Hero…Scapegoat…Hero…

Today in History, March 16: 1916 – German Admiral, and commander of the German Navy Alfred von Tirpitz, submits his resignation to kaiser Wilhelm, who accepts it. Tirpitz had been a trusted advisor to the kaiser, overseeing the build up of the Navy begun in 1897.

Despite his best efforts, the German surface fleet never became a match for the Royal Navy. In 1914 Tirpitz began unrestricted submarine warfare in the war zone…sinking neutral ships as well as combatants. When the Lusitania was sunk, with significant loss of neutral American lives, Wilhelm became nervous that America would enter the war, and Tirpitz, formerly a national hero, fell out of favor. Thus his resignation. The ship pictured was commissioned in 1936 and named after Tirpitz. It would be sunk by RAF bombers in 1944.

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