George S. Patton
Overview
 
George Smith Patton, Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.

Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 in 1909. In 1916–17, he participated in the unsuccessful Pancho Villa Expedition
Pancho Villa Expedition
The Pancho Villa Expedition—officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition and sometimes colloquially referred to as the Punitive Expedition—was a military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Mexican insurgent Francisco "Pancho" Villa...

, a U.S.
Unanswered Questions
Quotations

I wonder if I could have been here before as I drive up the Roman road the Theater seems familiar — perhaps I headed a legion up that same white road... I passed a chateau in ruins which I possibly helped escalade in the middle ages. There is no proof nor yet any denial. We were, We are, and we will be.

In a letter to his mother from Chamlieu, France during World War I, revealing some of his speculations about reincarnation. (20 November 1917)

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains that victory.

Cavalry Journal (September 1933)

The more I see of Arabs the less I think of them. By having studied them a good deal I have found out the trouble. They are the mixture of all the bad races on earth, and they get worse from west to east, because the eastern ones have had more crosses.

Letter to Frederick Ayers (5 May 1943), published in The Patton Papers 1940-1945 (1996) edited by Martin Blumenson, p. 243

Now in war we are confronted with conditions which are strange If we accept them we will never win. Since being realistic, as in mundane combats fistic We will get a bloody nose and that's a sin.

Stanza 1 of "Absolute War" a poem composed by Patton in July 1944, during Operation Cobra|Operation Cobra as quoted in The Patton Papers 1940-1945 (1996) edited by Martin Blumenson p. 492

Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then sonofabitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don't agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat.

Conference with his officers (1 August 1944), as quoted in General Patton : A Soldiers Life (2002) by Stanley P. Hirshon, p. 502

Have taken Trier with two divisions. What do you want me to do? Give it back?

Reply to a message from General Dwight Eisenhower to bypass the German city of Trier because it would take four divisions to capture it (2 March 1945), as quoted in the Introduction to War as I Knew it (1947) by George Smith Patton, Jr., with Paul D. Harkins|Paul Donal Harkins, p. 20

Encyclopedia
George Smith Patton, Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.

Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 in 1909. In 1916–17, he participated in the unsuccessful Pancho Villa Expedition
Pancho Villa Expedition
The Pancho Villa Expedition—officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition and sometimes colloquially referred to as the Punitive Expedition—was a military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Mexican insurgent Francisco "Pancho" Villa...

, a U.S. operation that attempted to capture the Mexican revolutionary
Pancho Villa
José Doroteo Arango Arámbula – better known by his pseudonym Francisco Villa or its hypocorism Pancho Villa – was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals....

. In World War I, he was the first officer assigned to the new United States Tank Corps
United States Tank Corps
The Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Force was the mechanized unit that conducted American tank combat in World War I. An initial plan for 2,000 light Renault FT-17 tanks and 200 heavy British Mark VI tanks was changed to 20 battalions of 77 light tanks each and 10 battalions of 45 heavy...

 and saw action in France.
In World War II, he commanded corps and armies in North Africa
North African campaign
During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

, Sicily
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...

, and the European Theater of Operations
European Theater of Operations
The European Theater of Operations, United States Army was a United States Army formation which directed U.S. Army operations in parts of Europe from 1942 to 1945. It referred to Army Ground Forces, United States Army Air Forces, and Army Service Forces operations north of Italy and the...

. In 1944, Patton assumed command of the U.S. Third Army, which under his leadership advanced farther, captured more enemy prisoners, and liberated more territory in less time than any other army in military history.

Early life and family

George Smith Patton Jr. was born in San Gabriel Township, California
San Marino, California
San Marino is a small, affluent city in Los Angeles County, California. Incorporated in 1913, the City founders designed the community to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways...

 in 1885 (in what is now the city of San Marino), to George Smith Patton Sr. (1856–1927) and his wife Ruth Wilson (1861–1928). Although he was actually the third George Smith Patton, he was called Junior. The Pattons were an affluent family of Scots-Irish descent.

As a boy, Patton read widely in the classics and military history. His father was a friend of John Singleton Mosby, the noted cavalry leader of the Confederate Army in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 who served first under J.E.B. Stuart
J.E.B. Stuart
James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart was a U.S. Army officer from Virginia and a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War. He was known to his friends as "Jeb", from the initials of his given names. Stuart was a cavalry commander known for his mastery of reconnaissance and the use...

 and then as a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 fighter. Patton grew up hearing Mosby's stories of his adventures, and longed to become a general himself.

Patton came from a military family, his ancestors including General Hugh Mercer
Hugh Mercer
Hugh Mercer was a soldier and physician. He initially served with British forces during the Seven Years War but later became a brigadier general in the Continental Army and a close friend to George Washington...

 of the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. His great uncle, Waller T. Patton
Waller T. Patton
Waller Tazewell Patton , was a professor, attorney, and an officer of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.-Early life and career:...

, died of wounds received in Pickett's Charge
Pickett's Charge
Pickett's Charge was an infantry assault ordered by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee against Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Its futility was predicted by the charge's commander,...

 during the Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

. John M. Patton and Isaac Patton, also his great uncles, were colonels in the Confederate States Army
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

. His great uncle William T. Glassell
William T. Glassell
William Thornton Glassell was an officer in the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War. He was one of the world's first combat submariners...

 was a Confederate States Navy
Confederate States Navy
The Confederate States Navy was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War...

 officer. Hugh Weedon Mercer, a Confederate general, was his close relative. John M. Patton
John M. Patton
John Mercer Patton was a nineteenth century politician and lawyer from Virginia.Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Patton attended Princeton University and graduated from the medical department at the University of Pennsylvania in 1818. He studied law and was admitted to the bar, commencing...

, a great-grandfather, was a lawyer and politician who had served as acting governor of Virginia.

Patton's paternal grandparents were Colonel George Smith Patton
George S. Patton, Sr
George S. Patton, Sr. was a Confederate Colonel during the American Civil War. He is famous for being the grandfather of World War II hero George S. Patton. He was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Military Institute , Class of 1852, second in a class of 24...

 and Susan Thornton Glassell
Susan Thornton Glassell
Susan Thornton Glassell was the wife of George Smith Patton and George H. Smith, and the sister of Andrew Glassell.-Early life:...

. His grandfather, born in Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Fredericksburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia located south of Washington, D.C., and north of Richmond. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,286...

, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Military Institute
The Virginia Military Institute , located in Lexington, Virginia, is the oldest state-supported military college and one of six senior military colleges in the United States. Unlike any other military college in the United States—and in keeping with its founding principles—all VMI students are...

 (VMI), Class of 1852, second in a class of 24. After graduation, George Smith Patton studied law and practiced in Charleston
Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Kanawha County. As of the 2010 census, it has a population of 51,400, and its metropolitan area 304,214. It is the county seat of Kanawha County.Early...

, Virginia (now West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

). When the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 broke out, he served in the 22nd Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. Colonel George S. Patton, his grandfather, was killed during the Battle of Opequon
Battle of Opequon
The Battle of Opequon, more commonly known as the Third Battle of Winchester, was fought in Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864, during the Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War....

. The Confederate Congress had promoted Colonel Patton to brigadier general; however, at the time, he had already died of battle wounds, so that promotion was never official.

Patton's grandfather left behind a namesake son, born in Charleston, Virginia (now West Virginia). 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 Los Angeles County, California, District Attorney and the first City Attorney for the city of Pasadena
Pasadena, California
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology , the Jet...

, California and the first mayor of San Marino, California
San Marino, California
San Marino is a small, affluent city in Los Angeles County, California. Incorporated in 1913, the City founders designed the community to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways...

. He was a Wilsonian Democrat.

His maternal grandparents were Benjamin Davis Wilson, (December 1, 1811 to March 11, 1878), mayor of Los Angeles in 1851–1852 and the namesake of Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

's Mount Wilson
Mount Wilson (California)
Mount Wilson is one of the better known peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains, part of the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, California. It is the location of the Mount Wilson Observatory and has become the astronomical center of Southern California with and telescopes, and and tall...

, and his second wife, Margaret Hereford. Wilson was a self-made man who was orphaned in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, came to Alta California as a fur trapper and adventurer during the American Indian Wars before marrying Ramona Yorba, the daughter of a California land baron, Bernardo Yorba
Bernardo Yorba
Bernardo Yorba , was a native of Nueva California and the son of Spanish soldier, José Antonio Yorba. Bernardo became one of the most successful ranchers in Alta California with thousands of cattle and horses grazing on land grants totaling more than 35,000 acres...

, and made his fortune through the wedding dowry, receiving Rancho Jurupa
Rancho Jurupa
Rancho Jurupa was a Mexican land grant in California, United States, that is divided by the present-day counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. The land was granted to Juan Bandini by Governor Juan B. Alvarado in 1838...

, settling what would become California's San Gabriel Valley
San Gabriel Valley
The San Gabriel Valley is one of the principal valleys of Southern California, United States. It lies to the east of Los Angeles, to the north of the Puente Hills, to the south of the San Gabriel Mountains, and west of the Inland Empire. It derives its name from the San Gabriel River that flows...

, after the Mexican American War. Benjamin Wilson was also a well known Indian fighter who served as justice of the peace for the Mexican authorities and it was while hunting down renegade Indians that he discovered what is present day Big Bear, California which received that name because Wilson and his posse lassoed and killed over thirty grizzly bears while passing through.

Patton married Beatrice Banning Ayer (January 12, 1886 – September 30, 1953), the daughter of wealthy textile baron Frederick Ayer
Frederick Ayer
Frederick Ayer was an American businessman and the younger brother of patent medicine tycoon Dr. James Cook Ayer. He graduated from The Hill School. In addition to his involvement in the patent medicine business, he is better known for his work in the textile industry...

, 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 III
George Patton IV
George Smith Patton, IV was a Major General in the United States Army and the son of World War II General George Patton.-Military biography:...

 (December 24, 1923 – June 27, 2004), who followed in his father's footsteps, attending West Point and eventually rising to the rank of Major General as an armor officer in the United States Army.

Education and early military service

Patton attended Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Military Institute
The Virginia Military Institute , located in Lexington, Virginia, is the oldest state-supported military college and one of six senior military colleges in the United States. Unlike any other military college in the United States—and in keeping with its founding principles—all VMI students are...

 for one year, where he rushed VMI's chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order
Kappa Alpha Order
Kappa Alpha Order is a social fraternity and fraternal order. Kappa Alpha Order has 124 active chapters, 3 provisional chapters, and 2 commissions...

. He then left VMI and enrolled in the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

. The Academy required him to repeat his first "plebe" year because of his poor performance in mathematics. However, he did so with honors and was appointed Cadet Adjutant (the second highest position for a cadet), graduating in 1909 instead of 1908 and receiving his commission as a cavalry officer.

1912 Summer Olympics

Patton participated in the first-ever modern pentathlon at the 1912 Summer Olympics
Modern pentathlon at the 1912 Summer Olympics
Modern pentathlon was first contested at the Olympic Games at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. The sport was invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games.-Shooting:-Swimming:-Fencing:...

 in Stockholm. He finished fifth overall; native American Jim Thorpe finished first. He placed seventh out of 37 contestants in the 300 meter freestyle swimming. He was fourth out of 29 fencers. In the equestrian cross-country steeplechase, he was among the riders who turned in perfect performances, but he placed sixth because of his time. Patton "hit the wall" 50 yards (45.7 m) 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 made the U.S. Modern Pentathlon team for the 1916 Summer Olympics
1916 Summer Olympics
The anticipated 1916 Summer Olympics, which were to be officially known as the Games of the VI Olympiad, were to have been held in Berlin, Germany. However, due to the outbreak of World War I, the games were cancelled.-History:...

, scheduled for Berlin, Germany, but the Games were canceled because of World War I.

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 his 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:

Master of the Sword and the Patton Saber

Following the 1912 Olympics, Patton traveled with his family to Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

, Berlin, and Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

. Seeking the greatest swordsman in Europe to study with, Patton was told the "beau sabreur" of the French Army would be the one. Adjutant M. Clèry was a French "master of arms" and instructor of fencing at the Cavalry School at Saumur
Saumur
Saumur is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.The historic town is located between the Loire and Thouet rivers, and is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur itself, Chinon, Bourgueil, Coteaux du Layon, etc...

. Patton went to Saumur for intense study with the master. Upon his return, Patton wrote a report that was revised for the Army and Navy Journal. Patton's first article for the Cavalry Journal appeared in the March 1913 issue. In the summer of 1913, after he advised the Ordnance Department on sword redesign, Patton was allowed to return to Saumur to study once again under Clèry.

Patton was made the Army's youngest-ever "Master of the Sword
Master of the Sword
The Master of the Sword, or MOS, is the title of the head of the Department of Physical Education and the director of the program of physical instruction at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This position is unique in that the physical program at the academy is both academic and...

" at the Mounted Service School at Fort Riley, Kansas. While Master of the Sword, Patton became an instructor at Fort Riley and improved and modernized the Army's cavalry saber fencing techniques.

Earlier in the year, he assisted in the design of the Model 1913 Cavalry Saber
Model 1913 Cavalry Saber
The Model 1913 Cavalry Saber was designed by Second Lieutenant George S. Patton in 1913, when he was Master of the Sword at the Mounted Service School, and is commonly referred to as the Patton Saber. Following the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Patton traveled with his family to Dresden, Berlin, and...

. 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 for both mounted and on foot use of the saber. The weapon came to be known as the "Patton Saber." There is no one sword that this saber was modeled after. Patton suggested the revision from a curved sword and edge and cutting technique to a thrusting style of attack, following his extensive training in France. Patton's thoughts were expressed in his 1913 report "The Form and Use of the Saber":
The weapon was never used as intended. At the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War I, several American cavalry units armed with sabers were sent 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
Gewehr 98
The Gewehr 98 is a German bolt action Mauser rifle firing the 8x57mm cartridge from a 5 round internal clip-loaded magazine that was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replaced by the Karabiner 98k. It was hence the main rifle of the German infantry during World War I...

 rifles and MG08 machine guns. Those cavalrymen who saw combat did so dismounted, using their horses only to travel. Patton instead adapted his style of move forward and attack technique to his use of tanks in battle. This became his trademark combat style in World War II.

Punitive Expedition into Mexico

During the Punitive Expedition
Pancho Villa Expedition
The Pancho Villa Expedition—officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition and sometimes colloquially referred to as the Punitive Expedition—was a military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Mexican insurgent Francisco "Pancho" Villa...

 of 1916, Patton was assigned to the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. With an area of about , it is the Army's second-largest installation behind the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. It is FORSCOM's largest installation, and has the Army's largest Maneuver Area behind the...

, Texas. He served as aide to then-Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

 in his pursuit of Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
José Doroteo Arango Arámbula – better known by his pseudonym Francisco Villa or its hypocorism Pancho Villa – was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals....

, 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 cars, conducted the United States' first armored vehicle attack, and in the process killed two Mexican leaders, including "General" Julio Cardenas
Julio Cardenas
Julio Cárdenas was a Captain in Pancho Villa's Villista military organization. He was second-in-command to Villa and the head of his personal bodyguard. The Battle of Columbus, New Mexico, in which 18 Americans were killed, sparked the campaign, led by 'Black Jack' Pershing, to eradicate the...

, commander of Villa's personal bodyguard who was shot by Patton himself. 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
Colt Single Action Army handgun
The Colt Single Action Army is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six metallic cartridges. It was designed for the U.S...

, Pershing titled Patton his "Bandido." 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 John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

 promoted Patton to the rank of captain. While in France, Patton requested a combat command. Pershing asked him to undertake the establishment of a Light Tank Training School for U.S. troops, to which he agreed. In November 1917, Patton left Paris and reported to General Garrard of the French Army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

. At Champlieu, Patton drove a Renault
Renault
Renault S.A. is a French automaker producing cars, vans, and in the past, autorail vehicles, trucks, tractors, vans and also buses/coaches. Its alliance with Nissan makes it the world's third largest automaker...

 char d'assaut tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

, testing its trench-crossing ability, and visited a Renault factory to observe the tanks being manufactured. Shortly after his arrival at Champlieu, the British launched what was then the largest armoured attack of the war at the Battle of Cambrai, and at the conclusion of his tour, on December 1, Patton went to Albert
Albert, Somme
Albert is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.It is located about halfway between Amiens and Bapaume.-History:Albert was founded as a Roman outpost called Encre, in about 54 BC...

, 30 miles (48.3 km) from Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

, to be briefed on the recent attack by 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 Langres
Langres
Langres is a commune in north-eastern France. It is a subprefecture of the Haute-Marne département in the Champagne-Ardenne region.-History:As the capital of the Romanized Gallic tribe the Lingones, it was called Andematunnum, then Lingones, and now Langres.The town is built on a limestone...

, Haute-Marne département. The only one with tank driving experience, Patton himself backed seven of the light, two-man Renault FT tanks off the train.

For his successes and his organization of the training school, Patton was promoted to major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

, lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

 and then colonel
Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, colonel is a senior field grade military officer rank just above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general...

, U.S. National Army. In August 1918, he was placed in charge of the 1st Provisional Tank Brigade, re-designated 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
American Expeditionary Force
The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside British and French allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces...

. (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.

Patton commanded American-crewed French Renault tanks at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel
Battle of Saint-Mihiel
The Battle of Saint-Mihiel was a World War I battle fought between September 12–15, 1918, involving the American Expeditionary Force and 48,000 French troops under the command of U.S. general John J. Pershing against German positions...

 and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front.-Overview:...

. On September 26, 1918, Patton was wounded in the left leg while leading six men and a tank in an attack on German machine guns near the town of Cheppy during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The only survivors were the tank crew, Patton and his orderly Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First Class is a military rank held by junior enlisted persons.- Singapore :The rank of Private First Class in the Singapore Armed Forces lies between the ranks of Private and Lance-Corporal . It is usually held by conscript soldiers midway through their national service term...

 Joe Angelo
Joe Angelo
Joe Angelo of Camden New Jersey was an American veteran of World War I and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, who was later involved in the Bonus Army movement of the 1930s.-War Service:...

, who saved Patton and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree...

. While Patton was recuperating from his wounds, hostilities ended with the armistice of November 11, 1918 (which happened to be Patton's 33rd birthday).

For his service in the Meuse-Argonne Operations
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front.-Overview:...

, Patton received the Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree...

 and the Distinguished Service Medal, and was brevetted full colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

. He was retroactively awarded the Purple Heart
Purple Heart
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

 for his combat wounds after the decoration was created in 1932.

Inter-war years

While on duty in Washington, D.C., in 1919, Patton met Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

, who would play an enormous role in Patton's future career. During their assignment at Fort Riley, 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
Tank gun
A tank gun is the main armament of a tank. Modern tank guns are large-caliber high-velocity guns, capable of firing kinetic energy penetrators, high explosive anti-tank rounds, and in some cases guided missiles. Anti-aircraft guns can also be mounted to tanks.-Overview:Tank guns are a specific...

. However, the lack of interest in armor created a poor atmosphere for promotion and career advancement, so Patton transferred back to the horse cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

.

Patton served in Hawaii before returning to Washington once again to ask Congress for funding for armored units. During his time in Hawaii, Patton was part of the military units responsible for the defense of the islands, and specifically wrote a defense plan anticipating an air raid against Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

 – 10 years before the attack
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 by the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 on December 7, 1941.

At the wedding of Patton's daughter Ruth Ellen (1940), a couple who knew Patton from Hawaii (Restarick and Eleanor Jones 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, "Restarick, if I'd found out you were within a hundred miles and not come, I'd have shoved this sword up your behind." The remark was typical of Patton.

In July 1932, Patton served under Army Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 as a major commanding 600 troops, including the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. On July 28, MacArthur ordered these troops to advance on protesting veterans known as the "Bonus Army
Bonus Army
The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates...

" in Washington, D.C. with tear gas and bayonet
Bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

s. One of the veterans dispersed by the cavalry was Joe Angelo
Joe Angelo
Joe Angelo of Camden New Jersey was an American veteran of World War I and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, who was later involved in the Bonus Army movement of the 1930s.-War Service:...

, who had saved Patton's life in World War I. Patton was dissatisfied with MacArthur's conduct as he recognized the legitimacy of the veteran's complaints and had himself earlier refused to issue the order to employ armed force to disperse the veterans.

In the late 1930s, Patton was assigned command of Fort Myer
Fort Myer
Fort Myer is a U.S. Army post adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It is a small post by U.S...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. Shortly after Germany's blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg
For other uses of the word, see: Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg is an anglicized word describing all-motorised force concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery, combat engineers and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the lines are broken,...

 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
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

, 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
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

 on April 4 and made commanding general of the 2nd Armored Division seven days later.

World War II

During the buildup of the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 prior to its entry into World War II, Patton commanded the United States Third Army, which performed with mixed results in 1941 in both the Louisiana Maneuvers
Louisiana Maneuvers
The Louisiana Maneuvers were a series of military exercises held all over north and west-central Louisiana, including Fort Polk, Camp Claiborne and Camp Livingston, in August and September 1941...

 and Carolina Maneuvers. The Third Army was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, until the unit, along with its commander was ordered to the newly established Desert Training Center in Indio, California
Indio, California
Indio is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California's Colorado Desert region. It lies east of Palm Springs, east of Riverside, and east of Los Angeles. It is about north of Mexicali, Baja California on the U.S.-Mexican border...

, by the Chief of the Armored Force, Major General Jacob L. Devers
Jacob L. Devers
General Jacob "Jake" Loucks Devers , commander of the 6th Army Group in Europe during World War II. He was the first United States military officer to reach the Rhine after D-Day.-Biography:...

. Patton was subsequently appointed commander of the newly activated I Armored Corps by Devers, and he was in this position when the corps was assigned to Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

, the invasion of North Africa. In preparation, Patton trained his troops in the Imperial Valley. He commenced these exercises in late 1941 and continued them well into the summer of 1942. Patton chose a 10000 acres (40.5 km²) 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. Tank tracks, foxholes and spent shell casings can still be found in an area about 50 miles (80.5 km) southeast of Palm Springs
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego...

.

From his first days as a commander, Patton strongly emphasized the need for armored forces to stay in constant contact with the enemy, concluding that aggressive, fast-moving mechanized and armored forces disrupted enemy defensive preparations while presenting less of a target to enemy gunners. His instinctive preference for relentless offensive movement was typified by an answer Patton gave to war correspondents in a 1944 press conference. In response to a question on whether the Third Army's rapid offensive across France should be slowed to reduce the number of U.S. casualties, Patton replied "Whenever you slow anything down, you waste human lives."

North African campaign

In November 1942, Major General
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

 Patton commanded the Western Task Force of the U.S. Army, which landed on the coast of Vichy French-held Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 in Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

 for the North African Campaign
North African campaign
During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

. Patton and his staff arrived in Morocco aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta
USS Augusta (CA-31)
USS Augusta was a Northampton-class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, notable for service in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during World War II, and for her occasional use as a presidential flagship carrying both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman under wartime conditions...

, which came under fire from the Vichy French battleship Jean Bart
French battleship Jean Bart (1940)
The Jean Bart was a French battleship of World War II named for the seventeenth-century seaman, privateer, and corsair Jean Bart.Derived from the Dunkerque class, Jean Bart were designed to counter the threat of the heavy ships of the Italian Navy...

 while entering the harbor of Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

. Casablanca fell after two 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).

Patton was one of the first American commanders in World War II to make full use of light Army observation aircraft to visit friendly troop forces as well as independently reconnoiter enemy positions. Flying with an Army pilot in a Taylorcraft L-2
Taylorcraft L-2
-External links:***-See also:...

 or a Stinson L-5, Patton was able to inspect many more troop positions and headquarters in a day than could be accomplished by using a motor vehicle.

In 1943, following the defeat of the U.S. II Corps
U.S. II Corps
The II Corps was a corps of the United States Army and the first US formation of any size to see combat in Europe or Africa during World War II.-World War I:...

 (then part of British 1st Army) by the German Afrika Korps
Afrika Korps
The German Africa Corps , or the Afrika Korps as it was popularly called, was the German expeditionary force in Libya and Tunisia during the North African Campaign of World War II...

, first at the Battle of Sidi Bou Zid
Battle of Sidi Bou Zid
The Battle of Sidi Bou Zid was a World War II battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign. The battle was fought between forces of Nazi Germany and forces of the United States. The German forces included the 10th Panzer Division and the 21st Panzer Division of the Fifth Panzer Army...

 and again at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass
Battle of the Kasserine Pass
The Battle of the Kasserine Pass was a battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign of World War II in February 1943. It was a series of battles fought around Kasserine Pass, a wide gap in the Grand Dorsal chain of the Atlas Mountains in west central Tunisia...

, General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 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
Lloyd Fredendall
Lloyd Fredendall was an American General during World War II. Major General Fredendall is best known for his command of the Central Task Force landings during Operation Torch, and his command of the US II Corps during the early stages of the Tunisia Campaign...

 as commander of the II Corps. Patton was also promoted to lieutenant general
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

. Soon thereafter, Patton had Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

 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." This nickname however derives not from his casualty figures which were consistently lower than Bradley's, but from his days as Master of Sword when his colorful language about 'blood and guts' made an impression on junior officers.

The discipline Patton instilled paid off quickly. Patton found victory at the Battle of El Guettar
Battle of El Guettar
The Battle of El Guettar was a World War II battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign, fought between elements of the Army Group Afrika under Jürgen von Arnim and U.S. II Corps under Lieutenant General George Patton in south-central Tunisia. It was the first battle in which U.S...

. 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 Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 and out of North Africa altogether by mid-May.

Sicily campaign

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 Messina.

Officers quoted 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 Etna
Mount Etna
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m higher than it was in 1981.. It is the highest mountain in...

 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
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, liberating the capital, Palermo
Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

, 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 evacuated all of their soldiers and much of their heavy equipment across the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

 to the Italian mainland under the cover of anti-aircraft artillery.

Slapping incident

The "slapping incident" of Private Charles H. Kuhl
Charles Kuhl
Charles Herman Kuhl was a American soldier who became the target of General George S. Patton's ire in a 1943 incident which made nationwide headlines in the United States during World War II.-Life and career:...

 of August 3, 1943, nearly ended Patton's career.

On August 3, Patton was visiting wounded patients from the recent Sicilian campaign at the 15th Evacuation Hospital near Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

 when he encountered 27-year-old Private Charles H. Kuhl of the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, sitting slouched on a stool midway through a tent ward filled with injured soldiers. Years later, Kuhl would affirm this version of his initial meeting with Patton, recalling that when Patton entered the hospital tent, "all the soldiers jumped to attention except me. I was suffering from battle fatigue and just didn't know what to do." When Patton asked Kuhl where he was hurt, Kuhl shrugged and replied that he was "nervous" rather than wounded, adding "I guess I can't take it." In response, Patton slapped Kuhl across the chin with his gloves, then grabbed him by the collar and dragged him to the tent entrance, shoving him out of the tent with a final kick to Kuhl's backside. Yelling "Don't admit this son-of-a-bitch", Patton demanded that Kuhl be sent back to the front at once, adding, "You hear me, you gutless bastard? You're going back to the front." Patton briefly resumed visiting the other patients, then returned and berated Kuhl again.

Although the Kuhl incident received the most publicity, Patton slapped and berated a second soldier, Private Paul G. Bennett of C Battery, 17th Field Artillery, 1st Infantry Division, under similar circumstances on August 10, 1943 at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital.

Patton's actions at the evacuation hospitals may have been motivated in part by an encounter with Gen. Clarence R. Huebner
Clarence R. Huebner
Clarence Ralph Huebner was a Lieutenant General of the United States Army.-World War I:A farm boy from Bushton, Kansas who spent almost seven years serving from private to sergeant in the 18th Infantry, Huebner received a regular commission in November 1916...

, the newly appointed commander of the 1st Infantry Division in which Kuhl and Bennett both served. Patton had asked Huebner how things were going at the front. Huebner replied "The front lines seem to be thinning out. There seems to be a very large number of 'malingerers' at the hospitals, feigning illness in order to avoid combat duty."

A group of news reporters filed a report on the Kuhl slapping incident with Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's chief of staff. When General Eisenhower learned of the matter, 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," The news reporters who had sent their report to Bedell Smith demanded that Patton be fired in exchange for killing the story, a demand which Eisenhower refused. Contrary to popular impression, Eisenhower never seriously considered removing Patton from duty in the ETO: "If this thing ever gets out, they'll be howling for Patton's scalp, and that will be the end of Georgie's service in this war. I simply cannot let that happen. Patton is indispensable to the war effort – one of the guarantors of our victory."

Kuhl's parents had avoided mention of the matter "because they did not wish to make trouble for General Patton." Eventually the story of Kuhl's slapping was broken in the U.S. after newspaper columnist Drew Pearson
Drew Pearson (journalist)
Andrew Russell Pearson , known professionally as Drew Pearson, was one of the best-known American columnists of his day, noted for his muckraking syndicated newspaper column "Washington Merry-Go-Round," in which he attacked various public persons, sometimes with little or no objective proof for his...

 revealed it on his November 21 radio program. Pearson's version not only conflated details of both slapping incidents but falsely reported that the private in question was visibly "out of his head", telling Patton to "duck down or the shells would hit him" and that in response "Patton struck the soldier, knocking him down." Pearson further stated that Patton had been "severely reprimanded" as a result of his actions. Pearson punctuated his broadcast by twice repeating the statement that Patton would never again be used in combat, despite the fact that Pearson had no factual basis for making such a prediction. In response, Allied Headquarters denied that Patton had received an official reprimand, but confirmed that Patton had slapped at least one soldier. Demands for Patton to be relieved and sent home were made in Congress and in news articles and editorials across the country. However, public reaction was largely sympathetic to Patton, and Herman F. Kuhl, Private Kuhl's father, even wrote his own congressman, stating that he forgave Patton for the incident and requesting that he not be disciplined.

After the film Patton was released in 1970, Charles H. Kuhl recounted the incident, stating 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
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

," 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
Bendix Corporation
The Bendix Corporation was an American manufacturing and engineering company which during various times in its 60 year existence made brake systems, aeronautical hydraulics, avionics, aircraft and automobile fuel control systems, radios, televisions and computers, and which licensed its name for...

 in Mishawaka, Indiana
Mishawaka, Indiana
Mishawaka is a city on the St. Joseph River and a Twin city of South Bend in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States. The population was 48,252 as of the 2010 Census...

, 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.

After consulting Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

, and Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy
John J. McCloy
John Jay McCloy was a lawyer and banker who served as Assistant Secretary of War during World War II, president of the World Bank and U.S. High Commissioner for Germany...

, Eisenhower retained Patton in the European theater, though without a major command. Marshall and Stimson not only supported Eisenhower's decision, but defended it. In a letter to the Senate, Stimson stated that Patton must be retained because of the need for his "aggressive, winning leadership in the bitter battles which are to come before final victory."

Instead, General Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

 was promoted to lieutenant general. In late 1943, Bradley moved to London as commander in chief of the American ground forces preparing to invade France in 1944. Bradley was later chosen to command the US 1st Army after D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

. This decision was not based on the 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
Furlough
In the United States a furlough is a temporary unpaid leave of some employees due to special needs of a company, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole...

" as a trick to mislead the Germans as to where the next attack would be, since Patton was the general that 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 Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 was viewed as heralding an invasion through the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

. German intelligence duly misinterpreted Patton's movements, shifting forces in response to those of Patton.

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 Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

. This was part of a sophisticated Allied campaign of military disinformation, Operation Fortitude
Operation Fortitude
Operation Fortitude was the codename for a World War II military deception employed by the Allied nations as part of an overall deception strategy during the build up to the 1944 Normandy Landings...

. The Germans mis-allocated 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 paratroop commander General Jim Gavin, "I'll see you in the Pas De Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

, Gavin!" The ploy appears to have worked, as reports of overnight troop movements north from Normandy were detected by Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park is an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire, England, which currently houses the National Museum of Computing...

 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. His good friend Gilbert R. Cook
Gilbert R. Cook
Gilbert R. Cook was a United States Army general. He had a thirty-six year military career in the United States Army. He served in World War I in France and Germany, commanded the 21st Infantry during the Pearl Harbor attack, and commanded infantry troops in France during World War II.-Early...

 was Deputy Commander whom Patton had later to relieve because of an illness, a decision which "shook him to the core." Patton's Third Army became operational at noon on August 1, 1944. Patton would lead the Third during the late stages of Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II...

, the campaign to break out from 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 pocket, between Falaise and Argentan
Argentan
Argentan is a commune, and the seat of two cantons and of an arrondissement in the Orne department in north-western France.Argentan is located NE of Rennes, ENE of the Mont Saint-Michel, SE of Cherbourg, SSE of Caen, SW of Rouen and N of Le Mans....

, Orne.

The Third Army typically employed forward scout units to determine enemy strength and positions. Each column was protected by a standing patrol of three to four P-47 fighter-bombers as a combat air patrol (CAP). Self-propelled artillery moved with the spearhead units and was sited well forward, ready to engage protected German positions with indirect fire. Light aircraft such as the L-4 Piper Cub
Piper J-3
The Piper J-3 Cub is a small, simple, light aircraft that was built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. With tandem seating, it was intended for flight training but became one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time...

 served as artillery spotters and provided airborne reconnaissance. Once located, the armored infantry would attack using tanks as infantry support. Other armored units would then break through enemy lines and exploit any subsequent breach, constantly pressuring withdrawing enemy forces to prevent them from regrouping and reforming a cohesive defensive line. Armored vehicles would often advance via reconnaissance by fire
Reconnaissance by fire
Reconnaissance by fire is a tactic in which military forces may fire on likely enemy positions to provoke a reaction.-Historical use:...

. Each vehicle would alternate its machine guns and/or cannon to the left or right respectively, firing continuously to cover the flanks on both sides of the column and suppress enemy counterfire. The U.S. .50 caliber M2 Browning heavy machine gun proved most effective in this role, often flushing out and killing German panzerfaust teams waiting in ambush as well as breaking up German infantry assaults against the armored infantry. In its advance from Avranches
Avranches
Avranches is a commune in the Manche department in the Basse-Normandie region in north-western France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. The inhabitants are called Avranchinais.-History:...

 to Argentan
Argentan
Argentan is a commune, and the seat of two cantons and of an arrondissement in the Orne department in north-western France.Argentan is located NE of Rennes, ENE of the Mont Saint-Michel, SE of Cherbourg, SSE of Caen, SW of Rouen and N of Le Mans....

 the Third Army advanced unopposed over vast distances, covering 60 miles (96.6 km) in just two weeks. The speed of the advance forced Patton's units to rely largely on air reconnaissance and tactical air support. Patton's armored divisions made frequent use of tactical fighter-bombers of the XIX Tactical Air Command of the Ninth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
The Ninth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command . It is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina....

 to protect his right (southern) flank during his advance to the Seine.

Equally important to the advance of Third Army columns in northern France was the rapid advance of the supply echelons. Third Army logistics were overseen by Colonel Walter J. Muller, Patton's G-4, who was instrumental in modernizing logistical arrangements to fit the pace of the advance across France. Flexibility, improvisation, and adaption were cardinal requirements for Third Army supply echelons of an armored division seeking to exploit a breakthrough. The Signal Section identified required radio nets, mapped circuits and obtained applicable supplies. The Combat Engineers conducted analyses of bridge requirements, road engineering studies, traffic circulation plans, supply requirements, and survey and map coverage for the proposed advance. Patton even read The Norman Conquest by Edward A. Freeman, "paying particular attention to the roads William the Conqueror used in his operations in Normandy and Brittany."

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
French 2nd Division (World War II)
The French 2nd Armored Division , commanded by General Leclerc, fought during the final phases of World War II in the Western Front.The division was formed around a core of units that had fought at Koufra in 1941 under Leclerc; later renamed the 2nd Light Division, in August 1943, it was organized...

 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 believed they were still part of the latter.

Lorraine

General Patton's offensive, however, came to a screeching halt on August 31, 1944, as the Third Army literally ran out of fuel near the Moselle River
Moselle River
The Moselle is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine, joining the Rhine at Koblenz. A small part of Belgium is also drained by the Mosel through the Our....

, just outside of Metz
Battle of Metz
The Battle of Metz was a three-month battle fought between the United States Army and the German Army during World War II. It took place at the city of Metz following the Allied breakout after the Normandy landings. The attack on the city by the U.S. Third Army faced heavy resistance from the...

, France. One explanation for this was that Patton's ambition was to conquer Germany and he refused 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
Operation Market Garden
Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany in the Second World War. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time....

. 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
U.S. 4th Armored Division
The 4th Armored Division of the United States Army was an armored division that compiled a distinguished career in the European theater of World War II. Unlike many other World War II U.S. armored divisions, the 4th never adopted an official divisional nickname or slogan...

 at the Battle of Arracourt
Battle of Arracourt
The Battle of Arracourt was a battle between U.S. and German armored forces during World War II near the town of Arracourt, Lorraine, France, from 18-29 September 1944. As part of a counteroffensive against recent U.S. advances in France, the German 5th Panzer Army had as its objective the...

. 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
XIX Tactical Air Command
The XIX Tactical Air Command is an inactive United States Air Force unit. The unit's last assignment was with the Ninth Air Force based at Biggs Field, Texas...

, commanded by Gen. Otto P. Weyland
Otto P. Weyland
Otto Paul Weyland was an Air Force General, and the post-World War II Commander of Far East Air Forces during the Korean War and of Tactical Air Command.-Early life:...

. Developed originally by Gen. Elwood Quesada of IX TAC for the First Army at Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II...

 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 account for the decision 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
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

.

Battle of the Bulge

In late 1944, the German army launched a last-ditch offensive across Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Luxembourg, and northeastern France, popularly known as the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

, nominally led by German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
Gerd von Rundstedt
Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war....

. 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 River
Meuse River
The Maas or Meuse is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea...

 during one of the worst winters Europe had seen in years. General Eisenhower called a meeting of all senior Allied commanders on the Western Front to a headquarters near Verdun
Verdun
Verdun is a city in the Meuse department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Verdun is the biggest city in Meuse, although the capital of the department is the slightly smaller city of Bar-le-Duc.- History :...

, France, on the morning of December 19 to plan strategy and a response to the German assault.

At the time, Patton's Third Army was engaged in heavy fighting near Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where most of the people of the Saarland live....

. Guessing the intent of the Allied command meeting, Patton ordered his staff to make three separate operational contingency orders to disengage elements of the Third Army from its present position and begin offensive operations towards several objectives in the area of the Bulge occupied by German forces. At the Supreme Command conference, General Eisenhower led the meeting, which was attended by General Patton, General Bradley, General Jacob Devers
Jacob L. Devers
General Jacob "Jake" Loucks Devers , commander of the 6th Army Group in Europe during World War II. He was the first United States military officer to reach the Rhine after D-Day.-Biography:...

, Major General Sir Kenneth Strong
Kenneth Strong
Major General Sir Kenneth William Dobson Strong KBE, CB was a British Army officer who served in the Second World War, rising to become Director General of Intelligence. A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Strong was commissioned into the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1920...

, Deputy Supreme Commander Arthur Tedder
Arthur Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder, GCB was a senior British air force commander. During the First World War, he was a pilot and squadron commander in the Royal Flying Corps and he went on to serve as a senior officer in the Royal Air Force during the inter-war...

, and a large number of staff officers. Eisenhower commenced the meeting by announcing that the German offensive was to be viewed as an opportunity, not as a disaster, and that he wanted to see only "cheerful faces."

When Eisenhower asked Patton how long it would take him to disengage six divisions of his Third Army and commence a counterattack north to relieve the 101st Airborne, Patton replied, "As soon as you're through with me." Patton then clarified that he had already worked up an operational order for a counterattack by three full divisions on December 21, then only 48 hours away. Eisenhower was incredulous: "Don't be fatuous, George. If you try to go that early you won't have all three divisions ready and you'll go piecemeal." Patton replied that his staff already had a contingency operations order ready to go. Still unconvinced, Eisenhower ordered Patton to attack the morning of December 22, using at least three divisions. Patton strode from the conference room, located a field telephone, and upon reaching his command, uttered two words: "Play ball". This code phrase initiated a prearranged operational order with Patton's staff, mobilizing three divisions – the U.S. 4th Armored Division
U.S. 4th Armored Division
The 4th Armored Division of the United States Army was an armored division that compiled a distinguished career in the European theater of World War II. Unlike many other World War II U.S. armored divisions, the 4th never adopted an official divisional nickname or slogan...

, the U.S. 80th Infantry Division, and the U.S. 26th Infantry Division
U.S. 26th Infantry Division
The 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade is a Combat support brigade of the United States Army. Its headquarters is maintained by the Massachusetts Army National Guard. It is the modern incarnation of the 26th Infantry Division...

 – from the Third Army and moving them north towards Bastogne. The operations order included order of battle, road deployment order, fuel, resupply, security, and clearance of the road net. In all, Patton would reposition six full divisions (including his 3rd and 12th Army Corps) from their positions on the Saar front along a line stretching from Bastogne to Diekirch
Diekirch
Diekirch is a commune with city status in north-eastern Luxembourg, capital city of the canton Diekirch and the district of Diekirch. The city is situated on the banks of the Sauer river....

 to Echternach
Echternach
Echternach is a commune with city status in the canton of Echternach, which is part of the district of Grevenmacher, in eastern Luxembourg. Echternach lies near the border with Germany, and is the oldest town in Luxembourg....

. Within a few days, more than 133,000 Third Army vehicles were re-routed into an offensive that covered a combined distance of 1.5 million miles, followed by supply echelons carrying some 62,000 tons of supplies.

On December 21 Patton met with General Bradley to go over the impending advance: "Brad, this time the Kraut's stuck his head in the meatgrinder, and I've got hold of the handle." Patton then argued that his Third Army should attack towards Koblenz
Koblenz
Koblenz is a German city situated on both banks of the Rhine at its confluence with the Moselle, where the Deutsches Eck and its monument are situated.As Koblenz was one of the military posts established by Drusus about 8 BC, the...

, cutting off the Bulge at the base and trapping the entirety of the German armies involved in the offensive. After briefly considering this, Bradley vetoed this proposal, as he was less concerned about killing large numbers of Germans than he was in arranging for the relief of Bastogne before it was overrun.

Desiring good weather for his advance, which would permit close ground support by USAAF tactical aircraft, Patton ordered the Third Army chaplain, Colonel James O'Neill, to compose a suitable prayer: "Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen." When the weather cleared soon after, Patton awarded O'Neill a Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

 on the spot.

During the advance, Patton led his divisions from the front, frequently leapfrogging ahead in his command car, then stopping to urge the men on. As one tank destroyer sergeant related: "On the way to Bastogne, we would see Patton along the side of the road waving us on. I don't know how he got ahead of us all the time, but he did. Patton was right there breaking it up and getting things moving again. He was a relentless man...and a great general. Patton had a theory that the Germans didn't shoot as well on the run. That's why he never wanted to stop. The only time he stopped in the field was when he ran out of gas."

On December 26, 1944, the first spearhead units of the Third Army's U.S. 4th Armored Division
U.S. 4th Armored Division
The 4th Armored Division of the United States Army was an armored division that compiled a distinguished career in the European theater of World War II. Unlike many other World War II U.S. armored divisions, the 4th never adopted an official divisional nickname or slogan...

 reached Bastogne, opening a corridor for relief and resupply of the besieged forces. Patton's ability to disengage six divisions from frontline combat during the middle of winter, then wheel north to relieve besieged Bastogne was one of his most remarkable achievements during the war. Author John MacDonald cites it as one of the greatest extant examples of the mastery of military logistics
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

, stating, "probably his greatest military achievement, unsurpassed at the time, was the logistic repositioning, within twenty-four hours, of a whole army corps at the Battle of the Bulge." Patton certainly thought so, claiming that the relief of Bastogne was "the most brilliant operation we have thus far performed, and it is in my opinion the outstanding achievement of the war. This is my biggest battle."

Crossing of the Rhine

By February, the Germans were in full retreat and Patton had pushed units into the Saarland
Saarland
Saarland is one of the sixteen states of Germany. The capital is Saarbrücken. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1,045,000 inhabitants. In both area and population, it is the smallest state in Germany other than the city-states...

. Once again, however, Patton found other commands given priority on gasoline and supplies. Field Marshal Montgomery suggested deprecatingly that Patton's forces be limited to holding a defensive line at the Rhine River. However, Patton had no intention of being left behind, and promptly began initiating several "reconnaissances in force". The 5th Mechanized Infantry Division of the Third Army crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim
Oppenheim
Oppenheim is a town in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The town is well known as a wine town, the site of the German Winegrowing Museum and particularly for the wines from the Oppenheimer Krötenbrunnen vineyards.- Location :...

 on the night of March 22, 1945, thirty-six hours ahead of Montgomery's Rhine crossing, Operation Varsity
Operation Varsity
Operation Varsity was a successful joint American–British airborne operation that took place toward the end of World War II...

. To obtain gasoline and supplies, Third Army Ordnance units passed themselves off as First Army personnel, in one incident securing thousands of gallons of gasoline from a First Army gasoline dump. Within a day, Patton's forces had established a six-mile (10 km) deep bridgehead, after capturing 19,000 demoralized German troops.

Task Force Baum

On March 26, 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 an Allied POW camp, OFLAG XIII-B
OFLAG XIII-B
Oflag XIII-B was a German Army World War II Prisoner-of-war camp camp for officers, originally in Langwasser near Nuremberg. In 1943 it was moved to 3 km south of Hammelburg, Lower Franconia, Bavaria, Germany....

 near Hammelburg
Hammelburg
Hammelburg is a town in the district of Bad Kissingen, in Lower Franconia, Bavaria, Germany. It is situated on the river Franconian Saale, 25 km west of Schweinfurt...

. One of the inmates was Patton's son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel John K. Waters
John K. Waters
John Knight Waters was a United States Army four star general who served as commander, U.S. Army, Pacific from 1964 to 1966. He was also the son-in-law of General George S. Patton...

. 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 hit by friendly aircraft fire and had to be left at the camp. When Eisenhower learned of the secret mission, he was furious.

Patton later reported it was the only mistake he made during World War II. He felt the correct decision was to have sent a Combat Command, about three times larger.

Final offensive operations

On April 14, 1945 Patton was promoted to a full General with a four-star rank, a promotion long advocated by Secretary of War Stimson in recognition of Patton's battle accomplishments during 1944. Patton's operations staff was drafting plans to take Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, when Eisenhower, under pressure from the Soviets, ordered American forces in Czechoslovakia to stop short of the city limits. Patton's troops liberated Pilsen, on May 6, 1945, and most of western Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

.

In its advance from the Rhine to the Elbe, Patton's Third Army captured 32763 square miles (84,855.8 km²) of enemy territory. Its losses were by far the lightest of any Third Army operation: 2,102 killed, 7,954 wounded, and 1,591 missing. Enemy losses in the campaign totaled 20,100 killed, 47,700 wounded, and 653,140 captured.

Since becoming operational in Normandy on August 1, 1944 until May 9, 1945, the Third Army was in continuous combat for 281 days. It had advanced farther and faster than any army in military history, crossing 24 major rivers and capturing 81500 square miles (211,084 km²) of territory, including more than 12,000 cities and towns. With a normal strength of around 250,000–300,000 men, the Third had killed, wounded, or captured some 1,811,388 enemy soldiers, six times its strength in personnel. By comparison, the Third Army suffered 16,596 killed, 96,241 wounded, and 26,809 missing in action for a total of 139,646 men, a ratio of enemy to U.S. losses of nearly thirteen to one.

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
Jimmy Doolittle
General James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, USAF was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as a brigadier general, major general and lieutenant general in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War...

 were honored with a parade through Los Angeles and a reception at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a large outdoor sports stadium in the University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, at Exposition Park, that is home to the Pacific-12 Conference's University of Southern California Trojans football team...

 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 Burbank
Burbank, California
Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, United States, north of downtown Los Angeles. The estimated population in 2010 was 103,340....

 City Hall
Burbank City Hall
Burbank City Hall is the site of the municipal government of Burbank, California, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Designed by architects William Allen and W. George Lutzi in the Moderne or Art Deco style, ground was broken in February 1941 and construction was completed in...

 and at the Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl (stadium)
The Rose Bowl is an outdoor athletic stadium in Pasadena, California, U.S., in Los Angeles County. The stadium is the site of the annual college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, held on New Year's Day. In 1982, it became the home field of the UCLA Bruins college football team of the Pac-12...

 in Pasadena
Pasadena, California
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology , the Jet...

. He wore his helmet with a straight line of stars, chest full of medals, and two ivory-handled (not pearl, as is often incorrectly asserted) revolvers. 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
Nuremberg Laws
The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating scientific racism and antisemitism...

, which he had smuggled out of Germany in violation of JCS 1067, to the Huntington Library
The Huntington Library
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is an educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington in San Marino, in the San Rafael Hills near Pasadena, California in the United States...

, a repository of historical original papers, books, and maps, in his hometown San Marino
San Marino, California
San Marino is a small, affluent city in Los Angeles County, California. Incorporated in 1913, the City founders designed the community to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways...

. Patton instructed physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 Robert Millikan
Robert Millikan
Robert A. Millikan was an American experimental physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his measurement of the charge on the electron and for his work on the photoelectric effect. He served as president of Caltech from 1921 to 1945...

, 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 Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

. 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
Skirball Cultural Center
The Skirball Cultural Center is an educational institution in Los Angeles, California devoted to sustaining Jewish heritage and American democratic ideals. Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage...

 in Los Angeles. On August 25, 2010, the National Archives
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

 announced that the Nuremberg Laws would be transferred from the Huntington Library to their collection.

Road accident and death

On December 9, 1945, Patton was severely injured in a road accident. He and his chief of staff, Major General Hobart R. "Hap" Gay
Hobart R. Gay
Lieutenant General Hobart Raymond Gay , nicknamed "Hap", was a United States Army general.-Early military career:...

, were on a day trip to hunt pheasants in the country outside Mannheim
Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

, Germany. Their 1938 Cadillac Model 75 (a full size Cadillac Series 70
Cadillac Series 70
The Series 70 was one of Cadillac's full-size V8-powered cars produced from the 1930s through 1970s. It replaced the 1935 355-D as the company's mainstream car just as the much less expensive Series 60 was introduced. The Series 67 was similar to the Series 75 but produced on a longer wheelbase ...

 V-8 car) was driven by Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First Class is a military rank held by junior enlisted persons.- Singapore :The rank of Private First Class in the Singapore Armed Forces lies between the ranks of Private and Lance-Corporal . It is usually held by conscript soldiers midway through their national service term...

 Horace L. Woodring (1926–2003), Patton sat in the back seat on the right side, with Gay on his left, as per custom. At 11:45 near Neckarstadt (Mannheim-Käfertal), a 2½ ton GMC truck
GMC CCKW
The GMC CCKW is a 2½ ton 6X6 U.S. Army cargo truck that saw service in World War II and the Korean War, often incorrectly referred to as a "Deuce and a Half" or "Jimmy"...

 driven by Technical Sergeant Robert L. Thompson (1925–1994) 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; he had been thrown forward, causing his head to strike a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats. This impact inflicted a severe cervical spinal cord injury. Paralyzed from the neck down
Quadriplegia
Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, is paralysis caused by illness or injury to a human that results in the partial or total loss of use of all their limbs and torso; paraplegia is similar but does not affect the arms...

, he was rushed to the military hospital in Heidelberg
Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

. Patton died of a pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream . Usually this is due to embolism of a thrombus from the deep veins in the legs, a process termed venous thromboembolism...

 on December 21, 1945. The funeral service was held at the Christ Church (Christuskirche) in Heidelberg-Südstadt
Heidelberg-Südstadt
Heidelberg-Südstadt is a district of the city of Heidelberg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is a relatively young district and was established after World War 2, by extending the Weststadt district to the south, and the Rohrbach district to the north. Today, it houses about 4,400 citizens...

.

This incident was dramatized in the made for TV movie The Last Days of Patton
The Last Days of Patton
The Last Days of Patton is a 1986 made-for-television film sequel to the 1970 film Patton, which portrays the last few months of the general's life. George C. Scott reprises the role of General George S. Patton, and Eva Marie Saint portrays Beatrice Patton, the general's wife. The film was...

 in 1986 with George C. Scott
George C. Scott
George Campbell Scott was an American stage and film actor, director and producer. He was best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, and as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr...

 reprising his role as Patton.

Patton was buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. The cemetery can be found 2.5 kilometers southwest of Findel Airport. It is administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission...

 in Hamm, Luxembourg
Hamm, Luxembourg
Hamm is a quarter in eastern Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. It is the home of the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, the final resting place of 5,076 American servicemen, including General Patton....

 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 cenotaph
Cenotaph
A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion...

 was placed at the Wilson-Patton family plot at the San Gabriel Cemetery in San Gabriel, California
San Gabriel, California
San Gabriel is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is named after the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded by Junipero Serra. The city grew outward from the mission and in 1852 became the original township of Los Angeles County. San Gabriel was incorporated in 1913...

, adjacent to the Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

), where Patton was baptized
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 and confirmed. In the narthex
Narthex
The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar. Traditionally the narthex was a part of the church building, but was not considered part of the church proper...

 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 Patton was placed on the grounds of the church. 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 Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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

Unlike Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

, 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, particularly the wounded. However, he tended to classify cases of psychological battlefield breakdown as malingering. Many of Patton's directives on caring for the enlisted men under his command, such as ordering that captured supplies of enemy food and liquor be delivered to frontline units were overlooked in the media in favor of more popular news items, such as his system of fines for officers and men who failed to shave daily and wear helmets and leggings at all times. The fighting elements of Patton's Third Army had guaranteed mail deliveries, priority on hot chow and showers, regular uniform issues, plus liberal distribution of passes and unit rotations out of the line. The Stars and Stripes cartoonist, Sergeant Bill Mauldin
Bill Mauldin
William Henry "Bill" Mauldin was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist from the United States...

, who habitually portrayed front line infantry as exhausted, begrimed footsloggers Willie and Joe came in for special criticism, even prompting Patton to summon Sergeant Mauldin to his headquarters, where Patton unsuccessfully attempted to convince Mauldin into drawing a cleaned-up version of the popular comic strip.

Patton was capable of the occasional blunt witticism: "The two most dangerous weapons the Germans have are our own armored halftrack and jeep
Jeep
Jeep is an automobile marque of Chrysler . The first Willys Jeeps were produced in 1941 with the first civilian models in 1945, making it the oldest off-road vehicle and sport utility vehicle brand. It inspired a number of other light utility vehicles, such as the Land Rover which is the second...

. 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
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

, 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
Battle of Dunkirk
The Battle of Dunkirk was a battle in the Second World War between the Allies and Germany. A part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 26 May–4 June 1940.After the Phoney War, the Battle of...

."

While Patton has a reputation today as a senior general who was both impatient and impulsive, with little tolerance for officers who had failed to succeed on the battlefield, the truth is somewhat different. Compared to Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

, Patton actually fired only one general during the entire war, Orlando Ward
Orlando Ward
Orlando Ward was a career United States Army Officer. During World War II, as a Major General, he commanded the U.S. 1st Armored Division during Operation Torch...

, and only after two warnings, whereas Bradley sacked numerous generals during the war.

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
Colt Single Action Army
The Colt Single Action Army is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six metallic cartridges. It was designed for the U.S...

 .45 "Peacemaker" and later also a S&W Model 27
S&W Model 27
The Smith & Wesson Model 27 is the original .357 Magnum revolver and was first produced in 1935; and is still being produced. The Model 27 was built on Smith and Wesson's carbon steel, large N-frame, was available at various times with 3", 4", 5", 6" or 8" barrel lengths and had adjustable...

 .357). His vehicles carried over-sized rank insignia and sirens. His speech was riddled with profanities. While Patton had many detractors in the press, he also received praise from others, 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 daring infected his entire army, until the men of the second American corps 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
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, Patton was quick to assert the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 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 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
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 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 Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson
Robert P. Patterson
Robert Porter Patterson was the United States Under Secretary of War under President Franklin Roosevelt and the United States Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman from September 27, 1945 to July 18, 1947....

 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," Patton pleaded. "Let's keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened, and present a picture of force and strength to these people, the Soviets
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. This is the only language they understand." Asked by Patterson – who became 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
Pacific Theater of Operations
The Pacific Theater of Operations was the World War II area of military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the American forces during that period...

. Unhappy with his role as the military governor of Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and depressed by his belief that he would never fight in another war, Patton's behavior and statements became increasingly erratic. Various explanations beyond his disappointments have been proposed for Patton's behavior at this point. Carlo D'Este
Carlo D'Este
Carlo D'Este is an American military historian and biographer, author of several books, especially on World War II. He is a retired U.S...

, 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
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

 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
Denazification
Denazification was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the National Socialist ideology. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering...

 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
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 to losers in American political elections, and that being a Nazi in Germany 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

Patton's attitude toward minorities 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 camp
Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp was a German Nazi concentration camp established on the Ettersberg near Weimar, Germany, in July 1937, one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps on German soil.Camp prisoners from all over Europe and Russia—Jews, non-Jewish Poles and Slovenes,...

. Local German citizens claimed that they didn't know what was going on, though at least a few admitted to knowing of the atrocities
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 but insisted they had been powerless to stop it. He ordered American troops to round up the approximately 2,000 local Germans and march them through the camps so they could 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
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 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
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 country at 40 – a day. In spite of his regard for the Koran, he concluded, "To me it seems certain that the fatalistic
Fatalism
Fatalism is a philosophical doctrine emphasizing the subjugation of all events or actions to fate.Fatalism generally refers to several of the following ideas:...

 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."

Relations with Eisenhower

The relationship between George S. Patton and Dwight Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 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, as both men had strong interest in tank warfare. During the inter-war period, budget cuts to the U.S. Army caused by the Great Depression resulted in a significant decline of available funding for tank development.

Between 1935 and 1940, Patton and Eisenhower developed a very close friendship to the level where the Patton and Eisenhower families were spending summer vacation
Summer vacation
Summer vacation is a vacation in the summertime between school years in which students and instructors are off school typically between 6 and 12 weeks, depending on the country and district.-Students:In some countries, students participate in programs such as organized sports, summer camps, and...

s 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
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

, 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
Army of the United States
The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscription force of the United States Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress in the event of the United States entering into a major armed conflict...

). 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 rapid 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 – both men were still colonels there throughout 1943 – predated Eisenhower's.

When Patton came under criticism for the "Sicily slapping incident," 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
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

, 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 Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, and made arrangements for saving the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, fearing that the Red Army would slaughter the horses for food. 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 defense of the rights of man and the civil war to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles." (See also Rheinwiesenlager
Rheinwiesenlager
The Rheinwiesenlager , official name Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures , were a group of about 19 transit camps for holding about one million German POWs after World War II from spring until late summer 1945...

).

Patton as viewed by his contemporaries

On February 1, 1945 Eisenhower wrote a memo ranking the military capabilities of his subordinate American generals in the ETO. Army General Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

 and Army Air Force General Carl Spaatz
Carl Spaatz
Carl Andrew "Tooey" Spaatz GBE was an American World War II general and the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He was of German descent.-Early life:...

 shared the number one position, while Walter Bedell Smith
Walter Bedell Smith
Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith was a senior United States Army general who served as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff at Allied Forces Headquarters during the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy...

, (a staff officer with no field command experience during the war), was ranked number 2. Eisenhower ranked Patton at a distant number 3. It was a curious conclusion, since in terms of military successes Patton had accomplished far more than any other U.S. ground force commander, particularly in comparison to Bradley. Eisenhower revealed his reasoning in a 1946 review of the book Patton and his Third Army: "George Patton was the most brilliant commander of an army in the open field that our or any other service produced. But his army was part of a whole organization and his operations part of a great campaign." Eisenhower believed that other generals such as Bradley should be given the credit for planning the successful Allied campaigns across Europe in which Patton was merely "a brilliant executor". Eisenhower once remarked, "George, you are a great leader, but a poor planner." Patton shot back, "Except for Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

, which I planned and which was a great success, I have never been given the chance to plan."

Notwithstanding Eisenhower's estimation of Patton's abilities as a strategic planner, his overall view of Patton's military value in achieving Allied victory in Europe can best be seen in Eisenhower's refusal to even consider sending Patton home after the 'slapping incident' of 1943. As Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy
John J. McCloy
John Jay McCloy was a lawyer and banker who served as Assistant Secretary of War during World War II, president of the World Bank and U.S. High Commissioner for Germany...

 told Eisenhower: "Lincoln's remark after they got after Grant comes to mind when I think of Patton – 'I can't spare this man, he fights'." After Patton's death, Eisenhower would write his own tribute: "He was one of those men born to be a soldier, an ideal combat leader...It is no exaggeration to say that Patton's name struck terror at the hearts of the enemy."

Bradley's view of Patton was decidedly negative. Patton received scant praise in Bradley's memoirs, where the latter made it clear that had he been Patton's superior in Sicily in 1943, he not only would have relieved Patton of command immediately but "would have had nothing more to do with him". It was well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is considerable evidence that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally. Patton in turn resented Bradley's frequent "borrowing" of Patton's own ideas and operational concepts to convert into war plans for which Bradley got the credit. Patton's diary reports, "I do not want any more of my ideas used without credit to me, as happens when I give them orally."

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 appeared to greatly esteem Patton and his abilities, stating "he is our greatest fighting general, and sheer joy." On the other hand, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

, appears to have taken an instant dislike to Patton, at one point comparing him to George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Raised in Michigan and Ohio, Custer was admitted to West Point in 1858, where he graduated last in his class...

.

For the most part, British commanders did not hold Patton in high regard. Field Marshal Alan Brooke noted in January 1943 that "I had heard of him, but I must confess that his swashbuckling personality exceeded my expectation. I did not form any high opinion of him, nor had I any reason to alter this view at any later date. A dashing, courageous, wild and unbalanced leader, good for operations requiring thrust and push but at a loss in any operation requiring skill and judgment." One possible exception was none other than Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. Although the latter's rivalry with Patton was well known, Montgomery appears to have actually admired Patton's ability to command troops in the field, if not his strategic judgment.

Other Allied commanders were more impressed, the Free French in particular. General Henri Giraud
Henri Giraud
Henri Honoré Giraud was a French general who fought in World War I and World War II. Captured in both wars, he escaped each time....

 was incredulous when he heard of Patton's dismissal by Eisenhower in late 1945, and invited him to Paris to be decorated by President
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

 Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 at a state banquet. At the banquet, President de Gaulle gave a speech placing Patton's achievements alongside those of Napoleon. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 was apparently an admirer, stating that the Red Army could neither have planned nor executed Patton's rapid armored advance across France.

Patton as viewed by the enemy

From 1943 on, it was clear that a consensus existed in the German Army officer corps that of all Allied ground force commanders, the enemy general they feared the most was Patton. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 himself was impressed by Patton, reportedly calling him "that crazy cowboy general", and "the most dangerous man [the Allies] have." Generaloberst Alfred Jodl
Alfred Jodl
Alfred Josef Ferdinand Jodl was a German military commander, attaining the position of Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command during World War II, acting as deputy to Wilhelm Keitel...

, chief of staff of the German Army, stated that Patton "was the American Guderian
Heinz Guderian
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II. He was a pioneer in the development of armored warfare, and was the leading proponent of tanks and mechanization in the Wehrmacht . Germany's panzer forces were raised and organized under his direction as Chief of Mobile Forces...

. He was very bold and preferred large movements. He took big risks and won big successes.” Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring
Albert Kesselring
Albert Kesselring was a German Luftwaffe Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. In a military career that spanned both World Wars, Kesselring became one of Nazi Germany's most skilful commanders, being one of 27 soldiers awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords...

 noted that “Patton had developed tank warfare into an art, and understood how to handle tanks brilliantly in the field. I feel compelled, therefore, to compare him with Generalfeldmarschall Rommel, who likewise had mastered the art of tank warfare. Both of them had a kind of second sight in regard to this type of warfare." Referring to the escape of the Afrika Korps Panzerarmee after the battle of El Alamein, General Fritz Bayerlein
Fritz Bayerlein
Fritz Bayerlein was a German panzer general during the Second World War.Fritz Bayerlein was born in Würzburg, Franconia, Germany. During the First World War, Bayerlein was drafted into the 9th Bavarian Infantry in 1917 and fought on the Western front. He was wounded and received an Iron Cross when...

 opined that "I do not think that General Patton would let us get away so easily." Oberstleutnant Horst Freiherr von Wangenheim, operations officer of the 277th Volksgrenadier Division
277th Infantry Division (Germany)
A first 277th Infantry Division was ordered to form on May 22, 1940 as part of the 10th mobilisation wave , but this order was rescinded after the French Surrender. A new 277th Infantry Division was formed in Croatia on November 17, 1943 as part of the 22nd mobilisation wave A first 277th Infantry...

, stated that "General Patton is the most feared general on all fronts. [His] tactics are daring and unpredictable...He is the most modern general and the best commander of [combined] armored and infantry forces." After the war, General der Infanterie Günther Blumentritt
Günther Blumentritt
Günther Blumentritt was a German officer in World War I, who became a Staff Officer under the Weimar Republic and went on to serve as a general for Nazi Germany during World War II...

 revealed that "We regarded Patton extremely highly, as the most aggressive Panzer-General of the Allies. A man of incredible initiative and lightning-like action." General der Panzertruppen Hasso von Manteuffel
Hasso von Manteuffel
Hasso-Eccard Freiherr von Manteuffel was a German soldier and liberal politician of the 20th century.He served in both world wars, and during World War II was a distinguished general...

, who had fought both Soviet and Anglo-American tank commanders, agreed: "Patton! No doubt about this. He was a brilliant panzer army commander."

In an interview conducted for Stars and Stripes
Stars and Stripes (newspaper)
Stars and Stripes is a news source that operates from inside the United States Department of Defense but is editorially separate from it. The First Amendment protection which Stars and Stripes enjoys is safeguarded by Congress to whom an independent ombudsman, who serves the readers' interests,...

 just after his capture, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
Gerd von Rundstedt
Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war....

 summed up the predominant German view of the American general: "Patton," Rundstedt concluded simply, "he is your best."

Patton, the film

Patton was the focus of the epic 1970 Academy Award-winning film Patton, with the title role played by George C. Scott
George C. Scott
George Campbell Scott was an American stage and film actor, director and producer. He was best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, and as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr...

 in an iconic, Academy Award winning performance. The film was a huge commercial success, and spawned fierce critical debates over the accuracy of its portrayal of General Patton.

Screenwriters Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

 and Edmund H. North
Edmund H. North
Edmund Hall North , was an American screenwriter who shared an Academy Award for "Best Original Screenplay" with Francis Ford Coppola in 1970 for their script for Patton....

 wrote most of the film based on two biographies, General Bradley's A Soldier's Story and Ladislas Farago
Ladislas Farago
Ladislas Farago was a military historian and journalist who published a number of best-selling books on history and espionage, especially concerning the World War II era....

's Patton: Ordeal and Triumph. General Bradley also served as a military advisor and consultant to the film's producers. As the film was made without access to General Patton's diaries or any information from his family, it largely relied upon observations by Bradley and other military contemporaries when attempting to reconstruct Patton's thoughts and motives. In a review of the film Patton, S.L.A. Marshall, who knew both Patton and Bradley, stated that "The Bradley name gets heavy billing on a picture of [a] comrade that, while not caricature, is the likeness of a victorious, glory-seeking buffoon...Patton in the flesh was an enigma. He so stays in the film...Napoleon once said that the art of the general is not strategy but knowing how to mold human nature...Maybe that is all producer Frank McCarthy and Gen. Bradley, his chief advisor, are trying to say." Bradley himself acknowledged that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is little doubt that Bradley despised Patton's swashbuckling method of leading the men under his command. Bradley's role in the film remains controversial to this day.

Some historians have accused the film of exaggerating Patton's negative traits, particularly the repeated portrayal of Patton as a commander whose desire for military glory on the battlefield overrode any need to limit unnecessary casualties by the men under his command. These scenes are criticized as contemporary revisionism, a token to the widespread antiwar sentiment of the time (it was released during the apex of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War). Others see the movie's treatment of Patton as too reverential and hagiographic. These critics often discern in the film a thinly-disguised attempt to glorify the military by portraying Patton as an inspirational leader, a commander whose bold plans to conquer Germany and end the war were constantly sabotaged by higher command as well as his military inferiors on the battlefield.

Many Patton contemporaries, including those who knew him personally or served with him, have applauded Scott's characterization of Patton for accurately capturing the essence of the man – war-loving, egotistical, overbearing, obsessive, conflicted, and enigmatic, yet unrivalled in his ability to inspire and lead large forces of men in a desperate and ultimately victorious struggle against a determined enemy.

Legacy

Museums
  • General George Patton Museum at Fort Knox
    Fort Knox
    Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. The base covers parts of Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade counties. It currently holds the Army Human Resources Center of Excellence to include the Army Human Resources Command, United States Army Cadet...

    , Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

    . Also known as the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor and the General George Patton Museum of Leadership.
  • General George S. Patton Memorial Museum
    General George S. Patton Memorial Museum
    The General George S. Patton Memorial Museum, in Chiriaco Summit, California, is a museum erected in tribute to General George S. Patton on the site of the entrance of Camp Young, part of the Desert Training Center of World War II....

    , is located at the site of the Desert Training Center in Chiriaco Summit, California
    Chiriaco Summit, California
    Chiriaco Summit is a small unincorporated town and travel stop located along Interstate 10 in the Colorado Desert of Southern California. It is west of Desert Center....

    . A statue of Patton can be seen from nearby Interstate 10
    Interstate 10
    Interstate 10 is the fourth-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90, I-80, and I-40. It is the southernmost east–west, coast-to-coast Interstate Highway, although I-4 and I-8 are further south. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean at State Route 1 in Santa Monica,...

    .
  • Patton Memorial Pilsen museum in Plzeň, Czech Republic.
  • General Patton Memorial Museum Ettelbruck
    Ettelbruck
    Ettelbruck is a commune with city status in central Luxembourg, with a population of approximately 7,500. As of 2005, the town of Ettelbruck itself, which lies in the east of the commune, has a population of 6,191. The town of Warken and Grentzingen are also within the commune...

    , Luxembourg


Schools
  • General George S. Patton School District, Riverdale, Illinois
    Riverdale, Illinois
    Riverdale is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,055 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Riverdale is located at ....

  • George S. Patton Elementary School, Garden Grove, California
    Garden Grove, California
    Garden Grove is a city located in northern Orange County, California. The population was 170,883 at the 2010 census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city running east-west. The city is known outside the Southern California area for being the home of Robert H...

  • General Patton Elementary School Dýšina
    Dýšina
    Dýšina is a village and municipality in Plzeň-City District in the Plzeň Region of the Czech Republic.The municipality covers an area of , and has a population of 1,577 ....

    , Czech Republic
  • General George S. Patton School (K-8), Riverdale, Illinois
    Riverdale, Illinois
    Riverdale is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,055 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Riverdale is located at ....

  • Patton Junior High School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
  • George S. Patton High School, Harbor City, California


Buildings
  • General George S. Patton Memorial Center, Detroit, Michigan
  • Patton Army Air Field, Camp Arifjan
    Camp Arifjan
    Camp Arifjan is an Army installation located in the State of Kuwait which accommodates elements of the US Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard. The camp was funded and built by the government of Kuwait. Military personnel from the United Kingdom, Australia, Romania and Poland are...

    , Kuwait
  • Patton Barracks, Heidelberg
    Heidelberg
    -Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

    , Germany, headquarters of the United States Army Garrison Heidelberg
    United States Army Garrison Heidelberg
    The ' is made up of a number of United States military installations in and around Heidelberg, Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, plus Germersheim Depot in the neighboring German state of The ' is made up of a number of United States military installations in and around Heidelberg,...

  • Patton Hall, Fort Riley, Kansas, headquarters of the installation Judge Advocate General
    Judge Advocate General
    In the United Kingdom, the Judge Advocate General and Judge Martial of all the Forces is a judge responsible for the court martial process within the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.-Qualifications:...

  • Patton Hall, Officers’ Club at Fort Myer, Virginia
  • Patton Hall, Shaw AFB, South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

    , headquarters of the 3rd United States Army
  • Patton Hall, military hangar at the Saumur Armour Museum on loan from the French Armoured Corps and Cavalry School
    Armoured Cavalry Branch Training School
    The Armoured Cavalry Branch Training School is a French military training establishment at Saumur. Originally set up to train the cavalry of the French Army, it now trains the troops of France's arme blindée et cavalerie in reconnaissance and armoured warfare.- History :In 1763, Louis XV ...

    , Saumur
    Saumur
    Saumur is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.The historic town is located between the Loire and Thouet rivers, and is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur itself, Chinon, Bourgueil, Coteaux du Layon, etc...

    , France, formerly used as a tank-restoration hall.
  • Patton Reserve
    United States Army Reserve
    The United States Army Reserve is the federal reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the reserve components of the United States Army....

     Center, Bell, California
    Bell, California
    Bell is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Its population was 35,477 at the 2010 census, down from 36,664 in the 2000 census. Bell is located on the west bank of the Los Angeles River and is a suburb of the city of Los Angeles...

  • 1220 Patton Court, San Marino, California
    San Marino, California
    San Marino is a small, affluent city in Los Angeles County, California. Incorporated in 1913, the City founders designed the community to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways...

    , former residence of the Patton family. The house is a private residence and is not open to the public.


Statues
  • Patton Monument
    Patton Monument (West Point)
    General George S. Patton, Jr. is a bronze statue of George S. Patton, Jr., by James Earle Fraser. It is located at the United States Military Academy....

    , designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser and dedicated in 1950
  • Patton Monument, Lacy Park, San Marino, CA
  • General Patton Memorial, Avranches
    Avranches
    Avranches is a commune in the Manche department in the Basse-Normandie region in north-western France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. The inhabitants are called Avranchinais.-History:...

    , France.
  • A statue of General Patton was unveiled in Dýšina
    Dýšina
    Dýšina is a village and municipality in Plzeň-City District in the Plzeň Region of the Czech Republic.The municipality covers an area of , and has a population of 1,577 ....

    , Czech Republic to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

  • Boston, Massachusetts, The standing portrait statue of Patton, designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser, was installed at the Charles River Esplanade along the Hatch Shell Circle in 1953. The 8 feet (2.4 m) tall bronze statue depicts a uniformed Patton raising a pair of binoculars up to his eyes, atop a 4 feet (1.2 m) pink granite base.


Streets
  • General Patton Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Shreveport is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is the principal city of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana and is the 109th-largest city in the United States....

    ; Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

  • General Patton Boulevard, Mandeville, Louisiana
    Mandeville, Louisiana
    Mandeville is a city in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 12,421 in 2008. Mandeville is located on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, south of Interstate 12. It is across the lake from the city of New Orleans and its southshore suburbs...

  • Patton Court, San Marino, California
    San Marino, California
    San Marino is a small, affluent city in Los Angeles County, California. Incorporated in 1913, the City founders designed the community to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways...

  • General George Patton Drive, Franklin, Tennessee
    Franklin, Tennessee
    Franklin is a city within and the county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 62,487 as of the 2010 census Franklin is located approximately south of downtown Nashville.-History:...

    ; Brentwood, Tennessee
    Brentwood, Tennessee
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 23,445 people, 7,693 households, and 6,808 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 7,889 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the city was 94.63% European American, 1.89% African American,...

  • George Patton Drive, San Antonio, Texas
  • George Patton Lane, El Paso, Texas
    El Paso, Texas
    El Paso, is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 649,121. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States...

  • General George Patton Road, Nashville, Tennessee
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

  • General Patton Street, Hammond, Louisiana
    Hammond, Louisiana
    Hammond is the largest city in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 20,049 at the 2009 census. It is home to Southeastern Louisiana University...

    ; Lake Charles, Louisiana
    Lake Charles, Louisiana
    Lake Charles is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Located in Calcasieu Parish, a major cultural, industrial, and educational center in the southwest region of the state, and one of the most important in...

    ; Morgan City, Louisiana
    Morgan City, Louisiana
    Morgan City is a city in St. Martin and St. Mary parishes in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The population was 12,404 at the 2010 census....

    ; Jackson, Mississippi
    Jackson, Mississippi
    Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

    ; Pascagoula, Mississippi
    Pascagoula, Mississippi
    Pascagoula is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States. It is the principal city of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, as a part of the Gulfport–Biloxi–Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. The population was 26,200 at the 2000 census...

    ; Fort Drum, New York
  • George Patton Street, Orangeburg, South Carolina
    Orangeburg, South Carolina
    Orangeburg, also known as "The Garden City," is the principal city in and the county seat of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, United States. The city is also the fifth oldest city in the state of South Carolina. The city population was 12,765 at the 2000 census, within a Greater Orangeburg...

  • Patton Way, San Marino, California
    San Marino, California
    San Marino is a small, affluent city in Los Angeles County, California. Incorporated in 1913, the City founders designed the community to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways...

  • Place du Général Patton, Paris, France (next to Avenue de la Grande Armée). Some 10 other French towns and cities, including Avranches
    Avranches
    Avranches is a commune in the Manche department in the Basse-Normandie region in north-western France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. The inhabitants are called Avranchinais.-History:...

    , Thionville
    Thionville
    Thionville , is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. The city is located on the left bank of the river Moselle, opposite its suburb Yutz.-Demographics:...

    , Troyes
    Troyes
    Troyes is a commune and the capital of the Aube department in north-central France. It is located on the Seine river about southeast of Paris. Many half-timbered houses survive in the old town...

     and Le Mans
    Le Mans
    Le Mans is a city in France, located on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region.Its inhabitants are called Manceaux...

    , have a "Place du Général Patton" in his honor.
  • Avenue du Général Patton, Melun
    Melun
    Melun is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. Located in the south-eastern suburbs of Paris, Melun is the capital of the department, as the seat of an arrondissement...

    , France
  • Rue Du Général Patton, Arlon in the province of Luxembourg, Belgium; Ixelles, Brussels; Châteaubriant
    Châteaubriant
    -Coat of arms:Two coats of arms are attributed :*First Pale: Blue, three gold fleurs de lys, Pales split in two by a shortened staff with a red hache....

    , France; and Lorraine
    Lorraine (région)
    Lorraine is one of the 27 régions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated...

    , France.
  • Général-George-S.-Patton (avenue), Rennes
    Rennes
    Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.-History:...

    , France (formerly Chemin vicinal n°25)
  • General-Patton-Straße, Bad Tölz
    Bad Tölz
    Bad Tölz is a town in Bavaria, Germany, and administrative center of the district of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen.- History :Since the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age, archaeology has shown continuous occupation of the site of Bad Tölz...

    , Germany.


Other
  • The Patton series of tanks
    Patton tank
    Patton tank may refer to:*M46 Patton, a tank model operational during the Korean War*M47 Patton, a tank model in service from 1952 through 1959 with the U.S. Army, and through the mid 1990s in foreign service...

     is named for him.
  • Patton Golf Course, an 18 hole regulation length public golf course at the Fort Benning Golf Club, Fort Benning
    Fort Benning
    Fort Benning is a United States Army post located southeast of the city of Columbus in Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties in Georgia and Russell County, Alabama...

    , Georgia.
  • General George S Patton Park Recreation Center
    Patton Park Detroit
    Patton Park is a park located on the southwest side of Detroit, Michigan. The park, named for World War II legendary US military leader General George S. Patton, was dedicated in the early 1950s. Local landowner Jacques Bebe bequeathed the tract of land to the City of Detroit for a park...

    , a 93-acre park in Detroit, Michigan
    Detroit, Michigan
    Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

    , dedicated in the early 1950s.
  • Patton Range, a rifle and machine gun firing range at Fort Benning, Georgia
  • A chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution
    Sons of the American Revolution
    The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is a Louisville, Kentucky-based fraternal organization in the United States...

     is named for Patton.
  • General George S Patton Polish Legion of American Veterans (P.L.A.V.) Post #11, Detroit, Michigan
  • Patton was named the class exemplar for the United States Air Force Academy
    United States Air Force Academy
    The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

    's class of 2005, the only non-aviator to receive this honor.
  • At the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel
    San Gabriel, California
    San Gabriel is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is named after the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded by Junipero Serra. The city grew outward from the mission and in 1852 became the original township of Los Angeles County. San Gabriel was incorporated in 1913...

    , California, there is a stained glass window depicting Patton as a version of Saint George
    Saint George
    Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

    . He is shown in a tank fighting a dragon
    Dragon
    A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

     festooned with swastika
    Swastika
    The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

    s. The lettering in the window reads "I fought a good fight." The Wilson-Patton family members are buried in the San Gabriel Cemetery about 120 yards to the west of the Church, including the patriarch, Benjamin (Don Benito) Wilson. The exception is General Patton, buried in Luxembourg.
  • Hamilton, Massachusetts
    Hamilton, Massachusetts
    Hamilton is a town located in the eastern central portion of Essex County in eastern Massachusetts. It is primarily a suburban bedroom community, most commonly known for its equestrian estates...

    , where Patton's summer home was located, dedicated its central park to Patton, boasting a World War II–era tank in the center of town, and the town's school sports teams play under the name "Generals." In addition, the French government gave two statues to the town commemorating Patton's service to their nation. They were improved in 2003 and sit at the entrance to Patton Park.
  • Patton wrote much material, including speeches, lectures, and poetry. Incorporating the biblical phrase "Through a Glass, Darkly" he composed a poem imbued with his personal interpretations of reincarnation
    Reincarnation
    Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

    .

United States awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree...

 with one oak leaf cluster
Oak leaf cluster
An oak leaf cluster is a common device which is placed on U.S. Army and Air Force awards and decorations to denote those who have received more than one bestowal of a particular decoration. The number of oak leaf clusters typically indicates the number of subsequent awards of the decoration...

Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (Army)
The Distinguished Service Medal is a military award of the United States Army that is presented to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States military, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great...

 with two oak leaf clusters
Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

 with one oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

Purple Heart
Purple Heart
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

Silver Lifesaving Medal
Mexican Service Medal
Mexican Service Medal
The Mexican Service Medal is an award of the United States military which was established by General Orders of the United States War Department on December 12, 1917...

World War I Victory Medal with five battle clasps
American Defense Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal
The American Defense Service Medal is a decoration of the United States military, recognizing service before America’s entry into the Second World War but during the initial years of the European conflict.-Criteria:...

American Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
The American Campaign Medal was a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

 with one silver and two bronze service stars
World War II Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal
The World War II Victory Medal is a decoration of the United States military which was created by an act of Congress in July 1945. The decoration commemorates military service during World War II and is awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of...

In 1955, the U.S. Army posthumously presented General Patton with the Army of Occupation Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
The Army of Occupation Medal is a military award of the United States military which was established by the United States War Department on 5 April 1946. The medal was created in the aftermath of the Second World War to recognize those who had performed occupation service in either Germany or Japan...

 for service as the first occupation commander of Bavaria.

Foreign and international awards

Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

Honorary Companion of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

Officer of the Order of Leopold (Belgium)
Belgian Croix de Guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

 with palm
French Legion of Honor
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

French Croix de Guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

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
Order of the White Lion
The Order of the White Lion is the highest order of the Czech Republic. It continues a Czechoslovak order of the same name created in 1922 as an award for foreigners....

Czechoslovakian War Cross
Czechoslovakian War Cross
The Czechoslovak War Cross is a military decoration of the former state of Czechoslovakia which was issued as a service medal of both World War I and World War II...


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
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

, National Army: January 26, 1918
 Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

, National Army: March 30, 1918
 Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, National Army: October 17, 1918
 Reverted to permanent rank of Captain, Regular Army: June 30, 1920
 Major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

, Regular Army: July 1, 1920
 Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

, Regular Army: March 1, 1934
 Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, Regular Army: July 1, 1938
 Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

, Army of the United States
Army of the United States
The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscription force of the United States Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress in the event of the United States entering into a major armed conflict...

: October 2, 1940
 Major General
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

, Army of the United States
Army of the United States
The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscription force of the United States Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress in the event of the United States entering into a major armed conflict...

: April 4, 1941
 Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

, Army of the United States
Army of the United States
The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscription force of the United States Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress in the event of the United States entering into a major armed conflict...

: March 12, 1943
 Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

, Regular Army: August 16, 1944
 Major General
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

, Regular Army: August 16, 1944
 Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

, Regular Army: December 4, 1944
 General
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an...

, Army of the United States
Army of the United States
The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscription force of the United States Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress in the event of the United States entering into a major armed conflict...

: April 14, 1945

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

  • Axelrod, Alan, Patton: A Biography, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
  • Martin Blumenson
    Martin Blumenson
    Martin Blumenson was an American military historian who served as a historical officer with the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies in World War II and later became a prolific author whose works included an authoritative biography of General George S...

    , 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.
  • Brighton, Terry
    Terry Brighton
    Terry Brighton is a British military historian and author.- Biography :Terry Brighton studied philosophy at Lancaster University and theology at Birmingham University before being ordained an Anglican priest...

    , Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War, Crown, (2009). ISBN 978-0-307-46154-4
  • 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
  • Eisenhower, John S.D., The Bitter Woods, Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press, ISBN 9780306806520, 9780306806520 (1995)
  • Essame, H., Patton: A Study in Command, New York: Scribner & Sons, ISBN 9780684136714, 9780684136714, 1st ed. (1974)
  • Hirshson, Stanley P., General Patton: A Soldier's Life (2002) ISBN 0-06-000982-9}}
  • McNeese, Tim, Battle of the Bulge, Chelsea House Publications, ISBN 0791074358, 9780791074350 (2003)
  • Nye, Roger H., The Patton Mind: The Professional Development of an Extraordinary Leader, Avery; 1993.
  • 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."
  • Reit, Seymour, Masquerade: The Amazing Camouflage Deceptions of World War II, Hawthorn Press, 1978. ISBN 0-8015-4931-0.
  • Rickard, John Nelson. Patton at Bay: The Lorraine Campaign, September to December 1944, Praeger, 1999.
  • Rickard, John Nelson. Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge (University Press of Kentucky; 2011) 472 pages;
  • Showalter, Dennis. 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.
  • Spires, David N., Patton's Air Force: Forging a Legendary Air-Ground Team, Smithsonian Inst. Pr., 2002.
  • Russell F. Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany 1944–1945, (1990)
  • Wilson, Dale Eldred, Treat 'Em Rough'! The United States Army Tank Corps in the First World War; Temple U. Press (1990).
  • Zaloga, Steven, Armored Thunderbolt, Stackpole, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8117-0424-3

External links


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