Alfred Keller

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Alfred Keller
Alfred Keller NSFK.jpg
Keller as NSFK Korpsführer
Born(1882-09-19)19 September 1882
Died11 February 1974(1974-02-11) (aged 91)
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Years of service1902–45
RankLuftwaffe epaulette Generaloberst.svg Generaloberst
Commands heldLuftflotte 1
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsPour 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[edit]

Keller arrives at Mensuvaara, Finland

In September 1939, when the Second World War begun, 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 National Socialist Flyers Corps (Nationalsozialistische Fliegerkorps; NSFK), a paramilitary unit that he organised to form a civil reserve of pilots. He was Korpsführer of the NSFK from 26 June 1943, until the German surrender on 8 May 1945. Towards the end of the war Keller was responsible for the antitank weapons department of the Luftwaffe.

Later life[edit]

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.




  1. ^ 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.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalmajor Hellmuth Bieneck
Commander of 4. Flieger-Division
1 February 1939 – 11 October 1939
Succeeded by
IV. Fliegerkorps
Preceded by
4. Flieger-Division
Commander of IV. Fliegerkorps
11 October 1939 – 19 August 1940
Succeeded by
General der Flieger Kurt Pflugbeil
Preceded by
General Wilhelm Wimmer
Commander of Luftflotte 1
20 August 1940 – 12 June 1943
Succeeded by
Generaloberst Günther Korten