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Otto Livonius
File:File:Otto Livonius.jpg
Vice admiral Otto Livonius and his wife
Born (1829-04-01)April 1, 1829
Died February 9, 1917(1917-02-09) (aged 87)
Place of birth Wolgast, Pomerania
Place of death Berlin, Germany
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Years of service 1848-1884
Rank Vizeadmiral
Commands held
Relations Wilhelm von Livonius

Otto Daniel Livonius (1 April 1829 – 9 February 1917) was a Vizeadmiral (Vice Admiral) of the German Imperial Navy, serving in the predecessor Prussian Navy and the Navy of the North German Confederation.[1]

Family and early life[]

Livonius was born 1 April 1829 in Wolgast in the Prussian province Pomerania. His father was Daniel Livonius a captain and postmaster in the Kingdom of Prussia. His brother Wilhelm Livonius became a general and was ennobled in 1888. Livonius left school 1848 in Berlin in order to start sea travelling. After six months on the sailing ship Washington, he became a naval cadet in the Prussian Navy. Livonius was married with Louise Radmann.

Naval career[]

Livonius became a naval cadet, on 7 December 1848 in Stettin.[1] He attended Stettin Naval School.[1]

During the Second Schleswig War 1864 he was Kapitänleutnant and First Officer on the Prussian frigate SMS Nymphe. At the naval action off Jasmund (Isle of Rügen) on 17 March 1864, he was wounded and conferred with the Order of the Red Eagle. In 1866 Prussia became part of the North German Confederation, the navy officially became that of the confederation and Livonius joined the new institution.

1869 he was Commander of SMS Pfeil.[1]

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 he commanded the warship SMS Arminius.[1] At the outbreak of the war Arminius was stationed in Kiel, but Captain Livonius managed to break through the French blockade by hugging the Swedish coast. The passage through Swedish territorial waters protected the ship from French attack. The Prussian Navy concentrated Arminius and the armored frigates Kronprinz, Friedrich Carl, and König Wilhelm in the North Sea naval base Wilhelmshaven. In the course of the war, Livonius sortied from the port over forty times, but failed to result in major combat, though he occasionally traded shots with the blockading French warships. Unification of Germany in 1871 again meant a change of name, to the German Imperial Navy. 1872 – 1875 he commanded the armored frigate SMS Elisabeth.[1] On 2 May 1874 Livonius was promoted to Captain (Kapitän zur See).[1]

1875/76 Livonius was commanding officer of the German East Asia Squadron and commanded the warship Kronprinz.

1877-1881 Livonius became director of the Imperial Shipyard Danzig.[1] On 15 February 1881 Livonius was promoted to Rear Admiral (Konteradmiral). As of 13 December 1881 Livonius was a director with the German Imperial Admiralty were he served until 27 December 1883, when he was promoted to Vice Admiral (Vizeadmiral). On 2 February 1884, he was transferred to the retired list.[1]

He died on 9 February 1917, aged 87, in Berlin.[1]



  • Die Marine des Norddeutschen Bundes, ihre Bedeutung und ihre bisherige Entwicklung nebst einer erläuternden Angabe aller gesetzlichen Bestimmungen über die Aufnahme in den Dienst der königlichen Marine und der Aussichten der Aufgenommenen. Liebrecht, Berlin 1869.
  • Unsere Flotte im deutsch-französischen Kriege. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1871.
  • Colonialfrage. Berlin 1900. 68 S.
  • Über die Vorrichtungen zur Rettung von Menschenleben bei See-Unfällen. Berlin 1900.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Hildebrandt, Hans (1989) (in German). H-O. II. Osnabrück: Biblio. pp. 385–6. ISBN 3-7648-1499-3. 

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