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‘A remarkable and informative biography comes to the screen in “The General Patton Story” as narrated by Ronald Reagan and produced by the Army Pictorial Center. Here is a story of a soldier who lived for action and glory and reached the heights in serving his country. This is a page from contemporary history devoted to the life of General George S. Patton, Jr., whose Third Army swept across the continent of Europe. It is a mirror reflecting Patton’s major principle for fighting battles or a war–attack, attack and, when in doubt–attack again… While the basic elements of “The General Patton Story” are combat sequences, the film documentary delves into the General’s life with such intimate details as his inability to spell, although a model cadet at West Point. A believer in showmanship, he was aware that if the act could not be carried off in fine style, the men would see through it. Always the “old man” pushed his men harder than anyone had pushed them before. Always the results were more than they might have expected. For a commander who was so obviously a winner–they would do the impossible. Patton is a study in duty, patriotism and loyalty.’
“The Big Picture” episode TV-468
Originally a public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
General George Smith Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a senior officer of the United States Army who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European theaters of World War II, but is best known for his leadership of the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.
Born in 1885 to a family with an extensive military background (with members having served in the United States Army and Confederate States Army), Patton attended the Virginia Military Institute and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He studied fencing and designed the M1913 Cavalry Saber, more commonly known as the “Patton Sword”, and partially due to his skill in the sport, he competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Patton first saw combat during the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916, taking part in America’s first military action using motor vehicles. He later joined the newly formed United States Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces and saw action in World War I, commanding the U.S. tank school in France before being wounded while leading tanks into combat near the end of the war. In the interwar period, Patton remained a central figure in the development of armored warfare doctrine in the U.S. Army, serving in numerous staff positions throughout the country. Rising through the ranks, he commanded the 2nd Armored Division at the time of the American entry into World War II.
Patton led U.S. troops into the Mediterranean theater with an invasion of Casablanca during Operation Torch in 1942, where he later established himself as an effective commander through his rapid rehabilitation of the demoralized U.S. II Corps. He commanded the U.S. Seventh Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily, where he was the first Allied commander to reach Messina. There he was embroiled in controversy after he slapped two shell-shocked soldiers under his command, and was temporarily removed from battlefield command for other duties such as participating in Operation Fortitude’s disinformation campaign for Operation Overlord. Patton returned to command the Third Army following the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, where he led a highly successful rapid armored drive across France. He led the relief of beleaguered American troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and advanced his Third Army into Nazi Germany by the end of the war.
After the war, Patton became the military governor of Bavaria, but he was relieved of this post because of his statements trivializing denazification. He commanded the United States Fifteenth Army for slightly more than two months. Patton died in Germany on December 21, 1945, as a result of injuries from an automobile accident twelve days earlier… A popular, award-winning biographical film released in 1970 helped transform Patton into an American folk hero…