General Patton was and is considered one of the world greatest Generals. There are those who say he had no equal in World War II on any side, friend or foe. The General’s combat effectiveness as a strategists and tacticians yielded huge results. When called upon by General Eisenhower in extreme emergencies, such as the battle of the bulge. General Patton accomplished what no other General could have been able to do at the time and place.
General George S. Patton Jr. will forever be part of military history. Yet, his accomplishments transcends the normal and proceeds into a greatness that few ever reach in a life time. The Bible describes a life span as a “wisp” in History. When the life leaves the body, then only the memories of the accomplishments and failures linger in the memories of man. When these memories are written down, they become history. It is from that history we look at those who figure looms bigger than others and judge them. General Patton’s legacy, when it is all known, if it ever can be, will most likely put him in the company of military giants in World History. Regardless of how he fairs there he is certainly a man worth studying. Military soldiers and historians study his exploits on the battlefield and see how his tactics and strategies went on to change the future of such things. He, like most men, saw his present situation and saw his duty as a soldier to change the circumstances to a victory. Since he knew the past, he was able to foresee how the future might play out and knowing his enemies past. As his enemies on and off the battlefield proceeded in a predictable manner, he was able to conclude where they going and how they would react. He then, like a great chess player on the battlefield field, moved with quickness and saw his plans win battles. He was ahead of his peers and enemies in knowing the battlefield and often was stopped by others on his own side because they could not see nor react as quickly as they could or should have. Now with the passage of time, we see just how right he was and see that had he been allowed to be unrestrained and fight the war as he saw it, there would certainly have been even greater victories and less lives lost than there were. When his final battlefield command was over, he saw that if things continued as they had, unabated, that the futures of his soldiers and those of generations to come would be faced with having to fight again but with tougher opposition and with “wonder weapons” that might leave mankind to its final destruction. Based on that, he managed to write several predictions that were not only insightful but very close to what would eventually happen. He lived only 60 years and 30 days which would certainly qualify in biblical terms as a “wisp.” However, when you look at when he lived, what he did and how he effected the outcome, you come to understand that the short lifetime was lived to the fullest and the memory of what he did will last until the end of history.
If you have gotten this far into this web site, thank you for reading as much as you have. I will be updating this section as time allows. I am writing a book about the General and his Third Army Headquarters so that has slowed the process in this portion of the web site. Check back on this page from time to time. In the meantime, visit the rest of the web sight. There is quite a bit here all ready. If you went directly from the web to this page, you may be asking yourself “What is a living historian?” That is us. We play the part and tell the story so that the history is not now lost. By doing it in the first person, we are able to bring it alive to those who want to know it and to those who did not know of it.
This is official release from General Eisenhower of General Patton obituary. He gives a good synopsis of General Patton’s Military carrier.
GENERAL ORDERS) WAR DEPARTMENT –
No. 121 – ) Washington 25, D.C., 22 December 1945
The death of General George Smith Patton, Jr., United States Army, which occurred at Heidelherg, Germany, on 21 December 1945, is announced with deep regret.
General Patton, as Commanding General, -Third Army, inscribed his name in the annals of military-history by bold and brilliant leadership of his troops in Africa and Sicily and from the Normandy Peninsula across France, German, and Austria, inspiring them to many brilliant victories. His sound tactical knowledge, skillful, farsighted judgment, and masterful generalship contributed in the highest degree to the success of Allied arms.
General Patton was graduated from the United States Military Academy and appointed a second lieutenant of Cavalry on 11 June 1909. He was promoted to first lieutenant on 23 May 1916,-to captain on 15 May 1917, to major (temporary) on 26 January 1918, to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on 30 March 1918, to colonel
(temporary) on -17 October 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of captain on 3O June 1920 and was promoted to major on 1 July 1920, to lieutenant colonel on 1 March 1934, to colonel on 1 July 1938, to brigadier general (temporary) on 1 October 1940, to major general (temporary) on 4 April 1941, and to lieutenant
general (temporary) on 12 March 1943. He was appointed brigadier general (permanent) to rank from 1 September 1943, and was promoted to major general (permanent) to rank from 2 September 1943. He was promoted to the rank of general. (temporary) on 14 April 1945.
After serving at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, until December 1911, he was transferred to Fort Myer, Virginia. While On duty at Fort Myer he was detailed to design a- new cavalry saber. In the summer of 1913 ‘he was ordered to France to study the French saber methods and upon his return to the United States served with Cavalry units at Fort ‘Bliss and Sierra Blanca. In 1916 he participated in the Punitive Expedition into Mexico as aide to –General John J Pershing
As a member of General Pershing’s staff he sailed for France in May 1917 In November of that year he was detailed to the Tank Corps, attended the course at the French Tank School, and was present at the battle of Cambrai in December 1917 when tanks were fist employed on’ a large scale by the British. He organized and directed the American Tank Center at Langres and also organized 304thBrigade of the Tank Corps, which he commanded in the St.- Mihiel offensive, l2-14 September 1918.
Transferred t the Meuse-Argonne Sector with ‘his brigade, he was wounded On-26 September 1918, the first day of the offensive. After returning to the United States in March 1919’; he commanded the 3O4th Tank Brigade at Champ Meade, Maryland until September 1920. He then commanded ‘a squadron of the 3d Cavalry at Fort Myer, Virginia, until November 1922. After graduation from the Cavalry School, Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1923 and from the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1924, he was detailed to the General Staff Corps and served for 4 years at the headquarters of the First Corps Area, Boston, Massachusetts, and in the Hawaiian Islands.
He then served for 4 years in Washington, D. C.; in the Office of the Chief of Cavalry from 1928 to 1931, and at the Army War s College from 1931 to 1932. Upon graduation from the Army War College, he was again ordered to For-t Myer, where he remained on duty with the 3d Cavalry until April 1935.
He then served with the General Staff in the Hawaiian Islands 2 years. In July 1938 he assumed command of the 5th Cavalry at Fort Clark, Texas, where he remained until ordered to Fort Myer, Virginia, to command the 3d Cavalry in December 1938. In July 1940, he was ordered to-Fort Benning, Georgia, for duty with the 2d Armored Division, as Brigade Commander. He was assigned as Commanding Officer of the 2d Armored Division, – Fort Benning, on 19 April 1941. He later became Commanding General of- the I Armored Corps. –
On 8 November 1942, when American forces landed in North- Africa, he commanded the units landing on the west coast. In February 1943, he became Commanding General of the Western Task Force, and subsequently assumed command of ail American ground forces in the Tunisian Combat Area.
He became Commanding General, Seventh Army, in Sicily, in 1943, serving in that country until March 1944, when he was assigned to the European Theater of Operations where it later was announced that he commanded the Third Army in -France. In October 1945 he assumed command of the Fifteenth Army in American-Occupied Germany.
He was awarded the Distinguished-Service Cross with one Oak- Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished-Service Medal with two Oak-Leaf Clusters, Distinguished -Service Medal (Navy), the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Congressional Life Saving Medal of Honor, the – Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Mexican Service Badge, the Victory Medal with four stars, and the following foreign decorations:
Medal Commemorative of the Volymored (Sweden), Order of the British Empire (Great Britain), and the Most Honorable Order of the Bath (Great Britain). He was awarded the Grand Cross of Ouisan Alaouitê from the Sultan-of Morocco and was promoted to the rank of Commander in the. Legion of Honor by the French.
OFFICIAL: – DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
EDWARD F. WITSELL Chief of Staff
Acting The Adjutant General