George Patton, one of America’s most famous and controversial generals of WWII, died in a hospital in Heidelberg after his car was rammed by a military truck during the Allied occupation of Germany in December, 1945. After an Academy-Award winning 1970 film made Patton into an American hero, later work began to focus on the details of Patton’s death – and suspicions surrounding his possible murder – by a conspiracy of both the Russians and his own countrymen.
— Timeline —
-1885- George Patton Jr. born in San Gabriel CA
-1915- asks Pershing if he can join him for the Pancho Villa expedition, made Pershing’s personal assistant
-1916- personally wounds three of Villa’s men
-1917- is among some Americans sent to the UK and France. Trains troops until September in Paris. Later was the first US serviceman to know how to drive a Renault tank. He started training tank crews.
-1918- involved in major action using tanks against Imperial German positions. Lead from the front, stood on a tank to motivate his men. Is shot terribly through the leg out near the b-hole. Evacuated to recuperate in September. Later had a son so it could have been worse.
-1920-30- Patton is involved in all sorts of tank-related things. He insists on the formation of all-tank forces.
-1940- US Army starts two new armored divisions. Patton is tasked with running one of these. Fully mobile divisions with loads of tanks. Does loads of tank maneuvers and develops doctrine.
-1942- Captures Casablanca, Morocco from Vichy France. Leading a host of 33k men.
-1943, March- Put in command of US II Corps which had been beaten by Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Corps. Patton drilled the men into a rigorous condition.
-1943, July- Starts his command of forces as part of the invasion of Sicily.
-1944, August- Breakout from Normandy, He went for Brittany, then was redirected and pushed for Metz, in the Lorraine Campaign. Germans went soft on him I think. Then in Battle of the Bulge he saved the day and relived Bastogne in short order.
-1945-Feb- Finishing moves on Germany, crosses into Saarland. Easily takes the Siegfried Line, come on the Germans were letting him win! Crosses the Rhine unopposed.
-1945, May- War is done Patton prevented from taking Prague and found out the leadership wasn’t interested in beating the Soviets to Berlin. Overall he was not in particularly hard fighting, lost 2k KIA and 8k WIA going form the Rhine to the Elbe. Their main task was to have Germans surrender to them, saving them from slavery in the USSR.
-1945, December 8- His car hits a US army truck, he is apparently wounded badly, the only person in the accident to be harmed.
-1945, December 21- Patton dies in a Heidelberg hospital.
— References —
– Patton (film), Schaffner (1970)
– Target Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton, Wilcox (2014)
– Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General, O’Reilly (2014)
– American Pravda: Was General Patton Assassinated?, Unz (2016) – http://www.unz.com/runz/was-general-patton-assassinated/