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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

General George Patton and His Peacemaker

General Patton knew what he liked, and he surrounded himself with those things that he loved including his prized handguns.  When I visited the General Patton Museum, Fort Knox, Kentucky last year, I spent hours walking around the displays and soaking in the history of the Patton era.  He liked to design his own uniforms, and he was fond of carrying a riding crop along with the very special Colt .45 with ivory handles.  If you ever have occasion to visit Fort Knox, the Patton Museum is a must.

General Patton’s choice of personal sidearm was as legendary as his eccentric behavior, but he is remembered as a true American hero for his exploits over the decades.  Beginning with Pancho Villa in 1916 under General Pershing, followed by his tank achievements in WWI and finally with his WWII campaign across Europe, General Patton carved his indelible mark on military history.  I will always remember his famous speech to the Third Army made even more famous in pop culture in the movie “Patton.”  George C. Scott was impressive in his interpretation of the man and his image as a War God. Patton Speech (not the movie version).

It was a rather sad ending to his life in a freak car accident only a few months after the end of WWII.  He never really had a chance to enjoy many accolades for all his heroics during the war before his life was over.  He is buried with the fallen of the Battle of the Bulge, and I have to imagine that he would have been happy with that place of rest.  I can also imagine that he would not have been completely happy in civilian life given his affinity for the battlefield where he always sported his favorite personal sidearm with flare.  Ronald Reagan narrated a newsreel brief on Patton's WWII triumphs and untimely death.

Video Slideshow

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