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August von Heeringen (26 November 1855 – 29 September 1927) was a Prussian admiral of the German Empire. He headed the Imperial Navy News Office (Nachrichtenbureau der Reichsmarine) and served as the Chief of the German Naval General Staff (Admiralstab) 12 March 1911 - 31 March 1913, and was present at the famous War Council of 8 December 1912.

He worked with leaders of the German Empire such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, and admirals Alfred von Tirpitz, Georg Alexander von Müller, Gustav von Senden-Bibran, and Friedrich von Hollmann to build a strong German navy. He saw it as a means to secure Germany's position on the world stage. Also, he saw a great national navy as a unifying force for an empire still divided into various kingdoms.[1]

At the Navy News Office he worked with and attempted to direct pressure groups such as the Pan-German League and the Colonial Society (Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft), and the Navy League (Germany) (Flottenverein).[2]

In March 1896, at the request of Admiral Otto von Diederichs, Chief of Staff of the Naval High Command he produced the first naval plans for a war against Britain, which emphasized rapid mobilization and preemptive strikes.[3] He had become something of a follower of Tirpitz, and, when the latter took over the German Imperial Naval Office (Reichsmarineamtin) in 1897, he followed to head up the Central Division (Zentralabteilung).[4] At the Kaiser's request in January 1913, he was involved in efforts to plan a coordinated wartime use of the Italian and Austrian fleets in the Mediterranean to prevent French troop movements from North Africa.[5]


  1. The great naval game: Britain and Germany in the age of empire by Jan Rüger; Cambridge University Press, 337 pages. p, 145
  3. By order of the Kaiser: Otto von Diederichs and the rise of the Imperial German Navy, 1865-1902 by Terrell D. Gottschall; Institute Press, 2003, 337 pages, p. 125.
  4. By order of the Kaiser, p. 225
  5. Austro-Hungarian naval policy, 1904-14 by Milan N. Vego; Taylor & Francis, 1996, 213 pages. pp.117-8.

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