Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by Stonewall phpbb3, Jun 8, 2005.
Both Eisenhower and Bradley were a bit ashamed about their lack of combat in the Great War.
That can be said of others in the US Army of that time.
Absolutely, Eisenhower and Bradley were not alone in their lack of hands on combat experience. But it was something that definitely troubled them.
One wonders if there wasn't some jealousy amongst Patton's peers, because he did have the WW2 combat experience and they didn't.
There never seems to be any grey areas with Patton, he's either a glory hunting publicity hound or a brilliant commander.
I've read D'Este's definitive biography on Patton, warts and all, and he pulls no punches, he certainly was one ''very''strange man and a few cans short of a six pack.
He sincerely believed that he lived as a warrior through the ages as a viking, as a Roman legionnaire in Caesar's 10th Legion, died on the plains of Troy, and fell in the battle of Crecy in the 100 years war.
He was also a racist and anti Semite.
But D'Este quotes Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt as stating "Patton was your best" and, surprisingly, Joseph Stalin as stating that the Red Army could neither have planned nor executed Patton's advance across France. D'Este reports that even Hitler begrudgingly respected Patton, once calling him "that crazy cowboy general."
And Patton’s Third Army achievements were accomplished by an army only three weeks in action and with only 12 divisions, Patton used Germany's own blitzkrieg tactics against them, covering 600 miles in a few weeks.
His effort in turning around his army 90 degrees to attack Bastogne was hailed by many historians as [as well as Eisenhower and his staff, the Brit commanders and a man who loathed him, Bradley] being as good as anything in the war. Everyone outside the 3rd Army had felt this feat was impossible.
"It meant a 90-degree turn that would pose logistical nightmares – getting divisions on new roads in the middle of winter and making sure supplies reached them from dumps established in quite a different context, for quite a different situation. Altogether it was an operation only a master could think of executing,” notes Blumenson.