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With all due respect, General [Patton]


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In this photograph from 1945 in Germany, during the Battle of the Bulge, we can see the moment when American General George S. Patton returns from scolding a tank commander for carrying extra sandbags in the most vulnerable areas of the vehicle. The general claimed that these additional bags were not part of the equipment. To this the tank commander responded:

With all the respect you deserve my general, I am the one fighting in this tank.

 

With that answer the general simply left.

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The British and Americans did a study before the war ended about taking  Soviets and came to the conclusion it would have been a very bad idea.

 

They wanted to keep what little of Europe they were able to Liberate.  :)

 

When I was a kid I would walk by General Patton's Grandfather and great uncle graves everyday on my way to school.

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6 hours ago, dannyd said:

The British and Americans did a study before the war ended about taking  Soviets and came to the conclusion it would have been a very bad idea.

 

They wanted to keep what little of Europe they were able to Liberate.  :)

 

When I was a kid I would walk by General Patton's Grandfather and great uncle graves everyday on my way to school.

In my opinion, looking back, their study was wrong. 

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That tank commander had some guts! Good for him! 

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That particular action by Patton, telling the tank commander what to do with his equipment and crew, is so typical of executive management in many fields. 
 

“I don’t like that. It doesn’t look like what approved. I am going to go over there and berate that man because what if another executive sees that and thinks less of me?”

Without ever considering that their design decision or approval could have put the people that make them look good in harm’s way. 

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I've read most of the books about Patton and I find entirely plausible that once the tank commander came up with a valid reason for his actions, Patton agreed and went back to what he had been doing before.

 

As for going to war to push the Russians out of those parts of Europe they had occupied, I've read that the Russians were worn out and starting to have logistical issues.  I'm inclined to think the US would have been able to push the Russians out of Europe, but I question how much help the British, Canadians and the French would have been.  I've read that it would have been 1946 before the British would have been able to form another division and replacements were fewer and fewer.  I doubt the Canadians were  in a better position and that France was in no position to fight a longer war.

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15 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Patton was often a total ass. 

Yes, but he was also one of the best Generals we ever had, before or since.  He got the job done and never apologized for winning.

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18 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Patton was often a total ass. 

 

Not sure if anybody ever remembers this, but the late Andy Rooney (from "60 Minutes" fame) who was in the war with Patton, hated him.

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5 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

What model tank was that? I see a muzzle brake on the end of the tube. M4E8 at that point...before Korea. Also, was the tank commander wearing his necktie? :rolleyes:

Sherman with the 76mm gun

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3 hours ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Yes, but he was also one of the best Generals we ever had, before or since.  He got the job done and never apologized for winning.

 

Concur, Forty, but he would never be a commander in today's woke military. Competence has no place in biden and austin's DOD. He's the wrong sex, wrong color, wrong sexual orientation and wrong sexual identity.

 

PF

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I wonder if the General did this to enhance the tank commander's image.

Think of what the enlisted thought, witnessing it.

"Damn, the Old Man stood up to Old Blood and Guts! If he's got cojones that big, I'm with him!"

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On 3/3/2024 at 6:02 AM, Pat Riot said:

In my opinion, looking back, their study was wrong. 

Nope, the United State's and the British would have had their butts handed to them.  The United States looks great on TV, but the real story of the war in Western Europe is a extremely different story.

 

Also look into The Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the Russia's moved 1.6 million troops from Europe to Asia.  That in itself was a modern military miracle.

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4 hours ago, dannyd said:

Nope, the United State's and the British would have had their butts handed to them.  The United States looks great on TV, but the real story of the war in Western Europe is a extremely different story.

 

Also look into The Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the Russia's moved 1.6 million troops from Europe to Asia.  That in itself was a modern military miracle.


Well, I probably wouldn’t fuss with them much. I would send in some armor and troops and some film footage of the devastation in Japan after they were nuked and tell them to stay within their borders. 
It would be nothing like the movies. Why fight when a demonstration of power on celluloid could do the influencing for you?
 

A lot of hell in this world wouldn’t have occurred had the Russians not been allowed to become the USSR. 

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On 3/2/2024 at 10:41 PM, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Patton was often a total ass. 

Based on what?  The movie?   Because as much as I like the movie Patton, it emphasizes Patton's flaws and doesn't show his strengths or always tell things accurately.  General Omar Bradley, who despised Patton (and the feeling was apparently mutual), was the chief military advisor on the movie Patton.

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9 minutes ago, Chantry said:

Based on what?  The movie?   Because as much as I like the movie Patton, it emphasizes Patton's flaws and doesn't show his strengths or always tell things accurately.  General Omar Bradley, who despised Patton (and the feeling was apparently mutual), was the chief military advisor on the movie Patton.

Based on a lot of reading about him.  I thought the movie was a caricature. 

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Only issue with taking Russian held territory after WWII ,would have been rebuilding the economies of even more European countries. The USA would have only finished the Marshall Plan protocols in @ 1994.

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9 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Based on a lot of reading about him.  I thought the movie was a caricature. 

 

We've read different books then, because everything I've read leads me to think that during WWII there wasn't a better army commander in the attack than Patton and he was second only to General (later Field Marshal) William Slim as an army commander.

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3 hours ago, Chantry said:

 

We've read different books then, because everything I've read leads me to think that during WWII there wasn't a better army commander in the attack than Patton and he was second only to General (later Field Marshal) William Slim as an army commander.

Good book on General Slim.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defeat_into_Victory

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3 hours ago, Chantry said:

 

We've read different books then, because everything I've read leads me to think that during WWII there wasn't a better army commander in the attack than Patton and he was second only to General (later Field Marshal) William Slim as an army commander.

Didn’t say he wasn’t a talented and aggressive commander. I said he was often an ass. Those traits aren’t mutually exclusive. 
 

His insubordination and undermining of Eisenhower was outrageous and almost brought about his court martial. Instead, he was sacked for a period of time, which cut him deeply. Gen Marshal said to Eisenhower “That’s how you deal with George Patton.”

 

And let’s not forget Patton was the cavalry colonel who riding horseback and swinging his saber, slashed his way thru the “Bonus Army” on the Washington Mall in 1932. 

 

The leaders who impressed me are lesser known, such Lt. Col (later General) Felix Sparks, commander of 3rd Battalion, 157th Regiment; and General Maurice Rose, Commander of 3rd Armored Division. These men are part of the reason Patton achieved fame. 

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10 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Didn’t say he wasn’t a talented and aggressive commander. I said he was often an ass. Those traits aren’t mutually exclusive. 
 

His insubordination and undermining of Eisenhower was outrageous and almost brought about his court martial. Instead, he was sacked for a period of time, which cut him deeply. Gen Marshal said to Eisenhower “That’s how you deal with George Patton.”

 

And let’s not forget Patton was the cavalry colonel who riding horseback and swinging his saber, slashed his way thru the “Bonus Army” on the Washington Mall in 1932. 

 

The leaders who impressed me are lesser known, such Lt. Col (later General) Felix Sparks, commander of 3rd Battalion, 157th Regiment; and General Maurice Rose, Commander of 3rd Armored Division. These men are part of the reason Patton achieved fame. 

 

His insubordination and undermining of Eisenhower was outrageous and almost brought about his court martial. Instead, he was sacked for a period of time, which cut him deeply. Gen Marshal said to Eisenhower “That’s how you deal with George Patton.”  If you are referring to the slapping incident, I don't condone what Patton did, but I understand why he did it.  "Combat Fatigue" or what we know call PTSD was not a recognized medical condition.  After visiting the hospital and seeing all the physically injured soldiers, seeing a private, who appeared uninjured and at best reluctant to go back to the front lines wasn't something Patton understood or would tolerate.  It wasn't until after the fact that the private was discovered to be suffering from malaria.

 

And let’s not forget Patton was the cavalry colonel who riding horseback and swinging his saber, slashed his way thru the “Bonus Army” on the Washington Mall in 1932.    Patton was a major following the orders of President Hoover, who called out the military and  MacArthur the Army Chief of Staff, who had as his aide Eisenhower:  https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/bonus-army-attacked/

 

 

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16 hours ago, dannyd said:

 

I own it.  The troops, enlisted and officer alike, loved Slim, he was usually referred to by the troops as 'Uncle Bill'

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2 hours ago, Chantry said:

 

His insubordination and undermining of Eisenhower was outrageous and almost brought about his court martial. Instead, he was sacked for a period of time, which cut him deeply. Gen Marshal said to Eisenhower “That’s how you deal with George Patton.”  If you are referring to the slapping incident, I don't condone what Patton did, but I understand why he did it.  "Combat Fatigue" or what we know call PTSD was not a recognized medical condition.  After visiting the hospital and seeing all the physically injured soldiers, seeing a private, who appeared uninjured and at best reluctant to go back to the front lines wasn't something Patton understood or would tolerate.  It wasn't until after the fact that the private was discovered to be suffering from malaria.

 

And let’s not forget Patton was the cavalry colonel who riding horseback and swinging his saber, slashed his way thru the “Bonus Army” on the Washington Mall in 1932.    Patton was a major following the orders of President Hoover, who called out the military and  MacArthur the Army Chief of Staff, who had as his aide Eisenhower:  https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/bonus-army-attacked/

 

 

I’m not talking about the slapping incident. 
 

Doesn’t matter though. He can be your hero, but he doesn’t have to be mine. 
 

I’m done with this topic. 

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14 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

The leaders who impressed me are lesser known, such Lt. Col (later General) Felix Sparks, commander of 3rd Battalion, 157th Regiment; and General Maurice Rose, Commander of 3rd Armored Division. These men are part of the reason Patton achieved fame. 

Sparks' unit was one of three that liberated Dachau. Seeing what the condition of the inmates was, some of Sparks' men lined up a bunch of SS troops and machine gunned them! BG Henning Linden, Assistant Division Commander of the 42nd Infantry "Rainbow" Division, who took the surrender of the camp from an SS leutnent, preferred charges against Sparks for allowing this to happen. The court-martial papers went to Patton, who promptly tore them up. Sparks later became Adjutant General of the State of Colorado. I don't recall the third unit to liberate Dachau, but it was an independent tank outfit.

Major General Maurice Rose was probably the finest armor commander under Patton and Eisenhower. Tragically, he got out too far ahead of his men, and was confronted by an SS leutant tank commander. Before Rose could surrender, the SS man cut him down! Don't recall what happened to the swine. Rose Hospital in Denver is named after Gen. Rose, who was a Denver native. Rose was the highest ranking general KIA in WWII. Although Jewish by heritage, like Adm. Rickover, I believe both their "religions" were their respective services. :FlagAm:

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On 3/6/2024 at 9:46 PM, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Didn’t say he wasn’t a talented and aggressive commander. I said he was often an ass. Those traits aren’t mutually exclusive.  

 

For me, this about sums it up. As a much younger man, I studied George Smith Patton extensively and (while a Supervisor's nightmare) he was certainly "Hell on wheels".

 

My late father didn't share my respect, however...as he'd fought in the 3rd under Patton in France. Prior to attacking Metz, Daddy said old Blood and Guts arrived, climbed up into the back of a GMC deuce-and-a-half, and addressed the assembled troops. He told our boys that the city of Metz had never before been taken by an advancing army and that he intended to do just that...if he had to carry the dog tags back in that very truck.

 

Before retiring ten years ago, I spent most of my career leading various teams (and even taught leadership toward the end of my career). Patton was one helluva COMMANDER...but he didn't understand LEADERSHIP at all.

 

My two cents... 

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