Any person that has any familiarity with military history should be aware of General George Patton. General Patton is considered one of the best, and most controversial military leaders the United States ever had.
General Patton was born in 1885 and he died in 1945. His nickname was Old Blood and Guts. There are many facts that we have learned about Patton in the movie Patton from 1970 starring George C. Scott. Many of us also learned many pieces of information in our school history classes, but there are also many facts we didn’t learn.
In today’s post, we will provide 10 things you didn’t know about General Patton.
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”
General George Patton
1: Descendant of Edward I of England.
George Patton came from a long line of military blood. He was a direct descendant of Edward I of England who was a battling King. It is also claimed that Patton had blood in him from President George Washington.
The line shows he was descended from Hugh Mercer who was killed in the American Revolution. Patton’s Grandfather Commanded the 22nd Infantry in the Civil War, and his Uncle was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Patton’s Father graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and became an attorney.
Patton was raised within a military atmosphere.
Patton was chosen to represent the United States in the first ever Pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics. The Olympics were in Stockholm, Sweden and the future General competed in:
The 25 meter pistol shooting
A 4 kilometer cross-country run
Fencing competition (swords)
An 800 meter horseback riding contest
A 300 meter freestyle swimming competition
Patton finished 5th, but there was controversy in that… Patton used a .38 revolver while others used .22s. The holes were larger, and the judges claimed he missed a shot, but George claimed it went through a previous hole.
So guess who General Pershing’s aide-de-camp was? The young graduate from the Military Academy at West Point by the name of George Patton. The year was 1916.
4: D-day and General Patton.
When troops were invading the shores of France, General Patton had his troops on the shores of England. What’s more, they had inflatable tanks, trucks and jeeps.
This was all called Operation Quicksilver. The idea was to give the Germans the thought that allied troops would attack from Patton’s position instead of the banks of Normandy.
5: Slap the PTSD Out.
It wasn’t known as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) during World War II. PTSD is treatable according to today’s standards, but General Patton had his own treatment form for PTSD.
General Patton led troops in capturing Sicily and during this process, the leader entered a military hospital. A young soldier was lying in a bed and when Patton found that the soldier was there because of stress, he slapped the young man across the face and told him to get back to the line.
Eisenhower forced Patton to apologize for this act.
6: Great Leaders are Readers.
Patton had difficulties in school with reading and writing but as he aged, George discovered he loved to read. As a teen, Patton read military books primarily about personalities such as:
Joan of Arc
7: Tank School in France.
Patton was well known as the General who made tanks a primary weapon of the United States Army.
Patton developed and organized an American Tank school in Bourg, France in early 1918. He trained 500 tank operators, and in September of 1918, General Patton led the tanks into the Meuse-Argonne operation.
Patton rode in the front and used homing pigeons to deliver messages to the command post. He was shot during his leadership escapades as a tank Commander, and he earned the Distinguished Service Cross.
8: Governor of Bavaria.
After the war was over, there was a huge push to “denatzify” Europe. Patton was appointed as military Governor of Bavaria.
General, or should I say Governor Patton was outspoken. He often had statements that angered higher powers. Eisenhower soon pulled Patton when the General compared Nazis to Republicans and Democrats. He was also relieved of his Command of the Third Army to which General Patton said:
“All good things must come to an end. The best thing that has ever happened to me thus far is the honor and privilege of having commanded the Third Army.”
9: Patton, the Ivory Handled Cowboy.
On General Patton’s right was an ivory handled Army issued Colt .45. On the General’s left side, he wore an ivory gripped Smith & Wesson .357 Model 27.
Patton loved the flashiness of these guns, and it was noted that this flash inspired troops who came in contact with him.
10: Patton Assassinated?
George Patton died in Germany. The reason was supposedly a vehicle accident. Be it a conspiracy theory or not, there has been evidence presented that Patton was assassinated. This comes from a diary entry of a former OSS agent.
It is claimed that the Chief of the OSS, General “Wild Bill” Donovan ordered Douglas Bazata to kill Patton. It seems Patton was going to divulge information about United States and Russian collusion that cost lives of Americans. The plan supposedly didn’t work when the truck hit Patton’s vehicle, but supposedly, the KGB finished the job when Patton was soon to be released from the hospital.
Is it true?
I doubt we will ever know for sure.
What are your thoughts and impressions about General George Patton? Do you believe he was assassinated? Did you know about any of these facts?
No matter what, General George Patton was an icon in American history. Personally, I would have been quite proud to serve under this great General.
Please provide your thoughts and comments below.