• Background


General George Smith Patton Jr. was a bold, inspirational American World War II military leader. Known as “Old Blood and Guts” to his troops in Europe, Patton had no equal as a military tactician. As military historian Eric Larrabee put it, Patton had the unique ability to “think like an army” and possessed a nearly mystical, intuitive understanding of battlefield tactics. As commander of America’s Third Army, Patton achieved notable successes on the European battlefield in the war against Hitler. The Germans established blitzkrieg (lightning) warfare when they conquered Poland in 1939. But Patton shoved this concept down their throats as his Third Army swept across Europe after the Normandy invasion. Alan Axelrod ably tells Patton’s life story in this concise, masterful biography. getAbstract highly recommends this outstanding book about one of America’s greatest, most colorful military heroes.


America’s Pre-eminent “Warrior Leader”

General George S. Patton Jr. was an impetuous, profane and audacious World War II battlefield commander. Under his leadership, the U.S. Third Army triumphantly rolled across Europe like a juggernaut, smashing the vaunted German forces, the previous masters of blitzkrieg, at every turn. Although he was a daring, inspirational military leader, Patton remained mired in constant controversy due to his fiery personality, brash actions and intemperate remarks. Patton’s troops may not have loved the general, but they respected him. Their nickname for him was “Old Blood and Guts.” (Many GIs interpreted this as “His guts, our blood.”). General Lucian Truscott, one of Patton’s subordinates, considered him to be “the most outstanding battle leader of World War II,” while many others, including critic Dwight Macdonald, detested him and thought him insane.

People either loved or hated the strutting general. What mattered was that Germany’s generals and soldiers feared him. Patton was a prescient, successful military tactician. Battlefield commanders the world over adopted his signature playbook for military maneuvers. His brilliant...

About the Author

Alan Axelrod also is the author of The Macmillan Dictionary of Military Biography.

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