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Derrittmeister Militaria

Historical Grouping: Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz - Rare Shoulder Board and Letter

Historical Grouping: Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz - Rare Shoulder Board and Letter

Regular price $3,495.00 USD
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Alfred von Tirpitz (1849-1930) was a prominent figure in the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) and one of its most well-known admirals. He had a distinguished career that spanned several decades, and his influence on the development and expansion of the German Navy was significant. Below is an overview of his life and career:

Early Career and Contributions:

  • Alfred von Tirpitz entered the German Navy in 1865, during a period when the Prussian Navy was relatively small and inconspicuous.
  • In the early years of his career, Tirpitz was involved in the development of torpedoes and torpedo boats, showcasing his early interest in naval technology.
  • He held various administrative and tactical commands within the Navy and steadily rose through the ranks.

Promotions and Key Positions:

  • In 1895, Tirpitz was promoted to the rank of Konteradmiral.
  • Four years later, in 1899, he was promoted to Vizeadmiral.
  • In 1900, he was ennobled, receiving a noble title.
  • In 1903, he achieved the rank of Admiral.
  • His most significant promotion came in 1911 when he was elevated to the rank of Großadmiral, which was the highest rank in the German Navy at the time.

Role as Secretary of State:

  • From 1897 to 1916, Tirpitz served as the "Secretary of State of the Imperial German Naval Office."
  • During this period, he played a pivotal role in the expansion and modernization of the German Navy, with a particular focus on battleships and cruisers.
  • His efforts led to a naval arms race with the United Kingdom, as both nations sought to outbuild each other's navies.

U-Boat Development and Challenges:

  • Tirpitz was also responsible for the development of a fleet of U-boats (submarines) in the German Navy.
  • He believed that submarines would be effective against the larger ships of the Royal Navy, especially in the context of a naval blockade.
  • However, the use of submarines in unrestricted warfare proved controversial and played a significant role in drawing the United States into World War I.

Retirement and Later Involvement:

  • In 1916, Kaiser Wilhelm withdrew his support for Tirpitz, leading to Tirpitz's retirement the same year.
  • In the years following his retirement, Tirpitz became involved in politics and served in the Reichstag during the 1920s.
  • He remained an influential figure in German military and public life until the late 1920s.

Großadmiral Rank:

  • The rank of Großadmiral was introduced in 1901, and it was equivalent to the Army's rank of Generalfeldmarschall.
  • Von Tirpitz held this rank from 1911 onwards, making him one of only six individuals to achieve this distinction.
  • His rank differed slightly from the other Großadmirals, as he did not receive the patent document for the rank. Instead, he displayed four pips on his shoulder boards.

The grouping you described, including a shoulder board and a letter from Alfred von Tirpitz, provides a unique insight into the life and career of this influential naval officer. The shoulder board's configuration with four pips distinguishes it as a representation of von Tirpitz's rank as Großadmiral. The letter, dated 2 July 1905, offers congratulations to Friedrich von Ingenohl on his appointment, shedding light on the relationships and promotions within the Imperial German Navy.

This historical grouping is a valuable piece of naval history and a testament to the significance of Alfred von Tirpitz's contributions to the Kaiserliche Marine.

Historical Grouping: Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz - Rare Shoulder Board and Letter

Introduction: Explore a remarkable piece of naval history with this extraordinary grouping, which includes a distinctive shoulder board and a handwritten letter from Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz (1849-1930). This unique collection offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and career of one of the Kaiserliche Marine's most influential admirals.

Product Features:

  1. Authentic Shoulder Board: The centerpiece of this grouping is an authentic naval shoulder board from Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz's uniform. What sets it apart is the configuration of four gilt-toned pips, signaling von Tirpitz's rank as Großadmiral, a distinction held by only a select few in the German Navy.

  2. Historical Context: The shoulder board's unique design and rank configuration are not only visually striking but also historically significant. It reflects von Tirpitz's pivotal role in the development and expansion of the Imperial German Navy.

  3. Handwritten Letter: Accompanying the shoulder board is a handwritten letter dated 2 July 1905, penned by Admiral von Tirpitz himself. The letter congratulates Friedrich von Ingenohl on his appointment as Kaiser Wilhelm II's Flügeladjutant. This document sheds light on the relationships and promotions within the Imperial German Navy during a critical period.

Product Details:

  • Shoulder Board: This naval shoulder board measures 1 7/8" x 4 3/16" and features four gilt-toned pips on the obverse. It is of the slip-on variety, appropriate for a naval officer's uniform. The navy-blue backing material is consistent with the color expected for naval shoulder boards.

  • Handwritten Letter: The letter measures 9 5/8" by 7 3/4" when fully unfolded. It has been preserved remarkably well over more than a century and provides a personal glimpse into the relationships and career developments within the Imperial German Navy.

Historical Significance:

Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz played a pivotal role in the expansion and modernization of the German Navy, a period marked by naval arms races and significant technological advancements. His rank as Großadmiral, held without a patent, sets him apart as a key figure in German naval history.

Note: This grouping is a unique and historically important collection that offers collectors and history enthusiasts an opportunity to own a tangible piece of naval history. It honors the legacy of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz and his profound influence on the Kaiserliche Marine.

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