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    Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

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    Kesselring
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    Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by Kesselring on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:09 am

    this is true story and incident should have been in the movie.  It is well known fact of rivalry between Patton and Monty - each wanted to be first into Germany.  Montgomery even had Eisenhower diverting fuel to his forces in the north.  Story goes that Patton had trucks hauling gas for his tanks by having drivers claim they were from all sorts of outfits ( which never got their gas - Patton did).

    Anyway, Ike wanted Patton to hold up and wait when he got to Rhine.   You can imagine how well this went over - so he had engineers from 5th Infantry build him a pontoon bridge across - some 1600' long.  On completion, he is in lead Command vehicle and has driver stop in middle of river - holding up the column of tanks and trucks.
    He gets up on edge and proceeds to piss into the Rhine.  Even had his staff take photos to record the event.  Can you imagine the reaction of his troops?  Morale probably soared - " did you hear that Patton pissed in the Rhine?".  This scene is one more example of his 'style'  and should have been in movie.  What a character.
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    frinik
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    Re: Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by frinik on Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:44 pm

    Churchill did the same. He went to the Rhine in late March 1945 and also decided to take a leak in the river while puffing on his favourite cigar. A French general who witnessed the scene is reported to have said " What's with pissing in the Rhine with all the Anglo-Saxons?"
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    Re: Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by Kesselring on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:56 pm

    Winnie.  I wonder how he and Patton got along - both similar traits.  Not afraid to "go against the flow".  While Patton was languishing in England and keeping the Germans nervous, he and Churchill surely had time together.  I've read that Patton was a Type A personality - he drove himself hard to succeed and couldn't fathom why everyone else didn't.  He also was aware of "the ghosts" of his family.  All had distinguished themselves in battle and he was determined to do his part - he feared letting them down.
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    Re: Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by Kesselring on Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:27 pm

    Reincarnation - Patton believed he had fought before.  After he urinated in the Rhine, he continued to the shore.  Then he "stumbled" and knelt down.  He picked up a handful of German soil - just as William the Conqueror had done upon setting foot in England.  In spite of being dyslexic,  he excelled at VMI and West Point and was well versed in military history.  Perhaps this vast knowledge led him to believe he had been there before?
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    Re: Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by frinik on Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:37 am

    My suspicion is that they would have got along well. They were both determined and driven men with their set of prejudices and disregard for rules and a notorious lack of patience. I would have seen Patton as a reincarnation of Caesar rather then William. A truly gifted general.



    I remember George C. Scott playing Patton. My God did he ever have it pegged! My father took me to see that film when I came out. I was 15 then. And I clearly remember how impressed I was by Scott's interpretation. For me He was the reincarnation of Patton!
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    Re: Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by Kesselring on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:09 pm

    I think he would have told you he was or fought with both of them.  Recall his vivid memories of Napoleon's retreat in the brutal winter?  Across the ages, the constant warrior.
    "Patton" is one of my favorite movies also - excellent attention to detail from technical advisors.  The bouncing pebbles by the foxhole - the arising camels and donkeys stirring before the Bedouins emerge from tents.  On Malta, the residents raised goats and when they saw the goats running for shelter in the caves, they knew another German air raid was approaching.  The goats learned the sound of the German's Junker Jumo engines.  Far different than the sweet whine of the Rolls Royce Merlins.

    Because of his dyslexia, his family members read great works of literature to young George.  By the time he went to school, he could quote Shakespeare and the Bible.
    He learned great respect for historical military leaders - Scipio and Hannibal in North Africa, Caesar to his Tenth Legion in Gaul, Joan of Arc at Orleans, and Napoleon's Army of Italy.  He sought to emulate their leadership and self-confidence in battle - even if inside he was afraid of failure more than anything.  He once said " the leader must be an actor - have the fixed determination to acquire the warrior soul and is unconvincing unless he lives his part".

    A book I'd recommend if anyone wants to read about him - "Patton  The Man Behind the Legend" by Martin Blumenson.   Called " a gem of a biography - no other work on Patton can match it"  - Stephen Ambrose.
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    Re: Gen Patton crosses the Rhine

    Post by frinik on Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:53 am

    Thanks for the tip, will look for it.

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