Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hermann Göring and Hans Jeschonnek

Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe) and Generaloberst Hans Jeschonnek (Chef des Generalstabes der Luftwaffe) at Führerhauptquartier (FHQ) Schloss Kleßheim, 7-10 April 1943, in the event of the formal visit of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to Germany. Göring is wearing the Grand Officer Star of the Italian Crown Order in his uniform. It's very strange, because it's not the higher grade of this order, and Göring was awarded with the other two italian most important orders (Saints Mauritius and Lazarus, and Annunziata). The picture was taken by Hitler personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann. During the war years, the most impressive personality among the Chiefs of the General Staff was Generaloberst Jeschonnek — an unusually intelligent and energetic person. Even Jeschonnek, however, was not strong enough to oppose Göring successfully (occasionally he did succeed in opposing Hitler) in matters of decisive importance. A very definite lack of harmony brought effective coordination to a standstill. As part of Operation Crossbow, Allied bombing raids struck Peenemünde on the night of August 17–18, 1943; Jeschonnek ordered Berlin's air defenses to fire upon 200 German fighters, in the belief it was enemy aircraft, who had mistakenly gathered near the Reich '​s capital. When he realized his mistake, Jeschonnek shot himself on August 18, 1943 at Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia. After his death, Eckhard Christian was promoted to Generalmajor and Chief of the General Staff at Hitler's request on 1 September 1944.

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