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General George Patton

General George Smith Patton, Jr. was born in California on November 11, 1885. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, and later the U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduating in 1909.

Early Career & World War I

In 1915, Patton was assigned to the 8th Cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas along the Mexican border we he gained a lot of experience in cavalry patrols. Within a year he was an aide to General John J. Pershing during the expedition against Pancho Villa across the border.

He was promoted to Captain two years later, and during World War I, was a member of Pershing's staff on the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). While in France, Patton became interested in Tanks. Until the end of the hostilities, he trained tank crews and led troops in battle, he also was promoted three more times to Colonel.

Interwar Years

Patton dove headfirst into the tank in both design and tactics. He was transferred to the territory of Hawaii. While on a group responsible for the island's defense he authored a defensive plan to combat an air raid attack. This was a decade before the Japanese in fact attacked. During these years he spent time in Camp Meade, Maryland, Washington, Fort Riley, Kansas and Camp Myer in addition to a couple tours in Hawaii.

World War II

After Germany invaded Poland, the US began mobilization and Patton assisted in crafting a mechanized doctrine, gaining a command in the 2nd Armored Division, 2nd Brigade and in the process tasked with their training. Rising rapidly, he was promoted to Brigadier General and seven months later to Major General along with assuming command of the 2nd Armored. During various maneuver exercises his command constantly excelled. After the U.S. officially entered World War II they along with their British allies wanted to begin offensive operations against the Axis and General Patton, serving under Eisenhower, commanded the ground elements of the Western Task Force in the landings in North Africa in November 1942 in what would be known as Operation Torch. Following the American loss at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass In March 1943 he assumed command of the II Corps in Tunisia. Additionally he received his third star being promoted to lieutenant general and in the process instituted a wide range of rapid changes to the inexperienced troops. The divisions of II Corps pushed the germans back east to Tunis and out of North Africa by the first of May. Operation Husky was the invasion of Sicily that occurred in July 1943, and Patton was the commander of the Seventh United States Army that landed at Gela, Scoglitti and Licata. Troops swung north and west across Sicily capturing the town of Palermo. They then turned east and moved to the northeastern city of Messina, the gateway to the Italian mainland.

Patton got himself in hot water after slapping a couple of soldiers in the infirmary and was sidelined from combat command and moved to England. In early 1944 he was placed in charge of the US Third Army and set about training the soldiers for the invasion of Europe scheduled to occur in five months. The German High Command had the upmost respect for Patton and thus believed him the logical choice to lead the Allies in the cross channel invasion. However, as it turned out through operation Fortitude, that the General and his new fictitious command of First United States Army Group was a deception designed to have the Germans believe that the invasion would occur at the Pas de Calais across the English Channel from Dover. He remained in command of Third Army which was designed to be buildup of forces following the initial invasion. Located on the right flank of the US lines the Divisions of the 3rd Army would sweep south and then east; getting into the open where the armored divisions enjoyed the freedom of movement with favorable terrain.

General George S Patton was a very active and hands-on commander; he wanted to be in the field, not at headquarters, so he would travel often and Combat Reels is pleased to have cataloged moving images of him while he visited the troops that you can view on the appropriate Divisional DVD. During training for the invasion on 6/26/1944 in Cornwall, England, Ike, Patton and Gen. Baade review the troops of the 35th Division 134th Infantry Regiment, watching a demonstration of the 127th Field Artillery, visiting with the 25th QM Company and a squad level demonstration of mine searching probing with bayonets. Watch him attend an award ceremony for 1st Army and 2nd Division soldiers run by Bradley and Montgomery on 7/8/1944. On 7/14/1944 in St Mere Eglise, France, Patton attends the funeral of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. of the 4th Infantry Division. Near Coutance France, he stands in jeep as it drives past 3rd AD tanks sitting on roadside. In Normandy France on 7/17/1944 at 1st Army HQ, Patton, Bradley and 1st Division MG Huebner greet US Secretary of War Stimson. In Hoeville, France with Generals Eddy, Paul and Wood at the 4th Armored Division Headquarters. With General Marshall and 83rd Division Commanding Officer, MG R.C. Macon in Luxembourg. Visiting the field command post of the 80th Division and MG H.L. McBride with Marshall and Manton Eddy, XII Corps Commander. Then another visit with the 80th at Villerval, France. Then onto Nancy, France to visit the 35th ID again.

In the fall, low on fuel supplies and an order from Ike to pause offensive operations, and allow other portions of the front to catch up, invited a counter attack by German armor. The Panzers were repulsed by the US 4th Armored Division. Meanwhile the Germans boosted fortifications at Metz and all of the surrounding forts. In a vicious battle led by the 5th and 95th Infantry Divisions, Metz would fall to the allies by Mid-November.

Patton, Bradley and Montgomery

In December the German Army launched an all out offensive in the Ardennes Forest in a fight that would become known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Third Army was south of the battle area, but with the go-ahead from General Eisenhower, Patton sent the 4th Armored Division, 80th Infantry Division and 26th Infantry Division north. Elements of the 4th AD would enter the city of Bastogne, where the 101st Airborne and elements of the 10th Armored Divisions were once surrounded and under siege by the German Army. In total, six divisions would take place in the operation against the southern flank of the Bulge, the left side of the German offensive lines.

The Bulge collapsed in early 1945 and by February the German armies were in full retreat. Elements of the Third Army pushed into the Saarland. By the 22nd of March they began crossing the Rhine. In April, the war in Europe was winding down with V-E day the 8th of May. In postwar Gen. Patton became Military Governor of Bavaria. On 8th December 1945 he was in a tragic car accident that left him paralyzed and he died of complications on the 21st.

US Army Film of Gen Patton

One of the most notable military leaders of the last 100 years, Combat Reels has found video of General Patton as he commanded Third Army and have presented this film on the following combat film dvds:

1st Infantry Division in Normandy
2nd Infantry Division in Normandy
3rd Armored Division in Normandy
4th Infantry Division in Normandy
35th Infantry Division in Normandy
4th Armored Division in Europe
7th Armored Division in Europe
35th Infantry Division in Europe
80th Infantry Division in Europe
83rd Infantry Division in Europe
90th Infantry Division in Europe
90th Infantry Division in Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond
95th Infantry Division in Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond

DVD Recent Releases of World War II Movies, Films
104th Infantry Division Winter War Bulge and Beyond DVD $29.99

104th Infantry Division
Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond Series
December 1944 - March 1945

DVD Details

36th Infantry Division Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond DVD $24.99

36th Infantry Division
Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond
November 1944- March 1945

DVD Details

36th Infantry Division in Western Europe DVD $24.99

36th Infantry Division
Liberation of Western Europe Series
August 1944 - October 1944

DVD Details

29th Infantry Division Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond DVD $24.99

29th Infantry Division
Winter War: The Bulge and Beyond
December 1944 - February 1945

DVD Details

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