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Otto Schniewind

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Title: Otto Schniewind  
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Otto Schniewind

Otto Schniewind
Schniewind in 1933
Born (1887-12-14)14 December 1887
Died 26 March 1964(1964-03-26) (aged 76)
Linz am Rhein
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Years of service 1907–1945
Rank Generaladmiral
Unit SMS Leipzig
SMS Augsburg
SMS Magdeburg
Commands held cruiser Köln

World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Otto Schniewind (14 December 1887 – 26 March 1964) was a General Admiral with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Schniewind entered the Kaiserliche Marine in 1907 as a cadet. During the First World War he served as a commander of torpedoboats. When the German fleet surrendered to the British he commanded a squadron of torpedo boats, with this he partook in the Scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow, after which he was taken prisoner by the British.

After being released Schniewind continued to serve in the Reichsmarine. From 1925 to 1926 he served as adjutant to the Minister of War Otto Gessler. In 1932 Schniewind became captain of the light cruiser Köln. In 1934 Schniewind was appointed to another staff function. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1937 and to vice admiral in 1940.

He served as Chief of Staff of the Seekriegsleitung from 1938 to 1941. After the sinking of the Bismarck Schniewind was appointed as successor to Günther Lütjens who was lost with the ship. In 1943 Schniewind became commander of Marinegruppenkommandos Nord. On March 1, 1944 Schniewind was promoted to Generaladmiral. On July 30, 1944 Schniewind was relieved of command and for the duration of the war he saw no further employment.

After the War he was arrested and prosecuted during the High Command Trial for his role in the invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung) but he was acquitted, after which he was released from captivity. From 1949 to 1952 he served with the Naval Historical Team in Bremerhaven.



  • Dörr, Manfred (1996) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 2: L–Z. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2497-2.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Range, Clemens (1974) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-355-0.
Military offices
Preceded by
Chief of Staff of the Seekriegsleitung
October 1938 – 10 June 1941
Succeeded by
Admiral Kurt Fricke
Preceded by
Admiral Günther Lütjens
Chief of Fleet of the Kriegsmarine
June 1941 – July 1944
Succeeded by
Admiral Wilhelm Meendsen-Bohlken

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