Hugo Sperrle, Generalfeldmarschall of the Luftwaffe, 1940

Hugo Sperl was a German field marshal of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Throughout the war his forces were deployed entirely on the Western Front and the Mediterranean Sea. By 1944 he had become the supreme commander of the Luftwaffe in the West.

It is often tempting to attribute personality traits to people based on their photos and this can certainly be very confusing at times. However, in this picture, Sperrle looks like a determined man and not one to be tricked into. Compare this photo to one taken during his war-crime trial.

Sperrle joined the German Army in 1903 and flew fighter planes in World War I. In 1936–37 Sperrle led the Condor Legion, a German Air Force unit that fought on the side of the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. There his forces were responsible for the bombing of Guernica and other Spanish cities.

In 1938 he was made commander of one of the Luftwaffe's four air fleets, Air Fleet 3 (based in Munich). He led this fleet in the campaign against France (May–June 1940), and in July was made general field marshal of the Luftwaffe.

Before the operation against Great Britain began, Sperrle, along with other Luftwaffe commanders, most notably its supreme commander Hermann Göring, continued to attack British airfields and the Royal Air Force to ensure a successful invasion of Britain. Engaged in a heated argument, arguing to keep.

However, Göring ordered a change in Luftwaffe strategy, switching to attacking British cities (which had the unintended effect of relieving German pressure on the RAF).

Prior to the Allied invasion of Normandy, his forces were severely hampered by a severe shortage of aircraft, experienced personnel and fuel. In D-Day, they had only 319 operational aircraft left to face the Allied armada of over 9,000 aircraft. Due to the subsequent inability of his units to thwart Allied landings, he was dismissed from command in August 1944.

Field Marshal Spurl was captured by the Allies and charged with war crimes at the High Command Trial at the subsequent Nuremberg Trials, but was acquitted.

In the trial mugshot picture, one gets a sense of "how the greats fall", in that spurl now looks like a desperate and shabby-dressed man, who has lost his power as Commander-in-Chief West and The days of influence are far from over. war. After the war, he lived quietly and died in Munich in 1953.

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