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"General George S. Patton, Jr.: Death & Final Days" Topic


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292 hits since 25 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 9:09 p.m. PST

"The commander of the U.S. Third Army, General George S. Patton, Jr., took no great pleasure in the end of the war in Europe; he already knew that despite his lobbying of many influential figures in Washington, D.C., he had no hope of being reassigned to the Pacific Theater to command combat troops there. As he put it to his III Corps commander, Maj. Gen. James Van Fleet, "There is already a star [MacArthur] in that theater and you can only have one star in a show."

Patton was also depressed because he knew there would be a rapid reduction in the strength of the U.S. Army in Europe, and he believed this was inviting disaster. On May 7, 1945, he had pleaded with visiting Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson: "Let's keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened and present a picture of force and strength to these people [the Russians]. This is the only language they understand and respect. If you fail to do this, then I would like to say to you that we have had a victory over the Germans and have disarmed them, but have lost the war."

When Patterson told him that he did not understand the "big picture," but asked Patton what he would do about the Russians, he allegedly replied that he would keep the U.S. Army in Europe intact, delineate the border with the Soviets, and if they did not withdraw behind it, "push them back across it." He went on: "We did not come over here to acquire jurisdiction over either the people or their countries. We came to give them back the right to govern themselves. We must either finish the job now—while we are here and ready—or later in less favorable circumstances." Needless to say, such ideas were totally unacceptable to the politicians in Washington—and indeed to most of the American soldiers in Europe; all they wanted to do was to go home…"
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