Honorable Admiral or Naval Terrorist
|Admiral Karl Doenitz.|
Doenitz's BackgroundKarl Doenitz was born in Grünau near Berlin, Germany, in 1891. He enlisted in the Kaiserliche Marine ("Imperial Navy") in 1910 and was a Leutnant zur See (acting sub-lieutenant) on the cruiser SMS Breslau when World War I began. Doenitz transferred to the submarine service as an Oberleutnant zur See (full Lieutenant) in 1916 and attended the submarine service's school at Flensburg-Mürwik, graduating on 3 January 1917. He rose to command UB-68 in the Mediterranean but was forced to scuttle his boat on 4 October 1918, becoming a prisoner of war. In 1920, he returned to Germany.
|Karl Doenitz in 1935, with the grade of captain, inspecting U-7 (photo Karl Daublebsky von Eichhain).|
Doenitz During World World Two
|British liner SS Athenia sinking on 3 September 1939.|
|Time Magazine of 10 May 1943 featured Admiral Doenitz on the cover.|
|Admiral Karl Doenitz (third from left), as he replaces Erich Raeder as commander-in-chief of the German naval forces in January 1943.|
|Karl Doenitz makes a radio broadcast speech after the assassination attempt on Hitler, 21 July 1944. Watching him is Hitler and another survivor of the failed plot.|
|Admiral Doenitz meets with Hitler in 1945.|
Doenitz At Trial in Nuremberg
|Otto Kranzbühler at Nuremberg.|
|Otto Kranzbühler makes the case.|
|US Admiral Chester Nimitz helped out a fellow admiral from the other side when it mattered most (US Navy).|
Kranzbühler's audacious gambits worked. The Tribunal found Doenitz not guilty for his conduct of submarine warfare against British armed merchant ships. However, this was a limited victory, as the Tribunal did hold that the sinking of neutral ships was a violation of existing law.
Acquitted of the most serious charge against him, Doenitz was sentenced by the Tribunal to 10 years in prison for his conviction related to waging a war of aggression. Doenitz's carrying out of the order to conduct unrestricted submarine warfare was not officially included in his sentence, but it almost certainly influenced the verdict. It was the main reason why most judges wanted him convicted. Doenitz served 10 years in Spandau Prison plus the additional 18 months he had spent at the Mondorf and Nuremberg prison camps while awaiting trial and being tried. However, but for the efforts of Kranzbühler, particularly in respect to his defense to Count #3 above, Dönitz likely would have served a much longer sentence or perhaps even have been sentenced to death (the British and Soviet judges wanted to execute Doenitz and were only restrained by the US and French judges). It was one of the most amazing legal coups of the post-war trials.