Kesselring-commander, leader, administrator; the only senior German officer to start and finish the Second World War holding a high command appointment. There was scarcely a major campaign in which he was not at some time deeply involved: he flew in the forefront of the battle over Poland, Holland, Britain, Russia and the Western Desert and was shot down five times; as a field commander he defended Tunisia, Italy and, ultimately, Germany. But it is as much for his role in the formation and development of the Luftwaffe that Kesselring is remembered-his were many of the ideas, plans and insights about the part played by aircraft in the land battle. They were central to the careful, systematic reorganization and building up of the German military machine in the 1920s and 30s. This first complete biography presents the complex, fascinating personality of a man whose qualities of utter determination, charm and good humor, harnessed to outstanding training and experience, enabled him to cope with both victory and defeat and, finally, when placed on trial for his life, to face his judges with dignity, equanimity and a staunch defense.