Doenitz, Karl (dönˈĭts) [key], 1891–1980, German admiral. He secretly planned a German submarine fleet in the years following the Treaty of Versailles, was given command of submarine operations by Adolf Hitler in 1935, and replaced Admiral Raeder in 1943 as chief naval commander. On the announcement (May 1, 1945) that Hitler was dead and had designated Doenitz his successor, the admiral formed a new cabinet and ordered the unconditional surrender (effective May 7) of Germany to the Allies. His government, at Kiel, was dissolved by the Allies. Doenitz was imprisoned (1946–56) for war crimes. His memoirs appeared in 1958 (tr. 1959).
See biography by P. Padfield (1984).
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