George Smith Patton, Jr. (also George Smith Patton III) (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well-known for his controversial outspokenness. Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army upon his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1909. In 1916-17, he participated in the unsuccessful Pancho Villa Expedition, a US operation which attempted to capture the Mexican revolutionary. In World War I, he was the first officer assigned to the new United States Tank Corps and saw action in France. After the war, he was a strong advocate of armored warfare. In World War II he commanded corps and armies in North Africa, Sicily, and the European Theater of Operations. Near the end of the Sicilian campaign he jeopardized his career by slapping a soldier (whom he regarded as a coward) while the soldier was recuperating from battle fatigue at a hospital. Relieved of his command by Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower over the well-publicized incident, Patton was relegated to acting as a decoy in Operation Quicksilver instead of playing a major part in the Normandy Landings and Operation Overlord. However, he was later given command of the U.S. Third Army and ably led it in breaking out of the hedgerows of Normandy and across France. A surprise German offensive at the Battle of the Bulge resulted in American units being surrounded at Bastogne. On December 9, 1945, Patton was severely injured in a road accident. At first the crash seemed minor, the vehicles were hardly damaged, and no one in the truck was hurt. However, Patton was leaning back with trouble breathing. The general had been thrown forward and his head struck a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats, incurring a cervical spinal cord injury. Paralyzed from the neck down, he was rushed to the military hospital in Heidelberg. Patton died of a pulmonary embolism on December 21, 1945.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released George S. Patton as Number 3 in their Command series. It is a paperback book with 64 pages. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs, color illustrations, color maps and detailed captions. It has a 2010 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84603-459-6. The book examines the life and military career of George S. Patton.
-The Early Years
-The Military Life
-The Hour of Destiny
-Inside the Mind
-A Life in Words
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Zaloga covers the military career of George S. Patton very well. It is obvious that the author has gone to great lengths to research Patton and provide a very well written and accurate history of him. I covers Patton’s career starting with his enrollment in the military academy and his involvement in the campaign against Pancho Villa, World War I, World War II and his time spent between the wars. It discusses high points in his military career as well as low points and events that caused him personal anguish. I personally would have liked to have seen more written about his time spent between the wars and his interest in early tank warfare. Anyone interested in General George S. Patton will find this book very informative and interesting.
There are color and black and white photographs throughout the book. They are nice and clear with a few exceptions. Some of the older period black and white photographs have a blurry look to them. One other fault that I should mention is that some of the photographs have been shrunk down to fit on the page along with the text. Some of the photographs are too small in my opinion to show the detail as well as if they had been larger. However this does not take anything away from the book.
The color prints
The illustrations by illustrator Steve Noon are well done and cover the periods of World War I to World War II.
The captions are well written and even though they can be brief at times they are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It details the book examines the life and military career of George S. Patton. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
Ballantine’s Illustrated History of World War II
War Leader Book No. 1