George Smith Patton, Jr. Essay, Research Paper
George Smith Patton, Jr., “Old Blood and Guts,” was a very important American. He is most famous for his contributions to World War I and World War II. He was considered one of the greatest generals in World War II. From harsh discipline to his attack on the Germans without notification to his heroic behavior, George Smith Patton, Jr. was an incredible person and leader. George Smith Patton, Jr. proved to be one of the most remembered generals in United States history.
In Scotland, a man ran from his home for obscured circumstances. As soon as he was gone, his identity was erased for his protection in the “New World”. This new name that this refugee obtained was “Robert Patton”. Years went by and Robert married a woman by the name of Anna Mercer, daughter of Hugh Mercer who served as a surgeon in the French and Indian War in 1755. Robert and Anna had one child, a boy, named John Mercer Patton. John grew up and married Margaret French Williams. John and Margaret produced eight sons, which all but two fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy. One of those braves sons of John and Margaret was George Smith Patton. George Smith Patton was married and had two sons, one which was George Patton, Jr. and a daughter. Sadly, George was killed by a general who was in command of the Virginia Regiment at the Battle of Winchester. Georges brother was also killed in the Civil War. George’s wife soon remarried and then moved out to California.
George Smith Patton, Jr. was the third person in his family tree to receive the name George Smith Patton. Patton, Jr. was determined make his name known to the world, and time was the only obstacle. He married the daughter of Don Benito and Margaret S. Hereford of Los Angelos. Her name was Ruth Wilson. Although he had it in his blood to be a great commander in war, no one believed what he would someday become, and even be considered “the best” in America.
Growing up living with his father, George learned how to use the land to live. His father would read to him books by Homer and Shakespear, and most often his father would read the Holy Bible. It was said that George was dislexic. Which could be a reason he didn’t receive an education until he was eleven years old. George could read lengthy passages, with difficult words that most kids his age wouldn’t even try to attempt, but George read them with ease eventhough he was illiterate. George attended an all boys school named, Dr. Steven Cotter Clark’s Classical School in Pasedena. Although behind in his teachings, George soon caught up and only had problems with themes and arithmatic. After graduating from Pasedena High School, George was accepted by Virginia Military Institute, in Lexinton. After only a year George decided to transfer to West Point. It took Patton five years to graduate because of his difficulty in, of course, Mathematics, but also in French. While at West Point, Patton joined the Football team and track team where he broke a record in the two hundred yard low hurdles, which gave him his Army letter. As if Mr. Patton Jr wasn’t busy enough, he envolved himself in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, where he did the Military Pentathlon.
About four years later, Francisco “Poncho” Villa led a five hundred man raid through Columbus, New Mexico where he killed exactly sixteen innocent American’s. George accompanied General John Joseph Pershing, whom George was told to do so by the president of the time, Woodrow Wilson. While in Mexico, George captured and killed three of Villa’s men, and was considered “a real fighter” by General Pershing. Soon after being back from New Mexico, the United States had joined the World War in Europe, against Germany and Austria-Hungary. George was now Captain George Patton, and went again with General Pershing this time to France. Being an aide to such a great commander, George had learned from the best and his time to shine was coming. General Pershing had given George a choice, to command an infantry battalion or to be assigned to the Tank Corps. It wasn’t hard to narrow those choices down, because George was use to action and he realized the only one which had the most action was to be assigned to the Tank Corps, so that is what he decided to do. Captain Patton was General Samual D. Rockenbach’s chief-of-staff. And so this led the United States in producing tanks. In the beginning of the year 1918, Patton became Major and developed a tank training center in France. Patton’s extreme discipline made his men the best trained. Patton spoke of his discipline when he said “All human beings have an innate resistance to obedience. Discipline removes this resistance and by constant repetition, makes obedience habitual and unconscious.” (www.angelfire.com/il/georgespattonjr/)
George had created the 304th Tank Brigade. Within this Tank Brigade Patton had trained his men well, and was so eager to show them off to the world. And soon enough within a few weeks, the first United States army was to be on the offense in the fall. Patton was now named Lieutenant Colonel Patton. Before the time came, Patton feared that his 304th would not be able to show off, but Patton still got everything ready just in case and his 304th were eager and ready. When the time came, it was a rainy day and the tanks were getting stuck. Of the 174 tanks, 104 of them were stuck in the mud. Patton’s hopes of impressing the world had now gone down the drain, and he was threatened by General Rockenbach to be freed of his position. The next morning without any notice to the officials, Patton took his tanks through the German Hindemburg Line. Surprisingly, three tanks made it through and surprised the Germans. General Rockenbach was already upset with Patton, but now he was extremely mad. But thanks to Patton, his crew proved that they could get through German lines. Although not always following the rules, the authorities ignored some incidents. With some improvements the 304th and Patton had another chance to show their abilities. During this time Patton had also been hurt and did not get to show to the world his great 304th, because he was put in the hospital, where he stayed until the war was over. Patton was discouraged, but not after he received awards for his leadership skills, ingeniuty, and aggressiveness, which he received the Distinguished Service Cross and Medal and the Purple Heart. A misquote in the news accidentaly called him “blood and guts”, instead of “blood and brains”, this seemed to fit as well, so the name stuck with him. Patton had once said that, “compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.” (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/guts/peopleevents/pande07.html)
Patton was an extremely unusual individual, he believed in reincarnation. Captured refugees said that they feared Patton the most out of all officers. In a press conference they ignored the main views Patton was addressing and focused more on a sentence that was totally out of context, saying that Patton was a Pro-Nazi. George Patton being a Pro-Nazi was way out of line. The reporters must not of done there research because of what happened in Germany. George Patton’s Third Army had killed, hurt, and caught more Germans than any other U.S. officers!
Georgia in 1940, Patton became part of the Second Armored Division. On April 11, 1941, Patton was named the commanding general, which led him to earn another star, and this was promoting him to Major General George S. Patton, Jr. While Patton was receiving all of these awards, the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. This mean’t war to the U.S., World War II. Since the U.S. had no training in desert warfare, Lt. Gen. Lesly J. McNair, Chief-of-Staff, General Headquarters, made Patton in charge of developing a Desert Training Center. This place was considered hell by the men in training. They referred to it as “the place God forgot about.” The men would often complain about the harsh living arrangements, but all Patton told them was that they didn’t have time for necessaties, they only had time to learn how to fight. After only four months of being on the desert in Pattons whole life, he was called to go to North Africa to help with Operation Torch.
On November 8, 1942, General Patton and his Tank Force landed on the beaches of French Morocco. Here the American’s had to fight the French who where under orders to resist. Patton organized a fight, which included Naval, air and ground bombardment to Casablanca. The same day the attack was scheduled for, the French were ordered to cease resistance. In March 1943, Eisenhower transferred Patton to the American II Corp’s. Eisenhower, who gave him many important assignments, considered Patton a great leader.
The plan assigned to Patton was to work along with Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery s British forces to break through German lines. Just when Patton found an opportunity to break through the lines by the east side, the British General Sir Harold Alexander ordered Patton to abort that mission and keep Africa Corp’s from running off while Montgomery s Army broke through the line. After this, Patton was very frustrated, but he was back in action when Eisenhower assigned him to plan Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. By May 20, Northern Africa was under Allied control. Allied forces landed on Sicily s coast on July 20, 1943. Patton s was moved to the Seventh Army and while making plans, he was asked to double check with the British. Montgomery criticized a lot Patton s plans, but Patton did not even care for him. The invasion lasted thirty-nine days of constant conflict. The Americans had already accomplished their task, but Montgomery had problems pushing north. A final push to the Northern city of Palermo, which resulted in six thousand German casualties and fourty-four thousand prisoners, gave the Allies the victory. By July 22, 1943, Western Sicily was under Allied occupation and later on Patton aid Montgomery, who was stuck at the south in Mount Etna.
After his invasions, General Patton went to visit some of the wounded at the Fifteenth Evacuation Hospital and he came across a soldier sitting on some supplies. He seemed to be fine, but Patton asked him what the problem was anyway. The man said, “I guess I just can’t take it.” The General became seriously mad in a matter of seconds and slapped the soldier across the face with his gloves, then called him a coward, cursed him, and kicked him out of the tent. The soldier was later diagnosed with malaria and chronic dysentery. A week later Patton made his rounds through the sick again telling them how proud he was of them and he came across another man and asked him the same thing and the man replied, “It’s my nerves, I can’t stand the shelling anymore.” Again, General Patton got seriously mad and not only did the same thing so him, but also threatened to kill him while he was reaching for his pistols. Patton had done about the same thing in World War I to bring a man back to his senses. President Eisenhower did not beleive in Patton’s actions and ordered him to personally apologize to the soldiers.
Later as the war was narrowing to an end, the cleanup of Europe began. Patton made that all civilians had enough goods to get through the up coming winter. Unfortunately, General Patton fell to the American press ounce again. They persuaded him into flying off the handle and saying statements that were used against him. Patton lost command of his Third Army and was transferred to the Fifteenth Army, that handly had enough men to keep it going. General Patton handed the Third Army over to a friend of his, General Lucien K. Truscott.
Some time later, Patton was almost killed when he collidied with an oxcart. With a laugh Patton said to his aide, “After all I’ve been through, think if being killed on the road by a team of oxen.” On December 9, 1945, he was not as lucky. Patton was in a head on collision with a truck and was thrown from his 1939 Cadillac. Looking paralyzed, he was rushed to the hospital and put directly into surgery. They found out he had a broken neck and was paralyzed from the nesk down. After being in the hospital for a few weeks, complications arose. Increased pressure on his spinal cord and difficulty resulting in acute heart failure. He died on December 21, 1945.
George Smith Patton Jr., “Old Blood and Guts,” proved to be one of the most remebered leaders in United States history. He was most remembered by his contributions in World War I and World War II. He was a very colorful general. He’s known as the best general in World War II. Although General George Patton, Jr. had harsh ways of saying and doing things, he really contributed a lot to United States history.