Admiral Raeder believed that if a major war broke out, Germany should concentrate all its forces against Britain.
Admiral Raeder's views on employing heavy surface ships were influenced greatly by his personal experiences during World War I.
stated it was of "decisive importance".
For example, at the Nuremberg trials Admiral Raeder
was tried and condemned for the invasion of Norway.
Finally, he guides us through the whole controversy over Hitler's grand strategy in 1940, putting Admiral Raeder
's `peripheral strategy, in context and suggesting plausibly that if one insists on looking for turning points in the war, July 1940 is as good a date as any.
From 1928 onward, Admiral Raeder determined the navy's thinking.
For this reason, in December 1940, Grand Admiral Raeder requested that Hitler "recognize that the greatest task of the hour is concentration of all our power against Britain." To Raeder, this meant focusing air and naval forces against British supplies.
In meetings with Admiral Raeder on 29 December 1941 and 12 January 1942, Hitler pronounced that the enemy threat to Norway required redeployment of heavy German ships as a deterrent against such a landing.
Kriegsmarine CINC Admiral Raeder and Luftwaffe CINC Reichsmarschal Goring had operational command over all their respective forces.
(261) Carls essentially requested that Admiral Raeder
issue the code word for executing the operation, with no option to cancel those orders later (Ruckrufbefehle).
Indeed, only a few postwar scholars have entered the debate with an alternative view to the standard Weltmachtflotte argument, arguing that Admiral Raeder
was correct to advocate a balanced fleet and not to concentrate solely on U-boats, as Admiral Donitz wished, or on a fleet optimized for cruiser warfare.
The Loss of the Bismarck contends that Admiral Raeder
was a man totally wedded to the idea of major surface combatants operating as "raiders," attacking an enemy's ocean commerce.