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Otto Schniewind

Otto Schniewind

German admiral
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German admiral
Countries Germany
Occupations Military personnel
Gender male
Birth December 14, 1887 (Saarlouis)
Death March 26, 1964 (Linz am Rhein)
Otto Schniewind
The details

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 as the fleet commander of the Kriegsmarine after Lütjens was lost with his 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.


  • Iron Cross (1914)
    • 2nd Class
    • 1st Class (5 January 1918)
  • Friedrich-August-Kreuz, 2nd and 1st Class
  • Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
  • Order of the Sword, Commander 2nd Class (Sweden) (30 June 1936)
  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th to 1st Class (2 October 1936)
  • Memel Medal (26 October 1936)
  • Order of St. Sava 2nd Class (1 June 1939) (Yugoslavia)
  • Order of the Crown of Italy, Grand Officer (23 September 1939)
  • Order of Naval Merit (Spain) in White (21 August 1939)
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 April 1940 as Vizeadmiral and chief of staff of the Seekriegsleitung in the OKM
  • Order of the Sacred Treasure 1st Class (Japan)
  • High Seas Fleet Badge (30 July 1944)
  • ^ Dörr 1996, p. 230.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 385.
  • Scherzer 2007, p. 678.

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