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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patton: Ordeal and Triumph
Amazon managed to obtain me an out of print copy, without which I would not be able to write this review. This book is an excellent exposition of George Patton the warrior and General. There is no doubt that had his and Bradley's roles been reversed that the war in Europe would have finished months earlier than it did. The failure to close the Falaise gap and the...
Published on June 14, 2000 by Tom Rawlings

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Give me maps!
Great history of the Third Army and Patton's life and command. I have the paperback copy and maps would have been extremely helpful and have added to my enjoyment. Every advance and movement is described in detail, both Allied and Axis, but trying to keep track in my mind drove me sometimes to distraction. With maps every chapter or so, this would definitely be a five...
Published on July 14, 2004


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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patton: Ordeal and Triumph, June 14, 2000
By 
Tom Rawlings (Pakenham, Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
Amazon managed to obtain me an out of print copy, without which I would not be able to write this review. This book is an excellent exposition of George Patton the warrior and General. There is no doubt that had his and Bradley's roles been reversed that the war in Europe would have finished months earlier than it did. The failure to close the Falaise gap and the subsequent german escape is an example of indecision by both Eisenhower and Bradley. I have read three books on Patton and a Soldiers Story by Bradley - Patton was the warrior - Patton was the leader - Patton was the difference. Thanks Amazon for the effort to find me a copy. I appreciate it. Regards, Tom
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must reading for anyone interested in WW II, February 25, 2000
Who can forget George C. Scott's incredible Oscar winning performance as Patton? Yet few people remember that the movie came mostly from this book and Omar Bradley's input. Patton was one of the most eccentric, brilliant, egotistical generals ever. This fine book takes you through his upbringing to his last days after the war. Farago is outstanding in his research and presentation. This is truly one of the greatest biographies ever written.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Hero General Comes To Life In Patton: Ordeal And Triumph, December 12, 2008
This review is from: Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (Paperback)
I am currently rereading this book after receiving it as a gift in 1971.

General George S. Patton, Jr. has been one of my lifelong heros so it's no surprise that I'm taken to books on him. I'm also a realist concerning him and will be the first to concede that the man was far from perfect in his personal life as well as a military leader. Ladislas Farago's epic biography does the supreme job of telling the whole story, from both sides of the fence, including Patton's triumphs of military genius to his emotional breakdowns and insecurities which lead many times to him weeping openly in front of his staff.

But this is so much more than just a book on Patton. Ordeal and Triumph is an exciting, easy to understand walk through the African and European theaters of WWII and it's pivotal battles. Where Farago writes in great detail, he never gets overburdened with details. At just under 900 pages, you may wonder how that can be but he takes Patton from his ancestry up through his days in Europe after the war, and chronicles not only the battles, but all that went on before and after, including the baffoonery that happened on a daily basis within both the British and American military commands.

And that's one of the scary revelations that is brought out time and again in Ordeal And Triumph. Between Montgomery, Bradley and Eisenhower, it now looks like it was only by the grace of Providence that the Allies won the war at all. The combined military leadership was timid, reserve, old school, by the book that was decades and even centuries old, head strong, non-creative, and just plain stupid in just about everything they did, UNTIL Patton was released in France with the Third Army. And even then, he was hampered until finally Bradley let him loose. Unfortunately, by that time, the German forces had had time to retreat, which had been a familiar occurrence in most of the battles preceding D-Day and it was this, along with many other errors that prolonged the war up to a year.

Farago's biography, first published in 1963, would become the basis for the 1970 movie Patton (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), starring George C. Scott, along with A Soldier's Story (Modern Library War) by General Omar Bradley. And even though Scott played Patton with a low, gruff voice, when in reality Patton had a thin high pitched voice, those who knew him said that everything else about Scott's portrayal was spot on.

I highly recommend this book, in either hard cover or paperback edition, for any student or person who is a history buff, especially of war and battle tactics. It is researched meticulously, drawing from every documented source available, as well as from personal writings and diaries of Patton and many others who were there and fought along side the man whom some say singlehandedly won the war. But it is also just a facinating story of one of the most colorful characters this country has ever created. A man who was comfortable cussing at the drop of a hat, but was a profoundly spiritual man who daily, on his knees, sought the wisdom and blessing of his creator to help righteousness win over evil.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Give me maps!, July 14, 2004
By A Customer
Great history of the Third Army and Patton's life and command. I have the paperback copy and maps would have been extremely helpful and have added to my enjoyment. Every advance and movement is described in detail, both Allied and Axis, but trying to keep track in my mind drove me sometimes to distraction. With maps every chapter or so, this would definitely be a five star book. (I don't know if the original had them, but the pb doesn't)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Full Life Biography Worthy of Its Subject, November 11, 2007
By 
James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (Paperback)
"Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" is a full life biography of one of the most colorful and successful officers ever to wear the uniform of the United States. It claims to be the book on which the movie was based and many of the anecdotes so beloved in the movie are presented in the book, although, occasionally, with slightly different details.

Author Ladislas Farago informs the reader of Patton's ancestry, beginning with his immigrant ancestor who, presumably, left Scotland to avoid debtors, justice, or both. He continues with the Congressman and series of generals, including ones who died in the Revolution and Civil War, in Patton's line. He brings us to the subject who, he tells us, grew up on a ranch in California, where he made the acquaintance of Rudyard Kipling and John S. Mosby.

Patton's own tale is larger than life. His days at VMI and West Point are mentioned, but they are not the focus of the story. The focus is Patton's active duty career. He saw action with Pershing in Mexico and World War I, where he was introduced into the world of armored warfare.

This book enables the reader to understand the crucial role which Patton, in cooperation with Eisenhower and others, played in bringing tanks into the American arsenal. Having taken command of the tank corps in World War I, he tested its potentials. Between the wars he maintained his research into armor, preparing for the day when the U.S. Army would embrace the weapon.

Throughout this work, Patton is shown as a leader whose dash and unconventional behavior is the key to his notoriety and success. In his first tank action, at St. Mihiel, Patton incurred the wrath of his superiors by extending his attack far beyond its expectations in a spectacular, but undisciplined advance. His performance in the 1941 maneuvers in Tennessee would lead to instructions for the famous Louisiana maneuvers later that year to "Not let Patton run wild again." Despite the efforts of the judges to restrain him, he did "run wild", ending each part of the Louisiana maneuvers prematurely.

Patton's high point was, of course, World War II. He entered it as field commander of the first major American force to see action in the war, the Western Task Force in the invasion of French North Africa, Operation Torch. This was an operation of diplomacy, not one of dash and maneuver. Predictably, Patton's performance was less impressive than later efforts would be. It was not until he was advanced to command of II Corps, after the disaster at Kasserine, that Patton's emphasis on training and spirit would begin to yield the results for which he became famous.

Patton's next theatre of operations was the Sicilian invasion. It was here that his rivalry with Field Marshall Montgomery, which would continue to the end of the war, began. Here theme of Montgomery slugging it out with the best that the enemy had to offer while Patton made rapid advance against light opposition was born. It was in Sicily, too, that the slapping incidents, which would plague Patton and the American war effort, occurred.

With the conclusion of the Sicilian campaign, Patton was transferred to England where he distracted the German's with his Phantom Army while others prepared for action. It was not until the month after D-Day that Patton began his legendary command of the Third Army and its dramatic sweep across France into Bavaria and Czechoslovakia. Throughout this Patton would be in constant battle with Eisenhower and Montgomery for supplies, almost as much as he was with the Germans for prisoners and territory.

The last days of Patton are shown as a discouraging wind down of the career of a general who predicted that: "Peace will be hell on me." The inability to obtain a combat command in the Pacific reflected Patton's standing among many of his fellow officers. His failure as Military Governor of Bavaria illustrated the weakness of his political skills.

Farago provides the reader x with an introduction, later efforts into the order of battle, but also into the complex character interactions among the leading personae dramatae. The deteriorating relationships between Patton and Eisenhower, as Patton's indiscretions created repeated distractions for Ike, are contrasted with the improving relations between Patton and Bradley as Bradley, originally disgusted by Patton's bravado, gradually came to appreciate Patton's aggressiveness in contrast to the comparative lethargy of Montgomery.

You see how much I was excited by this book. I read this in preparation for a one night continuing ed class about Patton. It provided me with most of what I needed to know in order to teach the class. I am well satisfied with the way it covered its subject. I am confident that you will be also.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent military history, August 18, 2007
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This review is from: Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (Paperback)
This was an enjoyable read as well as an excellent military history. Farago took a complex and mythologized character (Patton) in a complex military and political environment ( WWII) and wrote a history that reads like a novel. It comes close to the can't-put-it-down category. The paperback edition would have been improved by maps such as those found in the other excellent read, "A Soldier's Story" by Omar Bradley. It is more readable than Carlo D'Este's "A Genius for War" but focuses more on the military aspects of Patton's life.
Farago portrays Patton as a general who was shrewd and instinctive and well studied in the art of war. He was deeply patriotic and a devoted to his Army . Despite his trials under the cautious leadership of Bradley and Eisenhower he never lost respect for either. His opinion of Montgomery was higher than most popular history would have us believe as well. His main problem with Monty was not Monty's ego but Monty's inability to get the job done as happened in Sicily, Falaise and Arnhem. Patton's faults and eccentricities get popular attention but his virtues as a combat leader and tactician far out weighed any of that. Had he been let loose in Europe the war would unquestionably have ended sooner. He could never have filled the shoes of Ike or Bradley but he was among a very small number of Allied generals including Hodges, Middleton, Patch and Simpson who knew that aggression wins wars. My father who served with Patton in North Africa and Sicily never liked the man but he respected the general. Watch the movie that was based on this book, but if you really want to understand a military genius read "Patton - Ordeal and Triumph".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth isn't always pleasant, March 12, 2010
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This review is from: Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (Paperback)
I have read most of the biographies of WWII Generals and politicians, yet this one brought tears to my eyes when I saw evidence of a massive jealousy and ego on behalf of America's generals and politicians because Patton was "insensitive". How we would rather a person be sensitive than proficient, such is the case with Patton. His ideas and plans would have saved America thousands of men, yet, the command and politics played behind the scenes to steal this man's thunder border on the obscene. Well written, well researched and proofed, I get the impression that the author went into the work somewhat biased against Patton and emerged as his fan, as anyone would who have read all the accounts of this war. I highly recommend this book for the historian who wants to know the truth. Sadly, our country has not produced any general of this caliber since WWII. The axiom is proven here; performance, personality and politics are necessary for greatness, but not necessarily in that order.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bio...well researched! Great read!, July 26, 1998
By A Customer
If you like war history, you will love this book. From battlefield plans and stratagies to personal thoughts, Patton was fascinating. Some great quotes and some strange tales....I highly recommend this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing, poor book binding, March 4, 2008
By 
Pablo (Vienna, Austria) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (Paperback)
This thick book has larger typeface than the small paperback I read years ago, however the binding was poor quality and during the first reading the spine cracked open in the middle despite my careful handling of the book. It's an open question whether I got a lemon or this publisher's work is shoddy, but there it is. The book itself is highly readable and Ladislas Farago does a good job in balancing anecdotes with stating historical facts to keep the reader entertained while informed as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it Three Times in my life. I get more out of it each time., February 8, 2014
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Great Book. I have it on my Kindle now so I can reread it any time. Kindles are great. Love it.

If you watch the movie you can see that much of the movie is what happened. The movie might not be in the sequence and they might not have happen exactly like the movie showed but they all happened. The movie did make a few changes but for the history of a person the movie is about as spot on as you will find in any movie about someone. They didn't need to make things up about him. He was just like the movie in real life..

You know there are a few books on Bradley. There are a few books on Monty. There are many books on Ike. However it appears that most of the WWII books were written on Patton. They guy just got stuff done. However he needed to keep his mouth shut at times. Ike told him to count to ten before he was to open his mouth and say something. However in 1943 he had some trouble with that.

The slapping of the soldier in Sicily I do believe did more to bring the war to an end and to prevent Americans from being killed than any other private in the war.

Just by himself Patton was able to pin the 15th German Army in France. Just by himself. That is what Ike said. Bradley was upset that the Germans thought so highly of Patton and so little of him.

Patton knew how to wage war like hardy anyone in history. Patton was right. Once you had the Germans on the run you really needed to keep them there. Ike, Monty and Brad were the best Generals the Germans had.and those three guys were on the Allies side. I really believe the war would have ended sooner if Ike, Monty, and Bradley had not cut off Patton's supplies.

Patton's rush to save the 101st is nothing but greatness.

On January 1, 1945 Patton had all his soldiers fire to the east for 30 minutes at midnight to ring in the New Year. Everybody opened up at mid-night firing to the east for 30 minutes. The Germans were shocked they never expected that. There were moving troops at that time on roads and they were caught by the shelling. That night thousands of Germans were killed and the Allies never found out till the war was over.

The Germans after the War said Patton was the best General the Allies had. He was.
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Patton: Ordeal and Triumph
Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago (Paperback - May 3, 2005)
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