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Talk:Karl Dönitz

Karl Dönitz is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on October 25, 2004.
Article milestones
September 14, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
December 10, 2007Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article


Breakfast at Landsberg...Edit

According to a friend of mine who was one of the guards at Nuremberg, the cooks would urinate in Donitz's breakfast every morning during the closing days of the trial. After two days of him refusing the eat his scrambled eggs, my friend agreed to talk to the cooks on Donitz's behalf. He told them that after the next morning, they would have to stop. How would I cite this so that I can add this funny little anecdote to the trial section? I'd appreciate someone giving me the format we use here, I usually end up citing online sources. TaylorSAllen 19:47, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I can only imagine the howls of indignation that would have resulted if someone had done that to Saddam Hussein's food while he was awaiting trial. Afalbrig 11:53, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Funny little anecdote?Lestrade (talk) 19:07, 14 May 2009 (UTC)Lestrade
You would need a better source than a claim from your friend, as it is both WP:OR and fails WP:V. Qzm (talk) 00:56, 20 September 2009 (UTC)


Didn't he write a book on submarine tactics while in british captivity? perhaps someone could add a bit about his ww1 service and the impact this book had, if any, on ww2? if someone knows? SpookyMulder 13:43, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

He did, IIRC from 10 Yrs & 20 Days. He claims it led to development of wolfpacks, but those were conceived in WW1. Trekphiler 09:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

If memory serves, he wrote a book on u-boat warfare in 1935. He wrote his memoirs (10 Yrs & 20 Days)after he was released from prision. His memoirs refer to the 1935 book, but I don't have a copy of it at hand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fourmajorman (talkcontribs) 21:14, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

More on Enigma/TritonEdit

Perhaps we can use some text from Ultra to expand this article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 11:00, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Some Germans had suspicions that all was not right with Enigma. Karl Dönitz received reports of "impossible" encounters between U-boats and enemy vessels which made him suspect some compromise of his communications. In one instance, three U-boats met at a tiny island in the Caribbean, and a British destroyer promptly showed up. They all escaped and reported what had happened. Doenitz immediately asked for a review of Enigma's security. The analysis suggested that the signals problem, if there was one, wasn't due to the Enigma itself. Doenitz had the settings book changed anyway, blacking out Bletchley Park for a period. However the evidence was never enough to truly convince him that Naval Enigma was being read by the Allies. The more so, since his counterintelligence B-Dienst group, who had partially broken Royal Navy traffic (including its convoy codes during the early part of the War), supplied enough information to support the idea that the Allies were unable to read Naval Enigma. Coincidentally, German success in this respect almost exactly matched in time an Allied blackout from Naval Enigma.

In 1941 British intelligence learned that the German Navy was about to introduce M4, a new version of Enigma with 4 wheels rather than 3. Fortunately, for the Allies, in December, a U boat mistakenly transmitted a message using the four rotor machine before it was due to be implemented. Realising the error, they re-transmitted the same message using the 3 rotor Enigma, giving the British sufficient clues to break the new machine very shortly after it became operational on February 1 1942. The U-boat network which used the four rotor machine was known as Triton, codenamed Shark by the Allies. Its traffic was routinely readable. de:Diskussion:Karl Dönitz


Very well written and organized article. The one detracting feature is that it seems a tad short for a featured article though I have no recommendation for what should be filled out more.17:28, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)~

"On the basis of what we now know"? This smells POV to me. If it had been anybody but the victors holding the trials, Nimitz, MacArthur, Kenney, English, Christie, Lockwood, Monty, Ike, & others would have hanged, too, on the basis of what was known then. Want to include that? Trekphiler 15:48, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I added this:
"(If the trials had been genuinely objective, many Allied senior officers, including Nimitz, who provided the affidavit; MacArthur and George C. Kenney (commanding Fifth Air Force), who condoned strafing Japanese troops in the water in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea; Robert English, Ralph Christie, and Charles Lockwood, who commanded Nimitz's Submarine Force; and Montgomery and Eisenhower, who looked the other way when German prisoners were murdered would all have faced trial and execution.)"
Are we to judge Dönitz's trial on what was known then, or now? And if we condemn him on what's known now, why not condemn Allied COs on what they did then? Trekphiler 16:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
"with the evidence and insights available today" is most definitely point of view, but it is a quote, not a statement of fact, and the quote serves to illustrate the controversial nature of the judgements regarding Doenitz, by showing that there are both positive and negative opinions about him (even if some of these opinions are wrong). The part you added seems O.K. though, but whether or not Doenitz was "good" or "bad" is independant of whether or not the Nurember trials were objective, or whether or not some allied commanders were "good" or "bad". - Matthew238 06:08, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


Surely this page should be under Karl Doenitz? - Mmartins

'Surely' it shouldn't.

Why? His name was Karl Dönitz, not Doenitz.

Because the ö character doesn't exist in English: non-German speakers will pronounce his name Donnitz, which is completely incorrect (and irritating - as when Wagner is pronounced with an English 'W')
What are the naming conventions in this situation?
See (somewhat unsurpsisingly) Wikipedia:Naming conventions - article names are restricted to ISO 8859-1 characters only, so "ö" is OK, and redirects are encouraged from common mispellings (Karl Donitz, Karl Doenitz already exist). -- ALoan (Talk) 18:52, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

ö = oe the umlaut originated as a shortform for writing e's after (and then later above) other vowels oe is not a misspelling both are correct, although ö and its cousins are preferred when possible (we do th esame thing in English we just put our e's at the end of the word)

when writing in English I am not sure if there is a preference - it depends on the language - it could be argued that if we spell Doenitz as Dönitz we should spell Russian names with the Cyrillic alphabet

You figure out how my English keyboard gets German characters (without acrobatics), I'll use them... Trekphiler 15:50, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
People who are using a typewriter or keyboard that does not have an "ö" character are permitted to substitute the characters "oe." To type "ö" on PC-compatible keyboard, do the following: (1) Hold down the "Alt" key; (2) On the numeric keypad make sure that the "Num Lock" key has been toggled on. (3) On the numeric keypad, push and release the 1, 4, and 8 keys in succession; (4) Release the "Alt" key.Lestrade (talk) 22:22, 16 September 2009 (UTC)Lestrade


The following was a comment posted (likely by mistake) to the article by an anon, I've moved it here. Wyss 21:32, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

The author may have two of these rankings listed incorectly. The rank of oberleutnant zur see may be more equivalent to a LT JG (O2) in US terms and the rank of Kapitanleutnant may correspond better the the rank of LT (O3) in US terms.

Was Dönitz ever promoted to "Grand Admiral"? No, so imo his rank should read: e.g. Großadmiral (Grand Admiral) Karl Dönitz.
KjellG (talk) 21:20, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The current article states "Sub-lieutenant (Leutnant zur See) ... promoted to Sub-lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See)". That is atleast horribly misleading. The rank of "Leutnant zur See" is equivalent to NATO O-1 and "Oberleutnant zur See" is equivalant to NATO O-2, just as it was mentioned above. That matches in US terms to Second Lieutenant / Navy Ensign (O-1) and First Lieutenant / Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2). The Marine/Army naming scheme is more closer to the German Navy naming scheme so that I would like replace the ranks with Second Lieutant / First Lieutant as they have the touch of a more direct translation. Guidod (talk) 11:27, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Irrelevant propagandaEdit

I had added: Of all the defendants at Nuremberg, the verdict against Dönitz was probably the most controversial; Dönitz always maintained that he did nothing that his Allied counterparts did not. Testifying to the controversial nature of the decision, numerous Allied officers sent letters to Dönitz expressing their dismay over the verdict of his trial, while author Peter Padfield cuold state in his 1984 biography of Dönitz that "On one thing there can surely be no doubt; tried with the evidence and insights available today, he would have joined Göring, Ribbentrop, Keitel, Jodl and the rest of the twelve condemned to death by hanging."

The IMT in Nuremberg was nothing but a show trial anyway. The Allies needed to justify their many atrocities and war crimes. Criminalizing their enemies was the best way to covering them up.

Yet after standing as it was for a while, it was deleted as 'irrelevant propaganda'. Needless to say, I disagree. I am not a vehimently anti-Doenitz individual, yet I think the quote adds to the article. I do not state that Doenitz deserved to hang, I merely added a quote by a knowledgeable biographer who thought as mentioned above. Most importantly, it is added to a section about the controversial nature of the decision at Nuremburg, and to the controversial nature of the figure of Doenitz. Taken as a whole, the section does not show that Doenitz was bad - it shows that Doenitz is controversial, and that there are many views regarding him, by showing some of those views (the Allied Officers who had just fought a war against him thinking his sentence was unjust, the biographer half a century later who, while not stating that he deserved to be hanged, but that "with the evidence and insights available today" he would have been - and stating so with "no doubt", a pretty bold statement, whether right or wrong. We need to present all the views regarding Doenitz, but at the same time not imply that any of those views is the 'correct' one. - Matthew238 00:31, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the sentence regarding Padfield's quote is confusing and should either be removed or expanded to better explain itself. It seems very disjointed and leaves the reader to have to make assumptions about what it is that Padfield could be referring to. 18:47, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

This smells POV to me (see above); IMHO, remove. Trekphiler 15:52, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

To make the quote relevant, we need to be told what the 'evidence and insights available today' actually are, otherwise it adds little to the article.

I removed it. I agree with above statement. Kent Wang 19:59, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


The attack on the East Coast is identified as Drumbeat (the common translation); it is correctly Paukenschlag, which has overtones of "tatto" or "thunderbolt" not commonly mentioned.


Dear 65..., you added information about Dönitz' late-in-life conversion. Could you please provide some reference for your information. Thanks. Str1977 17:12, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


The infobox is designed for readers to smoothly go from article to article - in this case German heads of state. On the left side is Hitler and on the right are the East and West German successors - only showing Hindenburg and Heuss is a POV PMA 08:38, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Dõnitz' trial At NurembergEdit

I make recourse to Airey Neave's book again. In the chapter entitled A Question Of Naval Honour, Neave says (p.206):

  • "Doenitz was defended at Nuremberg by Flotternrichter Otto Kranzbuehler, a brilliant lawyer. His name was given to me by Doenitz in my first meeting with him that afternoon. From the beginning Kranzbuehler was received at Nuremberg with a courtesy which applied to no one else. He demanded and was allowed to appear in court in naval uniform unlike his client and former commander-in-chief. Naval officers on the prosecution staffs treated him as an equal. This black-haired, pink-faced naval captain with whiskers on his cheeks, saved Doenitz many years in Spandau: a fine piece of advocacy."

In the chapter A Fair Trial For The Defendants, Neave adds (p.226):

  • "Doenitz was last. He was interesting and unfriendly. I told him that his application for Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuehler was being dealt with. This was the fleet lawyer he had requested on the day of the indictment. He told me that no civilian would understand his position and he wanted a counsel from the Navy. This no doubt reflected his desire to stress similarities between German and Allied submarine warfare. The admiral told me that, if he could not get Kranzbuehler or two other names which he submitted, he should be defended by 'an English or American U-Boat Admiral'. He was obviously aware of some Allied naval sympathy."

Neave continued by covering the Laconia incident and its ramifications in some detail, and also says (p.204):

  • "At the time of the indictment there were two aspects of the Admiral's careeer which absorbed me. The first was the accusation of war crimes at sea. Already there was a growing Doenitz lobby in Allied naval circles at Nuremberg. The second was the extraordinary manner in which he had become the titular successor to Hitler and formed the Flensburg 'government' at the very end of the war."

Later on in page 204, Neave adds:

  • "The Allies used the same tactics [of submarine warfare] of which the prosecution were complaining at Nuremberg. It was the sole case in which the tribunal allowed the defence of tu quoque to a war crime. An example was the refusal of the British to recognise German aeroplanes with Red Cross markings seeking to rescue pilots shot down over the Channel. The Allied navies acted in other ways which Germans considered illegal, including the activity of American naval vessels after Pearl harbor and before the declaration of war by the United States. In an affidavit, Admiral Nimitz, United States Navy, declared: 'As a general rule, United States submarines did not rescue enemy survivors if by doing so the vessels were exposed to unnecessary or additional risk."

With respect to the above-cited German aeroplanes, the following footnote appears on page 205:

  • The Germans did not protest at the time. No international agreement on the status of these aircraft had been reached.

As well as the Laconia case, the case of the U-852, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Heinz Eck, was potentially very damaging to Dõnitz' defence. Neave covers this case in some detail too. Though it was never proven beyond reasonable doubt that Dõnitz was implicated in the Eck case, there was no doubt during the tribunal that Dõnitz issued orders that were either ambiguous or harsh, and this helped to send him to Spandau. Neave writes (p.210):

  • "The Eck case was extremely damaging to Doenitz. It was the fact that few attempts were made by Alied submarines to rescue German survivors that saved him, rather than the belief of the judges that he was entirely honourable at sea. Part of his punishment and that of Raeder was due to their compliance with Hitler's Commando Order of October 18th, 1942.

As for how this is to be incorporated into the body of the article proper, this requires a fair amount of prior thought, hence my presenting the material here. Calilasseia 03:50, 23 May 2006 (UTC)


Dönitz was not President of Germany, and Heuss and Pieck were not his successors. He was appointed head of state by Hitler, a procedure unknown to the 1919 German constitution, which was still in force despite being largely overriden by the 1933 Enabling Act. His government was never recognised by the Allies or any other state. It never exercised control over German territory or what was left of the German state. It therefore failed all tests of legitimacy - it was neither de jure nor de facto a German government. Furthermore German sovereignty was abolished in 1945 and there was a 4-year constitutional vacuum before the FRG and GDR governments came into existence. I will remove these references from the infobox unless someone can persuade me not to. Adam 11:12, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

The Enabling Act and subsequent let Hitler do whatever he pleased, including designate a successor, and it suspended the 1919 constitution. Therefore, Dönitz was the de facto President of Germany after Hitler's death, regardless of the legality of it. The Allies recognized him as such by accepting his offer of unconditional surrender. As far as I have ever seen, no one has ever seriously questioned that Dönitz was President of Germany for a few weeks, even if the amount of Germany he governed was very small. 16:37, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


Is there a reason to have the "Trivia" about Karl Dönitz being a famous owner of a Mastercard? Is there any veracity to that statement? Just wondering.

Obfuscated paragraph?Edit

However, in view of all the facts proven, and in particular of an order of the British Admiralty announced on 8 May 1940, according to which all vessels should be sunk on sight in the Skagerrak, and the answers to interrogatories by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, wartime commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, stating that unrestricted submarine warfare had been carried on in the Pacific Ocean by the United States from the first day that nation entered the war, Dönitz's order to conduct unrestricted submarine warfare was not included in his sentence

So, in other words - Karl was not found guilty of breaking international law of submarine warfare because the Allies had done the exact same thing. Correct? If yes, then is there a better way of writing this paragraph? Bmathew 07:53, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Dönitz = No NaziEdit

I think it is important when adding or removing information on this article to understand that Dönitz was not a Nazi. Therefore any information on this article should not label him as one. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC).

This is manifestly untrue. Although Dönitz attempted to pass himself off as "merely a soldier," much in the same way that Keitel and Jodl did, he was demonstrably a Nazi. As the article states, Dönitz was a strong supporter of National Socialism. Regardless, Dönitz was not on trial for being a Nazi, he was on trial for war crimes, for which he was mostly excused, probably because his crimes were no worse than those committed by Americans in the Pacific. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Dönitz became a party member in March 1944 (retroactively 1 February 1944), his membership card bearing the number 9.664.999. --FJS15 (talk) 09:09, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

War Minister?Edit

In the template showing him to have been a cabinet member, I said, taking a cue from, that he was War Minister, but was this in fact the case? If not, do go ahead and fix the template. Biruitorul 06:47, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Guilty/not guiltyEdit

"Dönitz's order to conduct unrestricted submarine warfare was not included in his sentence.[1] He was imprisoned for ten years in Spandau Prison in West Berlin."

Yes, officially it wasn't included in his sentence, but it was made clear by Biddle (name was wrong, fixed it) (one of the American judges, I hope I wrote his name right) that he was the only one who wanted Dönitz found not guilty. All the other judges wanted him convicted for his unrestricted submarine warfare, knowing that America did exactly the same. He made a report in which he wrote that the 10 years Dönitz got were based on his unrestricted submarine warfare, but that all the judges agreed to make the official reason the little things he had done wrong (suggesting to let concentration camp prisoners build boats, praising a German who shot a communist German while in allied captivity, etc.) I suggest changing it to this:

"Dönitz's order to conduct unrestricted submarine warfare was not officially included in his sentence, but was still the main reason why most judges wanted him convicted.[1] He was imprisoned for ten years in Spandau Prison in West Berlin."

Discuss please DTE 08:18, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that's really interesting. Except, it begs for complaints about Allied hypocrisy & a potential edit war. Personally, I'd leave it in & link to Allied war crimes, but... Trekphiler 09:03, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Nazi or not?Edit

I removed the statement that Doenitz was not a Nazi, as it was unsourced and a source I have seems to contradict it. In his book Justice at Nuremberg, Robert Conot says "...Doenitz had been a fanatic Nazi overawed by the Fuhrer" (page 416). I can also not imagine Hitler appointing a successor who was not a member of the Nazi party. If anyone has an issue with this please discuss here. Thanks. -R. fiend 19:02, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

In his Autobiography "Ten Years and Twenty Days" Karl Doenitz Claims not to Be a National Socialist and it is Confirmed in the Introduction to "ten years and twenty days" which was written by Jurgen Rohwer. -User:Karl Donitz

He was an officer under the Nazi regime. He was by all accounts a German and a Navy man first. He was a Nazi only because it was necessary and I would imagine he would not be in any way inclined towards their ideological beliefs, only their idea that Germany could be a great nation. 23:06, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Contradiction. In the introduction it says he never joined the Nazi party. In the summary box it says he was a member. Can someone with more knowledge than I sort this out please? Gillyweed 02:29, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Besides that the term "Nazi Party" is highly unscientific. The membership in the NSDAP would be the right term. It is also true that the vast majority of Germans, who were never voters of the NSDAP, had at least sympathies with Hitler and the National-Socialist simply because they, unlike their critiques, did actually deliver. One also should not forget that Hitler was the head of state during the War. What else then full then support for their commander in chief can be expected from a soldier. The sources cited on "Nazis and Jews" (14f) I find rather dubious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure how reliable this source is but it claims to be a list of Nazi Party memebers and it includes Dönitz as an Honorary Member: BaileytheDog 18:22, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

That wouldn't make him a Nazi. If the Nazi Party had declared Joseph Stalin an honorary member, would that make Stalin a Nazi? Dönitz is only a Nazi if he joined the Nazi Party and espoused its philosophy, and there is no evidence that he was ever involved in politics. 16:27, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
If your country is in war and the failure would cause a total destruction, you can't just watch the events from a corner, just because you don't like the guy who rules the country. Also, I didn't understand the "citation needed" tag on the statement about Dönitz being the highest German official that was captured by the Allies. He was the president and the sole decision maker, at least de jure. Deliogul 22:36, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Disagreed. If your country is in a war, and "the guy who rules" it, along with its party, are homicidal maniacs, it is your moral duty to disobey and go into the resistance. If you don't, you're a criminal. Yes, it's that simple. Anything else is whitewashing. (talk) 23:27, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Can I respectfully point out WP:NOTAFORUM? Thanks and best wishes DBaK (talk) 06:44, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

20 days vs 23 daysEdit

In the first paragraph of the article, it says he "was President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitler's suicide." Then in the second paragraph it says "He also served as Reichspräsident for 20 days following Adolf Hitler's suicide." Which is it? I know this is a quibble but it seems to be important. In the snapshot of his life it says April 30, 1945 to May 23rd, 1945 as President (Reichspräsident) and by advanced Calculus (:p) that is 23 days. BaileytheDog 18:04, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Me again. Goebbels killed himself a day later (so we are at 05/01/1945) with the Will designating Dönitz, while snuffing Goring and Himmler. Any suggestions...and considering the title of his memoirs Ten Years and Twenty Days. BaileytheDog 18:29, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

The german WP de:Karl Dönitz says 23 days. In the last days of WW2 there was some trouble so that nobody was able to communicate within a short time. so time counts only documented time stamps - the documented stamps say 23 days. It costed at least 3 days to communicate the new person governing to all units spread all over Europe --SonniWP 12:43, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

23 days sounds right. On May 1, Doenitz learned that Goebbels killed himself. The Germans surrendered on May 7 (and 8) . . . but the Allies did not disband the "Flensburg Government" until May 23.
Also, today I added a reference to the item I previously added concerning Himmler wanting "in" to the post-Hitler government. -- Mkpumphrey (talk) 19:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

An unrepentant Nazi?Edit

At the end of the article, is says "Dönitz remained an unrepentant Nazi until his death". But the introduction says he never joined the Nazi party. 13:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Hard to repent when you've never joined. It's a conundrum.--Asams10 13:36, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I changed it from "unrepentant Nazi" to "unrepentant regarding his role in World War II". I think that works better. 18:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable, given that he was never a party member. Jim_Lockhart 20:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually scholarly sources are saying that he was a strong Nazi supporter, even if he didn't belong to NSDAP.--Molobo 13:39, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and I see that you’ve added such information with citations. That’s pretty good, though I wonder whether the Avalon source will stand up to scrutiny or Wikipedia’s attribution standards. (Some editors might not see it as a bona fide secondary source, and yet others might interpret your additions as original research—I can’t say as I haven’t had a chance to check it yet.) Best regards, Jim_Lockhart 16:28, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Avalon is just a deposti of Nuremberg trial documents. As to OR-the issue of Donitz pro-Nazism stance is discussed even more in "The Impact of Nazism: New Perspectives on the Third Reich and Its Legacy By Alan E. Steinweis, Daniel E. Rogers" including much more quotes and information about antisemitic remarks AFTER the war(that the Jews are having a conspiracy)--Molobo 18:32, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
If you know of such sources, and especially if you could provide page references for in-line citations, could you insert them into the article where they’re relevant? They would be great to have. Thanks, Jim_Lockhart 02:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Sigh. Doenitz: I'd like to see Germany now without National Socialism. It would be full of political parties and full of Jews, who would take every opportunity to criticise, to harm, and to divide.. We owe everything to the Fuhrer. The German people owe everything to National Socialism. Our soldiers have no choice, but to support our Fuhrer and National Socialism with unrelenting effort. - one of his speeches to new naval officers and enlisted HammerFilmFan (talk) 13:29, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Doenitz: Anyone who makes any kind of defeatest remarks must be ruthlessly exterminated. I would rather eat dirt (soil) than see my grandchildren brought up and poisoned by the Jewish spirit and filth. - recovered memorandum that had been removed/destroyed from the official files by Doenitz, found post-war crimes trials HammerFilmFan (talk) 18:54, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Section on Antisemitic nature of DönitzEdit

I've never read in any source or in any work about Dönitz's antisemitism. Rather he has been portrayed as a non-political, military professional who was least concerned about Nazism and the internal policies of the Third Reich.

Is this section factually correct or can somebody offer an authoritative alternative view. Since I have no sources I don't want to delete it but let a more informed wikipedia member decide. -- 10:43, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Read more history books.HammerFilmFan (talk) 13:30, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Disagree with person adding copyedit tagEdit

Those proper names, when following the English name, should be italicized. Gene Nygaard 00:12, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I think you mean “proper nouns.” And no, they shouldn’t be italicized. Proper nouns do not get italicized unless it’s for a reason than their being foreign. If you believe otherwise, please cite an English style guide that says so—I know of none, and I’m familiar with many. Best regards, Jim_Lockhart 02:46, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Speculation and a minor questionEdit

Hi: I'm watching the documentary 'The World at War' and Donitz is interviewed, speaking accented but colloquial English. Did his language skills help with his Nuremberg trial relations with Allied sailors who, I'm told, thought he was a bit hard done by? A second issue while I'm at it: did he translate his own memoirs?

"did he translate his own memoirs?" Read the cites; no. My guess is his (spoken) English improved by the time "W@W" debuted, about 10yrs after 10 Yrs and 20 Days. Trekphiler (talk) 02:30, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Capitalization of German termsEdit

I corrected several German terms to be properly capitalized as is the only correct spelling in the german language (eg: s/leutnant zur see/Leutnant zur See/). This was undone by User:Trekphiler with a 'not German Wikipedia' comment. Regardless, not capitalizing these terms is technically wrong. Many of those terms correctly contained german umlauts (äöü) already which would also be wrong as per Trekphiler's reasoning. Either leave the umlauts and capitalize the terms, or be consistently wrong and use ae,oe,ue in place of the Umlauts. Sejtam (talk) 08:38, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

"Guilty or not guilty" with Howie MandelEdit

He's found not guilty on count 1, re unrestricted subwar, but the Tribunal still considers he violated the '36 Protocol, tho it refuses to find him guilty, & which British actions also violated, putting them beyond its protections before he's ever charged. Have I got that about right? Are you confused yet? TREKphiler hit me ♠ 14:50, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Objective discussion/analysisEdit

How refreshing to read your contributions gentlemen. It is not always possible, on wikipedia, to find reasoned discussion and argument on a World War 2 topic. Frequently, the voice of reason and logic is drowned-out by hearsay, unsupported assertions and the deafening and scholastically repressive sound of bare-knuckles scraping along the ground. Considering the charges against Doenitz, there seems to be the possibility (no more than than that, at this stage) that he was wrongfully convicted. There are serious legal arguments which indicate this. I hope to find out more soon and will re-join the discussion when I have more information. I have already published military history material related to WW-II German Doctrine so, if I feel that further contributions from me are relevant, you may be assured that it has been properly researched.Miletus (talk) 19:30, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Wiki is not a FORUM and especially not a SOAPBOX for personal airing of your personal views. Doenitz is a convicted war criminal, and the vast majority of historical scholarly opinion supports his conviction. Reliable Sources need to be discussed here for the betterment of the article.HammerFilmFan (talk) 13:35, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


How is his name pronounced? The link speaks too fast. Is it do-nitz (like the World Book says) or Dur-nitz like my dad says the history channel said? Emperor001 (talk) 02:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Although you probably have an answer by now, for any other curious readers the name is spoken as the latter (in German at least). —Aaagmnr (talk) 01:32, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Ambiguous Berlin?Edit

Do we really need [[Berlin]], [[German Empire|Germany]], or would [[Berlin]] suffice? -- (talk) 22:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Contradictory statements about technology?Edit

Under the 'Commander of the Submarine Fleet' section in the article, it states that "During 1943, the war in the Atlantic turned against the Germans, but Dönitz continued to push for more U-boat construction and technological development." <-- Note there is no citation for this statement in the article.

Yet not a paragraph later, a sentence reads "These, the Schnorchel boats, and the Type IX U-boat, appeared very late because of Dönitz's indifference, even hostility, to new technology."

I was tempted to just rip out/ re-word the first section but I thought bringing it up here would be the better idea. Northside777 (talk) 09:02, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I've noticed the same apparent paradox, and browsed this talk page wondering if anything had been typed about it. There are a multitude of sites advocating the position without a reference above; at least one is not a wikipedia mirror but no mention of Dönitz's inimical opinions toward advances in military technology is made. However, the link I gave never stated his personal views of technological progress—only that he presented new developments to Hitler as an advantage over the Allies during a briefing regarding the current situation of the war. From this, it's not exceedingly difficult to infer Dönitz supported the advancements to appease the Führer (or perhaps he thought of their usage as a necessary means for the time being). Pertaining to a solution's implementation, I will simply provide the citation along with a modest revision of phrasing and hope any future inquirers find this response helpful in resolving the ambiguity. —Aaagmnr (talk) 00:44, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't disagree with "pushed construction", because he did. I wouldn't argue strongly with "development", if you mean the Tp9s & LR Tp7 variants; I'd call it something else, tho. I would argue he was indifferent to real breakthrus, based on van der Poorten (& not only since I was the one who put it in ;) ); obviously, I goofed not taking out the earlier part. :( TREKphiler hit me ♠ 04:09, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Ten Years and Twenty DaysEdit

There are quite a few references to Ten Years and Twenty Days but they are all formatted differently. It would be nice to consolidate these. Rees11 (talk) 20:44, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Expanded introductionEdit

I took a stab at expanding the introduction. How is this?

Karl Dönitz (German pronunciation: [?dø?n?ts] ( listen); 16 September 1891 – 24 December 1980) was a World War II German Admiral and the fourth and last President of the German Reich. As commander of the Nazi submarine fleet he directed German naval forces in the Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945) , the longest running military campaign of World War II. His submarines sank 3,500 merchant ships, killing 30,000 merchant sailors, before the tide turned and his fleet ultimately lost 783 submarines and 28,000 German sailors, suffering the highest casualty rate of any military service in the war. As Hitler's successor (identified in Hitler's will), he conducted the German surrender during his twenty days in office.

He was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg and served ten years in prison. After his release, he retired to a small German village, wrote his memoirs, and lived quietly for 24 years.

HowardMorland (talk) 17:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Revision of Earlier Revision of Opening SummaryEdit

Revised part of Trekphiler's previous "summary edit" of 18:05, December 19, 2010. For whatever reasons it makes an assertion that is apparently untrue of Donitz career as (with later detail in the Career section) it contradicts without any detail or supporting reference Donitz involvement in World War I as beginning with his service on U-boat, U-39, which according to the detail didn't exist when he joined the Navy or for that matter at the start of WWI. I don't like to delete things from Wikipedia but it provides an entirely misleading and erroneous statement that is later contradicted entirely by the detail of the article... Stevenmitchell (talk) 19:22, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

♠If there's error in which boat it was, it appears to have been introduced before I got to it, since I only rewrote to simplify what was already there. I wanted to say a) he started in U-boats (& name the right one...), b) was POW, & c) rose to command all U-boats before becoming "CinC" KM. If you see mistakes, & you can keep that thrust, do fix it.
♠Having looked at it again, I don't see your complaint. It doesn't say "he began service in U-39" (tho it could be better worded... :( ), only that he served aboard her.
♠And, to avoid possible confusion, I deleted the mention of U-39. His career is detailed below anyhow. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:11, 02:17, & 02:21, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

former featured articleEdit

I wonder why this is no longer a featured article. It is certainly far superior to other websites on D., e.g. the german Wikipedia article. (talk) 12:48, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Command "Style"Edit

The article makes mention of (briefly) Donitz's almost compulsive desire to remain in contact with and control of "his" U-boats, which no doubt played a large part in the eventual defeat of the Ubootwaffe. I'm wondering if Donitz himself ever addressed his micromanaging of the Battle of the Atlantic (and the results of same) at any point during his postwar life. If so, it might be valuable to include such information. (talk) 02:10, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Doenitz as "President of Germany"Edit

I know this is a futile protest, but styling Doenitz as "President of Germany" is nonsense. During the Third Reich, the constitution of the Weimar Republic remained in being, although suspended. Hitler's legal authority under that constitution rested, first, on his appointment as Reich Chancellor, and second, on the Enabling Act of 1933. He had no power to appoint his successor, or to appoint anyone to the position of Reich President. On Hitler's death, the position of Chancellor became vacant and the Enabling Act lapsed. The "Flensburg government" therefore had no de jure basis. It also had no de facto basis, since it did not in fact govern Germany and was recognised by no other government. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 19:48, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

I would say it had de facto basis the minute that the Allies accepted the surrender of the German government which Doenitz was President of. There were provisions in the Instrument of Surrender which directly related to the German government. The German representatives signed by Doenitz' order. Perhaps Doenitz' position as Reich President wasn't constitutional, but it had long been accepted in Nazi Germany that Hitler had the right to appoint his successor. He had designated successors before, in Hess and then Goering. No one disputed his right to. When Hitler offed himself and declared Doenitz his successor, everyone obeyed Doenitz. In every way that mattered, Karl Doenitz was President of Germany until the Allies broke up the Flensburg government on May 23. Jsc1973 (talk) 02:26, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

Barry TurnerEdit

Removed a paragraph added earlier describing the views of one Barry Turner. Unfortunately, no source was given for this assessment, so I removed it. Please provide proper citations before reintroducing it in the article. ÄDA - DÄP VA (talk) 15:47, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Donitz subject of PBS documentaryEdit

Donitz was the central character in "U Boat Base," an episode from the 2013 PBS series "Nazi Mega Weapons." Should this information be included on his page? I had added it, but another user deleted it. I would think that this information would be useful to people wanting to know more about him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Staccatoque (talkcontribs) 06:03, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Citation styleEdit

I unified the citation style as much as possible. I also broke out the obvious footnotes from the citations. MisterBee1966 (talk) 16:45, 1 October 2015 (UTC)


The article states that Dönitz's birthplace is Grünau in Berlin; however, Grünau was not part of Berlin until 1920 (see Greater Berlin Act), so it should maybe be Grünau near Berlin or something like that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

  Done Thank you, good point. I've changed it. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 22:58, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Recent editEdit

I removed these two books from the list of Background information, as dubious books of the Nazi era and not adding to the potential body of knowledge on Dönitz:

  • Werner, Herbert A. Iron Coffins: A U-boat Commander's War, 1939–45. 1999. ISBN 0-304-35330-2
  • Prien, Gunther. Fortunes of War: U-boat Commander. 2000. ISBN 0-7524-2025-9

Please let me know if there are any concerns. K.e.coffman (talk) 06:41, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

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Only naval option...Edit

I changed a passage that asserted the weakness of the German navy left the U-boat arm as the "only naval option". However, Germany sent out ten armed merchant cruisers, and two pocket battleships, early in the war. These surface raiders were also successful -- successful enough that a second wave of ten merchant cruisers were sent out.

So, I changed "only" to "primary". Geo Swan (talk) 22:15, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

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Hello, ww1 offices?Edit

In the article, Karl Dönitz before the rise of national socialism. The article neglects to mention his previous offices in the main table, fix this! Smashdude08 (talk) 15:22, 23 June 2018 (UTC).

Funeral Attendees : Rev. Dr. John Cameron ??Edit

There are no citations for the sections relating to the details about the funeral in the 'Later Years' section and one significant claim is included.

It is mentioned that several German Naval officers along with Royal Navy officers disobeyed orders and wore full uniforms to the funeral - one of those Royal Navy representatives is named as the senior chaplain Rev. Dr. John Cameron.

Rev. Dr. John Cameron does not appear on the Wikipedia entry for the Royal Navy Chaplaincy Service, which lists all senior chaplains.

I discovered John Urquhart Cameron's Wikipedia entry states he was the "senior chaplain for many years in the Royal Naval Reserve" - however this is also not cited and I cannot find the years for his service anywhere. He holds a PhD in both Physics and Theology and his name with titles has been rendered as Rev. Dr. John Cameron - as in the Dönitz funeral entry.

Given John Urquhart Cameron's public prominence in the UK it would be good practice to clarify this, either confirming his attendance (he would have been 37 years old at the time) or identifying the correct identity of the uniformed Royal Navy representative, and if they were a chaplain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

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