Erich Raeder

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raeder, Erich


Born Apr. 24, 1876, in Wandsbek, near Hamburg; died Nov. 6, 1960, in Kiel. Naval officer in fascist Germany, admiral of the fleet (1939).

Raeder joined the navy in 1894. During World War I he took command of a cruiser in 1917. He was chief of the naval staff from 1928 and commander in chief of the navy from 1935 to 1943. Raeder advocated the creation of a powerful navy and the conduct of unlimited submarine warfare. He urged that Great Britain be totally defeated before beginning the aggression against the USSR. Raeder retired in 1943. In 1946 he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nuremberg International Tribunal. He was released in 1955.


Der Kreuzerkrieg in den ausländischen Gewässern, vols. 1–3. Berlin, 1922–27.
Mein Leben, vols. 1–2. Tübingen, 1956–57.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Also in mid-September, the German Admiral Erich Raeder recommended that the invasion be postponed indefinitely, citing the presence of more than 30 British destroyers off the coast of southwestern England as one of the decisive deterrents.
Instrumental in obtaining this concession had been Grand Admiral Erich Raeder and the German naval command who were anxious not to lose the last chance of rallying the French fleet to the Axis.
Building on the lessons of the First World War, Admiral Erich Raeder (commander in chief of the German navy) ruled out building a fleet capable of challenging the Royal Navy, preferring a smaller fleet composed of "pocket battleships," cruisers, aircraft carriers, and submarines.
Erich Raeder's memoirs are broadly accurate but unreliable in their particulars: Mein Leben: Von 1935 bisSpandau (Tubingen-Neckar, Fed.
Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, commander -in-chief of the German Navy, said on 3 September 1939, the day Britain and France declared war: "The submarine arm is still much too weak to have a decisive effect on the war."
Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was leery of Canaris, who he feared was compromised politically.
Erich Raeder and Wolfgang Wegener both joined the navy in 1894, and both eventually attained flag rank.
Erich Raeder, who was to be head of the German navy for an extraordinary fourteen years and four months, would later be described by Vice Admiral Helmuth Heye (who, as a commander in 1938, served as First Operations Officer on the German naval staff and during 1943-44 would be chief of staff for Naval Command North) as a leader who set an example that his staff officers found both admirable and practical.
One of the German naval officers who could not support Wegener's ideas was his crewmate Erich Raeder. When Wegener was First Staff Officer in the First Battle Squadron, Raeder was serving in the same capacity under Vice Admiral Franz von Hipper, Commander of the Scouting Forces.
The naval policy that resulted reflected the pragmatic convictions of Erich Raeder. Decades later, General Admiral Herman Boehm, who was to be Commander in Chief Norway in 1943, outlined post-First World War German naval policy prior to the rise to power of Adolf Hitler.
Navy would bring the "Fleet Train" to maturity in the Pacific theater, using oilers and supply vessels to achieve extraordinary reach and endurance, but part of the credit properly belongs to the German navy and to Erich Raeder.