Kaiserliche Marine
The Imperial German Navy was the German Navy
German Navy
The German Navy is the navy of Germany and is part of the unified Bundeswehr .The German Navy traces its roots back to the Imperial Fleet of the revolutionary era of 1848 – 52 and more directly to the Prussian Navy, which later evolved into the Northern German Federal Navy...

 created at the time of the formation of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

. It existed between 1871 and 1919, growing out of the small Prussian Navy
Prussian Navy
Throughout the centuries, Prussia’s military consistently concentrated on its land power, and never sought a similar power at sea. Yet historically there were always Prussian naval forces , beginning in the days when "Prussia" meant only the Margraviate of Brandenburg.- The Navy of Electoral...

 and Norddeutsche Bundesmarine
Norddeutsche Bundesmarine
The Norddeutsche Bundesmarine was the Navy of the North German Confederation, formed out of the Prussian Navy. It was eventually succeeded by the Kaiserliche Marine in 1871.-External links:*...

, which primarily had the mission of coastal defense. Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly expanded the Navy, and enlarged its mission. The key leader was Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz
Alfred von Tirpitz
Alfred von Tirpitz was a German Admiral, Secretary of State of the German Imperial Naval Office, the powerful administrative branch of the German Imperial Navy from 1897 until 1916. Prussia never had a major navy, nor did the other German states before the German Empire was formed in 1871...

 (1849–1930), who greatly expand the size and quality of the Navy, while adopting the sea power theories of American strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide...