George patton was one of the military most feared by the Axis troops during the WWII. But his career goes further, since it was marked by insubordinations and very controversial decisions. He was in charge of liberate North Africa, Italy, France and Czechoslovakia during the conflict against Nazi Germany.
Patton was born on November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel (United States) into a family with a long military tradition. To continue that heritage, he was enrolled in the Virginia Military Institute. There he studied for a year until he entered the United States Military Academy at Westpoint. In this academy he spent 5 years and graduated in 1909. All his childhood and adolescence showed great interest in classical literature and military history.
From here his military career would begin. With the United States entry into World War I, Patton was promoted to Captain and was posted to France. There he began to show great interest in tanks, so he was put in command of a newly created unit. Tank corps.
His participation in the battle of Cambria, where the tanks played a very prominent role, and in the Meuse-Argonne operations, led to his being named Colonel. From then until outbreak of World War II, was dedicated to improving the skills, tactics and structures of American tanks.
The Axis offensive on Western countries eventually brought the United States into the war, and thus brought Patton back across the ocean. As Major General he landed in 1942 on the North African coast to reinforce Operation Torch. After some initial losses, Patton's tactics began to emerge. He was promoted to Lieutenant General and in March 1943 had to devise a plan with Bernard Montgomery to defeat Erwin Rommel. The relationship between the two allied generals was quite bad, since Patton saw Montgomery as someone too inflexible when it came to adapting what was planned to reality.
The rivalry between the two would continue during the Italy Campaign, where each one was assigned the mission of liberating a part of the peninsula. Patton advanced much faster than Montgomery but left behind a host of internal problems: populist speeches, massacres of prisoners of war, and exacerbated discipline. Due to these reasons he was temporarily relieved of command of the army. The Germans, oblivious to this question, thought that the Americans were preparing an offensive through southern Italy, the Balkans or Calais (France).
But the allied offensive took place on Normandy and the Axis troops were scattered to avoid other fronts. Patton used the bewilderment to his advantage and began an offensive by Operation Cobra. In just two weeks it advanced 900km, until it was located on the outskirts of Paris, after having liberated much of the south of France.
At the end of 1944, the Germans attempted one last offensive in the Ardennes against the weak Allied lines. Patton then performed what is known as his best maneuver: vacated the front to relieve units under German attack. This caused a withdrawal of German troops. All this strategy was carried out without the consent of Eisenhower and the Allied High Command.
After the French campaign, he turned his efforts to conquer Czechoslovakia from the Germans. He crossed the Rhine in a couple of months and managed to liberate Pilsen (May 6, 1945) and most of western Bohemia.
The end of the war in 1945 ended badly for the American general, who on December 9 suffered a serious car accident in Heidelberg (Germany), causing serious injuries that caused his death on December 21.
In short, it can be stated that George Patton was a very prominent general in the military history of the United States. A great strategist and, above all, a great promoter of battle tanks, he was criticized on many occasions for certain reprehensible actions.
His insubordination and his populist speeches caused many people to turn against him. It should not be forgotten that many of his speeches were anti-communist and advocated initiating actions against the Soviet Union, something that happened immediately after the war. However, his successes as a military man caused great commotion in the German High Command, even disconcerting them with his movements and imposing a respect that few allied generals achieved.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.