The German Navy (German: Deutsche Marine or simply German: Marinelisten (help·info)) is the navy of Germany and part of the unified Bundeswehr ("Federal Defense"), the German Armed Forces. The German Navy was originally known as the Bundesmarine ("Federal Navy") from 1956 to 1995, when Deutsche Marine ("German Navy") became the official name with respect to the 1990 incorporation of the East German Volksmarine ("People's Navy"). It is deeply integrated into the NATO alliance. Its primary mission is protection of Germany's territorial waters and maritime infrastructure as well as sea lines of communication. Apart from this, the German Navy participates in peacekeeping operations, and renders humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. They also participate in Anti-Piracy operations.
|Founded||2 January 1956|
|Size||16,286 personnel (31 December 2018)|
|Headquarters of the German Navy||Rostock (Navy Command)|
|Motto(s)||Wir. Dienen. Deutschland.|
(We. Serve. Germany.)
|Colors||Black, White, Gold|
|March||"Gruß an Kiel"|
|Inspector of the Navy||Vice Admiral Andreas Krause|
|Deputy Inspector of the Navy||Vice Admiral Rainer Brinkmann|
|Chief of Staff||Rear Admiral Thorsten Kähler|
The German Navy traces its roots back to the Reichsflotte (Imperial Fleet) of the revolutionary era of 1848–52. The Reichsflotte was the first German navy to sail under the black-red-gold flag. Founded on 14 June 1848 by the orders of the democratically elected Frankfurt Parliament, the Reichsflotte's brief existence ended with the failure of the revolution and it was disbanded on 2 April 1852; thus, the modern day navy celebrates its birthday on 14 June.
Between May 1945 and 1956, the German Mine Sweeping Administration and its successor organizations, made up of former members of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine ("War Navy"), became something of a transition stage for the navy, allowing the future Marine to draw on recently experienced personnel upon its formation. Also, from 1949-52 the US Navy had maintained the Naval Historical Team in Bremerhaven. This group of former Kriegsmarine officers acting as historical and tactical consultants to the Americans, was significant in establishing a German element in the NATO senior naval staff. In 1956, with West Germany's accession to NATO, the Bundesmarine ("Federal Navy"), as the navy was known colloquially, was formally established. In the same year the East German Volkspolizei See (literally "People's Police Sea") became the Volksmarine ("People's Navy"). During the Cold War all of the German Navy's combat vessels were assigned to NATO's Allied Forces Baltic Approaches's naval command NAVBALTAP.
With the accession of East Germany to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 the Volksmarine along with the whole National People's Army (Nationale Volksarmee, NVA) became part of the Bundeswehr. Since 1995 the name German Navy is used in international context, while the official name since 1956 remains Marine without any additions. As of 31 December 2018, the strength of the navy is 16,286 men and women.
A number of naval forces have operated in different periods. See
German warships permanently participate in all four NATO Maritime Groups. The German Navy is also engaged in operations against international terrorism such as Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO Operation Active Endeavour.
Presently the largest operation the German Navy is participating in is UNIFIL off the coast of Lebanon. The German contribution to this operation is two frigates, four fast attack craft, and two auxiliary vessels. The naval component of UNIFIL has been under German command.
The navy is operating a number of development and testing installations as part of an inter-service and international network. Among these is the Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW), an affiliated centre of Allied Command Transformation. The COE CSW was established in April 2007 and officially accredited by NATO on 26 May 2009. It is co-located with the staff of the German Flotilla 1 in Kiel whose Commander is double-hatted as Director, COE CSW.
In total, there are about 65 commissioned ships in the German Navy, including; 10 frigates, 5 corvettes, 3 minesweepers, 10 minehunters, 6 submarines, 11 replenishment ships and 20 miscellaneous auxiliary vessels. The displacement of the navy is 220,000 tonnes. In addition, the German Navy and the Royal Danish Navy are in cooperation in the "Ark Project". This agreement made the Ark Project responsible for the strategic sealift of German armed forces where the full-time charter of three roll-on-roll-off cargo and troop ships are ready for deployments. In addition, these ships are also kept available for the use of the other European NATO countries.
A total of five Joint Support Ships, two JSS800 and three JSS400, were planned during the 1995–2010 period but the programme appears now to have been abandoned, not having been mentioned in two recent defence reviews. The larger ships would have been tasked for strategic troop transport and amphibious operations, and were to displace 27,000 to 30,000 tons for 800 soldiers. The German Navy will use the Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman (A833) of the Royal Netherlands Navy as part of the integration of the German Navy Marines (Seebatallion) in the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps as of 2016.
The naval air arm of the German Navy is called the Marinefliegerkommando. The Marinefliegerkommando operate 55 aircraft.
|Camcopter S-100||Austria||UAV||ISR||6 on order.|
|Dornier Do 228||Germany||Propeller||Pollution control||1996||2|
|Lockheed P-3C Orion – CUP||USA||Propeller||MPA||2006||8||Former Royal Netherlands Navy|
|NH90 Sea Lion||Germany||Rotorcraft||SAR / Transport||2018||2||16 on order, replacing Westland Sea King Mk.41|
|Westland Lynx Mk.88||UK||Rotorcraft||ASW||1981||22|
|Westland Sea King Mk.41||UK||Rotorcraft||SAR / Transport||1975||21||Being replaced by NH90 Sea Lion|
|NATO code||OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D)||Student officer|
|No equivalent||Enlisted rank plus a star|
indicating cadet's career
|Kapitän zur See||Fregatten-
||No equivalent |
|Oberfähnrich zur See||Fähnrich zur See||Seekadett|
Captain at sea is a naval rank corresponding to command of a ship-of-the-line or capital ship.
The equivalent in other navies is ship-of-the-line captain or the naval rank of captain in the Commonwealth of Nations and the U.S. Navy.Fregattenkapitän
Fregattenkapitän, short: FKpt / in lists: FK, (English: Frigate captain) is the middle senior officer rank (German: Stabsoffizier Rang) in the German Navy / armed forces of Germany (Bundeswehr).Gorch Fock (1958)
The Gorch Fock is a tall ship of the German Navy (Deutsche Marine). She is the second ship of that name and a sister ship of the Gorch Fock built in 1933. Both ships are named in honour of the German writer Johann Kinau who wrote under the pseudonym "Gorch Fock" and died in the battle of Jutland/Skagerrak in 1916. The modern-day Gorch Fock was built in 1958 and has since then undertaken 146 cruises (as of October 2006), including one tour around the world in 1988. She is sometimes referred to (unofficially) as the Gorch Fock II to distinguish her from her older sister ship. The Gorch Fock is under the command of the Naval Academy in Flensburg-Mürwik.Imperial German Navy
The Imperial German Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine, "Imperial Navy") was the navy created at the time of the formation of the German Empire. It existed between 1871 and 1919, growing out of the small Prussian Navy (from 1867 the North German Federal Navy), which primarily had the mission of coastal defence. Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly expanded the navy, and enlarged its mission. The key leader was Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, who greatly expanded the size and quality of the navy, while adopting the sea power theories of American strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan. The result was a naval arms race with Britain as the German navy grew to become one of the greatest maritime forces in the world, second only to the Royal Navy. The German surface navy proved ineffective during World War I; its only major engagement, the Battle of Jutland, was indecisive. However, the submarine fleet was greatly expanded and posed a major threat to the British supply system. The Imperial Navy's main ships were turned over to the Allies, but were sunk at Scapa Flow in 1919 by German crews.
All ships of the Imperial Navy were designated SMS, for Seiner Majestät Schiff ("His Majesty's Ship").Konteradmiral
Konteradmiral, abbreviated KAdm or KADM, is the second lowest naval flag officer rank in the German Navy. It is equivalent to Generalmajor in the Heer and Luftwaffe or to Admiralstabsarzt and Generalstabsarzt in the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst der Bundeswehr.
In the German Navy Konteradmiral is equivalent to rear admiral, a two-star rank with a NATO code of OF-7. However, in the former German-speaking naval forces of the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine), the Nazi Kriegsmarine, the East German Volksmarine and the Austro-Hungarian K.u.K. Kriegsmarine, Konteradmiral was an OF-6 one-star officer rank.Korvettenkapitän
Korvettenkapitän, short: KKpt / in lists: KK, (English: Corvette captain) is the lowest senior officer rank (German: Stabsoffizier Rang) in the German Navy / armed forces of Germany (Bundeswehr).Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine (German pronunciation: [ˈkʁiːksmaˌʁiːnə], lit. "War Navy") was the navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of the German Empire (1871–1918) and the inter-war Reichsmarine (1919–1935) of the Weimar Republic. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches, along with the Heer (Army) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force) of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces from 1933 to 1945.
In violation of the Treaty of Versailles, the Kriegsmarine grew rapidly during German naval rearmament in the 1930s. The 1919 treaty had limited the size of the German navy previously, and prohibited the building of submarines.Kriegsmarine ships were deployed to the waters around Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) under the guise of enforcing non-intervention, but in reality supported the Nationalist side against the Spanish Republicans.
In January 1939 Plan Z was ordered, calling for surface naval parity with the British Royal Navy by 1944. When World War II broke out in September 1939, Plan Z was shelved in favour of a crash building program for submarines (U-boats) instead of capital surface warships and land and air forces were given priority of strategic resources.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (as for all branches of armed forces during the period of absolute Nazi power) was the "Führer" Adolf Hitler, who exercised his authority through the Oberkommando der Marine.
The Kriegsmarine's most significant ships were the U-boats, most of which were constructed after Plan Z was abandoned at the beginning of World War II. Wolfpacks were rapidly assembled groups of submarines which attacked British convoys during the first half of the Battle of the Atlantic but this tactic was largely abandoned by May 1943 when U-boat losses mounted. Along with the U-boats, surface commerce raiders (including auxiliary cruisers) were used to disrupt Allied shipping in the early years of the war, the most famous of these being the heavy cruisers Admiral Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer and the battleship Bismarck. However, the adoption of convoy escorts, especially in the Atlantic, greatly reduced the effectiveness of surface commerce raiders against convoys.
After the Second World War in 1945, the Kriegsmarine's remaining ships were divided up among the Allied powers and were used for various purposes including minesweeping.List of ships of the Imperial German Navy
The list of ships of the Imperial German Navy includes all ships commissioned into service with the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) of Germany, covering the period from 1871, the creation of the German Empire, through to the end of the Empire in 1918.List of shipwrecks in April 1917
The list of shipwrecks in April 1917 includes ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during April 1917.List of shipwrecks in August 1917
The list of shipwrecks in August 1917 includes some ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during August 1917.List of shipwrecks in July 1917
The list of shipwrecks in July 1917 includes some ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during July 1917.List of shipwrecks in June 1917
The list of shipwrecks in June 1917 includes some ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during June 1917.List of shipwrecks in March 1917
The list of shipwrecks in March 1917 includes some ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during March 1917.List of shipwrecks in May 1917
The list of shipwrecks in May 1917 includes some ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during May 1917.List of shipwrecks in September 1917
The list of shipwrecks in September 1917 includes some ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during September 1917.S/V Noorderlicht
S/V Noorderlicht (Northern Light or Aurora Borealis) is a two-masted schooner built in 1910 as a light sailing vessel for the German Navy. Since the 1990s, she has served as one of the expedition cruise vessels for Oceanwide Expeditions, sailing to some of the most remote locations in the Arctic, particularly the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.U-boat
U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word U-Boot [ˈuːboːt] (listen), a shortening of Unterseeboot, literally "underseaboat." While the German term refers to any submarine, the English one (in common with several other languages) refers specifically to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First and Second World Wars. Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most effectively used in an economic warfare role (commerce raiding) and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping. The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, and from the United States to the United Kingdom and (during the Second World War) to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. German submarines also destroyed Brazilian merchant ships during World War II, causing Brazil to declare war on the Axis powers in 1944.
Austro-Hungarian Navy submarines were also known as U-boats.Vizeadmiral
Vizeadmiral, short VAdm in lists VADM, (en: Vice admiral) is a senior naval flag officer rank in the German Navy. It is equivalent to Generalleutnant in the Heer and Luftwaffe or to Admiraloberstabsarzt and/or Generaloberstabsarzt in the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst der Bundeswehr.
In the German Navy Vizeadmiral is, as in many navies, a three-star rank with a NATO code of OF-8. However, in other German speaking naval forces, e.g. Kaiserliche Marine, Kriegsmarine, Volksmarine, and the Austro-Hungarian K.u.K. Kriegsmarine, Vizeadmiral was an OF-7 two-star flag officer rank.
|Ranks and insignia|
|Land forces maritime component|
|Air forces maritime component|
|Pre–unification German states|
|North German Confederation|
|Post WWII German Navy|