General Patton's critics considered him arrogant and reckless, but his soldiers admired him as great leader. He expressed the utmost in confidence in his people. When one of his generals expressed reluctance to lead an attack, General Patton told him he had complete confidence in him and was returning to headquarters to stay out of his way. When the general succeeded, General Patton gave him all the credit. If the general had failed, General Patton would have taken the blame. General Patton did not micromanage; he surrounded himself with competent people and allowed them to do their job. He only paid attention to details when they were important to the overall mission.
The True Story of the Patton Prayer
by Monsignor James H. O’Neill: Many conflicting and some untrue stories have been printed about General George S. Patton and the Third Army Prayer. Some have had the tinge of blasphemy and disrespect for the Deity. Even in “War As I Knew It” by General Patton, the footnote on the prayer by Colonel Paul D. Harkins, Patton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, while containing the elements of a funny story about the General and his Chaplain, is not the true account of the prayer Incident or its sequence.
At the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Patton represented the U.S. in an event known as the Modern Pentathalon. This event basically was a combination of all the major Badass Food Groups: Fencing, shooting, horseback riding, swimming, and running. Shit, if they threw in a "scoring with hot chicks" component, it would be the ultimate test of all the skills required to be completely fucking awesome.
"We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours."
Gen. George Smith Patton Jr. was one of the most brilliant soldiers in American history. Audacious, unorthodox and inspiring, he led his troops to great victories in North Africa, Sicily and on the Western Front. Nazi generals admitted that of all American field commanders he was the one they most feared. To Americans he was a worthy successor of such hardbitten cavalrymen as Philip Sheridan, J. E. B. Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest...His best-known nickname--"Old Blood and Guts"--was one that he detested, but his men loved. "His guts and my blood," his wounded veterans used to say when they were flown back here for hospitalization. His explosive wrath and lurid vocabulary became legendary wherever American soldiers fought.
The incident of the now famous Patton Prayer commenced with a telephone call to the Third Army Chaplain on the morning of December 8, 1944, when the Third Army Headquarters were located in the Caserne Molifor in Nancy, France: "This is General Patton; do you have a good prayer for weather? We must do something about those rains if we are to win the war." My reply was that I know where to look for such a prayer, that I would locate, and report within the hour. As I hung up the telephone receiver, about eleven in the morning, I looked out on the steadily falling rain, "immoderate" I would call it -- the same rain that had plagued Patton's Army throughout the Moselle and Saar Campaigns from September until now, December 8. The few prayer books at hand contained no formal prayer on weather that might prove acceptable to the Army Commander. Keeping his immediate objective in mind, I typed an original and an improved copy on a 5" x 3" filing card:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.
On December 9, 1945, Patton was severely injured in a car accident. He and his chief of staff, General Hobart R. Hap Gay, were on a one day trip to hunt pheasants in the country outside Mannheim General Patton was leaving on the next day to fly home on vacation and was considering either resigning or retiring from the army. Their 1938 Cadillac 75 was driven by Private First Class Horace Woodring (1926–2003), with Patton sitting in the back seat on the right side, with General Gay on his left, as per custom. At 11:45 near Neckarstadt (Mannheim), a 2½ ton GMC truck driven by Technical Sergeant Robert L. Thompson made a left turn in front of Patton's Cadillac. Patton's car hit the front of the truck, at a low speed.
On September 29 1945, General Eisenhower took away the army that Patton so successfully lead from Normandy to Czechoslovakia. Eisenhower could no longer keep Patton in his position as Military Governor of Bavaria, not only because Patton didn’t believe in and didn’t carry out the orders of denazification, but he also openly said so in the press. Eisenhower was aware that he was just as much at fault, since knowing Patton’s strength and weakness as he did, he should have never made him Military Governor.
General Truscott took over Third Army on October 7 1945, and Patton was, as he called it, “kicked upstairs” to command the Fifteenth Army with its HQ in Bad Nauheim. The Fifteenth Army had no troops, but was a paper army, a.k.a. the Theater General Board, researching the past campaigns for historical and analytical reasons to improve military tactics and operations.
General George S. Patton's Speech from June 5th, 1944...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!
The General Patton Memorial Museum is a military history museum with exhibits ranging from World War I through the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Established in 1988 to honor the memory of General George Patton, the museum is located at the heart of the Desert Training Center from World War II. Established by General Patton in 1942 to train American troops in desert warfare in preparation for the invasion of North Africa, it became the largest army training facility in the United States. During the course of the war the Desert Training Center trained 60 divisions and more than one million soldiers.
The museum is located at Chiriaco Summit, close to Camp Young, which was General Patton’s headquarters.