|High Command of the Navy|
|Oberkommando der Marine|
|Active||11 January 1936 – 22 June 1945|
The Oberkommando der Marine (OKM), translated as High Command of the Navy or Upper Command of the Navy, was the high command and the highest administrative and command authority of the Kriegsmarine. It was officially formed from the Marineleitung ("Naval Command") of the Reichswehr on 11 January 1936. In 1937 it was combined with the newly formed Seekriegsleitung (SKL). There were two major re-organisations, in November 1939 and May 1944.
The OKM was broadly divided into six sections:
The Flottenchef (Fleet commander) of the Kriegsmarine was also considered a serving member of the OKM.
The Commanders-in-Chief (Oberbefehlshaber der Marine) of the Kriegsmarine were:
|No.||Portrait||Oberbefehlshaber der Marine||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
|1 June 1935||30 January 1943||7 years, 243 days|
|30 January 1943||1 May 1945||2 years, 91 days|
Hans-Georg von Friedeburg
|1 May 1945||23 May 1945 +||22 days|
|23 May 1945||22 June 1945||30 days|
On 7 November 1935 a decree was issued by Werner von Blomberg, the Reichskriegsminister and Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces ordering the introduction of a new pattern of flag for use by the Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine. The flag consisted of a white square on which was displayed a large black Iron Cross. Placed behind it were two straight bladed unsheathed swords in bright yellow, crossed at right angles to each other. The flag was modified when on 1 April 1939 Erich Raeder rose to the rank of Großadmiral. The flag continued to be in use when Karl Dönitz came into this position on 30 January 1943. The swords were replaced by a pair of Admiral's batons crossed at right angles. Superimposed over both the crossed batons and the Iron Cross was a Wehrmachtsadler ("Armed Forces' Eagle") in gold, facing towards the hoist. On 30 January 1943 a further special flag was introduced for Großadmiral Raeder in order to represent his position as Admiralinspekteur of the Kriegsmarine. It was in the same design as for the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, but with the addition of a wide light blue border.