Field-Marshal Albert Kesselring in Context

Sangster, Andrew (2014) Field-Marshal Albert Kesselring in Context. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the life and context of Kesselring the last living
German Field Marshal. It examines his background, military experience
during the Great War, his involvement in the Freikorps, in order to understand what moulded his attitudes. Kesselring's role in the clandestine re-organisation of the German war machine is studied; his role in the development of the Blitzkrieg; the growth of the Luftwaffe is looked at along with his command of Air Fleets from Poland to Barbarossa. His appointment to Southern Command is explored indicating his limited authority. His command in North Africa and Italy is examined to ascertain whether he deserved the accolade of being one of the finest defence generals of the war; the thesis suggests that the
Allies found this an expedient description of him which in turn masked their own inadequacies. During the final months on the Western Front, the thesis asks why he fought so ruthlessly to the bitter end. His imprisonment and trial are examined from the legal and historical/political point of view, and the contentions which arose regarding his early release. The thesis will confirm that Kesselring was guilty of war crimes, and offers new evidence that he was aware of his guilt, and explains why he committed perjury. His postwar activities are explored, and illustrate that he failed to come to terms with the new West Germany. During and after the war Kesselring was frequently regarded as a non-party, decent man considered by some a possible candidate for the presidency of West Germany. This thesis challenges these long held views; he simply stayed in the limelight for a brief time due to the politics of the Cold War.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Stacey Armes
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 17:57
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 17:57
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/52172
DOI:

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