World War II: General George S. Patton's Race to Capture Messina | HistoryNet
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, At the same time, Montgomery ordered that Patton whose Third Army was supposed to advance into Brittany to send only minimal forces and. In the s, Eisenhower (Ike) was given valuable CSC notes by Patton when Eisenhower and Patton had a very good relationship until the invasion of Sicily. . If Eisenhower and Montgomery had not assassinated George Patton, would. When Montgomery visited Palermo a few days later, Patton sent an escort push for Messina also took its toll on his relationship with Bradley.
Patton quickly injected discipline and his fighting spirit into the corps and led it to victories at Gafsa and El Guettar. For their part, Patton and many of his colleagues resented British impertinence, especially on the part of Montgomery.
Arrogant, self-centered, and pushy, the year-old general in the natty black beret irked his colleagues with outlandish statements and demands. In many ways he was not unlike Patton.
George was a magnificent soldier. But Patton felt that American interests and honor too often took a back seat to British demands. Patton welcomed the chance to assert U. But Montgomery favored a less dispersed landing to the south and in the end, his plan won out. Patton still expected Seventh Army to make its mark. If they draw enemy attacks on them my swing north will cut off enemy completely. This was not the time to raise a fuss.
For the moment he saved his invective for his diary. However, he is such a straw man that his future is secure. The British will never let him go. He slyly secured authorization to expand the American perimeter west. Patton had his eyes set on Palermo, and, ultimately, Messina. Truscott, who headed up the 3rd Infantry Division, discussed a westward reconnaissance in force toward Agrigento and Porto Empedocle.
On July 16 Alexander issued another directive that positively infuriated Patton. Patton told the army group commander in no uncertain terms that he wanted his army unleashed. Alexander agreed, providing Seventh Army hold a crucial road network near Caltanissetta in the center of the island. Wild celebrations and ebullient Sicilians greeted the Americans.
Meanwhile, Patton pushed his personal competition with Montgomery to comical new heights. On July 25 he flew across the island to Syracuse for a meeting with Alexander and Montgomery. He hurried a little too, but I started it. Some one must have sent him a box of them. Dug-in German troops continued to hold Montgomery at Catania, while his circling movement west around Etna proceeded slowly. Operation Fortitude While Patton sat in England, in earlywaiting for the news of his next mission, the orders of Fortitude South were presented to him.
Patton to lead the First U. The Germans thought Patton was the best commander in the Allied camp and expected him to be the leader of the assault. Eisenhower…used Patton's reputation and visibility to strengthen Fortitude South.
Patton had no say in the matter, it was either this or be sent home. The plan was as follows: Eisenhower and the Allied intelligence establishment an attack at the Pas de Calais, with a subsidiary attack on Norway, and secondary that in the initial assault waves there would be 10 or more divisions, with a follow-up capacity of another 65 divisions.
Ambrose also points out that even after June 6, the Germans still thought that the main attack would come at Pas de Calais, and that Normandy was a feint. The Germans kept troops located at Pas de Calais in case Patton did invade. To the Germans this also explained the absent of Patton in Normandy, the Germans believed he was the Allies best; therefore the main attack was still in the planning.
He knew what the Germans thought of Patton.
Eisenhower had false rumors sent out about Operation Fortitude. They realized that this had to be the main attack, because they had also heard rumors that Bradley was the commander of the First Army.
The Germans did know much about Bradley, so Patton would have to be the commander over an unknown man. Patton was unable to do so. Patton was asked by the organizers to give a speech, he agreed to as long as there were no reporters or press of any sort.
The organizers promised him this, and he went. At this speech he said, "that the British and the American are two people separated by a common language. Since it is evident destiny of the British and Americans rule the world, the better we know each other the better job we will do.
Patton claimed he did mention them and that he was set up. In Martin Blumenson's book, Patton: Man Behind the Legend, he says Patton said, "British and Americans, who, together with the Russians, were bound to rule the world.
However, in the papers the next day, it said that that Patton never mentioned the Russians. Ambrose and John Eisenhower also state that Patton said nothing about the Russians. This put Eisenhower in even worse trouble than the slapping incident, because now Patton had upset the Russians, whom Eisenhower was having a difficult time pleasing anyway.
After the incident, Eisenhower wrote to Patton saying, "I am thoroughly weary of your failure to control your tongue and have begun to doubt your all-round judgment, so essential in high military positions. If Eisenhower thought he could have won this war without Patton, he would have immediately removed him from his position.
He believed that the reporters of Britain or even his own commanders had set him up. Patton said to Eisenhower after he had sent him the letter. Was the "Knutsford Affair" part of the Fortitude deception scheme? If it was, then the Allied high command had gambled not only with Patton's reputation but his career.
They were certainly not above that kind of manipulation, but there was never any proof at the time. Only after Fortitude was buried did evidence emerge that the LCS and the Allied Supreme Command, for reason of deception, had indeed played with Patton's reputation.
But the devices used to advertise Patton would prove to be artless compared to the stratagems that were employed to create his fictitious command—the Quicksilver army group, First U. How could this have occurred? Would Eisenhower have ruined his old friends reputation [what was left of it] just to make sure that Fortitude was successful?
John Eisenhower said his father, "put no faith in Fortitude. He did not believe that deception plans made any difference in war, and the more ambitious they were, the more likely they were to fail. If Patton were not the commander of the First Army, there would have been no need for him to make a statement like this [referring to the Knutsford speech].
However, if he was the commander of the First Army, the Germans would think Patton was back to his old antics, it was expected of Patton to make these comments.
This was expected because Patton always tended to speak on issues when he had allegations brought against him. Many of his problems came when he spoke out when he was in a time of trouble or when his actions brought repercussions against him.
On the other hand, was this even Eisenhower's work? As of right now, no one knows if Eisenhower was setting up Patton or if he was at all. Bradley wrote, that the "British Press Association broke the rules [censorship] and released the story, omitting the Russians reference, leaving the impression that the United States and Britain would rule the postwar world.
They could have orders all British press to stop their printing of the Patton story, thus, ending the problems with this situation. Conclusion What happened to these best friends? Two men that once considered each other comrades were arguing about major issues. One can only conclude Eisenhower chose Bradley over Patton because he knew he could trust Bradley.
Patton was a warrior and would do anything to end a war. Whereas, Bradley was calm and would wait for the proper time, he would follow the orders of Eisenhower. One must consider all of Patton's mistakes; not following orders in Sicily, slapping the two soldiers, criticizing Eisenhower in public, and the Knutsford Affairs. Patton could never keep his mouth shut long enough to allow Eisenhower to give him a position of high command.
This pattern continued after Eisenhower gave Patton yet another chance as commander of the Third Army, in March of Patton was his old self, just slightly quieter this time. He still attacked where he felt necessary, because he believed he knew where the Europeans campaign should advance next. The Third Army moved at a heretofore speed, many times up to sixty miles a day and attacked hard and fast.
Patton had built this unit to the personal level of himself. These men did not necessarily care for Patton, however, they knew he was the best choice for them to come back home. Patton still moved at his own speed, however Eisenhower found a way to stop him, by stopping his supplies lines. In an interview given by Patton in September of that year, the question was asked, how long are you going to be staying here [position unknown]? Patton answered, "[Not] Till we get supplies… There is no point in making a slow advance…" Bradley related something that Eisenhower said in summarizing why he did not use Patton on D-Day, "Ike was unwilling to consider Patton for any job higher than an army commander.
He knew that Patton would not listen to Montgomery, because Patton could not tolerate Montgomery. Bradley would have a hard time even though the two were close friends, because it would be almost impossible for him to control Patton as he was Patton's long time understudy.
By giving the Third Army to Patton, he was giving Patton another chance.
Military History Online
Ultimately, Patton ruined his chance as commander of the Third Army. Patton ordered the killing of German POWs while surrendering because he said they could not be trusted. Patton's actions were going too far and Eisenhower could not allow this to happen for Patton was going to have to change his ways. However, Patton responded with; "If you order me not to, I will stop. Otherwise, I will continue to influence troops, the only way I know, a way which so far has produced results.
Yet the same people cheer at the far greater killings of Japs. Well the more I killed, the fewer men I lost, but they don't think of that. Eisenhower however knew Patton could not continue his antics. Patton should have not kept killing all of the POWs he came a crossed, he should have taken these men into captivity.
Typically, Patton opened his mouth again, saying that the Nazis were better than the Russians were in Late He also compared Nazis to Republicans and Democrats because Nazis only cared about themselves as do the Republicans and Democrats.
Correcting History - Patton
Patton said of the Russians: Hell, why do we care what those goddamn Russians think? We are going to have to fight them sooner or later, within the next generation.
Why not do it now while our Army is intact and the damn Russians can have their hind end kicked back to Russia in three months? We can do it easily with the help of the German troops we have, if we just arm them and take them with us. They hate the bastards. Patton was personally hurt by the loss of the Although Patton was removed from his position, whenever he and Eisenhower were together, "the bond of the friendship was close and firm" However, the two could not overcome Patton's actions and the words Eisenhower said to Patton.
Patton wanted congratulations from Eisenhower and never felt they were given to him. These two men will go down in history as two of the greatest military men to have ever lived.
The difference between the two is that Eisenhower is looked at as a hero; as he was a President and Five Star General, whereas, Patton will be considered a lunatic. However, if one looks at Patton's combat skills they were second to none. Those who have analyzed the relationship between these two men seem to agree on one basic point. Eisenhower was the master and Patton was his pit bull.
This can be seen in two places; the title of John Eisenhower's chapter about Patton and Eisenhower entitled, "Ike and Patton: The Master and the Pit Bull. Bradley inspired more confidence. Whereas Patton inspired fear in his men, however to him if they feared him, they would fight for him.
Early December in Mannheim, Germany, George Patton was in a car accident that later ended his life. Eisenhower was not in Europe when the accident occurred and never saw his old friend again.
Eisenhower never really talked about the death of his old friend, it was something personal to him and he kept it to himself. However, he did say one thing about his old friend out of respect: He was one of those men born to be a soldier, an ideal combat leader whose gallantry and dramatic personality inspired all he commanded to great deeds of valor.
His presence gave me the certainty that the boldest plan would be even more daringly executed. It is no exaggeration to say that Patton's name struck terror at the heart of the enemy. It was believed that Patton wanted to be buried in his favorite place, West Point. Bea Patton wanted her husband to be buried at West Point, however, it was not allowed because of the rule that bodies where not shipped back over seas. This was not to show favoritism to certain officers over others.
Eisenhower knew that Patton was a great general, however, he was not capable of leading the entire army, because it would have failed under him because he was not reliable. Leaving aside whether that victory could have happened, Montgomery's beef was with Eisenhower first, his appalling chief of supply Lee second, fellow Army Group Commanders who couldn't control the excesses of their subordinates like Bradley and to a lesser extent Devers third, and only then with the several army commanders who each tried to do their own thing.
In practical terms Montgomery seemed more appalled by the negative effects of the incompetence of Hodges 1st US Army, and the obnoxiousness of De Gaulle's orders to 'his' army French First Armyand perhaps even the ineffectiveness of his own subordinate Crerar Canadian 1st armythan he did by Patton's enthusiasms. There is hardly a mention of Patton in his diaries through this period, compared to several comments on Bradley and De Gualle, and endless ones on Eisenhower.
Patton too is being maligned by the pretense that his war was taken up with a vain competition with Montgomery.
Patton, like Montgomery, was totally concerned with the main issue of defeating Germany. But unlike Montgomery, he did not have Brooke - the Chief of Imperial General Staff - to rely on for support against Eisenhower's broad front strategy. Patton too was convinced that this was the wrong way to go, but to get his version of a thrust with him at the front happening, he had to be a bit more manipulative than Montgomery. Every word Patton used to wheedle and manipulate support, or at least a blind eye to what he was doing, was designed to get more resources from his superiors.
Indeed, if he couldn't get them from Eisenhower, he was willing to steal them wherever he could, and then get Bradley to pretend to not know what he was doing. In this he was quite willing to encourage Bradley's inferiority complex in relation to Montgomery, and to happily manipulate Bradley into tantrums to get what they both wanted, but it seems likely that Patton was more interested in getting his way by making his superiors compete with Montgomery, than in competing with Montgomery himself.
Patton is actually a more complex and clever character than the romantics give him credit for. His 'kill them even if they try to surrender' speeches in Sicily were part of his stage management of troops, not part of his innate personality.The World Wars Extended Edition 2014 George S Patton meets Douglas MacArthur HD
HIs 'us against the world' propaganda was more manipulative, not so much like Bradley's inferiority complex. He wanted to win, and he would use anything to get what he needed to win, even ramping up his superiors to distrust their allies. But his genuine competitiveness with Montgomery at this stage was less about him and Montgomery, and more about him and how he could maneouvre others to support him.
He would have shown the same level of competitiveness, and the same willingness to undermine, any competitor at this point. British, French, Russian or even American. Montgomery on the other hand only saw Patton as one more junior general syphoning supplies from an inadequate source. Montgomery was in competition with Eisenhower for control, and possibly with Bradley for resources.
Minor army commanders in other people's army groups only registered on his horizon if he could get their armies assigned to his army group. Just for amusement, it might be fun to consider how Montgomery and Patton might have worked together?
Montgomery was notoriously superb to serve under, no matter what your nationality. So were their generals. Bradley certainly learned more about being a field commander from a few months of Montgomery's distant mentoring than from anything Eisenhower ever did for him in their much closer relationship.