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George S. Patton Poster

Biography

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Overview (5)

Born in San Gabriel, California, USA
Died in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany  (road accident)
Birth NameGeorge Smith Patton Jr.
Nicknames Old Blood-and-Guts
Georgie
Height 6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (1)

George S. Patton III was a highly successful and highly controversial general who held Corps- and Army-level commands during World War II. Because of his great competence as a battlefield commander, Patton might have led the American troops during the invasion of Normandy; however, his impolitic ways and a degree of emotional instability (which manifested itself in the slapping of two soldiers suffering from shell-shock at an Army field hospital) put the kibosh on that. Patton was relieved of his command and put on ice for many months in order to recuperate. The command of the American forces on D-Day, instead, went to his former deputy in North Africa, Omar N. Bradley.

Patton was known as "Blood & Guts" ("Our blood, his guts," was a common gripe among his troops for his hard-driving discipline, which paid off in lower casualties and great success on the battlefield. With the exception of Douglas MacArthur, Patton ranks as the greatest general the U.S. put on the field during the Second World War.

George Patton achieved four-star rank for his battlefield exploits as one of the best commanders of mechanized forces on either side during the War. He succeeded Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany, when Ike -- a five-star general -- was promoted to Army Chief of Staff.

Patton was immortalized in the 1970 eponymous film, which won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (George C. Scott). It was President Richard Nixon's favorite film.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Beatrice Banning Ayer (26 May 1910 - 21 December 1945) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Designed his own uniforms
Known for his love of traditional warfare and gruff demeanor

Trivia (23)

Commanded the famous Third Army which, by the end of World War II, captured or killed over one million Axis soldiers.
Was dyslexic. Since dyslexia was largely unknown when he was a young cadet, he constantly berated himself for being stupid because he sometimes failed tests and had to study much harder than other cadets.
Was one of the wealthiest officers in the Army and as a junior officer, was a source of resentment from high-ranking officers because he had better living quarters and drove nicer privately owned vehicles.
While a young lieutenant during Prohibition, he and one of his closest friends each set up a still on their army base to produce their favorite alcoholic beverages. His friend's name: Lt. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Participated in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm (the same Olympics that brought Jim Thorpe lasting fame) in the modern pentathlon. He was an exceptional marksman, fencer, and horseman, and an excellent runner. Placed fifth overall, partly due to judges' determination that he missed the target, which Patton contested that he hit the same point on the target twice. Patton used a .38, which created larger holes than his competitors' .22s. He was also selected to represent the United States in the modern pentathlon at the 1916 Summer Olympics, which were scheduled for Berlin, but ended up being canceled because of World War I.
Signed documents as "George S. Patton Jr." when, in fact, he was George S. Patton III.
George Kennedy, who went on to portray Patton in Brass Target (1978), served under him in World War II.
Designed and built his own version of the tank, but the army turned it down.
Designed his own army uniforms, and came up with designs for uniforms for the tank soldier, but the army turned them down.
Commanded the Seventh Army, which invaded Sicily. It was here that he slapped a soldier in the field hospital, and was relieved of command.
Planned his battles using the ancient wars in Europe as a guide.
As commander of the Third Army, Patton ordered the killing of German soldiers in the act of surrendering or after being taken prisoner because he said they could not be trusted. When Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower reprimanded Patton for ordering his troops to kill POWs, Patton responded, "If you order me not to, I will stop. Otherwise, I will continue to influence troops the only way I know, a way which so far has produced results." Eisenhower then informed Patton to continue any way he saw fit, but to be cautious lest the murder of prisoners boomerang against him. On his part, Patton did not believe killing prisoners was wrong, as he believed it saved his soldiers' lives: "Some fair-haired boys are trying to say that I kill too many prisoners. Yet the same people cheer at the far greater killings of Japs. Well the more I killed, the fewer men I lost, but they don't think of that." Referring to the fact that American soldiers and Marines fighting the Japanese took no prisoners (giving no quarter was the modus operandi on both sides during the Pacific War), Patton was convinced that he was not doing wrong. Killing soldiers in the process of surrendering and the bloody dispatch of prisoners eliminated logistical problems that would otherwise have slowed down Patton's Third Army, which sometimes advanced at the rate of 60 miles a day. Eisenhower, who was given the overall Allied command in Europe as he was a masterful politician, was wary about Patton's killing of POWs, as such a practice could be seen as antithetical to a democracy based on the rule of law.
The Oscar-winning movie Patton (1970) failed to mention one of the most controversial incidents in Patton's military career, when he diverted troops to liberate a German POW camp housing his son-in-law. As recounted in the book "Raid: The Untold Story of Patton's Secret Mission," Patton sent a mobile force of about 50 vehicles and approximately 300 men to liberate the camp, which was approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) behind enemy lines. With no air support and no additional ground support, the task force liberated 300 American officers, including Patton's son-in-law, Capt. John Waters, and 1,200 enlisted men. The suicide mission was not authorized by Patton's superiors and is seen by some contemporary historians as indicating that he was emotionally unstable, particularly when considered in light of his two slapping incidents and his anti-Semitism. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had known Patton since 1918 and considered him a friend, respected his military genius and leadership abilities but was wary about his inability to control his emotions. Cautiously, Ike had appointed Maj. Gen. Lloyd Fredendall to command the army in North Africa instead of Patton in 1942, then had to replace Fredendall with Patton when Fredendall proved inadequate. At the time, he cautioned Patton about avoiding "personal recklessness" when he gave him the appointment, and counted on the presence of Gen. Omar N. Bradley to be a calming influence on the mercurial general. Conscious of why Bradley was assigned to him, Patton insisted that Bradley -- who had earlier commanded his own corps -- be assigned as Deputy Corps Commander. Bradley essentially was there to ensure that Patton didn't say or do anything untoward, and in tandem they proved a great success. By the end of the war Bradley was in overall command of First Army, the great force that invaded France on D-Day. Patton, free of Bradley's calming influence, was on his own when he launched his foolhardy raid. The raid was uncalled for, as Waters and the other prisoners were not in any danger; it likely was influenced by paranoia on Patton's part rooted in his own orders to his troops to kill German prisoners.
Unlike George C. Scott's deep, throaty growl in the film Patton (1970), Patton himself actually had a fairly high-pitched speaking voice.
Grandfather of Helen Patton, Robert Patton, and James Totten.
Was a first cousin six times removed of President and also victorious General George Washington.
His grandfather, George S. Patton was a Colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and fought under General Robert E. Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Buried in the American Army Cemetery at Hamm, Luxembourg.
When inspecting the concentration camps used in the Holocaust, he refused to enter certain rooms out of fear that he would vomit.
Pictured on a 3¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued in his honor 11 November 1953 (Patton's 68th birthday).
He was a rabid anti-Semite.
He proposed invading the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, in order to drive the Soviets out of eastern Europe.

Personal Quotes (11)

A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American. You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen. All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call 'chicken shit drilling.' That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit! There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did. An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking! We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do. My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man! All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the 'G.I. Shits.' Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men. One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, 'Fixing the wire, Sir.' I asked, 'Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?' He answered, 'Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed.' I asked, 'Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?' And he answered, 'No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!' Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds. And you should have seen those trucks on the rode to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable. Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Some day I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, 'Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton.' We want to get the hell over there. The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit. Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake! When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do! I don't want to get any messages saying, 'I am holding my position.' We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn! From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that. There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, 'Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!

-- speech to the troops, somewhere in England, June 5, 1944
I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.
[on bravery] Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
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 the victory.
Evidently the virus started by Morgenthau and Baruch of a Semitic revenge against all Germans is still working ... Harrison and his ilk believe that the Displaced Person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews, who are lower than animals.

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