Walter Warzecha
Walter Wilhelm Julius Warzecha (23 May 1891—3 August 1956) 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...

 naval commander and high-ranking officer of the Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

. Serving in the rank of General Admiral he succeeded General Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg
Hans-Georg von Friedeburg
Hans-Georg von Friedeburg was the deputy commander of the U-Boat Forces of Nazi Germany and the last Commanding Admiral of the Kriegsmarine....

 as the last Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine after the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...



Walter Warzecha was born on 23 May 1891 in Schwiebus
Świebodzin is a town in western Poland with 21,757 inhabitants . It is the capital of Świebodzin CountyIt was formerly part of the Zielona Góra Voivodeship , a reconfiguration of the old German state of Prussia, the eastern 40% of which was inherited by Poland in 1945, and led to the expulsion of...

 (modern Świebodzin). His father, Max Warzecha, was mayor of the town of Neuruppin
Neuruppin is a town in Brandenburg, Germany. Located on the shore of Ruppiner See , it is the capital of the district of Ostprignitz-Ruppin. Population: 32,800 .-Overview:...

, but the family came from Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

, hence the Slavic rather than German surname. He was a Nazi.

World War I

On 1 April 1909 Warzecha joined 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...

as a Seekadett. His first post was aboard the heavy cruiser
Protected cruiser
The protected cruiser is a type of naval cruiser of the late 19th century, so known because its armoured deck offered protection for vital machine spaces from shrapnel caused by exploding shells above...

  were he was promoted to Fähnrich zur See
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

in April 1910. Between 1911 and 1916 he served on the dreadnought
The dreadnought was the predominant type of 20th-century battleship. The first of the kind, the Royal Navy's had such an impact when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built after her were referred to as "dreadnoughts", and earlier battleships became known as pre-dreadnoughts...

A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 , and there was promoted to the rank of Leutnant zur See in September 1912, and then to Oberleutnant zur See on 2 May 1915.

From August 1916 until the end of 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...

 he served as the commanding officer of various submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s; , and , and sank nine ships totalling 22,612 GRT, and damaged ten more for a total of 55,808 GRT.


After the war Warzecha settled in Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of the Jade Bight, a bay of the North Sea.-History:...

 and then Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

, where he started a family and became a father of four. Following the re-militarisation of Germany he returned to active duty within the Marinestation der Nordsee
Marinestation der Nordsee
The Marinestation der Nordsee of the German Imperial Navy Kaiserliche Marine at Wilhelmshaven, Germany came out of the efforts of the navy of the North German Confederation. The land was obtained for the Confederation from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg by Prince Adalbert of Prussia through the...

, with the rank of Kapitänleutnant from 1920. Promotion to Korvettenkapitän followed in 1928 and then to Fregattenkapitän in 1933. In 1934 Warzecha became Chief of Staff of the Marinestation der Ostsee in the Baltic. Warzecha served as the commander of the pocket battleship  between October 1937 and October 1938.

World War II

On 1 November 1938 he was promoted to the rank of Konteradmiral and moved to a staff post in Berlin at the Oberkommando der Marine
Oberkommando der Marine
The Oberkommando der Marine was Nazi Germany's Naval High Command and the highest administrative and command authority of the Kriegsmarine. It was officially formed from the Marineleitung of the Reichswehr on 11 January 1936. In 1937 it was combined with the newly formed Seekriegsleitung...

, serving as Chef des Marinewehramtes ("Chief of the Naval Defence Office") until August 1942, gaining promotion to Vizeadmiral on 1 January 1941, and also serving as Chef des Allgemeinen Marinehauptamtes ("Chief of General Navy Headquarters") between November 1939 and April 1944. On 1 March 1944 he was promoted to the rank of Generaladmiral and on 1 May was appointed Chef der Kriegsmarinewehr ("Chief of the Navy").

Following the end of World War II, and the suicide of the Commander-in-Chief Hans-Georg von Friedeburg
Hans-Georg von Friedeburg
Hans-Georg von Friedeburg was the deputy commander of the U-Boat Forces of Nazi Germany and the last Commanding Admiral of the Kriegsmarine....

 on 23 May 1945, Warzecha assumed the duties of the Commander-in-Chief under Allied control, and supervised the Kriegsmarines desolution until 22 July 1945.


Until 1947 Warzecha was held as a prisoner of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

, then settled in Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 where he worked for the Allianz-Versicherungsgesellschaft
SE is a global financial services company headquartered in Munich, Germany. Its core business and focus is insurance. As of 2010, it was the world's 12th-largest financial services group and 23rd-largest company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine.Its Allianz Global Investors...

insurance company. He died of a heart attack on 30 August 1956 and is buried in Hamburg.


  • Iron Cross
    Iron Cross
    The Iron Cross is a cross symbol typically in black with a white or silver outline that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem....

     with clasp
    Clasp to the Iron Cross
    The Clasp to the Iron Cross was a metal medal clasp displayed on the uniforms of German Wehrmacht personnel who had been awarded the Iron Cross in World War I. It was displayed on the uniforms of many high ranking officers during World War II as most had also served in World War I...

     (1st and 2nd class)
  • German Cross
    German Cross
    The German Cross was instituted by Adolf Hitler on 17 November 1941 as an award ranking higher than the Iron Cross First Class but below the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross respectively ranking higher than the War Merit Cross First Class with Swords but below the Knight's Cross of the War Merit...

     in Silver on 30 January 1943 as Admiral
    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"...

    in the Oberkommando der Marine
  • Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords (25 January 1945)
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.