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Hans Jeschonnek

After the brilliant Chief of Staff Walther Wever died in an accident in 1936, the Luftwaffe struggled to find a suitable successor.

Initially, Albert Kesselring was appointed as C. of S.

Although he proved to be a great general, he was not a very effective Chief of Staff and within a year General Stumpff replaced him.

Stumpff was not a success either, and in February 1939, just months before WW II, Hans Jeschonnek was appointed. He was a star in the Kriegsakademie but he was more of a technician than a strategist.
Nevertheless, he understood the main requirements of his position, as seen in this post.

The head of the General Staff had a most difficult job to carry out. He had to understand technology and tactics, and he needed to have a good understanding of what was possible within a certain time frame.

Fortunately for him, Wever did a great job defining the Luftwaffe's doctrine (what tasks the Luftwaffe should carry out and how), so his job was to develop the right tools (aircraft, guns, communications, etc.) and the way they should be employed for maximum effectiveness.

Since the technology was continuously improving and it takes years before a new aircraft is in production, he had to freeze the design at some point. If he was too conservative, the aircraft would be released for production in time but the aircraft may be inferior to the competition. If he was too aggressive, the technology may not be mature enough and the aircraft would have to be delayed (see the slide: Designing an Fw 190 part II).

His predecessors made many of the substantive technology decisions before him. When he reached his post, all the aircraft the Luftwaffe would deploy in the war had been selected and were in production.

Still, he probably deserves some credit for the early successes of the air force.

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