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George Smith Patton, Jr. (also George Smith Patton III) (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a United States Army officer most famous for his leadership commanding corps and armies as a general in World War II. He was also widely known for his controversial outspokenness and strong opinions.

Patton was commissioned in the army in 1909, and participated in the unsuccessful attempt to capture Pancho Villa in 1916-17. In World War I, he was the first officer assigned to the new United States Tank Corps and saw action in France. After the war, he was a strong advocate of armored warfare.

In World War II, he commanded corps and armies in North Africa, Sicily, and the European Theater of Operations. Near the end of the Sicilian campaign, Patton jeopardized his career by slapping a soldier recuperating from battle fatigue at a hospital; Patton considered him a coward. The well-publicized incident caused General Dwight D. Eisenhower to relieve him of command. Thus, instead of playing a major part in the Normandy Landings and Operation Overlord, he was relegated to acting as a decoy in Operation Quicksilver. However, he was later given command of the U.S. Third Army and ably led it in breaking out of the hedgerows of Normandy and across France. A surprise German offensive at the Battle of the Bulge resulted in American units being surrounded in Bastognemarker, but Patton rapidly disengaged his army from fighting in another sector and moved it over 100 miles in 48 hours to relieve the siege.

Patton often got into trouble. In addition to the slapping incident, towards the end of the war he voiced his detestation and mistrust of the Soviet Unionmarker and his desire to fight it. However, he was greeted warmly by the public when he returned to the United States in June 1945. He died in December of that year after an automobile accident.

Family

George Smith Patton was born in San Gabriel Township, Californiamarker (in what is now the city of San Marino), to George Smith Patton, Sr. (1856 – 1927) and Ruth Wilson (1861 – 1928). Although he was technically the third George Smith Patton, he was given the name Junior. The Pattons were an affluent family of Scottish descent.

As a boy, Patton read widely in classics and military history. Patton's father was an acquaintance of John Singleton Mosby, a noted cavalry leader of the Confederate Army in the American Civil War who served first under J.E.B. Stuart and then as a guerrilla fighter. The younger Patton grew up hearing Mosby's stories of military glory. From an early age, the young Patton sought to become a general and hero in his own right.

Patton came from a long line of soldiers, including General Hugh Mercer of the American Revolution. A great-grandfather, John M. Patton, was a governor of Virginia. His grandfather, Colonel George S. Patton, was killed during the Battle of Opequonmarker. Colonel Patton was promoted to brigadier general by the Confederate Congress, but, at the time, had already died of battle wounds, so that the promotion was never official. A great-uncle, Waller T. Patton, died of wounds received in Pickett's Chargemarker during the Battle of Gettysburgmarker. Two other great-uncles, John M. Patton and Isaac Patton, served as colonels in the Confederate States Army, while yet another great uncle, William T. Glassell, was a Confederate States Navy officer. Another relative, Hugh Weedon Mercer, was a Confederate general.

His seventh great-grandfather was Louis Dubois, a French Huguenot immigrant, who with 11 others founded the town of New Paltz, New York. Another of Patton's ancestors was Francis Gregory, a first cousin of George Washington. Gregory married Francis Thornton III, a first cousin twice removed from James Madison and three times removed from Zachary Taylor.

Patton's paternal grandparents were Colonel George Smith Patton and Susan Thornton Glassell. Patton's grandfather, born in Fredericksburgmarker, graduated from Virginia Military Institutemarker (VMI), Class of 1852, second in a class of 24. After graduation, George Smith Patton studied law and practiced in Charleston. When the American Civil War broke out, he served in the 22nd Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States of America.

Patton's grandfather left behind a namesake son, born in Charlestonmarker, Virginia (now West Virginiamarker). The second George Smith Patton (born George William Patton in 1856, changing his name to honor his late father in 1868) was one of four children. Graduating from the Virginia Military Institute in 1877, Patton's father served as L.A. County District Attorney and the first City Attorney for the city of Pasadenamarker, Californiamarker and the first mayor of San Marino, Californiamarker. He was a Wilsonian Democrat.

His maternal grandparents were Benjamin Davis Wilson, (December 1, 1811 to March 11, 1878), the namesake of Southern California's Mount Wilsonmarker, and his second wife, Margaret Hereford. Wilson was a self-made man who was orphaned in Nashville, Tennesseemarker, and made his fortune as a fur trapper and adventurer during the Indian Wars and the war against Mexico, before marrying the daughter of a Mexican land baron and settling in what would become Californiamarker's San Gabriel Valley.

Patton married Beatrice Banning Ayer (January 12, 1886–September 30, 1953), the daughter of wealthy textile baron Frederick Ayer, on May 26, 1910. They had three children, Beatrice Smith (March 19, 1911–October 24, 1952), Ruth Ellen Patton Totten (February 28, 1915–November 25, 1993), who wrote The Button Box: A Loving Daughter's Memoir of Mrs. George S. Patton, and George Patton IV (December 24, 1923–June 27, 2004), who rose to the rank of major general. A cousin of Georg S.Patton was Democratic Congressman from Georgia Larry McDonald who was aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007marker when it was shot down by the Soviets just west of Sakhalin Island on Sept. 1, 1983.

Education and Early Military Service



Patton attended Virginia Military Institutemarker for one year, where he rushed VMI's chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order. He then transferred to the United States Military Academymarker. The Academy compelled him to repeat his first "plebe" year because of his poor performance in mathematics. He repeated his plebe year with honors and was appointed Cadet Adjutant (the second highest position for a cadet), eventually graduating in 1909 instead of 1908 and receiving his commission as a cavalry officer.

Fifth Olympiad

Patton participated in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholmmarker in the first-ever modern pentathalon. He placed sixth out of 37 contestants in 300 meter freestyle swimming. Patton was third out of 29 fencers. In the equestrian cross-country steeplechase, he was among the three riders who turned in perfect performances, but he placed third because of his time. Patton hit the wall from the finish line of the four kilometer cross-country footrace, then fainted after crossing the line at a walk. He finished third out of 15 contestants. He finished fifth overall.

Pistol shooting controversy

In pistol shooting, Patton placed 20th out of 32 contestants. He used a .38 caliber pistol, while most of the other competitors chose .22 caliber firearms. He claimed that the holes in the paper from early shots were so large that some of his later bullets passed through them, but the judges decided he missed the target completely once. Modern competitions on this level frequently now employ a moving background to specifically track multiple shots through the same hole. There was much controversy, but the judges’ ruling was upheld. Patton neither complained, nor made excuses. Patton's only comment was

...the high spirit of sportsmanship and generosity manifested throughout speaks volumes for the character of the officers of the present day.
There was not a single incident of a protest or any unsportsmanlike quibbling or fighting for points which I regret to say marred some of the other civilian competitions at the Olympic Games.
Each man did his best and took what fortune sent them like a true soldier, and at the end we all felt more like good friends and comrades than rivals in a severe competition, yet this spirit of friendship in no manner detracted from the zeal with which all strove for success.


Patton Saber

After the Olympics, Lieutenant Patton was made the Army's youngest-ever "Master of the Sword" at the Mounted Service School at Fort Rileymarker, Kansas. While Master of the Sword, Patton improved and modernized the Army's cavalry saber fencing techniques and designed the Model 1913 Cavalry Saber. It had a large, basket-shaped hilt mounting a straight, double-edged, thrusting blade designed for use by light cavalry. Patton's 1914 manual "Saber Exercise" outlined a system of training aimed at developing proficiency in the mounted use of the saber. Now known as the "Patton Saber", it was heavily influenced by the 1908 and 1912 Pattern British Army Cavalry Swords.

These weapons were never used as intended. At the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War I, several American cavalry units armed with sabers were brought to the front but they were held back; the nature of war had changed, making horse-mounted troops easy prey for enemy troops equipped with Gewehr 98 rifles and MG08 machine guns. Cut and thrust saber attacks had become obsolete.

Mexican Revolution

During the Mexican Expedition of 1916, Patton was assigned to the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Blissmarker, Texasmarker. He accompanied then-Brigadier General John J. Pershing as his aide during the Punitive Expedition in his pursuit of Pancho Villa, after Villa's forces had crossed into New Mexico, raided and looted the town of Columbus, and killed several Americans. Patton, accompanied by ten soldiers of the 6th Infantry Regiment, and using three armored car, conducted the world's first armored vehicle attack, and in the process killed two Mexican leaders, including "General" Julio Cardenas, commander of Villa's personal bodyguard. The bodies were brought back from San Miguelito to Pershing's headquarters strapped to the hoods of the vehicles in a manner similar to game animals brought back by hunters. For this action, as well as Patton's affinity for the Colt Peacemaker, Pershing titled Patton his "Bandito". Patton's success in this regard gained him a level of fame in the United States, and he was featured in newspapers across the nation.

World War I

At the outset of the U.S. entry into World War I, then-Major General Pershing promoted Patton to the rank of captain. While in Francemarker, Patton requested a combat command. Pershing assigned him to the newly formed United States Tank Corps. In November 1917, Patton left Paris and reported to General Garrard of the French Army. At Champlieu, Patton drove a Renault char d’assault tank and tested its trench-crossing ability. Depending on the source, he either led the U.S. tanks or was an observer at the 1917 Battle of Cambrai, where tanks were first used in significant numbers. As the U.S. Tank Corps did not take part in this battle, the role of observer is the more likely. However, in The Patton Papers: 1885–1940, author Martin Blumenson makes no mention of Patton being at Cambrai, stating only that on December 1, Patton went to Albertmarker, not too far from Cambrai, to discuss the ongoing battle with the chief of staff of the British Tank Corps, Colonel J. F. C. Fuller. Patton received his first ten tanks on March 23, 1918 at the Tank School and Centre, which he commanded, at Langresmarker, Haute-Marnemarker department. The only one with tank driving experience, Patton himself backed seven of the light, two-man Renault FT-17 tanks off the train.

For his successes and his organization of the training school, Patton was promoted to major, lieutenant colonel and then colonel, U.S. National Army. In August 1918, he was placed in charge of the 1st Provisional Tank Brigade, redesignated the 304th Tank Brigade on November 6, 1918. Patton’s Light Tank Brigade was part of Colonel Samuel Rockenbach’s Tank Corps, which was in turn part of the American Expeditionary Force. (Patton was not in charge of the Tank Corps as has often been misreported.) The 304th Tank Brigade fought as part of the First United States Army.

On September 26, 1918, Patton was wounded in the left leg while leading six men in an attack on German machine guns during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. The only survivors were Patton and his orderly Private First Class Joe Angelo, who saved Patton and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. While Patton was recuperating from his wounds, hostilities ended.

For his service in the Meuse-Argonne Operations, Patton received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal, and was given a battlefield promotion to a full colonel. For his combat wounds, he was presented the Purple Heart.

Interwar years

While on duty in Washington, D.C.marker in 1919, Captain (he reverted from his wartime temporary rank of colonel) Patton met Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would play an enormous role in Patton's future career. During their assignment at Fort Rileymarker, Kansas, Patton and Eisenhower developed the armored doctrine which would be used by the US Army in World War II. In the early 1920s, Patton petitioned the U.S. Congress to appropriate funding for an armored force, but had little luck. Patton also wrote professional articles on tank and armored car tactics, suggesting new methods for their use. He also continued working on improvements to tanks, coming up with innovations in radio communication and tank mounts. However, the lack of interest in armor created a poor atmosphere for promotion and career advancement, so Patton transferred back to the horse cavalry.

Patton served in Hawaiimarker before returning to Washington to once again ask Congress for funding for armored units. During his time in Hawaii, Patton was responsible for the defense of the islands, and specifically wrote a defense plan anticipating an air raid against Pearl Harbor—10 years before the infamous attackmarker by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941.At the wedding of Patton's daughter Ruth Ellen, a couple who knew Patton from Hawaii (Restarick and Jacqueline Withington) crashed the wedding, and explained they were in the area when they saw the wedding announcement and hoped Patton didn't mind them showing up uninvited. To this Patton unsheathed his sword and replied, "Resterick [sic], if I’d found out you were within a hundred miles and not come, I’d have shoved this sword up your behind.” This humorous encounter reflects the outlandishness and kinship Patton was known for.

In July 1932, Patton served under Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur as a major commanding 600 troops, including the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. On 28 July, MacArthur ordered these troops to advance on protesting veterans known as the "Bonus Army" in Washington, D.C. with tear gas and bayonets. Ironically, one of the veterans dispersed by the cavalry was Joe Angelo, who had saved Patton's life in World War I.

In the late 1930s, Patton was assigned command of Fort Myermarker, Virginiamarker. Shortly after Germanymarker's blitzkrieg attacks in Europe, Major General Adna Chaffee, the first Chief of the U.S. Army's newly-created Armored Force was finally able to convince Congress of the need for armored divisions. This led to the activation of the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions in 1940. Colonel Patton was given command of the 2nd Armored Brigade, US 2nd Armored Division in July 1940. He became the assistant division commander the following October, and was promoted to brigadier general on the second day of that month. Patton served as the acting division commander from November 1940 until April 1941. He was promoted to major general on 4 April and made commanding general of the 2nd Armored Division seven days later.

World War II

During the buildup of the United States Army prior to its entry into World War II, Patton commanded the 2nd Armored Division, which performed with mixed results in both the Louisiana Maneuvers and Carolina Maneuvers in 1941. The 2nd Armored was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgiamarker, until the unit, along with its commander, was ordered to the newly established Desert Training Center in Indio, Californiamarker by the Chief of the Armored Force, Major General Jacob L. Devers. Patton was subsequently appointed commander of the newly activated I Armored Corps by Devers, and was in this position when the corps was assigned to Operation Torchmarker, the invasion of North Africa. In preparation, Patton trained his troops in the Imperial Valleymarker. He commenced these exercises in late 1941, and continued them well into the summer of 1942. Patton chose a expanse of unforgiving desert known for its blistering temperatures, sandy arroyos and absolute desolation. It was a close match for the terrain Patton and his men would encounter during the campaigns in North Africa. To this day, history buffs can still find tank tracks, foxholes and spent shell casing in an area about southeast of Palm Springsmarker.

North African campaign

In 1942, Major General Patton commanded the Western Task Force of the U.S. Army, which landed on the coast of Vichy French-held Moroccomarker in Operation Torchmarker for the North African Campaign. Patton and his staff arrived in Morocco aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta, which came under fire from the Vichy French battleship Jean Bart while entering the harbor of Casablancamarker. Casablanca fell after four days of fighting. So impressed was the Sultan of Morocco that he presented Patton with the special Order of Ouissam Alaouite, with the citation: "Les Lions dans leurs tanières tremblent en le voyant approcher" (The lions in their dens tremble at his approach).

In 1943, following the defeat of the U.S. II Corps (then part of British 1st Army) by the German Afrika Korps, first at the Battle of Sidi Bou Zidmarker and again at the Battle of the Kasserine Passmarker, General Dwight D. Eisenhower sent Major General Ernest Harmon to assess the II Corps.

On March 6, 1943, as a result of Harmon's report, Patton replaced Major General Lloyd Fredendall as commander of the II Corps. Patton was also promoted to lieutenant general. Soon thereafter, Patton had Omar Bradley reassigned to his corps as deputy commander. Thus began a long wartime association between the two different personalities.

It is said that his troops preferred to serve with him rather than his predecessor since they thought their chances of survival were higher under Patton. For instance, Patton required all personnel to wear steel helmets (even physicians in the operating wards) and required his troops to wear the unpopular lace-up canvas leggings and neckties since the leggings prevented injury from scorpions, spiders and rats which would climb up under soldiers' trousers. A system of fines was introduced to ensure all personnel shaved daily and observed other uniform requirements. While these measures may not have made Patton popular, they did tend to restore a sense of discipline and unit pride that may have been missing when Fredendall was still in command. In a play on his nickname, "Old Blood and Guts," troops joked that it was "our blood and his guts".

The discipline Patton instilled paid off quickly. By mid-March 1943, the counter-offensive of the U.S. II Corps, along with the rest of the British 1st Army, pushed the Germans and Italians eastwards. Meanwhile the British Eighth Army, commanded by General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, simultaneously pushed them westwards, effectively squeezing the Germans and Italians into a smaller and smaller portion of Tunisiamarker and out of North Africa altogether by mid-May.

Sicily campaign

Near Brolo, Sicily.
1943
As a result of his performance in North Africa, Patton received command of the Seventh Army in preparation for the 1943 invasion of Sicily. The Seventh Army's mission was to protect the left (western) flank of the British Eighth Army as both advanced northwards towards Messinamarker.

Officers quoted General Patton's speech to them before the invasion of Sicily, referring to Italians and Germans:

The Seventh Army repulsed several German counterattacks in the beachhead area before beginning its push north. Meanwhile, the Eighth Army stalled south of Mount Etnamarker in the face of strong German defenses. The Army Group commander, Harold Alexander, exercised only the loosest control over his two commanders. Montgomery therefore took the initiative to meet with Patton in an attempt to work out a coordinated campaign.

Patton formed a provisional corps under his Chief of Staff, and quickly pushed through western Sicily, liberating the capital, Palermomarker, and then swiftly turned east towards Messina. American forces liberated the port city in accordance with the plan jointly devised by Montgomery and Patton. However, the Italians and Germans used their air and naval supremacy to evacuate all of their soldiers and much of their heavy equipment across the Strait of Messinamarker to the Italian mainland.

Slapping incident and removal from command

The "slapping incident", which occurred on August 3, 1943 nearly ended Patton's career. The matter became known after newspaper columnist Drew Pearson revealed it on his November 21 radio program, reporting that General Patton had been "severely reprimanded" as a result. Allied Headquarters denied that Patton had been reprimanded, but confirmed that Patton had slapped a soldier. While one incident received wide publicity, two soldiers in similar circumstances were slapped, the second was Pvt. Paul G. Bennett on August 10, 1943 at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital.

In the first incident, according to witnesses, General Patton was visiting patients at a military hospital in Sicily, and came upon a 24-year-old soldier named Charles H. Kuhl, who was weeping. Patton asked "What's the matter with you?" and the soldier replied, "It's my nerves, I guess. I can't stand shelling." Patton "thereupon burst into a rage" and "employing much profanity, he called the soldier a 'coward'" and ordered him back to the front. As a crowd gathered, including the hospital's commanding officer, the doctor who had admitted the soldier, and a nurse, Patton then "struck the youth in the rear of the head with the back of his hand". Reportedly, the nurse "made a dive toward Patton, but was pulled back by a doctor" and the commander intervened. Patton went to other patients, then returned and berated the soldier again.

When General Eisenhower learned of the incident, he ordered Patton to make amends, after which, it was reported, "Patton's conduct then became as generous as it had been furious," and he apologized to the soldier "and to all those present at the time," After the film Patton was released in 1970, Charles H. Kuhl recounted the story and said that Patton had slapped him across the face and then kicked him as he walked away. "After he left, they took me in and admitted me in the hospital, and found out I had malaria," Kuhl noted, adding that when Patton apologized personally (at Patton's headquarters) "He said he didn't know that I was as sick as I was." Kuhl, who later worked as a sweeper for Bendix Corporation in Mishawaka, Indiana, added that Patton was "a great general" and added that "I think at the time it happened, he was pretty well worn out himself." Kuhl died on January 24, 1971.

Kuhl's parents had avoided mention of the matter "because they did not wish to make trouble for General Patton." Eisenhower thought of sending Patton home in disgrace, as many newspapers demanded, but after consulting with George Marshall, Eisenhower decided to keep Patton in the European theater, though without a major command. This decision was not made by Patton's slapping incident alone, but also on confirmed intelligence that the Germans believed Patton would be leading the Allied assault into Nazi-held territory. Eisenhower used Patton's "furlough" as a trick to mislead the Germans as to where the next attack would be, since Patton was the general the German High Command believed would lead the attack. During the ten months Patton was relieved of duty, his prolonged stay in Sicily was interpreted by the Germans as an indication of an upcoming invasion of southern France. Later, a stay in Cairomarker was viewed as heralding an invasion through the Balkans. German intelligence misinterpreted what happened and made faulty plans as a result.

In the months before the June 1944 Normandy invasion, Patton gave public talks as commander of the fictional First U.S. Army Group (FUSAG), which was supposedly intending to invade France by way of Calaismarker. This was part of a sophisticated Allied campaign of military disinformation, Operation Fortitude. The Germans misallocated their forces as a result, and were slow to respond to the actual landings at Normandy.

In a story recounted by Professor Richard Holmes, just three days before D-Day, during a reception in the London Ritz Hotel, Patton shouted across a crowded reception in the direction of Eisenhower "I'll see you in Calais!", much to the consternation of all those around him. The ploy appears to have worked as reports of overnight troop movements north from Normandy were detected by Bletchley Parkmarker code decrypts.

Normandy

Following the Normandy invasion, Patton was placed in command of the U.S. Third Army, which was on the extreme right (west) of the Allied land forces. Beginning at noon on August 1, 1944, he led this army during the late stages of Operation Cobra, the breakout from earlier slow fighting in the Normandy hedgerows. The Third Army simultaneously attacked west (into Brittany), south, east towards the Seine, and north, assisting in trapping several hundred thousand German soldiers in the Chambois pocketmarker, between Falaisemarker and Argentanmarker, Ornemarker.

Patton's units generally took positions by frontal assault with his armor used in the infantry support role. Once the breakthrough was achieved the armor was used for exploitation in the manner of Civil War Cavalry advancing unopposed over vast distances, covering in just two weeks, from Avranchesmarker to Argentanmarker. Patton's forces were part of the Allied forces that freed northern France, bypassing Paris. The city itself was liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division under French General Leclerc, insurgents who were fighting in the city, and the US 4th Infantry Division. The French 2nd Armored Division had recently been transferred from the 3rd Army, and many of the unit's soldiers thought they were still part of 3rd Army. These early 3rd Army offensives showed the characteristic high mobility and aggressiveness of Patton's units, but which was only possible because of the absence of German heavy armor. Patton demonstrated an understanding of the use of combined arms by using the XIX Tactical Air Command of the Ninth Air Force to protect his right (southern) flank during his advance to the Seine.

Lorraine

General Patton's offensive, however, came to a screeching halt on August 31, 1944, as the Third Army literally ran out of gas near the Moselle Rivermarker, just outside of Metzmarker, Francemarker. Berragan (2003) argues it was due primarily to Patton's ambitions and his refusal to recognize that he was engaged in a secondary line of attack. Others suggest that General John C.H. Lee, commander of the Zone of Communication, chose that time to move his headquarters to the more comfortable environs of Paris. Some 30 truck companies were diverted to that end, rather than providing support to the fighting armies.

Patton expected that the Theater Commander would keep fuel and supplies flowing to support successful advances. However, Eisenhower favored a "broad front" approach to the ground-war effort, believing that a single thrust would have to drop off flank protection, and would quickly lose its punch. Still, within the constraints of a very large effort overall, Eisenhower gave Montgomery and his 21st Army Group a strong priority for supplies for Operation Market Garden. The combination of Montgomery being given priority for supplies, and diversion of resources to moving the Communications Zone, resulted in the Third Army running out of gas in Alsace-Lorraine while exploiting German weakness. In late September, a large German panzer counter attack sent expressly to stop the advance of Patton's Third Army was defeated by the 4th Armored Division at the Battle of Arracourtmarker. Despite the victory, the Third Army stayed in place as a result of Eisenhower's order. Ironically, the Germans believed this was because their counterattack had been successful.

Patton's rapid drive through the Lorraine demonstrated his keen appreciation for the technological advantages of the U.S. Army. The major US and Allied advantages were in mobility and air superiority. The U.S. Army had a greater number of trucks, more reliable tanks, and better radio communications, which all contributed to a superior ability to operate at a high tempo. However, probably the key to Patton's success compared to all of the other U.S. and British forces, which had similar advantages, was his intensive use of close air support; the Third Army had by far more G-2 officers at headquarters specifically designated to coordinate air strikes than any other army. Third Army's attached close air support group was XIX Tactical Air Command, commanded by Gen. Otto P. Weyland. Developed originally by Gen. Elwood Quesada of IX TAC for the First Army at Operation Cobra the technique of "armored column cover" whereby close air support was directed by an air traffic controller in one of the attacking tanks was used extensively by the Third Army. In addition, because Patton's rapid drive resulted in a salient that was vulnerable to flanking attacks and getting trapped by the Germans, Weyland and Patton developed the concept of using intensive aerial armed reconnaissance to protect the flanks of this salient. Microwave Early Warning (MEW) radar, another technique pioneered by Quesada, was also used by XIX TAC to both cover against Luftwaffe attacks and to vector flights already in the air to new sites as an air traffic control radar. As a result of the close cooperation between Patton and Weyland, XIX TAC would end up providing far more air sorties for ground support for the Third Army than the other attached Tactical Air Commands would for the First and Ninth Armies. Despite their success, however, Eisenhower had faith only in the traditional method of advancing across a broad front to avoid the problem of flanking attacks, which most accounts for the decisions to halt the Third Army.

The halt of the Third Army during the month of September was enough to allow the Germans to further fortify the fortress of Metz. In October and November, the Third Army was mired in a near-stalemate with the Germans, with heavy casualties on both sides. By November 23, however, Metz had finally fallen to the Americans, the first time the city had been taken since the Franco-Prussian War.

Battle of the Bulge

In late 1944, the German army launched a last-ditch offensive across Belgiummarker, Luxembourgmarker, and northeastern France, popularly known as the Battle of the Bulge, nominally led by German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt. On December 16, 1944, the German army massed 29 divisions (totaling some 250,000 men) at a weak point in the Allied lines and made massive headway towards the Meuse Rivermarker during one of the worst winters Europe had seen in years.

Patton disengaged his forward attacking units when he became aware of the scope of the attack, and re-directed a corps-sized element toward the North before setting out for a strategic meeting with Eisenhower, Bradley and the rest of the allied high command. Thus, he was able to tell Eisenhower that his forces would be in position to counter-attack almost immediately.

Needing just 24 hours of good weather, Patton ordered the Third Army Chaplain, Colonel James O'Neill, to come up with a prayer beseeching God to grant this. When the weather did clear soon after, Patton awarded O'Neill a Bronze Star on the spot.

Patton turned the Third Army abruptly north (a notable tactical and logistical achievement), disengaging from the front line to relieve the surrounded and besieged U.S. troops holding the Belgian crossroads town of Bastognemarker. Many military historians remark that this complicated maneuver was Patton's (and the Third Army's) greatest accomplishment during the war. (John MacDonald, a management consultant specializing in operations and quality control, cites it as one of the greatest examples of logistics, stating, "General Patton is extolled as one of the greatest battlefield commanders and motivators of military troops, yet probably his greatest miltary achievement, unsurpassed at the time, was the logistic repositioning, within twenty-four hours, of a whole army corps at the Battle of the Bulge.") By February, the Germans were in full retreat and Patton had pushed units into the Saarlandmarker. Elements of the Third Army crossed the Rhine at Oppenheimmarker on March 22, 1945.

On March 26, 1945, Patton sent Task Force Baum to liberate his son-in-law from a POW camp OFLAG XIII-Bmarker, 50 miles behind the German lines near Hammelburgmarker. Patton later reported it was the only mistake he made during WWII.

Patton's operations staff was drafting plans to take the city of Prague, Czechoslovakiamarker, when Eisenhower, under pressure from the Soviets, ordered American forces in Czechoslovakia to stop short of the city limits. Patton's troops liberated Pilsenmarker, on May 6, 1945, and most of western Bohemia.

Brief June 1945 visit to California

Largely overlooked in history is the warm reception that Patton received on June 9, 1945, when he and Army Air Forces Lieutenant General Jimmy Doolittle were honored with a parade through Los Angelesmarker and a reception at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseummarker before a crowd of over 100,000 people. The next day, Patton and Doolittle toured the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Patton spoke in front of the Burbankmarker City Hallmarker and at the Rose Bowlmarker in Pasadenamarker. He wore his helmet with a straight line of stars, chest full of medals, and two ivory handled trademark pistols (not pearl, as is often incorrectly asserted). He punctuated his speech with some of the same profanity that he had used with the troops. He spoke about conditions in Europe and the Russian allies to the adoring crowds. This may be the only time in America when civilians, en masse, heard and saw the famous warrior on the podium.

During this visit, Patton quietly donated an original copy of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, which he had smuggled out of Germanymarker in violation of JCS 1067, to the Huntington Librarymarker, a world-class repository of historical original papers, books, and maps, in Pasadenamarker. Patton instructed physicist Robert Millikan, then the chairman of the board of trustees of the Huntington Library, to make no official record of the transaction, and to keep their possession of the materials secret during Patton's lifetime. The Huntington Library retained the Nuremberg Laws in a basement vault in spite of a legal instruction in 1969 by the general's family to turn over all of his papers to the Library of Congressmarker. On June 26, 1999, Robert Skotheim, then the president of the Huntington Library, announced that the Library was to permanently lend the Nuremberg Laws to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where they are currently on display.

Accident and death

Patton's grave in Hamm, Luxembourg.


On December 9, 1945, Patton was severely injured in a road accident. He and his chief of staff, Major General Hobart R. "Hap" Gay, were on a day trip to hunt pheasants in the country outside Mannheimmarker. Their 1938 Cadillac Model 75 was driven by Private First Class Horace Woodring (1926–2003), with Patton sitting in the back seat on the right side, with General Gay on his left, as per custom. At 11:45 near Neckarstadt (Mannheim-Käfertal), a 2½ ton GMC truck driven by Technical Sergeant Robert L. Thompson made a left turn in front of Patton's Cadillac. Patton's car hit the front of the truck, at a low speed.

At first the crash seemed minor, the vehicles were hardly damaged, no one in the truck was hurt, and Gay and Woodring were uninjured. However, Patton was leaning back with trouble breathing. The general had been thrown forward and his head struck a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats, incurring a cervical spinal cord injury. Paralyzed from the neck down, he was rushed to the military hospital in Heidelbergmarker. Patton died of a pulmonary embolism on December 21, 1945. The funeral service was held at the Christ Church (Christuskirche) in Heidelberg-Südstadt.

Patton was buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorialmarker in Hamm, Luxembourgmarker along with other members of the Third Army, as per Patton's request to "be buried with my men." On March 19, 1947, his body was moved from the original grave site in the cemetery to its current prominent location at the head of his former troops. A cenotaphmarker was placed at the Wilson-Patton family plot at the San Gabriel Cemetery in San Gabriel, Californiamarker, adjacent to the Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal), where Patton was baptized and confirmed. In the narthex of the sanctuary of the church is a stained glass window honor which features, among other highlights of Patton's career, a picture of him riding in a tank. A statue of General Patton was placed between the church and the family plot. Patton's car was repaired and used by other officers. The car is now on display with other Patton artifacts at the General George Patton Museummarker at Fort Knox, Kentuckymarker.

Controversies and criticism

Patton more than once caused political irritations and was criticized for some controversial faux pas, such as the slapping incident in 1943. Patton, in several reports, insisted on the highest standard of order and grooming within his army's area and imposed fines for anyone who violated his strict guidelines.

Patton's problems with humor, his image, and the press

Unlike Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was popular with troops partly for his self-effacing humor, Patton disliked jokes aimed at himself, feeling that accepting such jokes would decrease the respect which he felt that troops should have toward their commanders.

Patton reportedly had the utmost respect for the men serving in his command but had no regard for men who had battle fatigue. The cartoonist Bill Mauldin ridiculed Patton several times in his comics, prompting Patton to summon Sergeant Mauldin to his headquarters for a dressing-down. On the other hand, he was himself capable of the occasional blunt witticism: "The two most dangerous weapons the Germans have are our own armored halftrack and jeep. The halftrack because the boys in it go all heroic, thinking they are in a tank. The jeep because we have so many God-awful drivers." During the Battle of the Bulge, he famously remarked that the Allies should "let the sons-of-bitches [Germans] go all the way to Paris, then we'll cut 'em off and round 'em up!" He also suggested facetiously that his Third Army could "drive the British [his allies] back into the sea for another Dunkirk."

His remarks frequently ridiculed General Montgomery and at times the Soviet Red Army, contributing to inter-Allied discord. In the context of coalition warfare, these remarks were occasionally harmful. Eisenhower wisely used Patton's high profile with the press to contribute to Operation Fortitude; he knew the press would report on his appearances in Britain and that the Germans would pick up these reports.

Patton has a reputation today as a senior general who was very impatient with the officers under his command, compared to his most famous colleague, Omar Bradley, but the truth is far more complicated. Patton actually fired only one general during the entire war, Orlando Ward, and only after two warnings, whereas Bradley sacked numerous generals during the war with little provocation, sometimes for the slightest transgression.

Patton deliberately cultivated a flashy, distinctive image in the belief that this would motivate his troops. He was usually seen wearing a highly polished helmet, riding pants, and high cavalry boots. He carried flashy ivory-handled, nickel-plated revolvers as his most famous sidearms (a Colt Single Action Army .45 "Peacemaker" and later also a S&W Model 27 .357). His vehicles carried oversized rank insignia and loud sirens. His speech was riddled with profanities. The toughness of his image and character appeared well-suited to the conditions of battle. Patton received many eulogies from the reporters who had followed him, including a tribute from a UPI writer who wrote, "Gen. George S. Patton believed he was the greatest soldier who ever lived. He made himself believe he would never falter through doubt. This absolute faith in himself as a strategist and master of daringinfected his entire army, until the men of the second Americancorps in Africa, and later the third army in France, believed they could not be defeated under his leadership."

After the German surrender

After the surrender of May 8, 1945 eliminated the threat of Nazi Germany, Patton was quick to assert the Soviet Union would cease to be an ally of the United States. He was concerned that some 25,000 American POWs had been liberated from POW camps by the Soviets, but were never returned to the US. In fact, he urged his superiors to evict the Soviets from central and eastern Europe. Patton thought that the Red Army was weak, under-supplied, and vulnerable, and the United States should act on these weaknesses before the Soviets could consolidate their position. In this regard, he told then-Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson that the "point system" being used to demobilize Third Army troops was destroying it and creating a vacuum that the Soviets would exploit. "Mr. Secretary, for God’s sake, when you go home, stop this point system; stop breaking up these armies," pleaded the general. "Let’s keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened, and present a picture of force and strength to these people, the Sovietsmarker. This is the only language they understand." Asked by Patterson — who would become Secretary of War a few months later — what he would do, Patton replied: "I would have you tell the Red Army where their border is, and give them a limited time to get back across. Warn them that if they fail to do so, we will push them back across it."

On a personal level, Patton was disappointed by the Army's refusal to give him a combat command in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Unhappy with his role as the military governor of Bavariamarker and depressed by his belief that he would never fight in another war, Patton's behavior and statements became increasingly erratic. He also made many anti-Russian statements in letters home. Various explanations beyond his disappointments have been proposed for Patton's behavior at this point. Carlo D'Este, in Patton: A Genius for War, writes that "it seems virtually inevitable ... that Patton experienced some type of brain damage from too many head injuries" from a lifetime of numerous auto- and horse-related accidents, especially one suffered while playing polo in 1936.

Many of the controversial opinions he expressed were common (if not exactly popular) at the time and his outspoken opposition to post-surrender denazification is still widely debated today. Many still laud his generous treatment of his former German enemies and his early recognition of the Soviet threat, while detractors say his protests reflect the views of a bigoted elitist. Whatever the cause, Patton found himself once again in trouble with his superiors and the American people. While speaking to a group of reporters, he compared the Nazis to losers in American political elections, and that being a Nazi in Germanymarker was, "like being a Democrat in the States." Patton was soon relieved of command of Third Army and transferred to the Fifteenth Army, a paper command preparing a history of the war.

Attitudes on race and nationality

Considering the period, Patton's attitude toward minorities was neither negative nor positive. His attitudes were varied depending on time and circumstance, with military necessity being of particular importance.

Patton stated that performance was more important than race or religious affiliation: "I don't give a damn who the man is. He can be a nigger or a Jew, but if he has the stuff and does his duty, he can have anything I've got. By God! I love him."

Later, Patton addressed a group of African-American tankers, saying:

Patton also insisted on the assignment of some black officers as judges in military tribunals involving black defendants, and he spent more time with his African-American aide, Sergeant Meeks, than with nearly anyone else while in Europe, developing a relationship of mutual respect that transcended that of a general with his valet. Patton disliked the British, but appreciated Montgomery's organizational abilities more than either Eisenhower or Bradley did.

Patton was horrified at what he found when his Third Army liberated Buchenwald concentration campmarker. Local German citizens claimed that they didn't know what was going on, though at least a few admitted to knowing of the atrocities but insisted they'd been powerless to stop it. He ordered American troops to round up the approximately 2,000 local Germans and march them through the camps. He wanted them to see the atrocities firsthand.

Though many of his attitudes were common in his day, as with all of his opinions, he was often exceptionally blunt in his expression of them. He once wrote:

After reading the Koran and observing North Africans, he wrote to his wife, "Just finished reading the Koran—a good book and interesting." Patton had a keen eye for native customs and methods, wrote knowingly of local architecture, even rated the progress of word-of-mouth rumor in Arab country at 40–60 miles a day. In spite of his regard for the Koran, he concluded, "To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammad and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. . . . Here, I think, is a text for some eloquent sermon on the virtues of Christianity" (both Patton and Halsey were Episcopalians).

Task Force Baum

In March 1945, Patton sent Task Force Baum, consisting of 314 men, 16 tanks, and assorted other vehicles, 50 miles (80 km.) behind enemy lines to liberate a prisoner of war camp. One of the inmates was Patton's son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel John K. Waters. The raid was an utter fiasco. Only 35 men made it back; the rest were either killed or captured, and all 57 vehicles were lost. Waters himself was shot and had to be left at the camp. When Eisenhower learned of the secret mission, he was furious.

Relations with Eisenhower



The relationship between George S. Patton and Dwight Eisenhower has long been of interest to historians in that the onset of World War II completely reversed the roles of the two men in the space of just under two years. When Patton and Eisenhower met in the mid 1920s, Patton was six years Eisenhower’s senior in the Army and Eisenhower saw Patton as a leading mind in tank warfare.

Between 1935 and 1940, Patton and Eisenhower developed a very close friendship to the level where the Patton and Eisenhower families were spending summer vacations together. In 1938, Patton was promoted to full colonel and Eisenhower, then still a lieutenant colonel, openly admitted that he saw Patton as a friend, superior officer, and mentor.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Patton’s expertise in mechanized warfare was recognized by the Army, and he was quickly made a brigadier general and, less than a year later, a major general. In 1940, Lt. Col. Eisenhower petitioned Brigadier General Patton, offering to serve under the tank corps commander. Patton accepted readily, stating that he would like nothing better than for Eisenhower to be placed under his command.

George Marshall, recognizing that the coming conflict would require all available military talent, had other plans for Eisenhower. In 1941, after five years as a relatively unknown lieutenant colonel, Eisenhower was promoted to colonel and then again to brigadier general in just 6 months time. Patton was still senior to Eisenhower in the Regular Army, but this was soon not the case in the growing conscript army (known as the Army of the United States). In 1942, Eisenhower was promoted to major general and, just a few months later, to lieutenant general — outranking Patton for the first time. When the Allies announced the invasion of North Africa, Major General Patton suddenly found himself under the command of his former subordinate, now one star his superior.

In 1943, Patton became a lieutenant general one month after Eisenhower was promoted to full (four-star) general. Patton was unusually reserved in never publicly commenting on Eisenhower's hasty rise. Patton also reassured Eisenhower that the two men’s professional relationship was unaffected. Privately however, Patton was often quick to remind Eisenhower that his permanent rank in the Regular Army, then still a one-star brigadier general, was lower than Patton’s Regular Army commission as a two-star major general.

When Patton came under criticism for the "Sicily slapping incident" (see above), Eisenhower met privately with Patton and reprimanded him.

Eisenhower is also credited with giving Patton a command in France, after other powers in the Army had relegated Patton to various unimportant duties in England. It was in France that Patton found himself in the company of another former subordinate, Omar Bradley, who had also become his superior. As with Eisenhower, Patton behaved with professionalism and served under Bradley with distinction.

After the close of World War II, Patton (now a full general) became the occupation commander of Bavariamarker, and made arrangements for saving the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions of Viennamarker. Patton was relieved of duty after openly revolting against the punitive occupation directive JCS 1067. His view of the war was that with Hitler gone, the German army could be rebuilt into an ally in a potential war against the Russians, whom Patton notoriously despised and considered a greater menace than the Germans. During this period, he wrote that the Allied victory would be in vain if it led to a tyrant worse than Hitler and an army of "Mongolian savages" controlling half of Europe. Eisenhower had at last had enough, relieving Patton of all duties and ordering his return to the United States. When Patton openly accused Eisenhower of caring more about a political career than his military duties, their friendship effectively came to an end.

In addition, Patton was highly critical of the victorious Allies use of German forced labor. He commented in his diary "I’m also opposed to sending PW’s to work as slaves in foreign lands (in particular, to France) where many will be starved to death." He also noted "It is amusing to recall that we fought the revolution in defence of the rights of man and the civil war to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles". (See also Rheinwiesenlager).

Near the end of the war (February 1945), Eisenhower ranked the capabilities of U.S. generals in Europe. Omar Bradley and Carl Spaatz he rated as the best. Walter Bedell Smith was ranked number 3, and Patton number 4, followed by Mark Clark, and Lucian Truscott.

Bradley himself had been asked by Eisenhower to rank all the generals in December 1945, and he ranked them as follows: Bedell Smith #1, Spaatz #2, Courtney Hodges #3, Elwood Quesada #4, Truscott #5, and Patton #6 (others were also ranked)

However, Patton was a ground commander. Spaatz and Quesada had been air commanders since the 1920s, having spent their military careers through the end of World War II in the Army Air Force, the forerunner of today's U.S. Air Force, which was not separated from the U.S. Army until 1947. It may be impossible today to make a fair comparison of commanders from two such different branches of the U.S. military.

Eisenhower's and Bradley's rankings probably included factors other than Patton's success as a battle leader. As to that, Alan Axelrod in his book Patton (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) quotes German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt as stating "Patton was your best" and, surprisingly, Joseph Stalin as stating that the Red Army could neither have planned nor executed Patton's advance across France.

Rank comparison to Eisenhower

Rank Patton Eisenhower Component
Second Lieutenant June 11, 1909 June 12, 1915 United States Army
First Lieutenant May 23, 1916 July 1, 1916 United States Army
Captain May 15, 1917 May 15, 1917 United States Army
Major January 26, 1918 June 17, 1918 National Army
Lieutenant Colonel March 30, 1918 October 14, 1918 National Army
Colonel October 17, 1918 N/A National Army
Captain (Peacetime reversion) June 30, 1920 June 30, 1920 Regular Army
Major July 1, 1920 July 2, 1920 Regular Army
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 1934 July 1, 1936 Regular Army
Colonel July 1, 1938 March 11, 1941 Regular Army
Brigadier General October 1, 1940 September 29, 1941 Army of the United States
Major General April 4, 1941 March 27, 1942 Army of the United States
Lieutenant General March 12, 1943 July 7, 1942 Army of the United States
Brigadier General August 16, 1944 N/A Regular Army
Major General August 16, 1944 N/A Regular Army
General April 14, 1945 February 11, 1943 Army of the United States
General of the Army N/A December 20, 1944 Army of the United States


Patton, the film

Patton was the focus of the epic 1970 Academy Award-winning film Patton, with the titular role played by George C. Scott in an iconic, Academy Award winning performance. Patton has come to symbolize a warrior's ferocity and aggressiveness as a result of the movie and its now-famous opening monologue in front of a gigantic American flag, which is based on portions of speeches that he made at different times (including Patton's Speech to the Third Army, made to troops shortly before the Normandy invasion). The movie is based upon Ladislas Farago's Patton: Ordeal and Triumph and Omar Bradley's A Soldier's Story. Historians have stated that the movie's accuracy could be tinged with some bias, noting the heavy influence of Omar Bradley as senior military advisor and writer. Bradley, played in the movie by Karl Malden, had a tumultuous relationship with Patton, and the movie's treatment of him could be seen as hagiographic. Still, many Patton contemporaries, including many who knew him personally or served with him, applauded Scott's portrayal as being extremely accurate in capturing the essence of the man. Other historians have praised the film for its generally accurate and balanced portrayal of Patton as a complex and capable leader. Another source used by these and other authors is the "Button Box" manuscript written by Patton's wife, Beatrice Ayer Patton.

Legacy





Awards and decorations

United States awards

Distinguished Service Cross with one oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Silver Lifesaving Medal
Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal with five battle clasps
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver and two bronze service stars
World War II Victory Medal
In 1955, the U.S. Army posthumously presented General Patton with the Army of Occupation Medal for service as the first occupation commander of Bavaria.


Foreign and international awards

Commander of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Belgian Order of Leopold
Belgian Croix de Guerre
French Legion of Honor
French Croix de Guerre
Luxemburg War Cross
Grand Luxemburg Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
Grand Cross of Ouissam Alaouite of Morocco
Order of the White Lion of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakian War Cross


Dates of rank

No pin insignia for 2nd Lts. in 1909 Second Lieutenant, Regular Army: June 11, 1909
 First Lieutenant, Regular Army: May 23, 1916
 Captain, Regular Army: May 15, 1917
 Major, National Army: January 26, 1918
 Lieutenant Colonel, National Army: March 30, 1918
 Colonel, National Army: October 17, 1918
 Reverted to permanent rank of Captain, Regular Army: June 30, 1920
 Major, Regular Army: July 1, 1920
 Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army: March 1, 1934
 Colonel, Regular Army: July 1, 1938
 Brigadier General, Army of the United States: October 2, 1940
 Major General, Army of the United States: April 4, 1941
 Lieutenant General, Army of the United States: March 12, 1943
 Brigadier General, Regular Army: August 16, 1944
 Major General, Regular Army: August 16, 1944
 General, Army of the United States: April 14, 1945


References

Bibliography

Primary sources

  • George S. Patton, Jr., War As I Knew It; Houghton Mifflin

    ISBN 0-395-73529-7;(1947/1975); (Soft Cover)

    ISBN 0-395-08704-6 (1947/1975); (Hard Cover)
  • George S. Patton, Jr., The poems of General George S. Patton, Jr.: Lines of fire, edited by Carmine A. Prioli. Edwin Mellen Press, 1991.
  • Patton's photographs: War as he saw it, edited by Kevin Hymel. Potomac Books,

    ISBN 1-57488-871-4 (2006) (Hard Cover);

    ISBN 1-57488-872-2 (2006) (Soft Cover; Alkali Paper).
  • Blumenson, Martin, The Patton Papers. Vol. 1, 1885–1940,

    ISBN 0-395-12706-8 (Hard Cover) Houghton Mifflin Co., 1972. 996 pp.

    ISBN 0-306-80717-3 (Soft Cover; Alkali Paper) Da Capo Press; 1998; 996 pp.
  • Blumenson, Martin, The Patton Papers: Vol. 2, 1940–1945,

    ISBN 0-395-18498-3 (Hard Cover); Houghton Mifflin, 1974. 889 pp.

    ISBN 0-306-80717-3 (Soft Cover; Alkali Paper); Da Capo Press, 1996. 889 pp.
  • Patton, Robert H., The Pattons: A Personal History of An American Family,

    ISBN 1-57488-127-2 (Soft Cover); Crown Publishers (1994); Brassey's (1996) 320 pp.
  • Platt, Anthony M. with O'Leary, Cecilia E., Bloodlines: Recovering Hitler's Nuremberg Laws, From Patton's Trophy To Public Memorial,

    ISBN 1-59451-140-3 (paperback); Paradigm Publishers, 2006. 268 pp.


Secondary sources

  • Sobel, Brian, The Fighting Pattons,

    ISBN 0-440-23572-2 (Soft Cover) Dell Publishing, 1997; Praeger Publishers Reprint, July, 2000.
  • Axelrod, Alan, Patton: A Biography, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 205 pp.
  • Berragan, G. W., "Who Should Bear Primary Responsibility for the Culmination of Patton's U.S. Third Army on the Moselle in 1944? Are There Lessons for Contemporary Campaign Planning?", Defence Studies 2003 3(3): 161-172. Issn: 1470-2436 Fulltext in Ingenta and Ebsco.
  • Martin Blumenson, Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885–1945 ISBN 0-688-06082-X; 1985
  • Blumenson, Martin, The Battle of the Generals: The Untold Story of the Falaise Pocket — the Campaign That Should Have Won World War II; 1993. 288 pp.
  • Carlo D'Este, Patton: A Genius for War, HarperCollins, (1995). 978 pp. ISBN 0-06-016455-7
  • Dietrich, Steve E., "The Professional Reading of General George S. Patton, Jr.", Journal of Military History 1989 53(4): 387-418. Issn: 0899-3718 Fulltext in Jstor
  • Essame, H., Patton: A Study in Command; 1974. 280 pp.
  • Farago, Ladislas, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph ISBN 1-59416-011-2
  • Gooderson, Ian, Air Power at the Battlefront, 1998, Frank Cass Publishers, 0714642118.
  • Hirshson, Stanley P., General Patton: A Soldier's Life (2002) ISBN 0-06-000982-9
  • Nye, Roger H., The Patton Mind: The Professional Development of an Extraordinary Leader, Avery; 1993. 224 pp.
  • Pullen, John J. "'You Will Be Afraid.'", American Heritage 2005 56(3): 26-29. Issn: 0002-8738 Fulltext in Ebsco. Patton's March 1945 was made famous by the movie, which sanitized it. Patton used harsh and foul language and castigated cowards, or "psychoneurotics," and those who used self-inflicted wounds to get out of combat. The basic message was "shoot and keep shooting."
  • Rickard, John Nelson, Patton at Bay: The Lorraine Campaign, September to December 1944, Praeger, 1999. 295 pp.
  • Dennis Showalter, Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century (2005). ISBN 978-0-425-20663-8.
  • Smith, David Andrew, George S. Patton: A Biography, Greenwood, 2003. 130 pp.
  • Spires, David N., Patton's Air Force: Forging a Legendary Air-Ground Team, Smithsonian Inst. Pr., 2002. 377 pp.
  • Brenton G. Wallace, Patton & His Third Army ISBN 0-8117-2896-X
  • Russell F. Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany 1944–1945, (1990)
  • von Mellenthin, F.W., Panzer Battles, Ballantine, 1971, first published by the University of Oklahoma Press, 1956 ISBN - 0345321588
  • Wilson, Dale Eldred, Treat 'Em Rough'! The United States Army Tank Corps in the First World War; Temple U. Press (1990). 352 pp.
  • Zaloga, Steven, Armored Thunderbolt, Stackpole, 2008, ISBN - 9780811704243


Notes

External links




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