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Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz


General Information (More Tirpitz the plan than Tirpitz the man)
In 1900 the German government announced its plans to strengthen the Imperial Navy (a small coastal fleet) into the German High Seas Fleet, a fleet with global capabilities. Admiral Tirpitz was placed in charge of this effort that has become known as the Tirpitz Plan. The possibility of Germany overtaking them in overseas trade worried the British no small amount. They, the British, reacted by entering alliances against Germany.

Great Britain accelerated the arms race in 1906 with the launching of the HMS Dreadnought, a revolutionary new type of battleship boasting twelve 12 inch guns. Germany reacted and, under the Tirpitz Plan in 1908, appropriated funds for the construction of 12 dreadnought class battleships over the next four years. At the same time, the Kiel canal would be widened to allow the great battleships passage between their training bases in the Baltic to possible battle areas in the North Sea.

Note: The widened canal was officially opened 28-Jun-1914, the day Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo.

The Tirpitz Plan never lived up to its goal as the table below illustrates:

Comparative Naval Strength Aug-1914


Battle Cruisers58

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