General Patton was politically incorrect before the phrase existed. His strong opinions and unorthodox tactics were the reasons why he was valued as a fighting general and unable to assume the highest levels of command that his military success would otherwise have entitled him.
Patton attended VMI for a year before entering West Point, from which he graduated in 1909. His first major military action was in Mexico, chasing Pancho Villa with General John J. Pershing. During World War I he was assigned to the newly created U.S. Tank Corps, and led troops in the world’s first tank battle in the Battle of Cambrai.
That experience led to the command of the 2nd Armored Division at the outset of World War II. He was soon promoted to lieutenant general due to his success in the North Africa campaign, and then received command of the Seventh Army in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily.
Well, I feel like I’m just reciting the movie now. The film starring George S. Scott is apparently very true to the facts and character of the famous general. Instead of more biography, let’s see some of Patton’s stirring – and controversial – statements:
*** “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
*** “A pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood.”
*** “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”
*** “If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking.”
*** “Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I’d shoot a snake!”