Hugo von Pohl
Hugo von Pohl was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 who during the First World War commanded the German High Seas Fleet
High Seas Fleet
The High Seas Fleet was the battle fleet of the German Empire and saw action during World War I. The formation was created in February 1907, when the Home Fleet was renamed as the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz was the architect of the fleet; he envisioned a force powerful enough to...

 from 1915 until shortly before his death from illness in 1916.

Pohl was born in Breslau (Wrocław), Prussian Silesia. He entered the Kaiserliche Marine
Kaiserliche Marine
The Imperial German Navy was the German 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 and Norddeutsche Bundesmarine, which primarily had the mission of coastal defense. Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly expanded...

 in 1876 at age 21. He rose rapidly through the ranks and by 1910 he was promoted to vice admiral and commandant of the I Marine Geschwader. In April 1913 Pohl became chief of the admiralty staff. Before World War I, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...


When the First World War broke out Pohl became a proponent of the U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 arm. After the battle of Dogger Bank
Battle of Dogger Bank (1915)
The Battle of Dogger Bank was a naval battle fought near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea on 24 January 1915, during the First World War, between squadrons of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet....

, Pohl replaced Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl
Friedrich von Ingenohl
Gustav Heinrich Ernst Friedrich von Ingenohl was a German admiral from Neuwied best known for his command of the German High Seas Fleet at the beginning of World War I....

 as commander in chief of the High Seas Fleet. Two days after taking command, on February 4, 1915, Pohl gave the order to use unrestricted submarine warfare
Unrestricted submarine warfare
Unrestricted submarine warfare is a type of naval warfare in which submarines sink merchantmen without warning, as opposed to attacks per prize rules...

 against the Allies. When he became ill, he was replaced as commander of the High Seas Fleet by Reinhard Scheer
Reinhard Scheer
Reinhard Scheer was an Admiral in the German Kaiserliche Marine. Scheer joined the navy in 1879 as an officer cadet; he progressed through the ranks, commanding cruisers and battleships, as well as major staff positions on land. At the outbreak of World War I, Scheer was the commander of the II...

 on January 23, 1916.
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