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Albert Kesselring

From Academic Kids

Albert Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a German Generalfeldmarschall who commanded Army Group C during World War II. He was nicknamed "Smiling Albert" or "smiling Kesselring".

He was born in Marktsteft, Germany, in 1881. He joined the German Army in 1904 and became an officer cadet in the 2nd Bavarian Foot Artillery Regiment at Metz. He served on various divisional and corps staffs in World War I. After staff and troop assignments he was assigned as administrative chief to the Reich Air Ministry. Kesselring remained in this position until June 1936 when he was assigned as chief of the Air Force General Staff.

In the Polish campaign he commanded 1st Air Fleet and later in 1940 2nd Air Fleet in France. During Battle of Britain he almost succeeded in defeating RAF. In December 1941 Kesselring was appointed as Commander in Chief South with command of all German Air Force units in the Mediterranean and North African theaters. In the fall of 1943 he was redesignated as Commander in Chief Southwest with nominal command of the German armed forces in Italy, here he led a hugely successful twenty month campaign of defence up the peninsula, making Churchill's claims of Italy being a "soft underbelly" unfounded. Kesselring was transferred to Germany as Commander in Chief West in March 1945 and later designated as Commander in Chief South. He was taken prisoner at Saalfelden on 6 May 1945.

After the war, in 1947 the British tried him for the shootings of partisans by troops under his command. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. This sentence caused much controversy and protest, and Kesselring was reprieved and released from prison in 1952 in consideration of his ill health. He died at Bad Nauheim.

See also


 
German Field Marshals (Generalfeldmarschall) of World War II

Werner von Blomberg | Hermann Göring | Walther von Brauchitsch | Albert Kesselring | Wilhelm Keitel | Günther von Kluge | Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb | Fedor von Bock | Wilhelm List | Erwin von Witzleben | Walther von Reichenau | Erhard Milch | Hugo Sperrle | Gerd von Rundstedt | Erwin Rommel | Georg von Küchler | Erich von Manstein | Friedrich Paulus | Ewald von Kleist | Maximilian von Weichs | Ernst Busch | Wolfram von Richthofen | Walther Model | Ferdinand Schörner | Robert Ritter von Greim

Honorary: Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli

 
German Grand Admirals (Großadmiral) of World War II

Erich Raeder | Karl Dönitz


 
Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves, Swords, and Diamonds during World War II

Werner Mölders | Adolf Galland | Gordon Gollob | Hans-Joachim Marseille | Hermann Graf | Erwin Rommel | Wolfgang Luth | Walter Nowotny | Adelbert Schulz | Hans-Ulrich Rudel | Hyazinth Graf von Strachwitz | Herbert Otto Gille | Hans-Valentin Hube | Albert Kesselring | Helmut Lent | Sepp Dietrich | Walther Model | Erich Hartmann | Hermann Balck | Gerhard Ramcke | Wolfgang Schnaufer | Albrecht Brandi | Ferdinand Schörner | Hasso von Manteuffel | Theodor Tolsdorff | Karl Mauss | Dietrich von Saucken

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