Where Are They Now? German U-Boat Commander Karl Doenitz Part 2

About the German U-Boat commander Karl Doenitz, history and biography of the Nazi germany sailor.

Headline--1942: KARL DOENITZ

The German Navy entered the next war with a fleet of U-boats trained in the now-famous, "wolf-pack" tactics (Rudelsystem) and shielded from the highly boasted British ASDIC (Anti-Submarine Defense Investigation Committee) sonic detection--all due to Karl Doenitz, then flag officer of U-boats. By then he had set up a liaison system between subs and planes. Up until improved Allied technology was put in use around 1944, the Nazis were practically undisputed masters of the high seas.

Unfortunately for Doenitz, he grew more unpopular at home as he advanced in rank and military power. Joseph Goebbels disliked him from the beginning for his friendship with Pastor Martin Niemoller, once a U-boat commander, but by then merely a jailed clergyman. Doenitz fell out of favor with Grand Admiral Raeder for complaining that the Gestapo was harassing submarine personnel. Doenitz had always been accused of being too democratic in the Navy, of promoting a friendly esprit between officers and sailors to prevent mutiny. Nonetheless he rose to the rank of grand admiral in 1943, and was headquartered in Kiel with a portrait over his desk of Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, 1st advocate of total U-boat action in W.W. I. By the end of hostilities in 1945, Doenitz had sunk 15 million Allied tons.

Before Hitler's death, he named Doenitz to succeed him. But the Third Reich fell within days, and Doenitz was tried and convicted with other Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg. He served 10 years in Spandau Prison.

And Today: The German Embassy reports that Karl Doenitz lives on quite a small pension in a tiny house in the vicinity of Hamburg. He is 84 years old and so enfeebled that he is unable to receive visitors.

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