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Updated: 11 August 2003
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Admiral Reinhard Scheer

Portrait of Admiral Reinhard Scheer 
April 1918

This photo was provided by Philipp Flemming, great great-grandson of the Admiral


Family information on Reinhard Scheer (His first name seems to have actually been Arthur).
This page came about because of conversations with my grandfather, Arthur William Scherr. My grandfather (according to my mother and brothers) stated with great pride to family members that the Admiral was "our uncle". The family information on Reinhard Scheer was found for me by friends in Germany. On 26 January 2001, I heard from a great-granddaughter of the Admiral, and have made some changes in the family information below based on information she gave to me.  She also told me that Reinhard Scheer was ennobled by the German Emperor, but he refused to use the "von" in his name and stayed untitled.

Over the past year I have been contacted by a grandson, a great-grandson, and a great-great-grandson of the Admiral.  I am very happy to have heard from them.  Thank you all for contacting me and so willingly providing the photos and information.



Click on thumbnails to see larger version

museum1.jpg (16952 bytes)

Das Gebäude wurde 1844 und war lange Zeit die 1. Stadtschule in Obernkirchen. Hier wurde am 30.9.1863 Reinhard von Scheer war Führer der Deutschen Hochseeflotte in der Skagerrakschlacht am 31.5.1916.

This house, now a museum, was built in 1844. Here was born on 30 September 1863 Reinhard von Scheer leader of the German High Seas Fleet at Skagerrakschlact (Battle of Jutland) 31 May 1916.

scheer2.jpg (17142 bytes)

Gedenktafel von Admiral Reinhard Scheer am Geburtshaus in Obernkirchen
Memorial to von Admiral Reinhard Scheer on the house where he was born in Obernkirchen

Picture shows the military deployment before the birthplace of Reinhard Scheer in the year 1933, when the plaque shown above was unveiled

scheerstrasse.jpg (26545 bytes)

A street in Obernkirchen, Germany, named after
Admiral Scheer.

The four photos above are courtesy of
Frank Ackemann who has a very nice site on things to do and see in Obernkirchen, Germany, the town where the Admiral was born

scheermole1.jpg (76062 bytes)

Scheermole (Scheer Pier), Kiel, Germany
Photo by Michael R. Scherr
June 1995

scheermole.jpg (132880 bytes)

Scheermole (Scheer Pier) from Russian ship Neustrasimyj - the German ship Rommel in the background, Kiel, Germany
Photo by Michael R. Scherr
June 1995


 Parents of Reinhard Scherr:

Julius Scheer, married to Marie Reinhardt. Julius was a minister in Obernkirchen and  rector of the City-school in Obernkirchen, from 1861-1867.

Child of Julius Scheer and Marie Reinhardt (don't have names of any other children at this point)

[Arthur] Reinhard Scheer, born 30 September 1863, Obernkirchen, Hannover, Germany; married Emillie Mohr in 1899; died 26 November 1928, Marktredwitz, Germany; buried in the Friedhof in Weimar, Germany, (where Goethe & Schiller are buried).   Photographs of the Admiral's Funeral.


Julius Scheer with his son Reinhard,
ca 1864
This photo courtesy of Frank Ackemann


ScheerTombstone.jpg (171053 bytes)     
Tombstone of Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer
in the Friedhof in Weimar, Germany
Photo on left courtesy of Karin & Hartmut Günther of Germany
Photo on right is of Philipp Fleming, the Admiral's great-great grandson, standing by the Tombstones of Admiral Scheer & the Admiral's wife Emillie - this photo courtesy of Philipp

Photographs -- Funeral of Admiral Reinhard Scheer - November 1928

Reinhard's wife was murdered 9 October 1920 during a robbery attempt. His wife Emillie and a housemaid who was also living in the house were both killed by an intruder. He was at home with his family and asked the housemaid to bring a bottle of wine from the cellar, she didn't come back. Then Emilie went down looking for the maid and she also didn't come back.  They were both shot by the intruder. After a while their daughter Else went down to look for them and was shot also. She was able to come back upstairs to warn her father. The perpetrator, a painter, committed suicide in a second cellar. The house they lived in at the time in one of the villas located in Weimar and still stands and is lived in today.  Photos of the villa.

Children of Reinhard Scheer & Emillie Mohr:

1. Marianne, born 1900; married to Besserer (Naval Officer from the last war - in the 1950's he was still living in Hannover). Marianne named the battleship Admiral Scheer in 1933. Her husband married again in the 1950s to Ursula - they lived in Hannover

Children of Marianne Scheer and Besserer:

Helmut born in Berlin 28 June 1921, married Hannelore 

2. Else [Elise (Ilse)], born 4 August 1902; married Wilhelm Brandenburg in 1925 (he was director in Mannheim).

    Else Scheer and Wilhelm Brandenburg had three children: Ingrid, Ruth and Horst. 
    One daughter was born 17 February 1927.

    Children of Horst: Kristine and Florien.

 Admiral Reinhard Scheer
& Helmut Besserer
Berlin 1928

Helmut Besserer age 80
The original of the photo on the left was given to me through the generosity of Helmut Besserer, the Admiral's grandson.  The one on the left is taken from  an invitation to Mr. Besserer's 80th birthday.  Click on the photos for a larger view.

Child of  Helmut and Hannelore Besserer:

Mathias Besserer, born 13 January 1956, married to Suzanne.  Mathias and Suzanne have two children, Sarah, born 10 December 1982, and Marcus, born 6 October 1985.

Liselotte, called Lilo, born in 1919, married to Dr. Franz Flemming

flemming-11br-b.jpg (59996 bytes)
Liselotte Flemming with her grandchildren
Philipp and Charlotte, who are great-great grandchildren of the Admiral

Marianne, married to Joachim Krosukewitz


Military Career


This photo is a postcard
owned by the Webmaster

For commemoration medals and additional postcards in my collection, click here


(Portions of the text below were translated from German and are, at times, quite literal)

Reinhard Scheer was born 30 September 1863 in Obernkirchen, Germany; he died 26 November 1928 in Marktredwitz and is buried in Weimar.

Admiral Scheer entered the German navy as a cadet on 22 April 1879, and was promoted to Sea Cadet on 15 June 1880.  He was promoted to Leutnant zur See on 16 November 1882 (patent of 13 November 1883).  His promotion to Oberleutnant zur See came on 15 December 1885, and on 10 April 1893 he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant.  He was nominated to Korvettenkapitän on 9 April 1900, and Fregattenkapitän on 27 January 1904 .  He was promoted to Kapitän zur See on 21 March 1905.

Sea Cadet - 1880


Leutnant zur See - 1882

Corvette Bismarck

Kapitan zur See - 1905

These photos are from a biography on Admiral Scheer titled
Admiral Scheer Vom Segelschiff zum U-Boot
published in 1925 by Quelle & Meyer - Leipzig
This book is owned by the Webmaster

His promotions to flag officer were 27 January 1910 Konteradmiral, 9 December 1913 Vizeadmiral (Vice Admiral), and on 5 June 1916 Admiral.  He retired on 17 December 1918.

During his naval career, he served with Landkommandos and the forces afloat.  He served on sail-frigate Niobe, artillery-cadetship Renown, armoured-frigate Friedrich Carl, corvette Hertha, artillery-cadetship Mars, navy-schools, II, Sailor-division.  As an officer, he was stationed on the amoured-ship Bayern, the corvette Bismarck, the torpedo-cadetship Blücher, the corvette Sophie, the armoured-ship Sachsen, the cruiser Prince Wilhelm, the armoured-ship Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm.  He also served in the Sailor-division II and the navy academy.  From 1900 he held command positions and also was stationed in the Reichs Marine Amt. 

He became Commander in Chief of the High Seas Fleet on 24 January 1916.  From August 1918 he became Chief of Staff of the Navy.  On 5 June 1916 he received the order of Pour le Merite and on 1 February was awarded the oak leaves [literal translation: the pertinent standardize-foliage].

“His life was filled with diligence, versatility, and purposefulness.  The deceased First Chief of Staff of the Federal navy, Vizeadmiral Ruge wrote:  Scheer’s personality radiated strength and trust, he replaced the feudal through the technical in the navy.” 

With the takeover of the leadership of the High Seas Fleet, he strove from the beginning to make the Fleet a force in battle.  On 31 May 1916 a meeting [with the British] finally came, a vehement battle erupted, the Royal Navy lost much more than the German fleet.  Scheer proved to be a skillful tactician as he confused the British battle formation through battle turns of the entire High Seas Fleet and withdrew from a very threatening and in itself, intimidating embrace.  The Skagerrakschlacht was admittedly a tactical victory.  This tactical victory was not followed up.  Both fleets retreated for the duration of the war into their hiding places apart from occasional ventures.  The German fleet maintained operations on the small Nasse triangle, the German bay, or the narrow waters of the Baltic sea as instructed. 

After Skagerrakschlacht, Scheer’s position had become strong in the navy, so it was a problem for him that the emperor and others in the “old categories” made it clear that the High Seas Fleet could afford no second battle like the Skagerrak.  He became a strong advocate for an absolute submarine war.  As head of the Seekriegsleitung, he developed the so-called Scheer Program with industry intending to construct 36 submarines monthly. 

Meanwhile, the German people became war-weary, there was wide unrest, and misdirected propaganda.   There was encouragement to oppose the war.  A secret campaign on board the ships began, spearheaded by a “Secret Committee of the North Sea Fleet and the Naval base of Wilhelmshaven” to promote the rebellion.  In July 1917 the seamen of a Command squadron headed by the battleship Prinzregent refused to weigh anchor.  Hundreds of sailors were sentenced to penal servitude from one to fifteen years.  Gradually, the navy moved toward mutiny in the ranks, resulting in a revolution that ended it all.  The upper most German navy leadership was sacrificed.  As Commander in Chief of the fleet, in August 1917 Admiral Scheer moved against individual mutineers with all hardness, but by October 1918 this was no longer possible.  It was reported that the Committee deposed all the commanders and admirals of the Fleet and told them that as long as they kept to their quarters they would not come to harm, but if they moved they would be dealt with.  The mutinies and resulting revolution hit Scheer badly.  His personal “Aufklarer” [perhaps aide] spied on him for years and deceived him, passed on service secrets and more.  Scheer was profoundly hurt by all that had happened.  After leaving the navy, he lived quietly in Weimar with his family where he was again hit hard by fate, when on 9 October 1920 there was a forced entry to his house.  His wife and maid were murdered in a cellar and his daughter wounded.  The perpetrator, a painter, committed suicide in the additional cellar. 

Sources: Koop/Schmolke, “The Tank-Ships of This Germany – Class II",5722,118862,00.html
The pamphlet “The Wilhelmshaven Revolt” – “A Chapter of the Revolutionary Movement in the German Navy, 1918-1919 by “Ikarus” and found on


Reinhard Scheer
Admiral, Commander-in-Chief, German High Seas Fleet

He was awarded the Pour le Merite Order in recognition of outstanding leadership, distinguished naval planning, and successful operations. It was also given to acknowledge the German naval victory at the battle of Jutland, which happened on May 31 - June 1, 1916. On this date Scheer was promoted to full admiral. He was also awarded the Oakleaves to the Pour le Merite. Admiral Scheer was able to inflict heavy losses on the Allied Powers shipping even though he had a limited number of German warships at his disposal. He also devised the "Auxiliary Cruisers" which proved so successful and effective in maintaining a threat to enemy shipping.

Images and text courtesy of Pour le Merite


A very good site on all - eventually - the medals given during World War 1
by all countries involved in the War


Origins of above photo unknown.
The only two individuals I can identify are Admiral Reinhard Scheer,
with walking stick,
and the Kaiser to his left in the center.



Click on the photo above to see photos of the 
High Seas Fleet in action at the Battle of Skagerrak (Jutland)
Including aerial views of the fleet and one of the 180o turn away from the British

Table medal commemorating
Admiral Reinhard Scheer and the Battle of Skagerrak
1 June 1916 owned by the Webmaster
and collection of postcards of photographs of Admiral Scheer and of the Battle of Skagerrak

With Admiral Scheer on the Kommand Bridge
by Vizeadmiral Adolf von Trotha,
at that time Chief of Staff of the High Sea Fleet.

A first hand report by Vizeadmiral von Trotha that is very well written -- almost as good as being there yourself.  Some excellent descriptions of the battle and of Admiral Scheer as he commanded the fleet.
This document is courtesy of Gary Staff, who did the translation.

The Battle Report for Skagerrak
by Admiral Reinhard Scheer
This document is in German - hopefully at some point an English translation can be included here. This document was provided by Gary Staff.  

Email me if you wish to use this banner as a link to these pages

Click on the graphics below to visit the sites and read 
the Admiral's book on the High Sea Fleet and to read about the Battle of Jutland 

The complete online English translation of Admiral Scheer's book, which is located on the site of  The War Times Journal

The Battle of the Skagerrack - [Jutland]
By Commander Georg von Hase
First Gunnery Officer of the Derfflinger

Located on the site of The War Times Journal

Located on the site of Darren Milford

This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.



Located on the University of Kansas site

This site is wonderful for horse lovers and for those interested in things to do with WWI.
The bags the horses are wearing are actually gas masks for horses - visit the site and learn more interesting things about the WWI horse.

This banner is used with permission from the WWI Horse site, & made by Historical Graphics on the Web



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