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Kriegsmarine Organization
Organizational chart of the Kriegsmarine in mid-1936.

The Kriegsmarine was officially formed on 21 May 1935. At the beginning of 1936 there was a reorganization of the command estructure.

High Command of the Navy (Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine).

Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine): Generaladmiral Erich Raeder.
The OKM in Berlin, was entirely responsible for all aspects of naval command, administration, organization, training, etc. To carry out its diverse functions there were five main offices listed below:

  1. Naval Command Office - Marinekommandoamt (A).
    Chief: Vizeadmiral Günther Guse 11.01.1936 - 31.08.1938.
    It worked on the planning and deployment of naval units at sea. It consisted of the following departments:

    • Operations Department - Operationsabteilung (A I).
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Otto Ciliax.
      Responsible for the operational and tactical issues of naval warfare and foreign navies.

    • Organization Department - Organisationsabteilung (A II).
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Friedrich-Wilhelm Fleischer.
      Responsible for the organization and readiness of naval forces.

    • Naval Intelligence Service - Marinenachrichtendienst (A III).
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Theodor Arps.

    • Development Department - Ausbildungsabteilung (A IV). *
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Werner Fuchs.
      * Literally Training Department.

    • Naval Defense Department - Marinewehrabteilung (A V).
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Hermann Mootz.

  2. General Naval Office - Allgemeine Marineamt (B).
    Chief: Admiral Max Bastian 01.10.1935 - 03.09.1938.
    Tasks included the allocation of defense funding, maintenance and readiness of auxiliary vessels for the navy, and connection with the merchant fleet. Subordinated to this office were the following departments:

    • Shipyard Department - Marinewerftabteilung.
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Ulrich Rasmus.
      In charge of the Naval Shipyard in Wilhelmshaven and the Naval Arsenal in Kiel.

    • Naval Budget Department - Marinehaushaltsabteilung.
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Erich Förste.

    • Nautical Department - Nautische Abteilung.
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Friedrich Wilhelm Kurze.

    • Statistics Department - Statistische Abteilung.
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Karl Bartenbach.

    • Shipping Department - Schiffahrtsabteilung.
      Chief: Kapitän zur See Carl Coupette.

  3. Naval Administration Office - Marineverwaltungsamt (C).
    Chief: Ministerialdirektor Theodor Schreiber 11.01.1936 - .11.1939.
    Responsible for all matters regarding salaries, food, clothing, and accommodation.

  4. Naval Ordnance Office - Marinewaffenamt (MWa).
    Chief: Admiral Karl Witzell 01.10.1934 - 06.11.1939.
    Responsible for overseeing the developement, testing, research, regulations of weapons such as guns, torpedoes, mines, ammunition, etc.

  5. Naval Construction Office - Marinekonstruktionsamt (K).
    Chief: Ministerialdirigent Christian Schulz 11.01.1936 - 02.04.1939.
    Responsible for overseeing specifications and design requirements for the future construction and development of new warships.
Directly subordinated to the Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy:

Naval Stations (Marinestationen).

There were two regional naval stations, each under the command of an Admiral who was directly subordinated to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. Main tasks were coastal defense, training and administrative management. They were in charge of the inspection of naval depots, instruction centers, schools, and training ships.

Naval Forces (Seestreitkräfte).

Fleet Command (Flottenkommando). Based in Kiel.
Chief of Fleet (Flottenchef): Admiral Richard Foerster 22.09.1933 - 21.12.1936.
Responsible for all naval forces with the exception of training and experimental ships.

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