Gustav Bachmann

Gustav Bachmann
Born (1860-07-13)July 13, 1860
Cammin, Rostock
Died August 31, 1943(1943-08-31) (aged 83)
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Years of service 1877–1918
Rank Admiral
Commands held
  • SMS Elsaß
  • Befehlshaber der Aufklärungsschiffe
  • Chef der Marinestation der Ostsee
  • Chef des Admiralsstabs der Marine
Spouse(s) Ella Holzapfel

Gustav Bachmann (July 13, 1860 in Cammin, Rostock – August 31, 1943 in Kiel) was a German naval officer, and an admiral in World War I.



Bachmann was the son of the farmer Julius Bachmann (1828—1890) and his wife Anna Bachmann, born Raspe (1830—1914). He married Ella Holzapfel on July 14, 1888. They had two children, a boy and a girl.[1]

Military career

After his completion of high school in Rostock, Bachmann joined the German Imperial Navy as a cadet on April 21, 1877. He completed basic training and went on the frigate Niobe from April 21, 1877 to September 19, 1877. More training followed on the artillery training ship Renown and the armored frigate König Wilhelm. He attended the German Naval Academy from September 20, 1877 to April 14, 1878. On June 16, 1878, Bachmann was promoted to midshipman.[1]

From June 4 to October 3, 1878, he served on the armored frigate Preußen and from October 4, 1878 to October 6, 1880, he served on the warship Prinz Adalbert. After another visit to the German Naval Academy from October 7, 1880 to October 29, 1881, he was on the artillery training ship Mars and subsequently worked as a company officer until December 21, 1881. On November 16, 1880, he had been promoted to lieutenant. From 1880 to 1884 he was in the II. Sailors Division, II. Shipyard division, and was stationed on the armored frigates Kronprinz, Friedrich Carl, and Preußen. [1]

On May 18, 1884, he became commander of the torpedo boat Sicher. Until the end of September, he worked on further trials of torpedo boats as their commander. From October 4, 1884 to August 9, 1886, Bachmann sailed as deck officer on the cruiser frigate Bismarck. In this period, on January 15, 1885 he promoted to lieutenant. After serving on Bismarck, Bachmann served in the II. Sailors Division and as a watch officer on the cruiser frigate Arcona. From January 1, 1887 until April 1887, he served as adjutant first in Berlin and then worked at the Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven until October 5, 1890.[1]

After October 1890, Bachmann visited the Naval Academy in Kiel. He was promoted on October 13, 1891 to lieutenant, on May 21, 1898 to lieutenant commander and on January 27, 1903 to commander. He was employed in many different commands and staffs, so from April 1901 to April 1903 he became chief of staff of the cruiser squadron in East Asia.[1]

From October 1903 to September 29, 1905, Bachmann worked as an instructor at the Naval Academy and here became a sea captain on April 1, 1904. From September 30, 1903 to September 30, 1907, he was commander of the battleship Elsaß and afterwards on the Board of the Central Department of the Navy Office under Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. He remained in this position until October 31, 1910 and was promoted on January 27, 1909 to rear admiral. He was promoted again to vice admiral on September 5, 1911.[1]

Subsequent to his time in the Reichsmarineamt, Bachmann was commander of the reconnaissance ships and remained so until September 30, 1913. After applying to the Chief of the Naval Station of the Baltic from October 1, 1913 to July 22, 1914, he was provisionally full-time employed as chief of the Naval station from July 23, 1914 to August 2, 1914. He was also governor of the German war port of Kiel.[1]

On February 2, 1915 Bachmann was Chief of Naval Staff. On March 22, 1915, he was promoted to admiral. On September 5, 1915 Bachmann had to vacate the post of admiral. There were disagreements with the political leadership on issues of anti-submarine warfare. He advocated for unrestricted submarine warfare against the British and bombing of civilian targets. His conflicting views with Kaiser Wilhelm II forced him resign. He returned to the position of chief of the naval station Baltic and governor of the German naval port of Kiel . From October 28, 1918 to December 13, 1918, he was subordinate to the Secretary of the Admiralty, and then retired.[1]

He lived in Göttingen, later in Kiel, where he died at 83 years old.[1]



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Duffy, Michael. "Who's Who- Gustav Bachmann". First World Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. "Expansion and Organization of the Imperial German Navy". Naval History Net. Retrieved August 4, 2015.


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