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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV
                                                  [Page 815]
                      14. KARL DOENITZ

After his appointment in 1935 as commander of the Weddigen U-
boat flotilla -- the first flotilla to be formed-after the
World War in 1918Doenitz, who thus became in effect
commander of U-boats, rose steadily in rank as the U-boat
arm expanded until he became an admiral. On 30 January 1943
he was appointed Grand Admiral and succeeded Raeder as
Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, retaining his command
of the U-boat arm. Then, on 1 May 1945, he succeeded Hitler
as leader of Germany (2887-PS).

Doenitz was awarded the following decorations: On 18
September 1939 he received the Cluster of the Iron Cross,
first class, for the U-boat successes in the Baltic during
the Polish campaign. This award was followed on 21 April
1940 by the high award of the Knight's Cross to the Iron
Cross, while on 7 April 1943 he received personally from
Hitler the Oak Leaf to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross,
as the 223rd recipient.

Doenitz's services in building up the German Navy, and in
particular the offensive U-boat arm, for the coming war,
were outstanding. An extract from the official publication
"Das Archiv" an the occasion of Doenitz's promotion to vice-
admiral, dated 27 September 1940, reads as

     "*** In four years of untiring and in the fullest sense
     of the word uninterrupted work of training, he
     [Doenitz] succeeds in developing the young U-boat arm,
     personnel, and material till it is a weapon of a
     striking power unexpected even by the experts. More
     than three million gross tons of sunken enemy shipping
     in only one year achieved with only few boats speak
     better than words of the services of this man."

An extract from the diary for the German Navy, 1944 edition
(1463-PS) emphasizes Doenitz's contribution. It describes in
detail Doenitz's work in building up the U-boat arm; his
ceaseless work in training night and day to close the gap of
seventeen years, during which no training had taken place;
his responsibility for new improvements and for devising the
"pack" tactics which were later to become famous. His
position is summarized further as follows:

     "*** In spite of the fact that his duties took on
     unmeasurable proportions since the beginning of the
     huge U-boat construction program, the chief was what he
                                                  [Page 816]
     was and always will be, leader and inspiration to all
     the forces under him. *** In spite of all his duties,
     he never lost touch with his men and he showed a
     masterly understanding in adjusting himself to the
     changing fortunes of war." (1463-PS)

It was not only, however, his ability as a naval officer
which won Doenitz these high honors: his promotion to
succeed Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy; the
personal position he acquired as one of Hitler's principal
advisers; and finally, earlier candidates such as Goering
having betrayed Hitler's trust or finding the position less
attractive than they had anticipated, the doubtful honor of
becoming Hitler's successor. These he owed to his fanatical
adherence to Hitler and to the Party, to his belief in the
Nazi ideology with which he sought to indoctrinate the Navy
and the German people, and to his "masterly understanding in
adjusting himself to the changing fortunes of war" (1463-
PS), which may be regarded as synonymous with a capacity for
utter ruthlessness.

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