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By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.
- Gen. George S. Patton
For those of you who are unaware, Gen. George Patton was one of the American generals to lead the Allied Forces in World War II. He was one of the most successful generals in the history of warfare, having taken more prisoners and territory and freeing more towns, countries, and people than any other 20th Century leader combined. Gen. Patton's motto was "L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace," (French for "Audacious, audacious, always audacious), as he proved himself to be throughout his life.
Why did I put this page up? The reasons are numerous. First of all, there are very few web pages dedicated to his life. More importantly, he is a personal hero of mine; a very interesting human being. This man was not superhuman by any means, but he was at times larger than life. George Patton, as profane as he could be at times, devoutly believed in and loved God, although it pleased him to let others believe that he thought of himself as a reincarnated warrior of times long past.
He came to see himself as a warrior, anyway: he was one of the highest ranked in his class at West Point Military Academy, despite the fact that he was afflicted with dyslexia and had very little mathematical education. He was descended from a family of soldiers who served in many wars, from the American Revolution to the War for Southern Independance. He followed a chivalric code of honor that makes him seem as if he stepped out of 16th Century Europe. And, through all the books I've read and stories I've heard of General George Smith Patton, Junior, I feel that, for all his great accomplishments and humiliating moments, his humanity shines through consistantly in everything he did.
Another reason why General Patton is one of my favorite people is because he was looked down upon by his "superiors" and was constantly being given the short end of the stick; an underdog, if you will. To illustrate, many of the plans that were successfully executed during the war originated with General Patton; for example, the plans that were put into effect after D-Day in order to secure the continent and drive off enemy attack, the D-Day invasion itself, and the invasion of North Africa were largely Pattonion ideas. However, except for the North African invasion, none of the other authorized plans were credited or even partially credited to him. Nonetheless, the General's plans, when foiled, led to improvisation on his part, often against the wishes of his superiors, that decidedly left the Allies in far better shape.
If war can be compared to a fine musical instrument, then Gen. Patton was a virtuoso. He excelled where many had failed and only the greatest historical military leaders had succeeded in the art of war. He loved the fight; it stirred something within his soul, as the greatest competition between men. It isn't usually noted that he was an exceptional tactician as well, i.e., the North African invasion by the American forces. He disavowed the planned invasion of Sicily (convinced that it was a sorry plan anyway) and proceeded with his own plan, that resulted in the premature success of the invasion. Also, he almost single-handedly recovered the whole of France in the space of about a month.
From now on, if anyone asks about Gen. Patton, please refer them to this page. Another great resource for Patton admirers and historians is The General George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society's Home Page, which just recently relocated and is where I got some of my Patton information and graphics.
To see an awesome oil painting of the General, click HERE.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this Tribute to General George S. Patton!
The oil painting of General George S. Patton and the original picture for the background was obtained from The General George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society