George S. Patton
Written by Steven J. Zaloga
illustrated by Steve Noon
This paperback book is 64 pages in length and is number 3 in Osprey’s ‘Command’ series of books.
Steven Zaloga writes about George S. Patton, the most famous US Commander of World War II. He examines this iconic figures’ life from his early years to his life after the war. This 64 page book reads like an analysis of Patton: his training methods, his insistence on traditional military discipline in the ranks, his command and leadership abilities and the controversies that have made him one of the most memorable figures in American military history.
The Contents are: Introduction; The Early Years; The Military Life; The Hour of Destiny; Opposing Commanders; Inside the Mind; A Life in Words; Further Reading; Glossary; and Index.
The Introduction is a brief overview of Patton’s military career. The Early Years is a concise look at Patton’s family history, his education, his sports interest, his dyslexia and how all this played a part in his destiny for a successful military career.
In the section Military Life, you come to learn how Patton rose through the ranks using his equestrian ability, finishing fifth in the new pentathlon event at the 5th Olympiad in Stockholm; his swordsmanship, as the Master of the Sword; his connections with various people, such as, chief of staff, Major-General Leonard Wood and Brigadier-General Jack “Black Jack” Pershing. He how he gains the reputation of being reckless, a risk taker, and a demanding energetic leader.
The Hour of Destiny is largest section, 36 pages; it is divided into the following subsections beginning with North Africa 1942-43; Sicily July, 1943; France 1944; the Ardennes; Patton’s lieutenants; Into the Reich; and Patton’s Tanks. In each subsection the author gives concise details as to the situation and Patton’s participation and outcome.
This section concentrates on Patton’s command and leadership, while adding insight into Patton’s personality and character.
In Opposing Commanders the author explains why in modern warfare Patton can’t be compared to his opposing commanders; he does, however, discuss their differences and advantages in detail. The section Inside The Mind is a look at Patton, the complex person: the avid student, the military intellectual, his style of leadership, his military persona, his tactical style, etc. A Life In Words is a synopsis of the various books and movie written about Patton.
The book contains 40 photographs (20 full-color) from the U.S. Signal Corp archive. Plus, 7 color plates which include Patton at various stages of his career. There are maps of his involvement across ETO & MTO, and battle scene depictions of Normandy, Bastogne and the Rhine Crossings.
This was an interesting quick read about one of the most fascinating individuals of WWII.