Backenköhler, Otto.

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Backenköhler, Otto, born 01-02-1892 in Göttingen; the son of Gerhard Backenköhler . Otto had one sister Margarete Lütjens (Backenköhler). She died 1976 (72-73) in Freiburg, Otto joined the Imperial Navy on 01-04-1910 as a midshipman, completed his ship training on the large cruiser Freya and went to the Mürwik Naval Academy for further training on 01-04-1911. There he received his appointment as Fähnrich zur See on 15-04-1911, was assigned to the battleship Westfalen on October 01-10-1912 and was promoted to Leutenant at Sea at the end of September 1913.

At the outbreak of the First World War he served on board, was transferred on 17-01-1916 as a watch officer to the 9th torpedo boat semi-flotilla and on 22-03-1916 he was promoted to Leutenant at Sea. With the subsequent transfer to the 10th torpedo boat semi-flotilla, Backenköhler received his first own command of G 8 on  01-04-1918. In the same function he took over V 5 on 13-07-1918. Shortly before the end of the war, on 27-10-1918, he came to the 12 .Torpedo boat semi-flotilla. He was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross for his work during the war.

With his acceptance into the Reichsmarine , he was promoted to Leutenant Captain on 01-01-1921 and assigned to the 7th semi-flotilla. Until September 1923 he was in command of the tender M 138 and the torpedo boats V 2 and T 196. From October 1923 to November 1924 he was assigned to the staff of the Naval Command and on 10-11-1924 he was given command of the 4th Handed over torpedo boat semi-flotilla. On 24-09-1926 he was recalled from his post and transferred to Fleet Command as a staff officer. Lieutenant Commander (since 01-01-1929) Backenkoehler joined the staff of the North Sea Naval Station on 30-09-1929 and from 24-09-1931 as First Admiral Staff Officer to the Commander of the Reconnaissance Forces. On 01-10-1933, Backenköhler was appointed commander of the torpedo school and on September 01-09-1934 he was promoted to Frigate Captain.

On 01-10-1935, Otto was given command of the light cruiser Köln and promoted to captain on 01-04-1936. As such, on 16-10-1937, he assumed his new position as Chief of Staff of Fleet Command. A year later he changed to the naval station in the Baltic Sea in the same function and was also active there at the beginning of World War II. From 24-10-1939 to 31-07-1940, Backenkoehler (January 1), who had since been promoted to Rear Admiral, again headed the fleet command. This was followed by a transfer as chief of the Torpedo Weapons Office to the Naval Weapons Main Office in the Navy High Command and his promotion there to Vice Admiral on 01-04-1942 and to Admiral on 01-04-1943. On 09-03-1943 he was appointed Chief of the Naval Weapons Main Office, which he continued to use until after the end of the war, even after it had been renamed Kriegsmarine armor. Backenköhler was awarded the German Cross in Silver on 07-08-1943 and the Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords on 03-01-1945.

Death and burial ground of Backenköhler, Otto.

On 15-07-1945, Otto Backenköhler was taken prisoner of war by the British, from which he was released on 10-12-1946. His sister Margarete was married to Admiral John Günther Lütjens. who went down, age 52, with his ship when it sunk in the Atlantic, on 27-05-1941. Less than a month after Lütjens’ death, his wife gave birth to their fourth child, Peter.

Backenköhler, like his sister Margarete, were considered half-Jews .Otto Backenköhler died a few days after his 75th birthday and was buried in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg, Planquadrat AE 39 nordöstlich von Kapelle 9.


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