Erich Johann Albert Raeder (24 April 1876 in Wandsbek - 6 November 1960 in Kiel) was a naval leader in Germany before and during the Second World War. He was made a "Großadmiral" (English: Grand Admiral, equivalent to Admiral of the Fleet) in 1939, which is the highest naval rank. Born in 1876 in Hamburg, Germany, Raeder joined the Imperial German Navy in 1894, rising through the ranks. Raeder played a significant role in planning naval strategy during World War I. After the war, he advocated for a powerful German navy. He played a key role in the buildup of the Kriegsmarine, advocating for submarine warfare. Raeder fell out of favor with Hitler later in the war. In 1943 he was replaced by Karl Dönitz in his position as head of the German Navy.
Raeder was arrested by the Allies in 1945 and was tried at the Nuremberg Trials, convicted of war crimes, and sentenced to life in prison. However, his sentence was reduced to 10 years. Raeder was released in 1955 due to health reasons and died in 1960.