- Kesselring, Albert
Generalfeldmarschall der Luftwaffe. Oberbefehlhaber der Luftflotte 2.
- 30-11-1885, Marktsteft, Unterfranken.
- 15-07-1960, heart attack, age 74, Bad Nauheim.
Bad Wiessee, Village Cemetery.
Albert Kesselring, born on 30-11-1885 Marktsteft, Unterfranken, four and a half year older as Adolf Hitler (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know) served as General Field Marshal of the Air Force and later Commander-in-Chief of the German troops in Italy during World War II. Kesselring joined the military as a cadet in 1904, age 19 and became an artillery officer in the Bavarian army. After his service in the First World War, Kesselring joined the Reichswehr for regimental service with the artillery and was promoted to Brigadier in 1932. By 1935 Kesselring was transferred into Goering's (see Hermann Goering) (did you know) Luftwaffe and quickly held significant rank. He was made General of Flyrs in 1937 and a year later became Commander-in-Chief of Air Fleet I. Following his success in Poland and Belgium, he was made General Field Marshal in July 1940 with the fall of France. His strategic bombing attacks in Rotterdam, 800 civilians were killed (see About) (see Ackermans) and Dunkirk were considered brilliant by strategists and his success during the Battle of Britain (see Bomber Harris) may have been complete had it not been for Goering's (see Goering Peter) meddling. In December 1941, he was transferred to the Mediterranean as the Commander-in-Chief in the South.On 21-11-1943 he was appointed Commander in Chief of Army Group C, which command he took over from Marshal von Leeb (see Leeb)and lost to Generaloberst Heinrich von Vietinghoff (see Vietinghoff ) and with it organized an outstanding campaign of attrition and delay that badly hampered the Allied Italian campaign. He worked closely with Rommel (see Rommel) and General Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma (see Thoma) in North Africa and devised strategic retreats in Tunisia and the Italian peninsula that delayed Allied advances by almost a year. His noteworthy military and strategist career was marred by his involvement in the Ardeantine cave massacre of March 1944 in which 335 Italian civilians were shot. Kesselring finished the war on the western front. In October 1944 he was severely injured in a road accident and returned only briefly to his command before succeeding Rundstedt (see Rundstedt) in north-west Europe in March 1945. A British military Court in Venice sentenced Kesselring to death in 1947 for killing Italian hostages, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
Churchill, (see Churchill) among many, thought this too severe. He was released due to ill health in October of 1952 and died eight years later on 16-07-1960, age 74 of a heart attack, in Bad Nauheim. Albert Kesselring is buried with his wife Pauline, who died age 69, on 28-01-1957, on the village cemetery of Bad Wiessee and only steps of the graves of the Generals Werner Blomberg (see Blomberg) and Franz Beyer (see Beyer). General Josef Kammhuber (see Kammhuber) spoke on behalf of the Luftwaffe and Bundeswehr, expressing the hope that Kesselring would be remembered for his earlier accomplishments rather than for his later activities. Also present were the former SS Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich (see Dietrich), the ex-Chancellor Franz von Papen (see von Papen), Generalfeldmarschall Ferdinand Schörner (see Schörner), Grossadmiral and former Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz (see Dönitz), Otto Remer, he died old age 85 on 04-10-1997, in Marbella and SS Standartenführer Joachim Peiper (see Peiper). (see Peiper)