Saturday, September 16, 2006
Hitler decided at the end of October 1941, that the something major was required in North Africa
At the end of October 1941, Hitler appointed Field Marshal Kesselring as Commander-in-Chief South, with Luftflotte 2 and Fliegerkorps II to be withdrawn from the Russian front. He was to take charge, neutralize Malta, and establish air superiority over the Mediterranean Sea. He would be charged with interdicting British sea traffic, in the east-west directions, and would be able to issue orders to the naval commands. Kesselring would report to Mussolini. Rommel would still report to General Bastico. The Italians did not welcome Kesselring's appointment, but were forced to accept him. Kesselring would have a mixed German-Italian staff, in at least a gesture to the Italians. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.