“Do everything you ask of those you command.” By Anna Furman
Born November 11, 1885, died December 21, 1945 Patton was a U.S. Army officer best known for his leadership in WWIIPatton Museum in Fort Knox, KY
In November 1942, Patton commanded the Western Task Force, which participated in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. During the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, Patton commanded the Seventh Army. In 1944, he was given command of the Third Army in France, which covered 600 miles across France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. In December, Patton’s Third Army marched into Bastogne to relieve soldiers fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. After succeeding there, the Third Army drove relentlessly into Germany, across the Rhine, and into Austria. By the end of the war, they were in Czechoslovakia. The Third Army conquered more territory and killed/wounded more enemies than any other army in recorded war history.
After liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp, Patton instituted a policy of making German civilians tour the camps. This policy was later adopted by many other commanders. By the end of WWII, the Third army had liberated or conquered 81,522 square miles of territory. In October 1945, Patton was in command of the Fifteenth Army in American-occupied Germany. German civilians forced to tour Buchenwald
On December ninth Patton suffered injuries from an automobile accident. He died 12 days later, on December 21, 1945, at the age of 60. He had requested to be buried with his men He is buried in Hamm, Luxembourg, among the soldiers who died at the Battle of the Bulge. Many believed that his death was a good thing because he died at the peak of his success. Also, many believed he would have been angered by the way America had used the victory of WWII politically.
In 1970, a film was made about Patton, provoking renewed interest in the historical figure. http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=LI4_58 YmzBA In 1986, a TV movie was made called “The Last Days of Patton”, dramatizing his death.
George Patton was a vital character in war history because of his tremendous achievements during his military years. Other than WWII, he helped and inspired many militaristic ideals and strategies. For instance, he was the first to use a motor vehicle for battle. He was an inspiration to his troops because he expected more out of himself than he did out of his subordinates. Before battle, he told his troops that they must kill the enemy, even if he should surrender, so that they are viewed as killers. His philosophy was that this reputation would make enemies more hesitant to fight.
Patton’s role in World War II was also immensely important, especially as commander of the Third Army. His troops conquered and liberated more territory than any other army in war history. He is very well known for his heroism in the Battle of the Bulge, when he turned his troops 100 miles in a different direction than was their goal to help the forces holding Bastogne. His speeches back home also had a great impact on the American people. His views were, many times, very controversial and he became known for his extreme perspective.