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on May 29, 2017
General Patton's book is excellent, with the one wish that more maps be included which would help the reader follow the military maneuvers more clearly. The other downfall of this "new" printing of the book is the "new" introduction by R. Atkinson. His mindset and writings are an insult to General Patton. The General goes into great detail explaining his viewpoint on numerous subjects (part of what make the book great reading), but in the introduction Atkinson says Patton is wrong, and goes further disagreeing with the opinion and pride Patton had for U.S. fighting forces. R.Atk evidently cannot comprehend the difference between a war of necessity and a political war 20 years later. I would suggest that readers buy an older version of Patton's book, with the original introduction. This older version is available thru Amazon.
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on August 15, 2014
General George S. Patton Jr's., memoirs, 'WAR As I Knew It,' is an excellent, informative and enlightening historical narrative chronicling his years in the European Theatre during World War II.

Throughout Patton's life, he maintained a daily journal, and retained a near fanatical belief in the importance of being mentally and physically fit, to be ready at a moments notice to fight, and to win.

On the subject of leadership: "All men are timid on entering a fight, whether it is the first or the last fight... Cowards are those who let their timidity get the better of their manhood. To win battles you do not beat weapons - you beat the soul of the enemy man."

Failure, to General George S. Patton Jr., a true Commander-In-Chief, was not an option.

I thought it interesting, since General George S. Patton Jr., (born 11-11-1885) believed in reincarnation, that his Warrior 'spirit,' in foresight, would choose to incarnate (Free Will) back into the 'physical' on the date, 11-11.

General Patton's poem, 'Through a Glass, Darkly,' is evident of his resolute belief in reincarnation:

"So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me."

On the lower right hand corner of an interesting and informative (17) page booklet on amazon entitled, PATTON: Many Lives, Many Battles, by Karl F. Hollenbach, reads:

'General George S. Patton, Jr. believed in reincarnation and is expected to serve his country again in a future life as a soldier.'

To Patton, the date 11-11, might symbolize 'spirits' re-entering the 'physical' (Earth) by way of the top left inside 11, and eventually departing - by way of the lower right inside 11, back to the 'spirit' world, only to be reborn again (cycle) at some future date by using - Free Will.

At 11:00 am, of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, WWI came to an end, and it was to be the war that would end all wars...

Patton's Warrior 'Spirit' might have foreseen, before reincarnating on his latest birthday, 11-11-1885, that years after WWII, his birthday (November 11) would be remembered as a National Holiday and would honor all veterans, and that Armistice Day, would be eventually changed to - Veterans Day.

"I'm a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight. There is only one proper way for a professional soldier to die... the last bullet of the last battle of the last war."
---- General George S. Patton Jr.
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on February 7, 2012
I can't believe there isn't one review posted for this book yet. It's a classic by a classic American icon. It's the story of where military strategy meets politics. And like "fighting City Hall" you can't buck the system too long before they run you out of the county. It's also an insight into Patton's style of command and plenty of quotable quotes, worth of the corporate world or the battle field. Patton subjugated by Eisenhower to being a lackey for Montgomery in both operations and Husky and Overlord. In Sicily he prevailed, beating Monty to Messina but his victory shallow by not closing off the Straits of Messina. Marred too by the slapping of two battle fatigued privates in two separate hospitals. Apparently it's ungentlemanly for an officer to strike an enlisted man ever,though quite fine to order them to fight and die... .

Once finally Patton is loose in France,he's confident that he could punch right through to Germany. If only he had the fuel. However Patton now is subordinate to Bradley and Eisenhower. Fuel and ammunition is given to Montgomery's 8th Army to the North and the war drags on... .

A must read for anyone with an eye to what was on GSP's mind. Also recommended is a similar book by his son Brigadier General George Patton. Eerily similar story of how the Military Industrial Complex ultimately did not support the younger Patton as well.
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on July 30, 2012
Though steeped in vernacular, troop movements, and military protocol, Patton's own words provide business executives glimpses of the general's personal process for leadership, strategy, innovation and execution. Overall, this is not a typical or easy book for business leaders to read, but for the small subset who are military buffs, or those who can read through the military clutter, there are some gems for the business executive who fashions himself a timeless leader.

Patton advised his commanders, "do not take counsel of your fears." It would be easy to think this as bravado given his "blood and guts" reputation, but upon reading the General's own words, the reader comes to learn that Patton advised his commanders from his humility and insecurity. When he found himself doubting his own (renowned) boldness, he was able to remind himself of these words, and motivate action. We learn from this that Patton's greatness wasn't purely natural or instinctual, but acquired by exercising his great mental discipline, and reasoned through his ruthlessly objective thought process. `Do not take counsel of your fears,' means that boldness can be learned.

Patton commenting on an unorthodox attack in which he left his flank exposed, "if I worried about my flank, I would not have been able to fight a single battle (in France)," teaching us that leaders do not have the luxury both to follow the orthodoxy of their schools and to win. Often, the great successes come when leaders ignore the risk-reward calculation (or the return on investment calculation), and do what they 'know' is right, despite the what the books would say to do.

Today, Fortune 500 corporations are sitting on unprecedented levels of cash, (by some counts, over $2 trillion), and enjoying unprecedented profit margins, but have never been more conservative in their investments. Have our CEOs "taken counsel of their fears?" Are they making their decisions more like Montgomery or more like Patton. If General Patton was a CEO today, I'd bet he be putting to work his cash, and investing either in his supply chain, distribution channels, or in new products. He would not be "keeping his powder dry," until the economy stabilizes, as I have heard one CEO announce. Patton would attack.

Regarding strategic planning, Patton extorts, "one does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances. I think the difference between success and failure [in executive management] depends upon the ability , or lack of it, to do just that."

Business leaders have much they could learn from this peek into General Patton's decision making process.
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on August 14, 2007
The brilliant military leader and strategist General George S. Patton, Jr., presents his World War 2 autobiography with "War As I Knew It". First published in 1947, this remarkable 425-page book has often been republished (including this review's 1995 paperback).

This extraordinary study recalls the Allies' efforts from its Morocco landing (1942) to victory in Germany (1945) from the Major General's eyewitness 3rd American Army command. General Patton's gives considerable advice through many memorable epigrams:

* "If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself."
* "...the fatalistic teaching of Mohammed and the utter degradation of women is the out standing cause for the arrested development of the Arab."
* "One look is worth a hundred reports."
* "...throughout history, wars had been lost by not crossing rivers..."
* "It is useless to capture an easy place that you can't move from."
* " does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances."
* "...when the American Army had once put its hand to the plow, it should not let go."
* " long as you attack them they cannot find the time to plan how to attack you."
* "...every time I had been bitterly disappointed, it worked out for the best."

Patton reveled in attack and "killing Germans". He was determined for Allied victory by mean of his command. He fought battles, argued strategy with fellow generals, toured corpse ridden shell falling battlefields, and pressed his army to victory. He disliked British General Montgomery, had immense respect for Eisenhower, and had profound sympathy for all fallen Allied soldiers. This book presents war-winning strategy.

This book is recommended for all students World War 2 and those interested in the life of General Patton.
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on September 18, 2015
This is an interesting compendium of Patton's diary entries during WW2. The writings have been edited by Patton's widow and his former deputy chief of staff. The problem is that there is no indication what changes or omissions were made to Patton's writings by the editors. There are telltale tense changes that probably crept in during the work of the editors. The book provides a glimpse of General Patton's thinking and though process, but everything is from his point of view.

The book is helpful read as an addition to an objective biography such as the one by Carlo D'Este.
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VINE VOICEon November 25, 2014
Fantastic! This is a book not only to read, carefully, but to re-read, over and over, and study even more carefully. This man's greatness is captured here, almost as if by Fate or accident, in the very last month's of his life. You can't miss the basic, strong backing philosophy and principles that shine through. For men of principle (and honor, for those who can understand that concept and Gen. Patton's living proof of it), this book is essentially a bible.

Yes, the tactical and military details are excellent. But, thankfully, Patton includes MORE than that, too. To say that his directness and honesty are "refreshing" is an understatement.

You don't get generals like this anymore, in the U.S. of today's PC media climate, political Pentagon, and Washington, D.C.
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on May 10, 2015
This book by General Patton is so wonderful, you get to see a different side of him than what the soldiers saw, a more polite and respectable man and a great writer, you don't get that rough blood and guts in this book, he gives you a detailed view of the different places of the war, including the places and people he met with and got to know; which is very wonderful to learn about, you get the whole picture of the war and the different reasons for fighting. So far, it is going wonderfully, and I urge you to get this book, it will help you to understand the different reasons why Patton and his men had to fight or where to fight, plus you get to see the politics starting to take over that hinders his movements.
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on July 25, 2016
George S. Patton, Jr. revolutionized American Armored warfare. He documented WWII from his perspective, and draws us into his personal perspective of what it was like to take part in that bloody war. My Uncle Robert Edwards fought in Patton's Third Army, and recorded many similar scenes. My Uncle, a sergeant, was far below Patton in rank. Yet he occasionally saw his General, and always respected him, and told many stories about him. I feel as though I know both my Uncle and General Patton a little better now. Great book!!!
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on October 26, 2011
Years after winning or loosing wars, or anything ever experienced, memories of men often fade and perceptions may change. George Patton was one of the greatest Generals in American history. Victories are the ultimate measuring standard of Commanders in any war. During the course of World War II General George Patton commanded two American armies, The Third Army, of the European theatre, the Seventh Army, during the Sicily campaign. Patton also commanded the Western Task force landing in French North Africa, Morocco, and the First Armored Corps in Tunisia. Patton's brilliant victories of the Third and Seventh Armies often overshadow perhaps his greatest achievement in that of restoring the shattered American morale after the devastating defeat at the battle of Kasserine pass in Tunisia. Often overlooked, amazingly, Patton restored morale and faith in First Armored Corps leading to the American victory at the Battle of El Guettar only eleven days after assuming command.

The greatest strength of "War as I knew it" the diary of George Patton are the words of the man himself not the opinions or writings of others regardless of how gifted or knowledgeable. Evidently for political reasons at the bequest of General Dwight Eisenhower many of Patton's opinions were edited before the publication.
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