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Patton: A Biography (Great Generals) First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
George Patton, plagued by dyslexia throughout life, simply worked harder to overcome it - at first in his studies (requiring a "preparatory" year at VMI, and repeating his first year at West Point), and then reading to keep himself up-to-date on military tactics and history - including Rommel's writings and the Koran (the latter to prepare for battle in largely Muslim North Africa).
Patton was appointed 2nd Corporal his second year at West Point, but eventually was demoted for being a martinet - always quick to upbraid classmates for failings, but failing to praise when appropriate. It was a lesson he kept with him, reminding subordinates later to be both demanding and praising. Lean and fit, he tried football, but injuries prevented his playing for West Point - instead he became a pentathlon athlete - placing 5th in the 1912 Olympics.
Patton always pursued a preference for commanding soldiers in action to staff or stateside duties. This early on brought him into service with General Pershing, where he won acclaim in a small skirmish pursuing Pancho Villa and ultimately to Pershing's staff in WWI. Once in Europe, Patton became aware of the potential of tanks, was appointed to organize officer training in the new field, and took to the battlefield in their command. Their he demonstrated his trademark tactic of leading from the front - immediately resolving problems and motivating the soldiers, and was wounded. Just as importantly, Patton also realized that it was a mistake to limit tanks to supporting infantry - their speed offered much greater potential.Read more ›
This book was less of a biography and more of a series of diary and letter quotes with respect to the timeline of events in Patton's life. Since much of the book's contents were created by Patton, you are left with a stronger connection to what he was thinking at the time of these events. (The Bradley book was mostly a biography from the "outside" of what was happening)
I was pleased to get a slightly different spin on some of the events of which Patton is so famous. Granted that you are mostly getting Patton's "spin" on things, it is still a valid point of view. I will give credit to Axelrod for presenting a well balanced story with clear distinction between Patton's thoughts and those of others.
I can recommend this book. It is a good study of an important person in our history
I am reading next Ambrose's Supreme Commander on Eisenhower during WWII, and it provides an interesting contrast. I can see why Patton felt he did not receive the recognition or authority he deserved during WWII. Although Ambrose tries to portray Ike in early WWII as an astute, diplomatic leader, in fact Ike appears (at least until the Italian campaign) to be a get along kind of guy who the British probably feel they can influence. Others are not much better. British General "Monty" Montgomery is too conservative for fear of losing a battle and the reputation he built in his victory at El Alamein.
Patton is the clear winner in the European theater. Patton is the only US or British general who Hitler's team in WWII learns to fear. Patton is our most valuable general even when he is only a decoy. Without Patton, the war against Germany might have dragged on another year or worse. Without Ike, I am not so sure - I admittedly need to finish Supreme Commander, which unfortunately is a bit of a slog.
I just bought through Amazon a used paperback of Alexrod's Patton on Leadership, which unfortunately is not available on Kindle.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a short concise read about the famous blood and guts General of World War Two. I learned a few things after reading this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kevin M Quigg
Superb look at Patton, with an emphasis on the military science in which Patton excelled.Published 11 months ago by James W. Seeman
Axelrod's Patton is an excellent book that doesn't try to promote or demote Patton as a hero. Instead, the book shows the many facets of his personality, the good, the bad, and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Katherine V. Stevens
Interesting book as it wasn't too heavy on technical war terms, of which I'd know nothing about, but was more on Patton's life as a boy and man, in wartime and peace, and how... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Tea&BookLover