Born 1885. San Gabriel, California.
Died December 21, 1945.
Bee Ayer. 1910.
Smith Patton was born in 1885 in San Gabriel, California. He grew
up on a ranch in California, and did not begin his formal education
until age 11, most likely due to dyslexia. Patton attended high
school in Pasedena. Upon graduation, Patton was accepted at the
Virginia Military Institute. He spent a year at VMI before being
accepted to West Point.
struggled with mathematics and French during his plebe (freshman)
year at West Point. Due to his strong work ethic he was granted
the unusual option of repeating his plebe year. Patton excelled
at athletics, participating in football and track, and setting
a record in the 200 yard low hurdles. Patton participated in the
1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. He ran in the military pentathlon
(swimming, cross-country running, fencing, shooting, riding) and
finished fifth overall.
his graduation in 1909 he was commissioned a second lieutenant.
He served as aide-de-camp to General John Joseph Pershing on Pershing's
campaign against Poncho Villa in Mexico in 1917. Patton attained
noteriety during the Mexican campaign, at one point single-handedly
killing three men.
stayed with General Pershing when he was appointed head of the
American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. He went to France
where he established a tank training school and commanded a tank
1942 and 1943, Patton commanded US forces in Morocco, Tunisia
and Sicily during World War II. Victories over German general
Erwin Rommel in Africa and in the Battle of the Bulge earned Patton
command of the Third Army early in 1944. His uncompromising standards
and agressive combat strategy played a key role in the headlong
armored thrust to Germany after D-Day.
the summer of 1944, the Third Army broke through German defenses
in the Normandy campaign, and advanced quickly across France.
By March of 1945, they crossed the Rhine River into Germany.
the war, Patton served as military governor of Bavaria, until
his lenient policy toward the former enemy led to his being relieved
of the post. He was named head of the Fifteenth Army late in 1945,
but was fatally injured in an auto accident shortly after he took
1970, Patton's career was portrayed by George
C. Scott in the movie Patton.
The movie won seven Acadamy Awards, including best actor for Scott
and best picture.
Click here for the text of Patton's
famous speech to the troops.
good decision was ever made in a swivel chair."
good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect
solution applied ten minutes later."
case of doubt, attack."