Who's Who - Prince Heinrich of Prussia

Prince Heinrich of Prussia Prince Heinrich of Prussia (1862-1929), the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, served as a naval commander in the years prior to the First World War, but played no notable role during wartime itself.

A naval officer since 1877 Prince Heinrich was more than just an honorary seaman - he proved himself highly competent and earned the respect of his peers while carving out a primary role for himself in Germany's pre-war navy as commander of the High Seas Fleet from 1906-09.

Unfortunately Heinrich's naval career came to an effective end in 1909 with his strategy of opposition to aggressive Naval Minister Alfred von Tirpitz's policy of transforming the German navy to make it a power capable of forming an effective opposition to Britain's Royal Navy.

Naturally Heinrich could not be simply dismissed from the navy given his relationship with the Kaiser; he was instead replaced as High Seas Fleet commander and promoted to Grand Admiral, with an appointment as Inspector-General of the Navy.

The outbreak of war in August 1914 brought Heinrich an appointment in command of German forces in the Baltic Sea; a less than prestigious role given his background.  He also found himself unable to influence Tirpitz's wartime naval policy; his proposal to annex Denmark so as to secure additional North Sea bases fell on deaf ears.

Relieved of command (with the disappearance of his role) on 1 February 1918 Heinrich retired from active service.  In spite of the German revolution and the proclamation of a German republic, Heinrich was permitted to remain in Germany until his death in 1929.

Flak was a term used to describe anti-aircraft fire.

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