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German History in Documents and Images
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Kaiser Wilhelm and his Admirals (1910)
This 1910 photograph by Th. Jürgensen shows (from left to right) Wilhelm II (1859-1941) with Admirals Alfred von Tirpitz (facing the camera) (1849-1930) and Henning von Holtzendorff (1853-1919). Wilhelm II was a naval enthusiast and supported Tirpitz’s plan to build a strong navy to challenge the British. Holtzendorff was forced into retirement in 1913 because of his opposition to Tirpitz. Two years later, however, he became head of the Naval Staff and joined Tirpitz in advocating unrestricted submarine warfare against Britain. Here, the Kaiser and his admirals are absorbed in discussion on board the Hohenzollern.