George Smith Patton Jr was born on the 11th November 1885, into a family with a long record of military service. He saw action in the Pancho Villa Expedition of 1916 and served with American forces in the First World War. It was his roles in the Mediterranean and European theaters of the Second World War, however, that he demonstrated his extraordinary ability as a military commander.
After a brief stint as commander of the US II Corp in North Africa, he was given command of the 7th Army and tasked to assist the British under Montgomery with the invasion of Sicily. Patton’s drive and initiative ensured that the Allies had conquered Sicily in weeks which would provide a springboard for the invasion of the Italian mainland.
Following a highly publicized slapping incident on an American private during the Sicilian campaign, George Patton was not given command of a combat force for 11 months. In January 1944, he was placed in charge of the wholly inexperienced and raw recruits that comprised the United States 3rd Army which was stationed in England.
In July of 1944, after the Allied landing in Normandy on June 6th, Patton was flown over from England and rejoined his Third Army which then proceeded to assist in the closing of the Falaise Pocket, which led to the capture of several hundred thousand enemy combatants. Patton drove his men on relentlessly, leaving the Germans no time to regroup and organize defensive positions.
In December 1944, Field Marshall Von Rundstedt assaulted the Allied lines with 250 000 men. At Bastogne, American forces were surrounded by the swiftly advancing Germans and Patton was tasked with going to their aid. In an incredible display of organizational and strategic brilliance, Patton was able to maneuver six divisions engaged in front line action, drive north and establish a safe passage for the transfer of troops and ammunition to relieve Bastogne which was being stubbornly defended by the 101st Airborne.
By the end of January 1945, German forces were in full retreat, and the 3rd Army began a relentless drive forward. War in Europe officially came to an end on the 7th May 1945 when Karl Donitz, announced the end of hostilities and the German surrender.
George Patton, whose remarkable military skill, drive, and personality had been instrumental in the downfall of Nazi Germany, did not long survive its fall. He was killed in a tragic car accident in December 1945, but the legacy of ‘Blood and Guts,’ as he was nicknamed by his soldiers, lives on and he has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of military geniuses as one of the greatest commanders the world has known.
Gifted as he was he was not without controversy, his speeches, and memorable quotes were full of strong language. We’ve all read parts of them and know some from heart. What most people do not know is how Patton sounded in real life.
This video will change that!