The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring

The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring


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The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring by Albert Kesselring

One the great military autobiographies of World War II.

Field Marshal Albert Kesselring was one of Germany’s most capable military strategists. Originally a Bavarian army officer, he transferred to the Luftwaffe in 1935 and became Göring’s deputy, commanding air fleets during the invasion of France and the Battle of Britain. In 1941, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief South, sharing the direction of the North African campaign with Rommel. As Commander-in-Chief in Italy in 1943–44, his brilliant defense of the peninsula became legendary. In 1945, after the Ardennes offensive failed, Kesselring replaced von Rundstedt as Commander-in-Chief West.

In his memoirs, Kesselring describes his military training, his service in World War I, his work in the Reichswehr, his role in the founding of the Luftwaffe, and all aspects of his command in World War II. Conducing with Kesselring’s account of his trial and imprisonment for war crimes, these memoirs give a full picture of the whole military experience of one of Germany’s great commanders.

Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634505222
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date: 01/26/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 318,546
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Albert Kesselring had a military career that spanned both World Wars. He was one of Nazi Germany’s most skillful commanders. He died in Germany in 1960.

Table of Contents

List of Maps 7

Foreword Kenneth Macksey 8

Introduction 11

Part 1 Years of War and Peace: 1904-41 13

1 Service in the Royal Bavarian Army and the Reichswehr, 1904-33 15

2 Flashes from the Reichswehr Period 20

3 Transfer to the Luftwaffe 25

4 In the Air Ministry 31

5 Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe 35

6 Chief of Air Fleet 1, Berlin 37

7 The Polish Campaign, 1939 43

8 Between Campaigns-The Winter of 1939-40 49

9 Air Fleet 2 in the Western Campaign 52

The First Act in the West 55

The Second Act in the West 60

10 Before the Turning-Point-Summer 1940 62

11 Operation Sea-Lion and the Battle of Britain 65

12 The Russian Campaign Till the End of November 1941 85

Part 2 The War in the Mediterranean: 1941-45 101

13 The Mediterranean, 1941-42 103

14 Malta or Egypt? November 1941 to October 1942 119

15 The Allied Invasion of North Africa and the Battle for Tunis 137

Before the Invasion, 137

North Africa, November 1942 to January 1943, 141 Tunisia, February to May 1943, 149

16 The Leap to Sicily 158

17 Mussolini's Fall And Italy's Defection 167

Preliminaries 167

My First Steps After Mussolini's Arrest 169

Hitler's First Reactions 170

My Efforts to Consolidate the Situation 173

Operation Axis 175

The Day of the Surrender-8 September 1943 176

The Last of Cavallero 178

King Victor Emanuel, Mussolini and Hitler 179

18 The Battle of Salerno and the Struggle to Build Up a Defence Front South of Rome 182

19 Cassino, Anzio-Nettuno and Rome, Autumn 1943 Till Early Summer 1944 190

The Bridgehead and Cassino 190

Before the Battle for Rome 197

The Big Spring Battle 200

20 Defence Stand in Italy, Summer 1944 Till Spring 1945 204

June till Mid-August 1944 204

The 20th July and the Italian Theatre 209

Autumn 1944 210

Northern Italy After the Apennine Battles 213

The Winter Period, 1944-45 218

Balance-sheet of the Italian Campaign 221

21 The Partisan War in Italy 224

Preliminary 224

The Development of Guerilla Warfare 224

Organisation of the Partisans 225

Partisan Methods 227

The Fight Against the Partisans 228

The Spread of the Partisan War. Its Excesses 231

Part 3 Unconditional Surrender and My Trial 235

22 Commander-in-Chief West 237

My Assignment 237

The Situation and Preliminary Measures 239

Again at the Fuhrer's General Headquarters 244

The Loss of the Palatinate 245

The Oppenheim Crossing and its Consequeaces 248

The Allied Break-out from the Remagen Bridgehead 250

The "Ruhr Fortress" 255

The Allied Break-through on the Lower Rhine 256

The Situation on the Upper Rhine in March 258

Retrospect and Outlook 259

My Relations with Hitler and the O.K.W. 264

The Battles in Central Germany 266

23 The End of the War 269

Southern Germany 269

The Battle for Cities 275

The Demolition of Bridges 276

The Alpine Fortress 276

The Situation in Mid-April 1945 277

The End of the Fighting in South Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia 280

I am Given Plenipotentiary Powers 285

Problems of Leadership at the End of the War 287

Capitulation 288

24 My Post-War Experiences 294

First Years of Imprisonment 294

My Trial 297

Measures for the Protection of Italy's Population and Culture 307

After my Trial 310

Index 317


The bombardment of the Dutch forces in Rotterdam 57

The principal targets in the economic war against Britain 77

Encirclements of Russian forces in the second half of 1941 91

The Mediterranean as a base for operation in World War II 111

German operations and operational objectives in Tunisia, January 1943 145

Battles in the Mareth zone: 19th to 29th March, 1943 153

Operations in Italy 201

The last campaign, showing the front on 11th March, 1945 251

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