Kesselring, Albert

Albert Kesselring was born November 30th, 1885 in Marktsteft in the region of Unterfranken in Bavaria. He was the son of a teacher. Kesselring attended school in Bayreuth. He entered service with the Bavarian artillery in 1904, was promoted to Leutnant and placed in command of a shock troop. In 1910 he married Pauline Keyssler. In 1922, they adopted a son.

In the course of World War One he was promoted to Colonel. He had had enough of the artillery and the air force appealed to him. He became observer in a balloon and rose through the ranks. Towards the end of the war, he joined the staff of the air force. Here he met Hermann Göring (Bio Göring) with whom he established a close friendship.

After World War One had ended and because Germany was no longer allowed to have an air force, pursuant to the Treaty of Versailles, Kesselring returned to the artillery. October 1st, 1933, he was officially discharged from the army in order to secretly rebuild the Luftwaffe. He was given the title of Reichskommissar für den Luftverkehr (State Commissioner for Aviation). In 1936 he was admitted again to the staff of the German army as Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe. He remained at this post until early 1937 when he was side tracked somewhat.

Göring wanted to be in command of the Luftwaffe at all costs. This was to Kesselring’s disadvantage causing a breach in their friendship. Things never got right again between the two men. Kesselring was in command of Luftkreis III, Dresden and was placed in command of Luftkreis I, Berlin in 1938. In the meantime, he wrote articles and manuals on how to attack ground targets. He becam