Patton: As Military Commander

Patton: As Military Commander

Patton: As Military Commander

Patton: As Military Commander

Synopsis

H. Essame's classic study of the life and achievements of General George S. Patton shows why this commander has become a byword for military efficiency.

Excerpt

This seems to me to be the record of a man who was devoted to war. He could have lived in peace without incurring any reproaches or any harm, but he chose to make war. He could have lived a life of ease but he preferred a hard life with warfare. He could have had money and security, but he chose to make the money he had less by engaging in war.

All this shows how devoted he was to war. As for his great qualities as a soldier, they appear in the facts that he was fond of adventure, ready to lead an attack on the enemy by day or night, and that when he was in an awkward position, he kept his head, as everyone agrees who was with him anywhere. It was said that he had all the qualities of leadership which a man of his sort could have. He had an outstanding ability for planning means by which an army could get supplies, and seeing that they appeared; and was well able to impress on those who were with him that Clearcus was a man to be obeyed. He achieved this result by his toughness. He had a forbidding appearance and a harsh voice. His punishments were severe ones and were sometimes inflicted in anger.... With him punishment was a matter of principle, for he thought that an army without discipline was good for nothing; indeed it is reputed that he said that a soldier ought to be more frightened of his commander than of the enemy if he was going to turn out one who could keep a good guard, or abstain from doing harm to his own side, or go into battle without second thoughts. So it happened that in difficult positions the soldiers would give him complete confidence and wished for no one better. On these occasions they said his forbidding look seemed positively cheerful and his toughness appeared as confidence in the face of the enemy, so that it was no longer toughness . . .

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