George Smith Patton Facts

George Smith Patton Facts
General George Smith Patton Junior was born on November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel, California to George Senior and Ruth Patton. As a young man, Patton was athletic but never much of an academic. Patton did, though, enjoy reading history, especially military history. He was admitted to and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and participated in the 1916 expedition to capture Mexican rebel Pancho Villa. He served in World War I primarily in an administrative role at first, but became acquainted with tanks and began teaching tank tactics. Patton eventually saw action and was wounded in battle in September 1918. After the war, Patton was assigned to the cavalry, which by then had transitioned from horses to tanks, and steadily moved up in rank to colonel. When World War II began it became clear to the government that tanks would play a key role in the war, so Patton was promoted to general due to his success leading tank units and his understanding of tank warfare. He won several battles in North Africa and Italy, earning him the nickname "old blood and guts," and played a key role at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.
Interesting George Smith Patton Facts:
Patton was a bit of a mystic, believing that he had lived previous lives as a soldier and had a direct tie to his military ancestors, some of whom served in the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
He competed in the 1912 Olympics in the modern pentathlon, finishing fifth.
Patton led the American Third Army in the Normandy invasion and on into Germany a year later.
He served as an aid to General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing during the Pancho Villa Campaign. Patton modeled his aggressive, lead from the front, leadership style after Pershing's.
Patton attained the rank of major in January 1918 and began training soldiers in armored warfare shortly thereafter.
It was between the wars when Patton developed the idea that tanks should be used in separate units, not just as infantry support.
He married Beatrice Banning Ayer in 1910. The couple three children.
Patton was well-known for always carrying a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum revolver with a pearl handle during battles.
Promoted to general, Patton played a key role in the Allied invasion of North Africa - Operation Torch - in November 1942.
Although well-respected by most of his men, Patton was known to be tough. He slapped two privates in Sicily in 1943, accusing them of cowardice, but the incidents were overlooked by Eisenhower because by then he was the most effective on the ground American general.
He desperately wanted to be sent to the Pacific after the war in Europe had ended, but was made military governor of Bavaria instead.
Patton was critical of the Soviets, communism, and the process of denazification. After he publicly compared the Nazis to Republicans and Democrats and questioned the valued of denazification in September 1945, Eisenhower relieved him of command of the Third Army.
Patton was involved in a car accident after the war in Germany on December 8, 1945 and died in a hospital in Heidelberg on December 21, 1945 at the age of sixty.
Patton is interred at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

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