The German Imperial Naval Office (German language: Reichsmarineamt) was a government office in the German Empire. In April, 1889 what had been the German Imperial Admiralty was abolished and its duties divided among three new entities: the Imperial Naval High Command (Kaiserliches Oberkommando der Marine), the Imperial Naval Office and the German Imperial Naval Cabinet (Kaiserliches Marinekabinett). The head of the Naval Office was a Secretary of State who reported directly to the imperial chancellor (Reichskanzler).
After 1897, the Office became the power base of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz in his campaign to build a great German battle fleet.
The Imperial Naval Office had the function of a ministry for the German Imperial Navy. According to the Constitution of the German Empire of 1871, the states were responsible for land forces and the imperial government for the navy. So while there were Prussian, Bavarian, Saxon and Württemberg armies, there was a single Imperial Navy. The tasks of the Imperial Naval Office were mainly administrative, such as planning naval construction and maintenance programs, directing the procurement of naval supplies, and representing the navy in the Reichstag. It was responsible to the chancellor and under the direct command of Emperor Wilhelm II. The Naval Office advised the Reichstag on naval matters. During the First World War, it gave out the casualty list of the Imperial Navy. Until 1899 the operational management of the Imperial Navy was the responsibility of the German Imperial Naval High Command (Kaiserliches Oberkommando der Marine).
- Karl Eduard Heusner 1889-1890
- Friedrich von Hollmann 1890-1897
- Alfred von Tirpitz 1897-1916
- Eduard von Capelle March 1916 – October 1918
- Paul Behncke October 1918
- Ernst Karl August Klemens von Mann October 1918 – December 1918
- Maximilian Rogge December 1918 – February 1919
- 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. 112.
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