Monday, April 20, 2015

Konteradmiral z.V. Dr. jur. Paul Meixner

Born: 4 June 1891, Wien / Austria

Died: 8 June 1950, Wien / Austria 

Imperial and Royal (k. u. k.) Austro-Hungarian Navy:
• Seekadett: 18 June 1910
• Seefähnrich: 1 July 1912
• Fregattenleutnant: 1 May 1913
• Charakter als Linienschiffsleutnant: 1 January 1920
German Kriegsmarine:
• Charakter als Kapitänleutnant a.D.: 23 May 1940
• z.V.-Offizier: 20 August 1940
• Patent Kapitänleutnant z.V. (RDA May 1940)
• Korvettenkapitän z.V. (from 1942 Sonderführer Kapitän zur See): 1 April 1941
• Fregattenkapitän z.V. (later Sonderführer Kapitän zur See): 1 February 1943
• Kapitän zur See z.V.: 1 April 1943
• Konteradmiral z.V. (RDA 1 June 1944): 12 May 1944
Commands & Assignments:
• 18 June 1910: Entered the Imperial and Royal (k.u.k.) Austro-Hungarian Navy as a Sea Cadet.
• 18 June 1910-9 August 1914: Training and various land and sea assignments.
• 3 August 1914-12 July 1915: Second Officer of the torpedo boat "57T" (ex-"Narwal").
• 13 July 1915-28 August 1915: At the disposal of the Submarine Station.
• 29 August 1915-17 October 1916: Second Officer of the submarine "U 16." [On 17 October 1916, the "U 16," commanded by Linienschiffsleutnant Orest Ritter von Zopa, torpedoed and sank the Italian destroyer "Nembo" off Strade Bianche. The "U 16" apparently surfaced right under the escorted steamer "Bormida" and, damaged irreparably, sank at coordinates 40°08'N/19°30°E. Two members of the crew were lost but 14 survivors, including the commander and Fregattenleutnant Meixner, were rescued by the Italians and made prisoners of war.]
• 17 October 1916-February 1919: Prisoner of war in Italian captivity.
• 1 January 1920: Separated from the Austro-Hungarian Navy.
• 23 May 1940: Accepted for service in the German Kriegsmarine with the rank of Charakter als Kapitänleutnant a.D. (Honorary Retired Kapitänleutnant).
• 23 May 1940-27 July 1940: Detached to the Kriegsmarine Service Center at Aalborg-Aarhus.
• 28 July 1940-9 September 1940: Preparation for Operation “Seelöwe” (Sea Lion) in Emden, the proposed invasion of Great Britain.
• 10 September 1940-17 January 1941: Detached to the Naval Harbor Detachment at Calais, France.
• 18 January 1941-17 October 1941: Leader of the Sea Transport Center and then the Sea Transport Main Center at Tripoli, Libya.
• 21 February 1941-31 August 1941: At the same time, Naval Liaison Officer to the Commanding General of the Africa Corps.
• 1 September 1941-30 January 1942: At the same time, Naval Liaison Officer to the Commander-in-Chief of Panzer Army Africa.
• 18 October 1941-October 1942: Chief of the German Sea Transport Center North Africa.
• October 1942-7 December 1942: At the same time, delegated with the post of Chief of the German Naval Command North Africa.
• 30 January 1942-22 September 1942: At the same time, Naval Liaison Officer to the Commander-in-Chief of Panzer Army Africa.
• 21 February 1941-October 1942: At the same time, Naval Liaison Officer to the Italian Admiral of Libya.
• 8 December 1942-28 February 1943: Chief of the German Naval Command North Africa.
• 5 March 1943-11 May 1943: Chief of the German Naval Command Tunisia and, at the same time, Chief of Staff of the Italian Naval Command Tunisia.
• 11 May 1943-February 1946: Prisoner of war in British captivity. 

Decorations & Awards:
• German Cross in Gold: 11 February 1943, Sonderführer Kapitän zur See z.V, Chief of Naval Transport Command.
• German Cross in Silver: 6 June 1942, Korvettenkapitän z.V., Chief of Naval Transport Command North Africa.
• Iron Cross, 1st Class (1939)
• Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1939)
• War Merit Cross, 1st Class with Swords
• War Merit Cross, 2nd Class with Swords
• Austrian Silver Military Merit Medal (“Signum Laudis”)
• Austrian Bronze Military Merit Medal (“Signum Laudis”)
• Austrian 1912/1913 Mobilization Cross
• Austrian Karl Troop Cross
• Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
• Austrian War Commemorative Medal with Swords
• Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy U-Boat Badge
• “AFRIKA” Campaign Cuff-Title 

NOTE: Meixner was one of the extraordinarily rare recipients of both the German Cross in Gold and Silver in World War II. He was also the only former Austro-Hungarian naval officer to see active service as an admiral in the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. 

A note of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy U-Boat Badge that Meixner prominently wore as a "war badge" which it was not. 

“The Submarine badge was not an award! It was given to U-Boat personnel (excluding officers and officer candidates) while they were attached to a particular boat. The badges were the property of individual boats and had to be given back when not on duty with a particular boat e.g. if participating in training courses on land or on extended leave at home or whilst awaiting an appointment to another submarine or boat etc.” 

SOURCES: Hildebrand, Hans H. & Henriot, Ernest. "Deutschlands Admirale, 1849-1945, Band 2 (Habicht-Orth)." Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, Germany, 1989; Scheibert, Horst. "Die Träger des Deutschen Kreuzes in Gold (Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Waffen-SS) und Deutschen Kreuzes in Silber (Heer, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Waffen-SS)." Podzun-Pallas Verlag, Friedberg, Germany, n.d.; various photographic evidence & WWI naval internet sources.

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