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Theodor Burchardi (14 May 1892 in Homberg – 12 August 1983 in Gluecksburg) was an Admiral with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany. He was responsible for organising the evacuation of 2 million people from Courland and Eastern Prussia at the end of World War II in Operation Hannibal and the Evacuation of East Prussia.

Theodor Burchardi
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1979-086-13, Theodor Burchardi.jpg
Born(1892-05-14)14 May 1892
Died12 August 1983(1983-08-12) (aged 91)
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Years of service1911–45
Commands heldCruiser Köln
Commanding admiral "Ostland"
Battles/warsOperation Hannibal
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves


Burchardi entered 1. April 1911 the Kaiserliche Marine as a see cadet and was trained on the Large cruiser SMS Hansa. During his attendance at Marineschule he was promoted 15. April 1912 to Midshipman (Fähnrich zur See) and was transferred 1. October 1913 to the large cruiser SMS Seydlitz.

Just after the start of World War I he was promoted 3. August 1914 to Lieutenant (Leutnant zur See). On 3. Januar 1915 he was transferred to the large cruiser SMS Moltke and from 6. May to 15. June 1915 he attended an artillery course on SMS Kaiserin Augusta. After that he was transferred to 1. Torpedo boats half flottile as watch officer. After his promotion to Lieutenant 1st grade (Oberleutnant zur See) 26. April 1917 Burchardi took over Torpedo boat G 39 as his first command, that he continued until end 1918.




  1. ^ a b c d e Dörr 1995, p. 115.
  2. ^ Thomas 1997, p. 92.
  3. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 254.


  • Dörr, Manfred (1995). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 1: A–K [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Surface Forces of the Navy—Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2453-2.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.