The Kriegsmarine (German pronunciation: [ËkÊiËksmaËÊiËnÉ], War Navy) was the navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of World War I and the inter-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly during German naval rearmament in the 1930s (the Treaty of Versailles had limited the size of the German navy previously). Kriegsmarine ships were deployed to the waters around Spain during the Spanish Civil War, under the guise of enforcing non-intervention, but in reality supporting the Franco side of the war.
In January 1939 Plan Z was ordered, calling for naval parity with the Royal Navy by 1944. However, when World War II broke out in September 1939, Plan Z was shelved i