KESSELRING: A Soldier's Record by Albert Kesselring

KESSELRING: A Soldier's Record

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Field Marshal Kesselring served his country on virtually every front, certainly every important front, and in various capacities -- with air and ground troops and over-all staff, and finally replacing von Runstedt as Commander-in-Chief in the already collapsing West command. This is a military rather than a personal record, but reveals the frame of mind of a German General, even today completely convinced of the rightness of his role, although acknowledging the weaknesses which contributed to defeat. While one can see the blind spots and criticise the position, one cannot fail to admire the single-mindedness, the conviction of the man himself. At the start of the war he served under Goering, for whom he had respect and affection; he was dedicated to the Luftwaffe and throughout extolled its achievements and combatted the viewpoint that it was ever at fault. His feeling toward Hitler suffered only slight diminution; he knew nothing of the depravities that later came to light, and criticized him chiefly for vacillation, secretiveness, arrogant certainty of things of which he could know little. His attitude towards some of his fellow officers was not always generous; Rommel comes in for considerable criticism. There's an indefinable fascination to this record, which might well be read today by way of warning. The promised introduction by S.L.A. Marshall, historian of the U.S. Army in the European Theatre, will doubtless place the importance of the text in the frame of reference.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1954
Publisher: Morrow