligerency despite of neutrality pledges.
22 May 1941 Erich Raeder responded to Adolf Hitler's inquiry regarding a German occupation of the Azores islands as long range bomber bases (although Germany had no such bombers at that time) as difficult, as the German Navy was not strong enough to guard the islands should they be taken.
30 May 1941 Erich Raeder recommended Adolf Hitler an attack on the Suez Canal in Egypt.
17 Sep 1941 At Adolf Hitler's Wolfsschanze headquarters in East Prussia, Germany, Erich Raeder once again asked Hitler for permission to attack American shipping; Hitler again rejected him.
12 Dec 1941 In a meeting with Adolf Hitler, Erich Raeder noted to Hitler that the Americans would most likely divert warships to the Pacific Ocean which was advantageous for the German Navy.
6 Jan 1943 In a conference between Adolf Hitler and Erich Raeder, Hitler continued to express his anger in the German Navy's ineffectiveness. Raeder asked to be relieved of his duty.
30 Jan 1943 Erich Raeder was officially relieved of his duty as the head of the German Navy.
26 Sep 1955 Erich Raeder was released from Spandau Prison in Berlin, Germany.
6 Nov 1960 Erich Raeder passed away.


Erich Raeder and Werner von Blomberg inspecting German sailors at Kiel, Germany, 1933German leaders at Berlin Heroes Memorial, Germany, 25 Feb 1934; L to R: Neurath, Graf Schwerin-Krosigk, Lippert, Frick, Schmidt, Raeder, Hitler, Papen, Goebbels, Hindenburg, Göring, Blomberg, Fritsch
See all 42 photographs of Erich Raeder

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. vahid says:
1 Sep 2011 08:40:02 AM

They were Greatmen,wonderful and Brave heart.. I wish I was in thier age..

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More on Erich Raeder
Event(s) Participated:
» Hossbach Conference
» Start of the Battle of the Atlantic
» Merano Conference
» Nuremberg Trials and Other Trials Against Germany

Erich Raeder Photo Gallery
Erich Raeder and Werner von Blomberg inspecting German sailors at Kiel, Germany, 1933German leaders at Berlin Heroes Memorial, Germany, 25 Feb 1934; L to R: Neurath, Graf Schwerin-Krosigk, Lippert, Frick, Schmidt, Raeder, Hitler, Papen, Goebbels, Hindenburg, Göring, Blomberg, Fritsch
See all 42 photographs of Erich Raeder

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943