Patton’s generalship?

Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,121
I watched the Patton movie with George C. Scott and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, when I read more about him, I found many people that rate him quite poorly. A number of historians that I’ve read, stated that he wasn’t tested enough to rank among the great Captains of history and Bruce Clarke even said that he knew less about tanks than any General he’d ever known. How would you rate him out of 10. If he was a German General, would he be above average, average or below average?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,353
Sydney
Tough call , Patton best success were when he was a subordinate Army commander
as a commander in chief he wasn't too good
he certainly was very active , he struggled in Lorraine but that was a tough geography and the Germans were buckling up
his influence on choosing tanks for the US army is very debatable ,
it reflect his mind on their usage fast and light
at the time it made some sense , by 1943 not so much

I would compare him to Rommel
 

Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,121
Tough call , Patton best success were when he was a subordinate Army commander
as a commander in chief he wasn't too good
he certainly was very active , he struggled in Lorraine but that was a tough geography and the Germans were buckling up
his influence on choosing tanks for the US army is very debatable ,
it reflect his mind on their usage fast and light
at the time it made some sense , by 1943 not so much

I would compare him to Rommel
So he was a good tactician, but a poor logistician and strategist? He was never promoted to a rank equivalent to Rommel’s highest rank IIRC. Where would you rank Rommel and Patton among German generals? And how do you think he would do if he was in Rommel’s position in North Africa, commanding inadequately equipped Italian and German troops with limited resources and poor infrastructure?

Either way, I have to say that I like what I’m reading about him. He’s a very interesting character.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
634
Comancheria
Patton was very capable and an excellent subordinate; kind'a like Sheridan to Grant or Custer to Sheridan--a pain in the ass who carried out the orders of his superiors with energy and drive.

Would I want him making bigger decisions, those above army command? I'm not so sure.
 

Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,121
Patton was very capable and an excellent subordinate; kind'a like Sheridan to Grant or Custer to Sheridan--a pain in the ass who carried out the orders of his superiors with energy and drive.

Would I want him making bigger decisions, those above army command? I'm not so sure.
I’ve seen people compare him to Custer before.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,353
Sydney
A possible comparison was the confederate A.P.Hill for cheerful style and aggression and Jackson for personal craziness
he was the exact opposite of Montgomery , both loathed each other
his ferocious attention to proper uniform discipline made his third army the butt of joke from other units

" After a Mauldin cartoon ridiculed third army commander General George Patton's decree that all soldiers be clean-shaven at all times - even in combat - Patton called Mauldin an "unpatriotic anarchist" and threatened to "throw [his] ass in jail" and ban Stars and Stripes from his command "
Eisenhower told him to drop that , the Joe and Bill cartoons were much beloved by the fighting troops

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in France , his lack of fuel held him back more than orders from his superiors , also a Rommel trait
Like Rommel he had a distinguished WW1 record , once standing in the open chatting with Mc-Arthur on the low probability of being hit by a shell

His prompt reaction during the battle of the bulge was typical of jumping in a situation boots and all
under the no nonsense Bradley once his long suffering subordinate ,then his long suffering superior , with Hodges first army ,he was used as the jaws of the pliers who ripped out the German army in France

when meeting the Soviet Marshall Zukhov , he called him a "real son of a bitch " which the soviet translator gave as "he say your mother is a slut"
Zukhov blanched at the insult , things became very tense , the Marshall had men shot for much less


Thriving in controversy , his death was typical of the man , his death supposedly an assassination by his own side
 
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Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,121
A possible comparison was the confederate A.P.Hill for cheerful style and aggression and Jackson for personal craziness
he was the exact opposite of Montgomery , both loathed each other
his ferocious attention to proper uniform discipline made his third army the butt of joke from other units

" After a Mauldin cartoon ridiculed third army commander General George Patton's decree that all soldiers be clean-shaven at all times - even in combat - Patton called Mauldin an "unpatriotic anarchist" and threatened to "throw [his] ass in jail" and ban Stars and Stripes from his command "
Eisenhower told him to drop that , the Joe and Bill cartoons were much beloved by the fighting troops

View attachment 24303

View attachment 24302

in France , his lack of fuel held him back more than orders from his superiors , also a Rommel trait
Like Rommel he had a distinguished WW1 record , once standing in the open chatting with Mc-Arthur on the low probability of being hit by a shell

His prompt reaction during the battle of the bulge was typical of jumping in a situation boots and all
under the no nonsense Bradley once his long suffering subordinate ,then his long suffering superior , with Hodges first army ,he was used as the jaws of the pliers who ripped out the German army in France

when meeting the Soviet Marshall Zukhov , he called him a "real son of a bitch " which the soviet translator gave as "he say your mother is a slut"
Zukhov blanched at the insult , things became very tense , the Marshall had men shot for much less


Thriving in controversy , his death was typical of the man , his death supposedly an assassination by his own side
1) Thanks for the information. Those cartoons look a bit like Tintin.

2) It’s interesting that you mention fuel shortages. The Axis countries weren’t particularly rich in oil. Japan and especially Italy were sitting on vast reserves in Manchuria and Libya respectively, but they weren’t drilling in significant quantity before the war IIRC, I didn’t know that the US was facing fuel shortages in France though. They were the worlds premier.

3) He got in trouble for slapping his men too, right? That was in the movie and parodied by the Simpsons. It’s one of the best parts. He’s very interesting. I can see why he’s so popular with Americans.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,353
Sydney
the allied had a lot of problems getting the fuel to the front , the French resistance and allied bombing had totally wrecked the railways
the British had the PLUTO pipeline under the Channel but the British were getting most of it

Hitler order to defend the main harbors to the last man proved to be a major problem
the US created a "red Ball Express" supply line of delivery trucks which unfortunately consumed a lot of the fuel transported ,
corruption by the black marketers was rife too , Petrol was an exceedingly valuable commodity
 
Oct 2011
510
Croatia
A possible comparison was the confederate A.P.Hill for cheerful style and aggression and Jackson for personal craziness
he was the exact opposite of Montgomery , both loathed each other
his ferocious attention to proper uniform discipline made his third army the butt of joke from other units

" After a Mauldin cartoon ridiculed third army commander General George Patton's decree that all soldiers be clean-shaven at all times - even in combat - Patton called Mauldin an "unpatriotic anarchist" and threatened to "throw [his] ass in jail" and ban Stars and Stripes from his command "
Eisenhower told him to drop that , the Joe and Bill cartoons were much beloved by the fighting troops

View attachment 24303

View attachment 24302

in France , his lack of fuel held him back more than orders from his superiors , also a Rommel trait
Like Rommel he had a distinguished WW1 record , once standing in the open chatting with Mc-Arthur on the low probability of being hit by a shell

His prompt reaction during the battle of the bulge was typical of jumping in a situation boots and all
under the no nonsense Bradley once his long suffering subordinate ,then his long suffering superior , with Hodges first army ,he was used as the jaws of the pliers who ripped out the German army in France

when meeting the Soviet Marshall Zukhov , he called him a "real son of a bitch " which the soviet translator gave as "he say your mother is a slut"
Zukhov blanched at the insult , things became very tense , the Marshall had men shot for much less


Thriving in controversy , his death was typical of the man , his death supposedly an assassination by his own side
Technically, in France, it was Eisenhower's diplomacy that held him back. Eisenhower refused to give priority fuel supply to either thrust, so both advances had to do with inadequate fuel.

Politics.