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So Mr Wear turns his attention (yet again) to the trial to Admiral Doenitz with the addition of Admiral Raeder at Nuremberg. I previously commented on the Doenitz issue here:

…but feel there are some points to reinforce with regards to the obvious errors and misinterpretations of the likes of Daniel Vincent Gallery .

“You might think that since our submarines fought the same way the Germans did, we would sweep the question of Prize Warfare under the rug after the war and say no more about violation of the laws of war at sea.”

I can’t think why.

“When the war was over, they insisted on trying the German Admirals Raeder and Doenitz at Nuremberg as war criminals for permitting their submarines to do exactly what ours did.”

Indeed. Except neither man was found guilty of committing submarine warfare against British merchant shipping as the Tribunal stated here:

“In the actual circumstances of this case, the Tribunal is not prepared to hold Doenitz guilty for his conduct of submarine warfare against British armed merchant ships.”

The same applied to Admiral Raeder.

“A justice of our Supreme Court prosecuted them and tried to hang them.”

Sorry? It was the tribunal of the Court that decided that the men were not worthy of hanging based on the evidence laid before them. The fact that the men were NOT hanged proves the fairness of the trials in the first place!

“To our eternal shame, we convicted the German admirals of violating the laws of war at sea and sentenced them to long terms of imprisonment…”

So what exactly were the two men found guilty of?


Doenitz waged helped wage an “aggressive war”. Admiral Gallery seems to misunderstand the term “aggressive war” in the context of WW2. An aggressive war was:

  • Declaration of war upon another State.
  • Invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State.
  • Attack by its land, naval or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels or aircraft of another State.
  • Naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another State.
  • Provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another State, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded State, to take, in its own territory, all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.

Doenitz ordered the sinking of NEUTRAL merchant shipping in designated areas of international waters. He was not found guilty regarding the sinking of British merchant shipping by submarines.

Doenitz was also charged with responsibility for Hitler’s Commando Order where it was ordered that British commandos upon capture should be executed. He argued that any executions were without his knowledge, and indeed proved this point. He did not, however, rescind the order when he came into power.

Doenitz allowed the use of concentration camp prisoners in naval construction work.


Raeder helped plan an aggressive war.

Raeder carried out unrestricted submarine warfare, including sinking of unarmed merchant ships of neutrals, non-rescue and machine-gunning of survivors; similar charges as made in regards to Doenitz.

Raeder implemented the Commando Order. He admitted to passing down the order through his chain of command.

See below for the actual judgment in full.

“The tribunal was not a military one in any sense.”

It appears Mr Gallery is getting carried away. A bit like Mr Wear.

As I said previously neither man was hanged.

Both received life sentences.

Both were out of prison by the mid 1950s.