Wednesday, September 7, 2011
“Smiling” Albert Kesselring’s Sense of Humor
In the last months of WWII in Europe, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels’ favorite tactic was to claim that while the German “vengeance” weapons (V1 and V2) had done severe damage, in just a few weeks they would produce the V3, a weapon that would completely change the course of the conflict and win the war for Germany.
In mid-March 1945, less than 2 months before the end of the war, Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, received responsibility for the entire western front. Allied troops were at the Rhine, American troops had taken the bridge at Remagen, and any competent general could see that the war would be over very soon. So when Kesselring met his staff for the first time, he proved he could smile in the face of disaster. He said, “Good morning gentleman. *I* am the new V-3!”