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Keller as NSFK Korpsführer
|Born||19 September 1882|
|Died||11 February 1974
|Commands held||Luftflotte 1|
World War II
|Awards||Pour le Mérite
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Alfred Keller (19 September 1882 – 11 February 1974) was a general in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany during the Second World War who commanded the Luftflotte 1. His career in the Imperial German Armed Forces began in 1897; he became one of the most decorated generals of the former Luftwaffe.
World War II
In September 1939, when the Second World War begun, the then General Alfred Keller commanded the 4th Air Corps during the invasion of Poland, assuming this command on 13 October 1939. The following campaigns, during campaigns against Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Battle of France, he commanded Luftflotte 2 with General Albert Kesselring as his superior. Keller was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 24 June 1940 as commander of the 4th Air Corps. Shortly afterwards, on 19 July 1940, he was promoted Generaloberst. On 19 August 1940, during the Battle of Britain, Alfred Keller was appointed as the commander of Luftflotte 1 and Air Force commander - East. Keller led this formation very energetically during the invasion of the Balkans Campaign and later during the Operation Barbarossa where he predominantly supported Army Group North. Keller remained with Luftflotte 1 until 12 June 1943, when he retired from active service at the age of 61, replaced by the 16 years younger Günther Korten. However he continued to perform important functions in NSFK (Nationalsozialistische Fliegerkorps – Organisation of Aerial National Socialist, a paramilitary unit that he organised to form a civil reserve of pilots). He was Korpsführer of the NSFK from June 26, 1943, until the German surrender on May 8, 1945. Towards the end of the war Keller was the responsible one for the antitank weapons department of the Luftwaffe.
With the German capitulation on 8 May 1945, Keller became a British prisoner, being kept as a POW until 1947. In the 1950s he became one of the first presidents of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients. Keller died in Berlin.
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 24 June 1940 as General der Flieger and commanding general of the IV. Fliegerkorps
- Scherzer 2007, p. 435.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
Generalmajor Hellmuth Bieneck
|Commander of 4. Flieger-Division
1 February 1939 – 11 October 1939
|Commander of IV. Fliegerkorps
11 October 1939 – 19 August 1940
General der Flieger Kurt Pflugbeil
General Wilhelm Wimmer
|Commander of Luftflotte 1
20 August 1940 – 12 June 1943
Generaloberst Günther Korten