Carls, Rolf Hans Wilhelm Karl, born 29-05-1885 in Rostock, the son of Leutnant Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Anton Carls (born 27-01-1853); at that time still leutenant, last Oberstleutnant and residing in Hamburg) and his Martha Victoria Anna Sophia Wilhelmine, born Pogge, who was married on 21-10-1879 in the parish of Wulkenzin (Mecklenburg Lake District) ( also: Martha Victoria Wilhelmine Anna Sophie; born 05-03-1860 in Blankenhof or Kranz; death 7th to June 8, 1948 in Hamburg). His grandparents were Friedrich Georg Carl Carls (last residing in Alt Käbelich) as well as the manor owner Franz Ernst Otto Pogge auf Blankenhof (full member of the Association of Friends of Natural History in Mecklenburg) and Anna Luise Henriette Wilhelmine, born Held.
Rolf entered the Imperial Marine as a see cadet and attended basic-training on 01-04-1903, age 17. He made his training on board the school-ship ‘Stein’ from 11-05-1903 until-31-03-1904. He attended Naval-School and Special-Briefings until 30-09-1905. He departed to East Asia from 01-10-1905, on board of the heavy cruiser ‘Fürst Bismarck’ until 02-10-1906 and as watch-Officer on the Torpedo-Boat ‘Taku’ to 14-06-1907. Again on board of the heavy cruiser “Fürst Bismarck” until 01-10-1907 and returned home on granted-leave to 21-11-1907. Assigned as Roll-Officer and Adjutant on the Liner ‘Schwaben’ until 14-09-1910. Then Watch-Officer on the small cruiser ‘Dresden’ to 30-09-1912 and Watch-Officer on the Liner ‘Wittelsbach’ until 28-04-1914. Appointed as Artillery-Officer on the small cruiser ‘Breslau-Midilli’ to 02-12-1916. 3rd Artillery-Officer on the Liner ‘König’ to 14-04-1917. Submarine training, Submarine-School, Instructor on the heavy cruiser ‘Kaiserin Augusta’ and then a course on the School-Ship ‘Württemberg’ from 04-02-1918 until 30-03-1918. At the start of the World War I, Carls was a member of the crew of the cruiser Breslau. He later served on the battleship König and then commanded two u-boats, first U-9 and then U-124. After the war, Carls was made Chief of the Training Division at the Supreme Naval Command of the resurrected German navy and was then given command of the old battleship Hessen. In 1933, Carls was made Chief of Staff of the Fleet Command, and a year later Commander of Liners. He became Commandant of the Submarine-School, and at the same time ‘U 9’ to 20-07-1918. He was Commandant of the Submarine ‘U 124’ until 01-12-1918. Placed to the disposal of the Inspector of Submarine Affairs and Commander of the VIII. Sailor-Artillery-Battalion from 09-02-1919 until 15-03-1919. Again placed to the disposal of the Inspector of Submarine Affairs to 08-04-1919. He in 1922 was allowed in the new Reichswehr as Battalion-Commander in the III. Naval-Brigade. Appointed as Chief of Staff, Fleet-Command and Commander of Liners from 29-09-1934 until 30-09-1936. At the same time, commander of the Sea-Force at Spain. With the outbreak of World War II he, here behind Adolf Hitler was Commanding Admiral of the Naval-Station of the Baltic Sea.
Carls succeeded Conrad Albrecht as commander of the Naval Station Command East. Carls was responsible for the preparations of Operation Weserburg, the occupation of Denmark and Norway and awarded with the Knight Cross of the Iron Cross on 14-06-1940. From August 1940 he was also assigned with the leading of the German Naval forces in the Deutschen Bucht , the Battle of the Heligoland Bight was the first “named” air battle of World War II, which began the longest air campaign of the war, the defense of the Reich. In the spring of 1941 his forces were involved in the invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa, with the conquering of the Baltic islands. As Grossadmiral Erich Raeder
the highest commander of the Kriegsmarine in 1943 was retired after argues with Adolf Hitler, Rolf Carls and the highest commander of the German U boats Admiral Karl Dönitz were the candidates as his successor. Hitler decided for the younger and in his eyes more energetic Dönitz.
Rolf Carls was married to Emma, born Paulsen, widowed Behrend (1884–1940).
Death and burial ground of Carls, Rolf Hans Wilhelm Karl.
Rolf Carls was honorable retired from the active Navy on 31-05-1943, age 58. After his departure Carls in Mai 1943 was appointed as district head in the region Stormarn His office was in Hamburg-Wandsbek but as the bombardments on Hamburg were more regular, Operation Gommorha, his office in the summer of 1943 was moved to Bad Oldesloe, in the Profession School building at the Königstrasse. Less then two weeks before the end of the war, Bad Oldesloe on 24-04-1945 was bombed to the ground by 300 allied bombers. Under the more then 700 deaths, civilians and fugitives was also commissioner Rolf Carls who was killed with 29 other persons in the cellar of the school. Rolf Hans Wilhelm Karl Carls was buried, age 59, with his wife Emma, born Paulsen, who died age 56 on 30-12-1940 in Kiel, on the Nordfriedhof of Kiel, Field ME.
On the Nordfriedhof are also buried, Vice Admiral and Commander of the Kriegsarsenal Kiel, Karl Kaufmann, Chief of the Navy, General Admiral Walter Warzecha, Commander SMS “Hessen” General Admiral Hermann Boehm, General Admiral, Commander of the SMS “Hessen” Wilhelm Marschall and Kapitän zur See, Chief of the 2nd Räumbootflottille, Gerhard Kamptz.