German Field Marshal. He joined the German Army as an officer cadet in 1904, and served during World War I in both the Western and Eastern fronts. After the war he remained in the army, but was discharged in 1933 to become more involved in the establishment of the German air force, or Luftwaffe. Kesselring served as its Chief of Staff from 1936 to 1938. During World War II he commanded air forces during the Polish, French, and Russian campaigns and also the Battle of Britain. Later Kesselring would serve as the Commander-in-Chief South in which he had total command of the Mediterranean and North Africa. He also conducted a massive defensive campaign against the Allies in Italy. In the final months of World War II, he served as the Commander-in-Chief in the West. Kesselring was respected by not only his fellow German officers and soldiers, but also by Allied officers as well. His record was marred by war crimes committed by troops under his command in Italy. After the war, he was tried for war crimes and sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Kesselring was released in 1952 due to health reasons. After his release, he became President of the Stahlheim, a right wing veterans' organization.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye