Alfred Von Tirpitz

(redirected from Admiral Tirpitz)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tirpitz, Alfred Von


Born Mar. 19, 1849, in Küstrin; died Mar. 6, 1930, in Ebenhausen, near Munich. German naval commander and political figure. Grand admiral (1911).

Tirpitz came from a bourgeois family but was elevated to the nobility in 1900. He joined the navy in 1865 and because of his exceptional abilities rose rapidly in the service. In 1890 he became chief of staff of the Baltic Fleet and from 1892 to 1895 served as chief of staff of the Navy High Command. While commanding a cruiser squadron in East Asia in 1896–97, Tirpitz was the prime mover behind the seizure of the Chinese port of Tsingtao and the creation there of a German naval base. From 1897 to 1916 he served as secretary of state for the Imperial Navy Department.

Tirpitz played a major role in shaping the aggressive political course taken by Germany. Expressing the interests of the German imperialists, he was a strong proponent of the naval arms race; he worked to create a strong navy capable of challenging the British Navy and of serving as a tool of German imperialism in the struggle to repartition the world. Tirpitz regarded Great Britain as Germany’s chief enemy and called for an alliance with Japan and the neutralization of Russia.

During World War I, Tirpitz was a supporter of unlimited submarine warfare and merciless air bombings of the industrial centers and military targets of Great Britain. Disagreements with the chancellor, T. von Bethmann-Hollweg, regarding the submarine war led to Tirpitz’ retirement on Mar. 15, 1916. Together with W. Kapp, Tirpitz founded the ultrareactionary German Fatherland Party in September 1917. He maintained a revanchist position after the war. In 1919, Tirpitz published his Memoirs (Russian translation, Moscow, 1957), in which he blamed Germany’s defeat on the failure of the political leadership to make sufficient use of the German Navy. From 1924 to 1928, Tirpitz was a deputy to the Reichstag, representing the German National People’s Party.


Alafuzov, V. A. Doktriny germanskogo flota. Moscow, 1956.
Trotha, A. von. Grossadmiral von Tirpitz. Breslau [1932].
Marine und Marinepolitik im kaiserlichen Deutschland. Düsseldorf, 1972.
Hubatsch, W. Die Ära Tirpitz. Góttingen [1955].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(25.) Admiral Tirpitz to Admiral Muller [Chief of the Naval Cabinet], February 26, 1912, in ibid.
22 the German cruiser Irene left Hong Kong for Manila under the command of Vice Admiral Tirpitz. The arrival of foreign vessels in Manila Bay in those troubled times was not just to observe events to report back home but also to provide aid and, if necessary, evacuation of their nationals and business interests in the Philippines.
One inmate was Lieutenant Wolf von Tirpitz, who was the son of Grand Admiral Tirpitz, Secretary of State for the German Navy and the man who had masterminded the growth of the Kaiser's Dreadnought fleet.
Despite Admiral Tirpitz's push to build up the German Navy since the start of the 20th century, the High Fleet still only owned 16 dreadnought class ships compared to the Royal Navy's 28.
In September 1914, during the German retreat from the Marne (east of Paris), General Von Falkenhayn chastised Admiral Tirpitz: "If we did not have the Navy, we would have had two more army corps and would not have lost the Marne battle!"
Admiral Tirpitz calculated that this day could be brought forward, if Britain had to recall its fleets to patrol England's own essential supply lines.
Admiral Tirpitz in particular, believed that the press had to be "led and fed" rather than brought into partnership (p.