On This Day

Karl Dönitz

Naval Commander and Nazi leader Karl Dönitz

Profession: Naval Commander and Nazi leader


Biography: Dönitz served as the German naval commander during World War II, during which time he formulated the wolfpack U-boat tactic during the Battle of the Atlantic. He achieved the rank of Grand Admiral, replacing Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy.

Adolf Hitler named Dönitz as his successor in his last will and testament. When he committed suicide on 30 April 1945, Dönitz succeeded him as President of Germany, but lasted in this position for less than a month. Germany surrendered to the Allies on 8 May 1945, and Dönitz' government was abolished by the occupying powers on 23 May.

Born: September 16, 1891
Birthplace: Grünau, German Empire, Germany

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: December 24, 1980 (aged 89)
Cause of Death: Heart attack

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1916-05-27 German Naval commander Karl Dönitz (24) weds nurse Ingeborg Weber (22)

Historical Events

  • 1943-05-24 Admiral Donitz stops U-boat in Atlantic Ocean
  • 1945-01-23 World War II: Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal to evacuate German soldiers and civilians from Prussia by sea
  • 1945-05-05 World War II: Admiral Karl Dönitz, leader of Germany after Hitler's death, orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases
  • 1945-05-23 The Allies arrest the members of the Nazi Flensburg government, including Admiral Karl Dönitz, formally dissolving Nazi Germany

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