"Lead, follow, or get out of my way." This slogan summed up Patton's manner and is maybe one of the most famous quotations that many people are unaware started with him. It has been attributed to many other people as well.
Patton was a great American General who had an impact on World War II. He was known for his aggressive tactics which often led to his units being in harm's way before they were needed. However, he never shied away from battle and would always go forward no matter what the situation.
This quotation may not sound like much of an idea but it is actually three ideas wrapped into one. First, he was a leader who knew how to lead others; second, he believed in himself and his fellow soldiers even when things looked bleakest; and lastly, he wanted to be involved in every aspect of war planning so he could give his troops the best chance of success.
Patton was born on May 26th, 1885 in New York City. He joined the Army at age 21 and after serving in several posts around the world, was given the command of a division in the United States. During World War I, he led his men on numerous missions behind enemy lines and was eventually made a general.
Patton's leadership approach is best summed up in the following lines, which are still incredibly important today: "Do whatever you ask of those you command." Because Patton thought that leadership was done from the front, he knew that no one would follow a commander who had no firsthand knowledge of the job; "No...more than anyone else," Patton said, "I am only one man. I can't give orders to millions." Therefore, he made it his mission to find out what each of his soldiers wanted and needed from their leader and to make sure they got it.
As long as Patton was in charge, everything went according to plan. But when his health started to fail him at the end of the war, things began to go wrong for the United States Army. First, there was controversy over whether or not he should be given a field commission because he was too old to be promoted to major general. Then, when the United States government did promote him, it was only two grades instead of the usual three, because of age restrictions. Finally, just weeks before the end of the war, Patton was injured in an accident where he fell off of his horse and broke several ribs.
After this incident, Patton's deputy ordered all offensive actions called off until further notice. It was believed by many that Patton would now retire, but he didn't. He kept on fighting right up until the end of the war.
"I despise war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has witnessed its cruelty, futility, and folly," he famously said of his military experiences. Patton, George S. Jr. (1885-1945), was an American army officer who served as the supreme commander of the United States Army Europe from 1945 to 1948. He had a profound influence on military strategy during the Cold War.
Eisenhower's statement is commonly referred to as the "Patton Memorandum." It appeared in a letter that he wrote to Congress on July 17, 1955. In this letter, he asked for more money to help modernize and expand the U.S. military.
He also asked that general officers not be permitted to retire until they were 70 years old. The president wanted to keep good officers by making it difficult for them to retire before their time.
Patton's retirement at age 60 caused controversy at the time because of his success leading various armies during World War II. However, Eisenhower felt that if Patton retired now then many other older generals would do the same thing. This would have a negative effect on the military since younger men needed to be promoted so that they could take over for these retired officers.
Patton described his encounter with MacArthur in a six-page letter to his wife four days later. "I ran upon General MacArthur, who was heading a brigade and was also roaming about." "I joined him, and the creeping barrage crept along towards us, but it was extremely thin and not hazardous," he explained. "We crossed a small stream called the Rhine and went into Belgium. The country was very pretty, with many large trees growing among the rubble of houses destroyed by bombs." That night they slept in a hotel in Bruxelles.
In his letter, Patton said that he had never met anyone like MacArthur and felt privileged to have done so. "He is quite an interesting character," wrote Patton. "He has a perfect knowledge of every detail of all wars, and seems to know exactly what each army can do and how much ammunition it has on hand. He is one of the few people I've ever met who understand tactics."
MacArthur responded by praising Patton's leadership skills and saying that he looked forward to working with him again in the future. "I am sending you these lines as a personal note from me," wrote MacArthur. "I hope you will forgive me for taking up your time and paper with my news. I want you to know that I consider it a great privilege to serve under you."
Patton ended his letter by thanking MacArthur for his message of encouragement and said that he hoped to see him soon.