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Rolf Carls

Rolf Carls

German admiral
The basics
Occupations Submariner Military personnel
Countries Germany
Gender male
Birth May 29, 1885 (Rostock, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany)
Death April 24, 1945 (Bad Oldesloe, Stormarn, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Authority VIAF id
Rolf Carls
The details

Rolf Carls (29 May 1885 – 24 April 1945) was a German admiral during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany.


At the start of the World War I, Carls was a member of the crew of the cruiser Breslau. He later served on the battleship König and then commanded two u-boats, first U-9 and then U-124. After the war, Carls was made Chief of the Training Division at the Supreme Naval Command of the resurrected German navy and was then given command of the old battleship Hessen. In 1933, Carls was made Chief of Staff of the Fleet Command, and a year later Commander of Liners.

Carls was commander of German naval forces, during the Spanish Civil War, and then became Commanding Admiral for the Baltic. At the same time he held the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Group Command East. Still later he became Chief of the larger Naval Group Command North. Early in 1943, Erich Raeder resigned as the commander of the Kriegsmarine after a dispute with Hitler. Raeder nominated either Carls or Karl Dönitz to succeed him, and Hitler chose Dönitz. Carls later resigned, possibly to prevent friction among the naval leadership.

Admiral Carls was killed in an air raid on Bad Oldesloe on 24 April 1945. Carls together with 29 other people were killed in the cellar of the Vocational school in the Königstraße.


  • Iron Cross (1914) 1st Class (19 May 1915)
  • Ottoman War Medal (12 August 1915)
  • Silesian Eagle 2nd and 1st Class (27 January 1920)
  • Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (24 December 1934)
  • Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords (6 June 1939)
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
  • German Cross in Gold on 28 February 1943 as Generaladmiral in the Marinegruppenkommando Nord
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 June 1940 as Admiral and Marinegruppenbefehlshaber Ost
  • Finnish Order of the Cross of Liberty 1st Class with Star and Swords (27 April 1942)

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