Who's Who - Frederich von Ingenohl

Admiral Frederich von Ingenohl (1857-1933) served as Germany's Chief of the High Seas Fleet from 1913-15 until his replacement with Hugo von Pohl by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Appointed in 1913 to command of the High Seas Fleet von Ingenohl was perhaps the first commander to try and make real use of the fleet.  Frustrated however by the Kaiser's anxiety in risking his preciously nurtured surface fleet meant that von Ingenohl was reduced to using his fleet to organise raids on the British coastline (as at Scarborough by Hipper in December 1914) and in the laying of minefields.

Naval minister Alfred von Tirpitz began to agitate for Ingenohl's removal as Chief of the High Seas Fleet as early as November 1914, determined to further increase his own influence.

With the German navy's disastrous showing at the Falkland Islands in December 1914 and Hipper's difficulties at Dogger Bank the following month, a whispering campaign within the Germany navy directed at Ingenohl further increased.

The Kaiser, determined to take action in light of the navy's reversals - and ignoring his own role in limiting his fleet's scope for action - resolved to use Ingenohl as his scapegoat.  He was dismissed from his post on 2 February 1915 and replaced with the even more cautious Admiral Hugo von Pohl.

The appointment of von Pohl brought to an end Tirpitz's own ambitions for the post; his age and lack of command experience told against him (as did his transparent machinations).

Admiral von Pohl did not last long in the post; he was replaced a month prior to his decease from terminal illness in January 1916 by Reinhardt Scheer.

A 'Base Rat' was a soldier perpetually at the base, typically in conditions of comfort and safety.

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Who's Who