The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones
Like Churchill the flame of life and emotions in Patton burned with greater intensity than in normal men. Both had an eighteenth‐ century aristocratic spontaneity and lack of reticence: it was this which made them what they were. With the fall of Messina on 17 August had come the inevitable anti-climax: that night he recorded in his diary: 'Well: I feel let down. The reaction from intense mental and physical activity to a status of inertia is very difficult.
'I got a second DSC yesterday and ended a war. I feel that the Lord has been most generous. If I had to fight the campaign over again, I would make no change in anything I did....' In fact, although he did not yet realise it, he had committed what at best could be described as a gross error of judgement which would come near to wrecking his career and which by casting a slur on his reputation, result in strategic opportunities both in Italy and France— which had they been exploited by him might have ended the war in Europe in 1944—being missed by leaders lacking his grand tactical brilliance and ability to inspire the American soldier to supreme effort.
In the heat and dust of a Sicilian summer he had come up against a human problem he did not fully understand in an evacuation hospital and found the wrong solution. Without realising the seriousness of the offence he had exposed himself to scandal and censure by blatantly losing his temper in public and personally assaulting soldiers he deemed guilty of cowardice. Judged today in the light of