Profession: German General
Why Famous: Regarded as one of Nazi Germany's most able commanders, Kesselring was initially in charge of the Luftwaffe during the invasion of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940, as well as in the Battle of Britain and the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
He was appointed Commander-in-Chief South in November 1941 with responsibility for operations in Africa and Italy. In the latter he executed a dogged defense against the Allied advance and was injured in October 1944. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief West in the last month of the war, taking over from Gerd von Runstedt.
After the war he was tried for war crimes committed under his watch and imprisoned, later being released. While Kesselring was one of the most popular commanders with the German rank and file, and won the respect of Allied commanders for his tactical brilliance, his reputation was marred by massacres committed by soldiers under his command in Italy.
- 1945-03-10 Fieldmarshal Albert Kesselring succeeds Gerd von Rundstedt as commander of German Army Command in the West