Karl Topp
Friedrich Karl Topp was a naval officer in Germany during both World Wars.

Topp was born in Voerde
Voerde is a town in the district of Wesel, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Rhine, approx. 10 km south-east of Wesel, and 20 km north of Duisburg.-City structure:According to art...

 in the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n province of Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

. His father was a priest. He joined the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) in 1914 and took part in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in submarines. At the end of the war he was a first officer under the command of Martin Niemöller
Martin Niemöller
Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known as the author of the poem "First they came…"....

. After the war he was transferred to the Weimar Republic Navy. In the Third Reich he was Generalreferent (chief-official in charge) for military problems of shipbuilding, later on chief of military department at the main office of warship building, an administrate body of the Marineamt
Marineamt is the German name of a higher command within the German Navy. It must not be mistaken for the former Reichsmarineamt, the Department of the Navy of the Kaiserliche Marine prior to World War I....

 (highest command of the German Navy) and in 15 January 1941 - 24 February 1943 as Kapitän zur See (KzS, Captain) the first of the chiefs of the Tirpitz
German battleship Tirpitz
Tirpitz was the second of two s built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Imperial Navy, the ship was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and launched two and a half years later in April...

. Later, he was the chairman of the commission for shipbuilding reporting to the Reichminister für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion Albert Speer
Albert Speer
Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

(Minister of Armament and War Production); his last rank was Vizeadmiral (Viceadmiral). After the war the British Army engaged him some months for winding up the German shipyards. In 1946 he was released from being a prisoner-of-war. After this, for nearly ten years he worked as a commercial representative, living in Jever / Low Saxony, where he died after retirement.
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