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Wilhelm Meisel
Born (1891-11-04)4 November 1891
Died 7 September 1974(1974-09-07) (age 46)
Place of birth Zwickau
Place of death Mülheim
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1919)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1903–1919).svg Kaiserliche Marine
Flag of Weimar Republic (jack).svg Reichsmarine
War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1913–1945
Rank Admiral
Unit SMS Hertha
SMS Moltke
SMS Stralsund
SMS Kaiserin Augusta
Commands held heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Meisel (4 November 1891 – 7 September 1974) was an Admiral of the Kriegsmarine during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language:Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Meisel was born in Zwickau and joined the Navy as a midshipman in 1913. During the First World War he served on the battlecruiser SMS Moltke, the light cruiser SMS Stralsund and the SMS Möwe. He later served as a staff officer on Torpedo boats and was interned in Scapa Flow. After the scuttling of the High Seas Fleet he was held as a POW by the British and repatriated in 1921.

During the 1920s Meisel commanded a torpedo boat flotilla and held several staff posts and commanded the German cruiser Karlsruhe in 1929.

During World War II Meisel commanded a destroyer flotilla in the Polish Campaign of 1939 and was appointed commander of the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper in 1940. He was made Chief of Staff of Naval Group west in 1943 and Chief of Naval staff in 1943.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Dörr 1996, p. 54.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dörr 1996, p. 55.
  3. Scherzer 2007, p. 535.
  • Dörr, Manfred (1996). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 2:L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2497-2.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-355-0.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
Military offices
Preceded by
Konteradmiral Günther Lütjens
Acting Führer der Torpedoboote (F.d.T.) 1933–1939
21 October 1939 – 25 October 1939
Succeeded by
Kapitän zur See Friedrich Bonte
Preceded by
Admiral Kurt Fricke
Chief of Staff of the Seekriegsleitung
21 February 1943 – 30 April 1944
Succeeded by
Chief of the Seekriegsleitung

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