Karl Witzell

Karl Witzell (* 18. October 1884 in Berlin; † 1976 in Berlin) were a captain second lieutenant in the First World War and general admiral in the Second World War, where he was mainly responsible for the weapon development.

Table of contents

the First World War

Karl Witzell stepped at the 1. April 1902 into the imperial navy . As a young officer it participated before the First World War in the trips abroad of the cruiser squadron. In the German lease area Kiautschou it was long several years as an aide at the sailor artillery department.

With outbreak of war 1914 was Witzell as a captain second lieutenant III. Artillery officer on the large liner (battle ship) SMS Oldenburg. To 31. It took May 1916 as the I. Artillery officer on the small cruiser Elbing at the Skagerrak battle part. Captain second lieutenant Witzel on the small cruiser Graudenz spent the two last war years 1917/18 as the I. Artillery officer.

between the wars

after end of war it belonged to the German naval peace commission and tried above all to take out in the negotiations with the allied powers as much as possible for the defense possibilities artillery of the German coasts.

Karl Witzell came to it to the war navy into the naval weapon department. It kept also some on-board commands occasional, thus on the liners Braunschweig and Schleswig-Holstein. Assigned in the citizens of Berlin naval weapon department as a departmental head, then as a department manager, boss of the office for naval weapon, president of the new building committee with the OKM and finally as principal office leaders of the offices for naval weapon at responsible person place. It had exerted thereby a completely crucial influence on the development and construction of the naval weapons.

To this high responsibility and achievement corresponded fast transports. 1933 had been promoted Witzell to lieutenant commander. Already at the 1. December 1935 took place its transport to the Vice Admiral, two years later at the 1. November 1937 to the admiral.

the Second World War and the life thereafter

soon after outbreak of war he became principal office leader of the weapon boards of admiralty in the OKM. At the 1. Carried , he separated April 1941 to the general admiral to 31. August 1942 from the active service out. It was appointed in the Präsidalrat of the realm research advice and finally to 5. October 1942 “in acknowledgment of its high earnings/services around the weapon development and armament of the German Reich” with the knight cross excellently.

Despite its separating from the military career he was condemned 1945 Russian prisoners of war and in the Soviet Union because of war crimes to a detention of many years. Only in October 1955 it became into the homeland to dismiss.

Back in the Federal Republic it was initial member of the working group for military technology.

military career

medal and honors

  • knight cross of the war Distinguished Service Cross with swords: to 06.10.1942 as general admiral and a boss of the naval weapon principal office
  • 1914 EK I
  • 1914 EK II
  • knight cross of the Kgl. Danish Danebrogordens
  • of grossherzoglich Oldenburgi Friedrich August cross II. Class
  • of grossherzoglich Oldenburgi Friedrich August cross I. Class
  • Kgl. Preuss. Service honor cross
  • honour cross for front fighter
  • armed forces service honor IV. to I. Class
  • clip to the EK I
  • clip to the EK II
  • war Distinguished Service Cross II. Class with swords
  • war Distinguished Service Cross I. Class with swords
  • oak leaves for armed forces service honor I. Class


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