Today in history... George S Patton dies


2015-06-26 11:46:53


Today in history... George S Patton dies

December 21, 1945: an automobile accident claims the life of the legendary army commander

George Smith Patton III remains a renowned andcontroversial figure; asoutspoken in his advocation of armed combat as he was of his detestation of the Soviet Unionduring his later years.

The young George S Patton

Patton received a parade and a hero's welcome from the US public upon his return from war in July, 1945. However, just five months later -on this day-a car accident would end his life.

At certainpoints inhis life, Patton's strong personality and exceptional dedication to his duty proved a curse as much as a blessing.

In August 1943,he was severely reprimanded for slapping a hospitalised soldier, branding the recovering battle fatigue patient a "coward".

After being severely disciplined byPresident Eisenhower, Patton was later, according to witnesses, "as generous as [he] had been furious" in making amends to the soldier.

Nevertheless, after a period of penance, Eisenhower gavePattoncommand of the US Third Army, which he successfully ledthrough the hedgerows of Normandy and across France.

Between 1935 and 1940, Patton and President Eisenhower reportedly developed a very close friendship, the latter regarding Patton as a mastermind of tank warfare. The pair often took summer vacations together with their families.

George S Patton Aexceedingly rare example of personal Patton correspondence, to his former housekeeper, dated January 23, 1943

Clearly, Patton was a man of great personal charm whoalso earned status asan icon of militarily dedication - a legacywhich, for many admirers,endures to this day.

Today, any signed letters or autographed documents which reveal more about this complex man and his character are highly sought-after by collectors.

Perhaps one letter which, more than most, gives usthis valuableinsight is a letter written by Patton (dated January 23, 1943) to his former housekeeper, Suzanna Miner. Minerworked for him in Langres, France during World War One.

Patton (right) with EisenhowerPatton (right) with Eisenhower

Written while Patton was engaged in the landmark Battle of Mount Austen, Galloping Horse and Sea Horse - a key engagement between the US and Imperial Japanese armies whichbrought about the end of the Japanese war campaign- the General's charms are clearly evident.

"Of course I remember you extremely well and also the pleasant times we had together... I have not met here any girls as charming as you and your sister," he writes.

"I'm sure that you will be happy to know that the French and ourselves are very intimate..."

Not only does the letter reveal a fascinating glimpse of a more personal side to Patton, but signed personal correspondences from such a senior figure, at such an important time of War,areextremely rare.

The letter itself is currently on the market and can be yours to own, valued at $6,520.

Like Patton himself, memorabilia items like these can help us to further understandthis complex and remarkable character, whose legacy lives on.

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