Branch: Kaiserliche Marine / Reichsmarine / Kriegsmarine
Born: 30 September 1886 in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany.
Died: 20 March 1976 in Mölln, Germany.
Generaladmiral 1 February 1943
Admiral 1 December 1939
Vizeadmiral 1 November 1938
Konteradmiral 1 October 1936
Kapitän zur See 1 October 1932
Fregattenkapitän 1 October 1930
Korvettenkapitän 1 August 1925
Kapitänleutnant 13 January 1917
Oberleutnant zur See 19 September 1912
Leutnant zur See 30 September 1909
Oberfähnrich zur See
Fähnrich zur See 6 April 1907
Iron Cross 1914
House Order of Hohenzollern, Knight's Cross with Swords
Pour le Mérite 4 July 1918
Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords
Order of the Iron Crown 3rd Class with War Decoration
Austrian Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with War Decoration
U-boat War Badge
Nishan-e-Imtiaz in Silver with Sabres
Liakat Medal in Silver with Sabres
Cross of Honor
Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung 2nd and 1st Class
Clasp to the Iron Cross
German Cross in Gold 23 March 1942
Takes command on 1 July 1916
Ends command on 31 July 1916
Takes command on 26 November 1916
Ends command on 29 December 1917
Takes command on 30 December 1917
Ends command on 11 September 1918
Takes command on 1 October 1924
Ends command on 15 December 1926
Takes command on 25 September 1934
Ends command on 12 November 1934
Takes command on 12 November 1934
Ends command on 22 September 1936
Wilhelm Marschall was born on 30 September 1886 and became a German naval Generaladmiral during the Second World War. Wilhelm Marschall was also received the Pour le Mérite which he received as commandant of the German U-boat UB-105 during the First World War. The Pour le Mérite was the Kingdom of Prussia's highest military order for German officers until the end of the First World War. Wilhelm Marschall was born in Augsburg, Kingdom of Bavaria, in 1886. In 1906 he joined the Kaiserliche Marine as a Seekadett. During the First World War Wilhelm Marschall served as a Wachoffizier on the SMS Kronprinz. In 1916 Wilhelm Marschall underwent training as a U-boat commandant and commanded both UC-74 and UB-105 by the end of the First World War.
Whilst in the Reichsmarine, Wilhelm Marschall served principally as a Vermessungsoffizier (surveying officer) and in different staff positions. By the end of 1934 Wilhelm Marschall became commandant of the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. Once Wilhelm Marschall was promoted to a Konteradmiral in 1936, he joined the Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine and commanded the operations division. Whilst the Spanish civil war was taking place Wilhelm Marschall commanded the German naval forces off the Spanish coast. Wilhelm Marschall was promoted to Admiral and Flottenchef (fleet commander) in 1939. Wilhelm Marschall led the inspection of naval Education Department for two years commencing in summer 1940 during the Second World War.
Wilhelm Marschall was with the German naval battle fleet during the last part of the Norwegian Campaign, flying his flag on the battleship Gneisenau. On 8 June 1940, Wilhelm Marschall and the battleship it was Gneisenau, and her twin the battleship Scharnhorst encountered British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and two destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent about 280 miles west of Harstad, Norway. In a two hour engagement, HMS Glorious and her escorting destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent were all sunk. However the battleship Scharnhorst was hit by one of HMS Acasta's torpedoes. While the battle was a German tactical victory, Wilhelm Marschall had engaged HMS Glorious despite explicit orders to avoid confrontation. Wilhelm Marschall's differences of opinion with the German High Command on this subject, and due to the serious damage caused to the battleship Scharnhorst during the battle, ensured that Wilhelm Marschall was replaced as Flottenchef by Admiral Günther Lütjens.
During 1942 Wilhelm Marschall was commanding Admiral of occupied France and replaced Alfred Saalwächter as commandant of Marinegruppenkommando West. On 1 February 1943 Wilhelm Marschall was promoted to Generaladmiral, but was replaced as western commandant by Theodor Krancke and placed at the disposal of the commander-in-chief of the Kriegsmarine.
Wilhelm Marschall was reactivated twice, one time as Sonderbevollmächtigter (special agent) for the Danube, and one time as commandant of the Marineoberkommando West not long before the Second World War ended. Wilhelm Marschall became a prisoner of war in 1945 until 1947.
Wilhelm Marschall passed away in Mölln, Germany, on 20 March 1976.
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