IGNAS development and the challenges from within, 1916–1918
Chapter Four examines pivotal events that had an influence on the German air service. In March 1916, the Minister of Marine resigned and was replaced by his deputy. In the same month, there was a proposal to merge army and naval aviation into a single service, which failed to get approval due to resistance from various quarters. There were interventions by the HSF (High Sea Fleet) Command to acquire more control over the IGNAS. While not achieving complete success, there was some impact on its organization. In the summer of 1917, the head of HSF Command again intervened and succeeded in getting the top IGNAS position dissolved and renamed Director of Naval Flights, under a new lower ranked administrator. He continued to intervene over greater control of air force deployments, which culminated in the summer of 1918 with the resignation of the heads of the Minister of Marine and the Naval Staff. In late July 1918, the head of HSF became Supreme Commander of the German Navy, and effectively controlled the Ministry of Marine and the Naval Staff. It was too late to be of much value, and did nothing to help the naval air service.