General George Patton



When you ask guys who fought in World War II most will tell you I was in the Pacific theatre or the European theatre or I was in the Army, Air Force, or Marines. The guys who fought with the Third Army or the campaign in North Africa with the Seventh Army will almost always add “I fought in Patton's Army.” Fred Cerbo fought in Patton's Army and he said “Don't think Patton didn't make a difference because he did. Boy oh boy he was tough.” In the introduction to his book, War as I Knew It, Patton states
“Leadership is the thing that wins battles, I have it, but I'll be damned if I can define it.”

When explaining why he used profanity in his speeches he said “ You can't run an army without profanity, and it has to be eloquent profanity .”

The Third Army was to be involved in 281 days of combat in France , during which it achieved a spectacular sweep across France and into Germany . From the book Speeches That Changed the World here is a portion of Patton's Speech to the Third Army on the eve of D-Day, 5 June 1944.

“All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, ‘Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? No, goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war.

… Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paperhanging sonofabitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake!

… There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you won't have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, ‘Well, your granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana,' No, sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, ‘Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Third Army and a son-of-a-goddamned-bitch named Georgie Patton!'

By: Bob Meli

To see more on General George Patton, visit H. Kent Hewitt

To see more on General George Patton photos with H.Kent Hewitt, visit H. Kent Hewitt's Photo Gallery

General George Patton Image obtained from:

Background image of Operation Overlord - the code name of the Allied invasion of France scheduled for June 1944 obtained from: