General George S. Patton Jr. is widely considered one of the greatest – if not the greatest – American military leaders of all time. His story, and all its intricate nuances, is one that is well familiar to most military members, history buffs, and even war film fanatics.
Patton began his military education at West Point, led cavalry troops against Mexican forces, and was a member of the (then new) Army Tank Corps in WWI. He led the U.S. 7th Army invasion of Sicily and traversed northern France as the head of the 3rd Army during WWII. In 1944, Patton’s forces were an integral part of defeating the German counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge. After the Battle of the Bulge, Patton took his forces across the Rhine River into Germany, freeing the country from the Nazi regime.
After such stalwart demonstrations of courage and fortitude, in December, 1945 General Patton met an unexpected defeat. He died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Germany, which many people believe was actually an assassination.
Although he has been gone nearly seven decades, his colorful, succinct words of wisdom live on and have inspired generations. Here are just a handful of our favorite “Pattonisms”.
By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.
Do more than is required of you.
Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.
I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.
If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.
It’s the unconquerable soul of man, not the nature of the weapon he uses, that insures victory.
Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.
Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.
Always do everything you ask of those you command.
My men can eat their belts, but my tanks have got to have gas.
What are some of your favorite “Pattonisms?” If he were here today, what do you think he’d have to say about the state of America’s military? Share your thoughts with us below.