The Fighting Pattons

The Fighting Pattons

The Fighting Pattons

The Fighting Pattons

Synopsis

This book presents a unique view of a military family, and, most importantly, displays the lives of a father and son: a father who would become an American hero and a son who excelled on his own terms, but who was profoundly influenced by a figure who had gained legendary status. The elder Patton gained widespread fame during World War II as a fearless commander and motivator of soldiers in war. He was brash, supremely self-confident, and greatly admired by the enemy; many German officers would later say Patton was the most important weapon in the American arsenal. A complex man driven by his knowledge of history and warfare, the elder Patton was compassionate and easily moved to tears. He was a professional soldier who loved the art of war and hated war itself. The younger Patton has also lived a most exciting life, having been acquainted with many of the famous names in political and military history. Together, father and son logged 79 years of continuous military service. They fought in every American conflict from the punitive action taken in Mexico in 1916 through Vietnam. This is the only book on the Patton family that includes commentary from both the son and daughter of General George S. Patton, concerning their father's life and times. Including a vast array of never before published information, this book is also a family story and a contemporary history of the wars that shaped the 20th century. There are interviews with the late Richard Nixon, General William Westmoreland, General James Dozier, Jimmy Doolittle, and many others.

Excerpt

Several years ago, Brian Sobel first approached me with his idea of a book project in which he would compare eras of two military officer careers-- my father's and mine. Our careers certainly were different, but both involved personal and multiple wartime experiences. Between us, we served in five of America's armed conflicts over a period of fifty years. Brian's proposal was intriguing, and so I agreed. Although my current life priorities did not permit my full-time involvement in the book, Brian persisted, patiently obtaining such information and interviews from me as he could persuade me to grant, when my primary attention was on making a go of my second career, farming in Massachusetts. Despite such obstacles, Brian Sobel , as author of The Fighting Pattons, has done a fine piece of work, putting into perspective the life experiences of a father and son who shared a love of the Army career, though they served in very different times and circumstances.

When Brian neared the conclusion of the book, he asked me to contribute a few remarks to its Foreword. I am grateful that he thinks I still have something to say and am pleased to respond to his request.

At age seventy-four, as of this writing, I am well into what my late sister, Ruth Ellen Patton Totten, identified as my "third third." Thus I now approach the end of a very busy life, one with exciting times and moments of adventure, interspersed and intertwined. In his book Brian Sobel has let me travel the old roads, enjoying the recollections of past comrades, many now in retirement or gone to their rewards. He also has reminded me that somewhere long ago I became aware that to unite one's vocation with one's avocation was the secret of happiness in a particular profession or walk of life. I can say without hesitation that this notion applied to my father's life . . .

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