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Albert Kesselring (Command) Paperback – August 21, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Command (Book 27)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849087350
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849087353
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Author Pier Paolo Battistelli does a great job of not only telling the story of Kesselring, but also looking into the man himself ...  Not only do we look at the life of the man, but are able to follow his career from the beginning and see how he handled each of the commands he was given. It is a superb book about one of Germany's most well respected generals. A book I thoroughly enjoyed reading and one that I can most highly recommend to you."
- Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (April 2012)

"...provides a fine biography of of field marshal Albert Kesselring, a key figure during the Italian campaign of 1943-45."
- The Midwest Book Review (November 2012)

"...a brief but excellent look at the life of Albert Kesselring."
- Richard Mataka, www.mataka.org

About the Author

Pier Paolo Battistelli earned his PhD in Military History at the University of Padua. A scholar of German and Italian politics and strategy throughout World War II, he is active in Italy and abroad writing titles and essays on military history subjects. A contributor to the Italian Army Historical Office, he is currently revising his PhD thesis for publication: The War of the Axis: German and Italian Military Partnership in World War Two, 1939-1943.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Any introduction of this book would have to start with a few comments on what the Osprey Publishing House's "Command" series, of which this book is a part, is and is not. These books are 64 pages in length, a third of which consists of illustration. Needless to say, anyone looking for an encyclopedic history of any subject in terms of biography (i.e., who is this man), history or even the narrower topic of military strategy would be sorely disappointed. The books in this series are only intended to touch the surface by providing a very rudimentary introduction to the subject that can be read in about an hour and a half or so. For those seeking a much lengthier (and more serious) history and analysis of Kesselring this is not the book. Unfortunately, at least as of September 2012, there is really no independent book that really delves into Kesselring. The two leading (and best books) are Kesselring's own memoirs and Kenneth Macksey's "Kesselring: German Master Strategist of the Second World War" (Published by Greenhill). Unfortunately the former is quite self-serving while the latter is not very deep in terms of its analysis, despite its approximately 250 page length. This is definitely a gap that, hopefully, will eventually be filled but for the time being exists. The relevant question, regarding the Osprey "Command" series book on Kesselring is, does the book, given its format, do an adequate job in examining Kesselring's military career and style of command (along with weaknesses and strengths)? The answer is that it is very mixed. On the one had it provides a succinct and decent introduction to the Kesselring's military career but, on the other, does not provide a decent analysis if his command style (especially in regard to its uniqueness) as well as its strengths and weaknesses.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dr. Pier Paolo Battistelli's Albert Kesselring, No. 27 in Osprey's Command series, offers a succinct look at Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring, one of the most unusual German commanders in the Second World War. As the author notes, Kesselring rose very rapidly in the German army, transferred to the new Luftwaffe in the 1930s and then occupied key joint-service command slots during the Second World War. Aside from his own memoirs and one dated biography in English, Kesselring hasn't been covered much in English-language history so this volume has merit. However, the 64-page format is tough to pull off (as I can attest personally, having written three previous volumes in this series) and in this case, is only a partial success. I suspect that a good amount of information that fell on the cutting room floor and the volume seemed to lack continuity at parts, which could also be indicative of too much editorial meddling. In any case, this volume is a decent introduction to Kesselring and his role in the Second World War, but essentially just scratches the surface.

Kesselring's early life and career are covered in a few pages in the introduction. One thing that struck my eye was that, "Kesselring did not serve in the trenches or even the front line [in the First World War], he was awarded the Iron Cross first and second class..." Instead, he spent much of the First World War as an adjutant in various artillery units. Afterwards, he spent much of the 1920s in Defense Ministry postings, with only minimal command time. It is also interesting that Kesselring never really served in the hardcore staff position so exalted in the German military - operations officer. When he transferred to the Luftwaffe in 1933, Kesselring continued to occupy high-level ministry positions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on April 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the first time I have ever been disappointed in an Osprey book. First of all, the book simply serves as a resume of Kesselring, not really a discussion of his leadership style (unless "optimism" is a style) or how we was able to influence and lead his soldiers and airmen. The format is confusing. There are typos and finally one map has a key item from a completely different map. While the artwork and maps are great and the photos are good it is hard for me to recommend this book.
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