Marschall, Wilhelm, born 30-09-1886 in Augsburg, entered the Kaiserliche Marine as a Seekadett on 01-04-1906, age 19 and promoted to Fährich zur See on 06-04-1907. On 01-10-1908 transferred to the Line ship “Lotheringen”. On 30-09-1909 Marschall was appointed as Leutnant zu See and on 30-09-1912 as Oberleutnant zur See. On 30-03-1912 assigned as watch officer on the Measue ship”Hyäne” and on 20-11-1912 watch officer on the measure ship “Möwe”. On 01-04-1914 appointed as Inspector Officer of the Marine School Murwik in Flensburg and on 01-08-1944 as commander of the Block ship “Viadra”and then served as a watch officer on “Kronprinz Wilhelm” . In 1916 he was educated as a U-boat commander and captained both UC-74 and UB-105 by war’s end. While in the Reichsmarine, Marschall served primarily as a Vermessungsoffizier, surveying officer and in different staff positions. At the end of 1934 he became commander of the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. As a Konteradmiral in 1936, he joined the Naval High Command and headed the operations division. During the Marschall commanded the German naval forces off of the Spanish coast. He was promoted to Admiral and Fleet commander) in 1939. Admiral Marschall, flying his flag in battleship Gneisenau, led the German naval force which intercepted and sank the British auxiliary cruiser Rawalpindi on 23-11-1939, while on patrol off Faroe Islands. On 08-06-940, during the latter part of the Norwegian Campaign, Marschall and part of his force, flagship Gneisenau, and her sister-ship Scharnhorst fell in with British aircraft carrier Glorious and two destroyers Acasta and Ardent about 280 miles west of Harstad, Norway. In a two-hour action, Glorious and her accompanying destroyers were all sunk, in exchange for damage to Scharnhorst, struck by one of Acasta’s torpedoes. Although the battle was a German victory, Marschall had engaged Glorious despite orders to avoid action. His son Gernot a Leutnant zur See was sunk, age 21 on 3 0-04-1940 with his U boat on the Nordsee. Marschall’s differences with the High Command on this subject, and the severe damage to Scharnhorst during the engagement, ensured that Marschall was replaced as Flottenchef by Admiral Günther Lütjens Lütjens, age 52, on 27-05-1941 was killed when a 14 in (360 mm) salvo fired by King George V destroyed the bridge, killing many senior officers. and most of the ship’s crew lost their lives when Bismarck was caught and sank. Marschall led the inspection of naval education for two years beginning in the summer 1940. In 1942 Marschall was named Commanding Admiral of occupied France and replaced Alfred Saalwächter as commander of Marinegruppenkommando West. Alfred Saalwächter was imprisoned by the Soviet Union on June 21-06-1945. He was convicted by a Soviet military tribunal of war crimes on 17 October and executed by firing squad in Moscow on 06-12-1945 age 62. In 1994, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Saalwächter was formally exonerated by a Russian court. His body is never found. On 01-02-1943 Marschall was promoted to Generaladmiral,
but was replaced as western commander by Admiral Theodor Krancke and deactivated later that spring. During the remainder of the war, Marschall was reactivated twice, once as Sonderbevollmächtigter, special agent, for the Danube, and once as commander of the Marineoberkommando West shortly before war’s end. Marschall was a prisoner of war and released on 25-06-1947.
Death and burial ground of Marschall, Wilhelm.
His son Gernot a Leutnant zur See was drowned in the North Sea, age 21 on 30-04-1940, after his boat was torpedoed, his father Wilhelm Marschall died in Mölln, West Germany, on 20-03-1976, age 89 and is buried with his wife Waltrud, born Gegenbaur, who died age 79, on 21-10-1975, Section A, but his gravestone is meanwhile removed as Wolfgang Linke, reported. He luckily could make pictures just before the stone disappeared. Close by the graves of Grossadmiral Erich Raeder. On this cemetery close by the grave of Vize Admiral, Kommandeur Kriegsarsenal Kiel, Karl Kaufmann, General Admiral, Commander of the German Naval Forces in Norway, Hermann Boehm, Chief of the Navy, General Admiral Walter Warzecha, Generaladmiral and commander of the Naval station Command East, Rolf Carls, and Kapitän zur See, Chief of the 2nd Räumbootflottille, Gerhard von Kamptz.