|Rank insignia||German officer rank|
|Rank group||Commissioned officers|
|Army / Air Force||General (Germany)|
Admiral, short Adm, (en: Admiral) is the most senior flag officer rank in the German Navy. It is equivalent to General (Germany) in the German Army or German Air Force. In the Central Medical Services there is no equivalent. In the German Navy Admiral is, as in many navies, a four-star rank with a NATO code of OF-9. There is currently no admiral in the German Navy, as only naval officers appointed to the most senior position in the Federal Armed Forces, Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, are promoted to this rank. Only four flag officers held this rank, namely Armin Zimmermann, Günter Luther, Dieter Wellershoff, and Rainer Feist.
However, in other German speaking naval forces, e.g. Imperial German Navy, Reichsmarine, Kriegsmarine, Volksmarine, and the Austro-Hungarian K.u.K. Kriegsmarine, Admiral was an OF-8 three-star flag officer rank.
The official manner of formal addressing of military people with the rank Admiral (OF-9) is "Herr/Frau Admiral". However, as to German naval traditions the addressing in seamen´s language of military people with any flag officer rank (OF-6 to OF-9) is "Herr/Frau Admiral". In the Imperial German Navy, an Admiral would be addressed as "Eure Exzellenz" (Your Excellency)
Rank insignia and rating
Its rank insignia, worn on the sleeves and shoulders, are one five-pointed star above a big gold stripe and three normal stripes (without the star when rank loops are worn).
German Navy officer rank
The sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group is as follows:
- OF-9: Admiral / General
- OF-8: Vizeadmiral / Generalleutnant
- OF-7: Konteradmiral / Generalmajor
- OF-6: Flottillenadmiral / Brigadegeneral
History of Admiral ranks in Germany
Admiral as a rank first appeared in Germany in the 19th century and was expanded in the early 20th century as part of a build-up and mobilization in preparation for the First World War. The rank again saw a resurgence during the Second World War. There were many famous German Admirals during these formative years of German naval power, among them Otto von Diederichs, Gustav von Senden-Bibran, Georg Alexander von Müller, August von Heeringen, Alfred von Tirpitz and (later) Karl Dönitz.
The ranks of the German admiralty were based on those from other European Powers, with some modifications in the titles and pronunciation. The German navy also never considered Commodore a rank of the admiralty, as this rank has always been considered more of a senior Captain. However, in the Nazi Wehrmacht Admiral was a three-start flag officer rank, comparable to modern armed forces OF-8 grade, and equivalent to General of the branch in Heer and Luftwaffe.
| Nazi Germany
General of the branch
|Admiral ranks of the German Kriegsmarine in 1944|
|Equivalent||Admiral of the Navy||Admiral||Vice Admiral||Rear admiral (uh)||Rear admiral (lh)|
Commodore / Rear admiral (Lower Half)
The Kaiserliche Marine did not use an admiral rank junior to Konteradmiral. Its successor, the Kriegsmarine, used the rank of Kommodore. However a Kommodore was not a part of the Admiralty but more a senior captain in command of a squadron.
In the Austor-Hungarian K.u.K. Kriegsmarine (since 1849 to 1918) there were the flag-officer ranks Kontreadmiral (in the 20th century also Konteradmiral), Viceadmiral , and Admiral, as well as Großadmiral.
|Admiral ranks of the K.u.K. Kriegsmarine in 1918|
|K.u.K. Großadmiral||K.u.K. Admiral||K.u.K. Viceadmiral||K.u.K. Konteradmiral|
- Admirals of the K.u.K Kriegsmarine
|Admiral||Friedrich von Pöck||Marinkommandant 1871–1883|
|Admiral||Daublebsky von Sterneck||Marinkommandant 1883–1897|
|Admiral||Hermann von Spaun||Marinkommandant 1897–1904|
|Admiral||Maximilian Njegovan||Marinekommandant, Flottenkommandant|
National People´s Army
Admiral was the second highest flag officer grade of the Volksamrine, equivalent to the three-star rank Generaloberst.
In the GDR Volksmarine there have been the three flag officer ranks Konteradmiral, Vizeadmiral, and Admiral. By decision of the GDR State Council from March 25, 1982 the rank Flottenadmiral was introduced.
|Flag officers of the Volksmarine|
|OF-9 to 6||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6|
- Admirals of the GDR Volksmarine
- Brockhaus (1911) s.v. Titulaturen
- STANAG 2116
- The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер"