In my opinion, Patton was a General that got things done in a harsh way. Patton was a person that took lots of risk but to him they were not risk they were opportunities. Patton was constantly seeking glory and attention of others. He was demanding and militaristic. The only thing that I thought was a negative characteristic was his arrogance.
Some of the actions Patton did might label him as a risk taker. When Patton was still in military college, he committed a small act in the small-arms firing range. While fellow colleagues were firing, Patton was undercover in a pit at the end of the firing range. He then raised targets so that they could be shot at. Patton then wondered what it would be like to face bullets and to listen to them whiz by. Suddenly Patton stood erect without flinching as bullets went by and in doing this he did not show any fear. In Sicily the Germans knew Patton for his flash and daring (Michie 124). Patton tried to beat Montgomery to Messina by bold and deadly strategies. There was a German fort that could not be taken. The troops that were already attempting to take the fort were few. The odds of taking the fort were low but Patton seized the opportunity to advance on the fort but was defeated. In this attempt Patton had learned many lessons of taking to many risk (Abmrose 252). In Europe, Patton’s army of tanks halted due to torrential rains. The rains made the ground a sea of mud. At night, Patton caught the Germans off-guard by moving tanks and infantry through the muddy fields. By taking this unnecessary risk Patton advanced (Von Mellenthin 325).
Since Patton was in the military, being militaristic would be a good quality to get to high places. Patton tended to be a little over militaristic at times. Patton’s dyslexia helped him mentally. Patton strived to be first corporal at West Point. His junior year he received first corporal but was later demoted to second because of his behavior. Patton became a perfectionist in the way he commanded the troops. He demanded that people should do everything perfect. Sometimes he could be so picky and fussy that this resulted in his being demoted (Blumeson 54). Patton also enjoyed reading many books on how ancient civilizations fought and won their wars. In the history of Pattons family they were born leaders and Patton sought after being a leader also. Patton had imaginative planning and shrewd judgement (Patton41). One time while Patton was training men for the cavalry he jumped on this horse and it bucked him off but Patton stood over the horse so when it got back up he would be on top of it again.
The horse bucked again and with its head slashed Pattons eyebrow. Patton did not realize it until blood was dripping onto his shirt. Patton did not lose face or sternness and kept the horse under control. Patton continued the drill for the remainder twenty minutes. He got it stitched up and proceeded to teach a class shortly after. This is a very disciplined and militaristic act to not get off and stop the drills.
Demanding may be thought of as a bad characteristic but demanding can also be a good characteristic. At school, Patton thought there was nothing worse than a failure. Patton bought a notebook so that he could record his thoughts and better himself from them. The first entry Patton recorded in his notebook was Always do more than is required of you (Blumeson 53). While serving in North Africa, Patton observed a hospital. Staying in the hospital were two soldiers suffering from shell-shock. Patton began shouting and calling them yellow and cowards. Patton told the two soldiers to get back to the front and proceeded to slap them. This incident hurt Patton’s reputation (Patton 199).
Montgomery was a glory seeker. Montgomery was the general for the British during World War II. General Patton was General Montgomery’s rivalry. President Eisenhower felt Patton pulling one way and Montgomery the other. They were both used to getting their way and both continued to seek glory (Ambrose 234). In Sicily both generals came up with their own plans to attack. Montgomerys plan was always too hesitant to Patton and Pattons plan was always too risky to Montgomery. Patton decided to take his own risk and not to help Montgomery as intended. Patton ended up beating Montgomery to the planned destination therefore getting all of the cheers from the liberated city.
Patton felt that his ideas were the best and made sure the other person felt like his ideas were wrong. This was a sign of Pattons arrogance. Eisenhower had graduated first in his class at Fort Leavenworth. Eisenhower said, Plans are everything before the battle begins and nothing after the shooting starts (Hoyt 325). Patton sent a letter congratulating him on being first in his class. In the letter Patton wrote, Victory in the next war, will depend on EXECUTION not PLANS (Hoyt 325).
From Pattons wild risk taking adventures, to slapping soldiers you can tell that Patton is well rounded in some respects. His honor for the military, ability to put duty before pain, and his perseverance to better himself are some of his strong militaristic and demanding qualities. Patton seems to have more good and beneficial characteristics than negative but it is all in the way you perceive it.