In 1939, Friedeburg became an assistant to commander of German submarines Kommodore (commodore) Karl Dönitz. From 1939 to 1941, Friedeburg was in the Operations and Organization Department of the German submarine forces. He then took command of U-27, and in February 1943 he succeeded Dönitz as commander of all German submarine forces. In May 1945, Friedeburg was promoted to general admiral (full admiral).
Friedeburg was appointed commander of all German naval forces on 1 May 1945. On 7 May, he signed the instrument of surrender of German forces in northern Germany. Friedeburg committed suicide in Flensburg, Germany, on 23 May 1945.
Kyle D. Haire
Padfield, Peter. Dönitz, The Last Führer: A Portrait of a Nazi War Leader. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.; Steinert, Marlis G. 23 Days: The Final Collapse of Nazi Germany. New York: Walker, 1969.; Toland, John. The Last 100 Days. New York: Random House, 1966.