Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Friedeburg, Hans Georg von (1895–1945)

German navy admiral and commander of the German navy. Born on 15 July 1895 in Strassburg (then Germany; now Strasbourg, France), Hans Georg von Friedeburg joined the German navy in 1914 and became a submariner. He participated in World War I and was promoted to lieutenant in 1917. Friedeburg continued in the navy after the war, and from 1932 to 1934 he was a military adviser to General Kurt von Schleicher, who was German chancellor in 1932–1933. Promoted to lieutenant commander in 1933, Friedeburg in June 1936 was assigned to command the light cruiser Karlsruhe. He then was attached to the German Military Ministry under Minister of War General Werner von Blomberg.

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


Further Reading
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.
 

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