Albert Kesselring, published under CC Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License (CC-BY-SA)

With regards to the Battle, the most important of the German air fleets was Luftflotte 2 which was under the command of Kesselring. He had started his military career in the Army and thus lacked experience in the air but proved to be a very able man and a capable leader. Kesselring was to end up in the latter part of the War as the senior German commander of all forces in Italy.

Being in Command of Luftflotte 2 meant he had the central position handling Adler Tag, the Luftwaffe attack on Britain. The opening phase of the Battle, the Kanalkampf was fought out on his doorstep, over the Channel, at its narrowest point. Aircraft from his command only had to fly under 100 miles to get into the action. Both the beginning of the Battle and at its end, Luftflotte 2 acted as the spearhead of the action.

Kesselring was also the key player when it came to the many conferences that were held under Goering’s command. He had earlier supported Erhard Milch’s somewhat adventurous plan to launch an attack on specific British airfields almost immediately after Dunkirk.