George Smith Patton Jr. (11.11.1885.-21.12.1945), was one of the best generals in the US army and for sure took place in the Top 10 world generals.
He commanded the 7th US Army, after the Allied invasion of Normandy was appointed as a leader of the Third US Army in France and Germany. Gen. Patton attended Virginia Military Institute and US Military Academy – West Point. Very intelligent, versatile person, a keen admirer of classical history, poetry, fencing, horseback riding, etc…
Patton entered combat in Mexico, 1916, but also fought in WWI as a part US Tank Corps, building his knowledge and tactics in new kinds of military units. When the US joined WWII in Europe, through their engagement in Africa, he commanded the 2nd Armored division. It started with Operation Torch, by invading Casablanca in 1942. At that point of warfare, American troops were trained, well equipped, numerous, but they were facing serious, battle-hardened enemy under command of gen. Erwin Rommel. A heavy defeat in the battle of the Kasserine pass has made them deeply demoralized, but gen. Patton played a very important role in restructuring units, improving tactics, and strengthening their morale.
What was the result? Under his command, in the Battle of El Guettar, German-Italian troops were heavily defeated and forced back in retreat. As a leader of the Tunis campaign, he has managed to expel Axis powers from Africa. Sicily’s campaign was his next step and also a success. Joint efforts with gen. Montgomery made Axis troops escape Sicily ( July 10-Aug16) after taking the town of Messina.
But… As well he was a brilliant general, his impulsive character was exposed in several misconducts during Mediterranean warfare. He tries to cover up the slaughtering of German prisoners in the Biscari incident, Mule bridge incident, slapping of pvts. Charles Kuhl and Paul Bennet, narrowminded disagreements with gen. Montgomery and superior officers…As a result, he didn’t command a force in combat for 11 months. He was appointed as a commander of the Phantom Army, a decoy invading force in England.
During the start of the Normandy invasion, he was appointed as a commander of The Third Army, under Bradley’s 12th US Army group. He was leading numerous successful operations, with superb coordination skills with other types of units (Falaise pocket, Avranche-Argentan advancing, Lorraine campaign, Battle of the Bulge, Saar river crossing, Remagen crossing…) By orders of Eisenhower, he was stopped at Pilsen, more of a political decision than a military one.
After the ending of WWI, 09.12.1945., heading for pheasant hunting, he was heavily injured in a car accident and succumbed to injuries two weeks later…