Sie sind auf Seite 1von 94

CHflPTER 3: GENERf3L GEORGE S. PATTON.JR.

PnRT I :

T h e Man

More t h a n a n y o t h e r A m e r i c a n s o l d i e r , G e n e r a l G e o r g e S . P a t t o n , J r . e p i t o r n i z e s t h e flmr i c a n c o m b a t C o m m a n d e r . H i s fame

requires no e m b e l l i s h m e n t h e r e , n o r

is t h e r e o b v l o u s r e a s o n t o

b e l i e v e P a t t o n was n o t e m i n e n t l y S u c C e s S f u l o p e r a t i o n a l a r t d u r i n g W o r l d War d u r i n g TORCH, w i t h Seventh U.S.


f-lrmy

i n t h e conduct of

11. H i s c o n d u c t of o p e r a t i o n s

I 1 C o r p s a f t e r K a s r e r i n e , a s cornrnander o f

R r m v d u r i n g HUSKY, and ac commander o f T h i r d U . S .


i n d i c a t e h e was a n a b l e In t h i s c h a p t e r , a n a l y s e s o f

on t h e c o n t i n e n t of E u r o p e a l l
t h e operational art.

practioner of

t h e s e c a m p a i g n s a n d P a t t o n ' s own w r i t l n g s s e r v e a s b a s e s o f
e v i d e n c e f r o m which a r e drawn c o n c l u s i o n s a b o u t t h e rnajor

t e n e t s which a p p a r e n t l y g u i d e d P a t t o n operational art.

i n h i s conduct of

In a f a s h i o n s i m i l a r t o t h a t e m l o y e d

in the preceding

c h a p t e r on H e i n z G u d e r i a n , t h i s c h a p t e r a p p r o a c h e s a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of P a t t o n ' s o p e r a t i o n s , b y f o c u s i n g a t t e n t i o n on f o u r b r o a d c a t e g o r ies o f offensive action, analysis: c o m b i n e d arms o p e r a t i o n s , and r i s K . The d i f f e r e n c e

command a n d c o n t r o l ,

in c a t e g o r i e s between t h e chapters r e f l e c t s t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n e m p h a s i s t h a t P a t t o n a n d G u d e r l a n p l a c e d on w h a t h a s b e e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s Momentum. flddit ional l y ,


it

is a r g u a b l e t h a t a

s e p a r a t e c a t e g o r y o n L o g i s t i c s o r S u s t a i n r n e n t is i n o r d e r , b u t

94

t h e f a c t i s , t h i s c h a p t e r is a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e manner

i n which

General P a t t o n conducted o p e r a t i o n a l a r t , and c o n s e q u e n t l y , should be an accurate r e f l e c t i o n o f h i s t e n e t s e v e n


if

those

t e n e t s imply t h a t h e p l a c e d l i t t l e e m p h a s i s on l o g i s t i c a l
matter5 .
Knoun a s " O l d B l o o d a n d G u t s ' a long and i l l u s t r i o u s career
by h i s s o l d i e r s , Patton had flrmy,

i n t h e U.S.

only t h e

h i g h l i g h t s of

which a r e r e c o r d e d h e r e t o s e r u e as a s u i t a b l e

p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e f o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f P a t t o n ' s o p e r a t i o n a l a r t i n W o r l d War
11. Born

i n s o u t h e r n C a l i f o r n i a on I 1 November
P a t t o n grew up w i t h o u t w a n t i n g f o r

1855 t o w e a l t h y p a r e n t s ,

much. H i s a b i l i t y t o q u o t e l o n g p a s s a g e s f r o m c l a s s i c s s u c h a s Homer's

Iliad a t t e s t s

t o hi5 love o f

ideas, but h i 5 inability

t o r e a d o r w r i t e a t t h e a g e o f t w e l v e s u g g e s t s h e was l e s s interested

i n more p r a c t i c a l a f f a i r s .

I t a l s o h e l p s e x p l a i n why f r o m West P o i n t , a

i t toOK P a t t o n f i v e y e a r s t o g r a d u a t e

d e v e l o p m e n t a 1 1 t h e more s u r p r i s i n g c o n s i d e r i n s t h a t P a t t o n attended Virginia Military I n s t i t u t e f o r a year b e fo re going t o

West P o i n t !
In s p i t e of n u m e r o u s c h i l d h o o d i l l n e s s e s , P a t t o n grew
UP

t o b e p h y s i c a l l y s t r o n g a n d a g g r e s s i v e . Flfter g r a d u a t i n g f r o m
West P o i n t i n 1389, h e was p o s t e d t o F o r t S h e r i d a n , Wyoming,
t a K i n g w i t h h i m h i s new b r i d e B e a t r i c e f l y e r P a t t o n . fls

c a v a l r y o f f i c e r , h e h a d t o b e c o m f o r t a b l e on h o r s e b a c K , b u t P a t t o n was a n a c c o m p l i s h e d e q u e s t r i a n . In

1 9 1 2 , h e was t h e

f i r s t A m e r i c a n A r m y o f f i c e r t o c o m p e t e i n t h e O l y m p i c Games o n

35

t h e U.S.

Modern P e n t a t h l o n Team a n d f i n i s h e d a r e s p e c t a b l e

f o u r t h among m i l i t a r y a t h l e t e s o f t h e w o r l d . P a t t o n saw h i s f i r s t c o m b a t a c t i o n i n Mexico a s General J

J. Persh ing
p u r s u i t of

'5

a i d e d u r i n s P e r s h i n g 's p u n i t i v e e x p e d i t i o n

in

Pancho V i l l a .

In c l o s e c o mb a t h e ~ i l l e d some o f bodyguard, thereby securing f o r Later, in

V i l l a ' s men,

including Villa';

l i f e t h e a f f e c t i o n and r e s p e c t of General P e r s h i n g . W o r l d War

I P a t t o n s e r v e d as P e r s h i n g ' s a i d e and H e a d q u a r t e r s

Commandant a n d t h e n j o i n e d t h e f l e d 9 1 i n s Flmer i c a n TanK C o r p s . He s u p e r v i s e d t h e t r a i n i n g o f t h e new Flmerican TanK C o r p s a n d l e d t h e 3 0 4 t h TanK B r i g a d e Meuse-Flrgonne into b a t t l e at Saint-Mihiel and t h e

o f f e n s i u e a n d was w o u n d e d s e v e r e l y by rnach i n e g u n
I as a

f i r e i n t h e l a t t e r a c t i o n . He e m e r g e d f r o m W o r l d War colonel

i n command o f a t a n K b r i g a d e , d e c o r a t e d w i t h t h e

D i s t i n g u i s h e d S e r v i c e C r o s s and t h e D i s t i n g u i s h e d Seru i c e Medal.

D u r i n g t h e i n t e r w a r y e a r s P a t t o n a t t e n d e d a number of
s c h o o l s as e i t h e r instructor o r student at t h e Cavalry School,

Command a n d G e n e r a l S t a f f C o l l e g e , a n d t h e Flrmy War C o l l e g e . When W o r l d War

I 1 b e g a n P a t t o n was s e r v i n g a t F o r t M y e r ,
i m m e d i a t e l y t o o r g a n i z e a n d command a

V i r g i n i a a n d was s e n t b r i g a d e i n one of

two newly c r e a t e d a r m o r e d d i u i s i o n s . Soon h e

t o o K command o f t h e 2 n d A r m o r e d D i v i s i o n a t F o r t Benning,Georgia, Maneuvers of h i s school i n s trained


i t , and l e d it through the Louisiana

1 9 4 1 . 1911 o f

Patton's experience

i n W o r l d War

I,

in the

inter-war

y e a r s , a n d h i s armured command

96

.just p r i o r t o America's entry well for


A t

i n t o W o r l d War

11 p r e p a r e d h i m

h i s r o l e a s a c o r p s a n d army commander. t h e opening of A r n e r i c a n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e war i n the North African T h e a t e r as

a g a i n s t Germany,

Patton served

Western Task F o r c e and TORCH, and l a t e r , for

I A r m o r e d C o r p s Commander f o r O p e r a t i o n
a short period, as t h e Commander o f

I1

(US) C o r p s
Pass.

i n the aftermath o f

that corps' defeat a t Kasserine


the

Then E i s e n h o w e r h a d P a t t o n h e l p p l a n O p e r a t i o n HUSKY, a n d a p p o i n t e d P a t t o n t o cornmand S e v e n t h

invasion o f S i c i l y ,

<US) A P w d u r i n g t h e S i c i l y Campaign.

I n b o t h t h o s e campaigns

P a t t o n c l e a r l y d e m o n s t r a t e d h e c o u l d e f f e c t i v e l y Command l a r g e m i l i t a r y u n i t s and a c h i e v e d e c i s i v e r e s u l t s .
SP

Consequently, "slapping

in

ite of

r e s e r v a t i o n s because of on S i c i l y , Army o n c e

the

infarnous

incidents. Third
(US)

E i s e n h o w e r s e l e c t e d P a t t o n t o command

i t became o p e r a t i o n a l o n t h e c o n t i n e n t o f
commander and

E u r o p e . P a t t o n ' s r e p u t a t i o n as a g r e a t f i e l d practioner of successes of

o p e r a t i o n a l a r t r e s t s l a r g e l y on t h e r e p e a t e d T h i r d Army

i n i t s remarKable advance f r o m t h e
CzechoslouaKia.
5

Cotent i n P e n i n s u l a across Europe t o P i l s e n , surpr i s ingly

Not

then,

t h i s c h a p t e r draws heav i l Y on P a t t o n '

o p e r a t i o n s w h i l e h e was

i n command o f
1945.

T h i r d Army

i n Europe f r o m

I August

1944 t o 9 May

Much h a s b e e n w r i t t e n a n d s a i d a b o u t P a t t o n ' s f l a i r showiness and g r a n d s t a n d i n g , uniforms, obscene language, focus ins e s p e c i a l l y and, a t times,

for

on h i s f l a s h y

outrageous behavior. under a l l

Hidden i n such discussions

i s t h e thought that

- 97 -

P a t t o n ' s flamboyance substance, operat ional

t h e r e was r e a l l y

l i t t l e tactical

t h a t p e r h a p s h e was n o t t h e c a p a b l e p r a c t i o n e r o f
a r t the surface evidence suggests. However,

in

s p i t e o f t h e p u b l i c preoccupation u i t h P a t t o n ' s outward form, t h e evidence i n d i c a t e s t h a t he understood s o l d i e r s w e l l , h i s subordinates, Knew

how t o g e t t h e m o s t o u t o f l a r g e m i l i t a r y format ions. was, Pershing s a i d o f him,

a n d how t o f i g h t t h e w a r r i o r he

R e c o g n i z i n g h irn f o r

"This Patton boy! He's a r e a l show, P e r s h i n s uas s u i t e

f i g h t e r ! " < l > Fls t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l

ight.

98

PART II :

Oparat i o n a l Tenets

COMBINED ARMS OPERFITIONS

There

is a certain

i r o n y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h George P a t t o n ' s American p r a c t i o n e r of The irony is that tanK and

r i s e t o fame

as t h e p r e - e m i n e n t

mobile warfare who,

i n W o r l d War
duty

11.

it uas P a t t o n

d u r i n g h i s t o u r of

in the Office o f

t h e C h i e f of

C a v a l r y between effectively

1928 a n d 1931, a r g u e d r r a s t o b s t i n a t e l y a n d

against supplanting t h e horse c a v a l r y by t h e t a n K


In a paper t i t l e d

o r t h e m e c h a n i z e d arm.

"The V a l u e o f

Cavalry"

P a t t o n e x a l t e d t h e c a v a l r y by p o i n t i n g o u t t h a t c a v a l r y could o p e r a t e anywhere, but "Cmlechan i c a l f o r c e s do n o t p o s s e s s t h i s

u n i v e r s a l a v a i l a b i l i t y . " < 2 > He w e n t o n t o s a y : The 1 i m i t a t i o n i n h e r e n t i n . . . u e h i c l e s , s u c h as t h e i r i n a b i l i t y t o operate a t night, t o l i v e o f f the c o u n t r y , or t o p e n e t r a t e wood a n d m o u n t a i n s i n d u b i t a b l y stamp t h e m as a u x i l i a r i e s and n o t as supplanters o f Caualry.<B>

S u r e l y t h e s e a r e s t r a n g e w o r d s f o r a man who w e n t o n j u s t f i f t e e n Years l a t e r t o command some o f t h e American A r m y ' s a1 1 w i t h o u t h o r s e

l a r g e s t armored and m o t o r i z e d f o r m a t i o n s , Cavalry. War

A u t h o r M a r t i n Blumenson a t t r i b u t e s P a t t o n ' s p r e - W o r l d h o r s e s and t h e h o r s e

I 1 c a v a l r y views t o h i s l o v e of

99

c a v a l r y t r a d i t i o n and h i s l o y a l t y t o t h e C h i e f o f whom h e w r o t e .

Cavalry f o r

Had n o t l e s s p a s s i o n a t e t h i n K e r s p r e v a i l e d ,

P a t t o n m i g h t n o t h a v e h a d much d i v i s i o n s t o command and

i n t h e way o f

c o m b i n e d arms b e t w e e n 1920
in the United

i n W o r l d War

XI.

As

i t was,

1935 o n l y t h i r t y - f i u e

tanKs were even b u i l t

S t a t e s . < 4 > I t was n o t u n t i l

1938 t h a t an A m e r i c a n d e s i g n e d t a n K
Moreover, the aPPl icable infantrymen i n the "tanKs are either

was a c c e p t e d a n d s t a n d a r d i z e d .

d o c t r i n e had l o n g been t h a t tanKs a s s i s t t h e attacK. The 1333 d o c t r i n e s i m p l y s t a t e d t h a t

employed t o a s s i s t t h e aduance o f p r e c e d i n g o r accompanying t h e

infantry foot troops,

i n f a n t r y assault echelon. "<5>


is t o set

The p o i n t o f t h e s e re mar^^ discuss ion of Patton


' 5

the stage f o r

c o n c e p t i o n o f combined arms o p e r a t i o n s ,

f o r i t i s c l e a r b y w h a t h e l a t e r w r o t e a n d b y t h e way h e f o u g h t
t h a t h e t h o u g h t c o m b i n e d arms o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d t h e i r c o r r e c t employment were i m p o r t a n t t o t h e s u c c e s s of operational art,

n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g h i s comments a b o u t c a v a l r y a n d t h e v a l u e o f infantry-armor e m p l o y m e n t .of teams. It i s f a i r t o say t h a t P a t t o n ' s

i n f a n t r y a n d a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s was

in part the

r e s u l t o f h i s own s t u d i e s a n d r u m i n a t i o n s o n t h e s u b j e c t o f combined arms and t h e r e s u l t o f t h e Army's organizations he discussion of tactical Prior t o a

i n h e r i t e d a s a f i e l d commander.

h i s combtned arms employment t e n e t s ,


t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of

it is
the

aPProPr i a t e t o d e s c r i b e b r i e f l y Amer i c a n a r m o r e d a n d i n f a n t r y The 1344 A m e r i c a n

d i v i s i o n s c i r c a 1344. d i v i s i o n was a t r i a n g u l a r

infantry

100

d i u i s i o n , so c a l l e d b e c a u s e

i t was c o m p o s e d o f t h r e e i n f a n t r y

r e g i m e n t s , e a c h o f which c o n t a i n e d t h r e e b a t t a l i o n s , and so on

(See C h a r t 3). T h e d i v i s i o n a r t i l l e r y was c o m p o s e d o f f o u r


battal ions of

f i e l d art i l l e r y , organized

in t h r e e b a t t a l ions of

105-mm

(36 t u b e s ) a n d o n e b a t t a l i o n o f

155-mm ( 1 2 t u b e s ) i t s own

howitzers.

In a d d i t i o n , each i n f a n t r y r e g i m e n t h a d

c a n n o n c o m p a n y o f s i x 1 0 5 - m m h o w i t z e r s t h a t were l i n K e d w i t h t h e division artillery Fire Direction Center In a d d i t i o n t o t h e (FOCI r a d i o n e t .

i n f a n t r y and a r t i l l e r y , t h e p r i m a r y combat combat s u p p o r t u n i t s included a

arms e l e m e n t s o f t h e d i v i s i o n ,
r e c o n n a i s s a n c e company,

ens ineer b a t t a l i o n , antiaircraft

art i l lery/ant itanK weapons b a t t a l i o n , chemical m o r t a r


b a t t a l i o n , and s i g n a l company. Errploying a c o r p s " p o o l i n g "
'

c o n c e p t , a c o r p s comnander c o u l d augment t h e combat c a p a b i l i t Y of

a d i v i s i o n by a t t a c h i n g e x t r a a r t i l l e r y , e n g i n e e r s , o r
t r U C K

q u a r t e r m a s t e r t r u c K s . S i x quartermaster

companies,

for

e x a m p l e , c o u l d maKe a n i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n c o m p l e t e l y m o b i l e .
Generally

, infantry d iv

is i o n s

in t h e European Theater of b a s i s one tanK

Operations battalion

(ETO) c o n t r o l l e d o n a s e m i - p e r m a n e n t

and one tanK d e s t r o y e r b a t t a l i o n , which t h e c o r p s

commander c o u l d a l l o c a t e , e m p l o y i n g t h e p o o l i n s c o n c e p t , a s h e

saw f i t . W e n s u i t a b l y a u g m e n t e d w i t h c o m b a t s u p p o r t u n i t s , a
d i v i s i o n c o m m a n d e r c o u l d f o r m t h r e e f o r m i d a b l e r e g i m e n t a l tasK f o r c e s o r c o m b a t t e a m s e a c h w i t h t h e i r own f i e l d a r t i l l e r y cannon company. In t h e words o f R o b e r t Kent G r e e n f i e l d ,

T h e i n f a n t r y r e g i m e n t was v i r t u a l l y a s m a l l d i u i s i o n . I t s e r v e d i t s e l f : it had a r e c o n n a i s s a n c e p l a t o o n : it

101

101a

had P r o p o r t i o n a t e l v f a r more a n t i a i r c r a f t and a n t i t a n K weapons t h a n t h e d i v i s i o n ; and a f t e r t h e i n c l u s i o n o f h o w i t z e r s i t h a d i t s own a r t i l l e r y . < 6 >

All

things considered, the

i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n w i t h which P a t t o n 14,000 s t r o n g t h a t

f o u g h t was a f l e x i b l e o r g a n i z a t i o n o v e r

c o u l d b e taSK o r g a n i z e d i n t o r e g i m e n t a l c o m b a t t e a m s f o r

spec i f ic m i s s i o n s .
Complementing t h i s basic i n f a n t r y b u i l d i n g b l o c K was a i t s e l f PacKed

h a s t i l y conceived armored d i v i s i o n structure t h a t q u i t e a punch. The 1 9 4 4 a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n was a n

11,000-man

o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h 263 m e d i u m a n d l i g h t t a n K B as i t s p r i m a r y weapon

< S e e C h a r t 4 ) . f l r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s were o r g a n i z e d i n t o t h e

main combat e l e m e n t s of two armored regiments o f t h r e e tanK b a t t a l i o n s each; battalions:

a n armored i n f a n t r y r e g i m e n t composed o f t h r e e
18s-mm

and a d i v i s i o n a r t i l l e r y composed o f t h r e e

( S P ) h o w i t z e r b a t t a l i o n s . < 7 > Combat s u p p o r t e l e m e n t s i n c l u d e d a reconnaissance b a t t a l ion, engineer battal ion, and s ignal

company. D i v i s i o n t r a i n s i n c l u d e d a maintenance b a t t a l i o n , s u p p l y b a t t a l i o n , m e d i c a l b a t t a l i o n , and m i l i t a r v p o l ice platoon. By J a n u a r y 1945, a r m o r e d d i u is I o n s were e q u i p p e d w i t h


all types,

s o m e 2,276 v e h i c l e s o f used t o m v e armored b a t t l e . < 8 > LiKe t h e c o u l d be--and

466 o f w h i c h were h a l f - t r a C K S

i n f a n t r y and reconnaissance elements i n t o i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n , t h e armored d i v i s i o n


by

f r e q u e n t l y was--augmented

an independent tanK

b a t t a l i o n o r tanK d e s t r o y e r b a t t a l i o n .

F o r command a n d c o n t r o l

p u r p o s e s , by T a b l e o f O r g a n i z a t i o n , t h e a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n h a d t h r e e tasK f o r c e h e a d q u a r t e r s c a l l e d C o m b a t Commands A ,

B, a n d

102

Reserve.

T h e s e t h r e e h e a d q u a r t e r s made

it easy f o r t h e d i v i s i o n
s p e c i f i c missions,

commander t o t a i l o r h i s c o m b a t commands f o r terrain, a n d enemy t h r e a t s .

D o c t r i n a l l y , t h e a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n was v i e w e d p r i m a r i l y a s an e x p l o i t a t i o n o r g a n i z a t i o n t o be committed a f t e r d i v i s i o n had c r e a t e d a t a c t i c a l penetration. infantry the infantry

The c o n c e p t o f infantry in

motorizing o r mechanizing a l l t h e

in standard

d i v i s i o n s was e n t e r t a i n e d b u t r e j e c t e d b y t h e War D e p a r t m e n t

1943 i n f a u o r o f

t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f some f i f t e e n

independent

armored i n f a n t r y b a t t a l i o n s , armored d i v i s i o n t o g i v e

w h i c h c o u l d be p l u g g e d i n t o a n infantry strength. The

it a d d i t i o n a l

War D e p a r t m e n t a l s o p r e s s e d f o r tanK b a t t a l i o n s f o r

the fielding of

independent

close support within the

infantry infantry

d i v i s i o n s . < S > flrmored d i u i s i o n s were t o e x p l o i t t h e breaKthrough, b u t t h e r e remained a fundamental

disparity

in the

o r g a n i c m o b i l i t y between shortage of infantry

i n f a n t r y and armored d i v i s i o n s and a problems f o r

i n t h e armored d i u i s i o n s ,

w h i c h P a t t o n h a d h i s own s o l u t i o n .

Tactical

Employment

In a

1921 p a p e r t i t l e d " T a c t i c a l T e n d e n c i e s " P a t t o n t h e supremacy o f t a c t i c s o v e r s t r a t e g y :

r e v e a l e d h i s v i e w of

C T l a c t i c s i s t h e d a i l y l o t of a l l . S p l e n d i d s t r a t e g y may b e made a b o r t i u e b y p o o r t a c t i c s , w h i l e g o o d t a c t i c s may r e t r i e u e t h e m o s t b l u n d e r i n g s t r a t e g y . < 1 0 )

183

U n s u r p r i s i n g l ~ , b y t h e t i m e h e t o o K command o f t h e c o n t i n e n t of a r m o r e d and t-loreouer, Europe, P a t t o n had d e f i n i t e

T h i r d Flrrny o n

i d e a s a b o u t how

infantry

d i v i s i o n s s h o u l d be employed t a c t i c a l l y

h e d i d n o t h e s i t a t e t o maKe h i s v i e w s Known t o Key t o h i s o p e r a t i o n a l v i e w s


infantry

s u b o r d i n a t e commanders e i t h e r .

were h i s v i e w s on t h e t a c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f armor which f o l l o w . I n War As

and

I Knew I t P a t t o n maKes c l e a r w h a t t h e
and infantryman is

r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e t a n K armored and infantry

in both

d iu i s ions.

He s a y s :

In t h e i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n t h e purpose o f t h e tanK i s t o g e t t h e i n f a n t r y f o r w a r d . I n t h e armored d i v i s i o n t h e i n f a n t r y has t h e tasK o f b r e a K i n g t h e tanKs lOOSe.<ll>

D e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t h e was d e a d s e r i o u s a b o u t how h e e x p e c t e d h i s d i v i s i o n a n d c o r p s cornmanders infantry and a r m o r ,

i n T h i r d Army t o employ
l e t t e r s of

Patton published a series of

i n s t r u c t i o n t o h i s s u b o r d i n a t e commanders 1944. use of ln'ietter


of

i n t h e S p r i n g of

I n s t r u c t i o n No.3"he tearre.

WKeS c l e a r t h e t a c t i c a l

infantry-arrmr

When o p e r a t i n g a g a i n s t Known o r where

a n t i t a n K guns o r e x t e n s i u e a n t i t a n K m i n e f i e l d s , necessary t o f o r c e a r i u e r c r o s s i n g , by t h e infantry. TanKs,

t h e assault should be l e d l e a d when s m a l l or against

on t h e o t h e r hand,

minef i e l d s o r anti-personnel what P a t t o n t e r m e d 'normal

mines are encountered,

infantry

and armor r e s i s t a n c e . infantry,

"<

12)

Here P a t t o n i s r e f e r r i n g t o armored say t h a t n o r m a l l y t h e armored


t o maKe a h o l e t o

f o r he goes o n t o

i n f a n t r y and a r t i l l e r y a r e used then

a l l o w tanK b a t t a l i o n s t o m v e forward;

104

t h e armored

i n f a n t r y and a r t i l l e r y f o l l o w c l o s e b e h i n d .

Moreover, P a t t o n d i d n o t e n u is i o n a r m o r e d i n f a n t r y r e m a i n i n g
m o u n t e d when t h e y w e n t into action.

H i s t a c t i c a l c o n c e p t , which

he labeled

"marching f i r e , " c a l l e d f o r t h e i n f a n t r y t o dismount

when r e q u i r e d a n d a s s a u l t f o r w a r d f i r i n g f r o m t h e h i p o r b y holding t h e r i f l e b u t t j u s t under t h e armpit. This

infantry

a s s a u l t was t o b e s u p p o r t e d b y e v e r y w e a p o n - - m a c h i n e g u n ,
mortar,

a r t i l l e r y , A T g u n . P a t t o n ' s o p i n i o n was t h a t

.Calny

gun

n o t f i r i n g was n o t d o i n g pointed out t h a t

i t s j o b . " < 1 3 > I n h i s own w o r d s , P a t t o n

a r m o r e d i n f a n t r y is n o t h i n g b u t a f o r m o f cavalry--that is, i t u s e s its v e h i c l e s t o d e p l o y mounted, s a v i n g time, avoiding f a t i g u e . I t does n o t use its u e h i c l e s - - e x c e p t r a r e l y - - f o r a mounted charge.<14:

TanKs, t h o u g h t P a t t o n , do any c h a r g i n g t h a t n e e d s t o be done


On t h i s s u b j e c t

i n 1927 h e w r o t e :

TanKs a r e i n r e a l l t y a m o d e r n v e r s i o n o f h e a v y c a v a l r y . . .Wlen s a t i s f a c t o r y m a c h i n e s a r e a v a i l a b l e , t h e y s h o u l d be formed i n t o s e p a r a t e c o r p s and u s e d , when t e r r a i n p e r m i t s , f o r t h e d e l i v e r y o f t h e f i n a l ShoCK i n s o m e g r e a t b a t t l e > when s o u s e d t h e y must b e employed r u t h l e s s l y and i n masses.<IS>

Interestingly,

although t h i s

1927 remarK b y P a t t o n may h a v e

b e e n t h o u g h t o f b y some t o b e a n i n d i c a t i o n o f how h e w o u l d u s e

t a n K s i n W o r l d War I f , P a t t o n d i d n o t a t a l l e m p l o y t a n K S i n
t h e m a n n e r t h i s p a s s a g e s u g g e s t s , a p o i n t t o be a d d r e s s e d l a t e r o n . However, h i 5 p h r a s e h ighl ight ing because

'when

t e r r a i n p e r m i t s " is w o r t h important p o i n t s about

i t raises two

105

P a t t o n ' s tactical methods t h a t had an

impact on h i s o p e r a t i o n a l

methods. F i r s t , tanKs cannot go everywhere. P a t t o n recognized this, b u t a p p e a r e d l a t e r t o a d h e r e anyway t o t h e maxim "The

b e s t tanK c o u n t r y

is e n e m y t e r r i t o r y d e v o i d o f A T w e a p o n s . "

It

i l l u s t r a t e s , a5 we1 I , h i s t a c t i c a l a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r t e r r a i n a n d
s u g g e s t s c o r r e c t l y t h a t h e h a d t h e same a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r

t e r r a i n o p e r a t i o n a l l y . S e c o n d , h i s remarK a b o u t t e r r a i n h e l p s
e x p l a i n why P a t t o n t h o u g h t a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n a l reconnaissance

u n i t s were i m p o r t a n t . S i n c e t m K 5 c a n n o t g o e v e r y w h e r e , P a t t o n
thought
it v i t a l t o g e t armored reconnaissance u n i t s far o u t

in

f r o n t o f tanK u n i t s t o o b s e r v e and report on t h e t e r r a i n , routes, and b u i l t


UP

a r e a s as w e l l a s t h e e n e m y .

Such

r e c o n n a i s s a n c e e l e m e n t s were v i t a l b u t , b e c a u s e of t h e f a s t

Pace o f

armored o p e r a t i o n s ,

were o f n o u s e

i f combat

i n f o r m a t i o n d i d n o t g e t bacK t o h i g h e r h e a d q u a r t e r s r a p i d l y . Patton's c o m m l t m e n t t o a c o m b i n e d arms c o n c e p t a t t h e


is f u r t h e r r e f l e c t e d

tactical level

i n h i s remarKs on t h e u s e 1n"Letter of Instruction

of tanKS and t h e o b j e c t i v e of armor.

~ 0 . 3 , " f o r e x a m p l e , h e e x h o r t s h i s c o m m a n d e r s t o Keep t a n K s o u t of v i l l a g e s and towns; dismounted


o f a town,

combat

in built

UP

a r e a s is a tasK f o r

infantry.

If

armor must b e employed f o r t h e capture

i t s h o u l d a t t a C K t h e town f r o m t h e rear, taKing care

w h i l e e n v e l o p i n g o r b y p a s s i n g t o s t a y o u t of

range of f l a n K i n g

anti-tanK

f i r e coming f r o m t h e t o w n . < l 6 > But P a t t o n t h o u g h t

t h a t n e i t h e r t o w n s n o r e n e m y armar were t h e t r u e o b j e c t i v e s o f armored f o r c e s i n any event. In h i s o p i n i o n , "the true

I06

o b j e c t i v e of

armor

i s enemy

i n f a n t r y and a r t i l l e r y ,

and above

a l l his supply

i n s t a l l a t i o n s a n d c o m a n d c e n t e r s . " < l 7 > And

c l e a r l y t h e way t o g e t t o s u c h o b j ~ c t i u e s i s t o a t t a c K t h e enemy's f l a n K s o r r e a r .
flanK

Whenever

a t u r n i n g movement t o g a i n a Patton thought a small

o r r e a r a t t a c K met o p p o s i t i o n ,

p a r t o f t h e e n v e l o p i n g f o r c e s h o u l d be d e t a c h e d and c o n t i n u e

w i t h a w i d e r e n v e l o p m e n t a g a i n s t t h e enemy.
j u s t o n e company o f t a n K S
armored

He b e l i e v e d t h a t by

i n t h e enemy's r e a r - - s u p p o r t e d w i n an engagement.

i n f a n t r y a n d a r t il l e r y - - c a n

P a t t o n 's

q u a 1 ifi e r

" s u p p o r t e d by armored i n f a n t r y and a r t i l l e r y "

i n d i c a t e s h e b e l i e v e d t h a t o n l y when t h e v a r i o u s a r m s a r e i n t e g r a t e d can t a c t i c a l Recognizing t h a t armored d i v i s i o n , success be achieved. infantry division, more s o t h a n t h e

the

was v u l n e r a b l e t o a n enemy t a n K a t t a c K ,

P a t t o n p r e s c r i b e d t h e f o l l o w i n g measures
fill o u t h i s t a n K - i n f a n t r y

i n t h e T h i r d firmy
in infantry

to

team concept

divisions.

First,

he d i r e c t e d t h a t each

infantry division

in the Third

A r m y w o u l d h a v e one s e p a r a t e t a n K b a t t a l i o n p e r m a n e n t l y

attached. stated:

R e f l e c t i n g b o t h h i s c o n c e r n and h i s c o n c e p t ,

Patton

l e a s t one s e p a r a t e infantry d i v i s i o n . T h i s w i l l p e r m i t t h e d i v i s i o n commander t o a t t a c h o n e rnedium t a n K company t o e a c h i n f a n t r y r e g i m e n t and s t i l l r e t a i n B a t t a l i o n H e a d q u a r t e r s , a l i g h t c o w a n y a n d p o s s i b l y a m e d i u m t a n K company as a m o b i l e r e s e r v e t o e x p l o i t a s u c c e ~ so r t o i n t e r v e n e a g a i n s t a C o u n t e r a t t a c K . < 18)


t r y

I n t h i s Army we w i l l

t o Keep a t

tanK b a t t a l i o n p e r m a n e n t l y a t t a c h e d t o e a c h

TanKs,

then,

were t o e x p l o i t

when p o s s i b l e a n d Keep t h e

107

i n f a n t r y o u t of

t r o u b l e when n e c e s s a r y .

fllso, t h e

image t h a t

emerges from t h i s passage

is o n e o f t a n K b a t t a l i o n s s p r e a d f a r

and wide i n l i t t l e penny PacKets, a problem t h a t s u r f a c e s a t the operational

l e v e l as w e l l . S e c o n d , P a t t o n a t t a c h e d o u t f r o m

T h i r d f i r m y a s s e t s t a n K d e s t r o y e r b a t t a l i o n s w h e n t h e y were n e e d e d and d i r e c t e d t h a t t h e y b e p l a c e d f a r e n o u g h f o r w a r d so
t h a t they could prevent tanKs from overrunning

infantry.

F u r t h e r , h e d i r e c t e d t h a t tanK d e s t r o y e r u n i t s n o t b e h e l d

in

r e s e r v e b e c a u s e t h e y were n o t l i K e l Y t o g e t t o t h e f r o n t i n
t i m e t o a f f e c t t h e outcome of a b a t t l e . < l S >
F l r t i l l e r y a l s o was c l e a r l y p a r t o f

P a t t o n s c o m b i n e d arms

c o n c e p t . He t h o u g h t a t t a c K s r m s t b e f u l l y c o o r d i n a t e d t o b e

successful--tanKs,
P a t t 0n t h o u g h t t h a t

i n f a n t r y , a n d g u n s must

WOPK

as a u n i t .

w h e n e v e r P o s s i b l e , i t is d e s i r a b l e t h a t t h e g u n s o p e r a t e u n d e r d i v i s i o n a l c o n t r o l , and w i t h t h e i r f o r w a r d o b s e r v e r s i n t a n K S , i m m e d i a t e l y taKe u n d e r f i r e enemy a n t i - t a n K g u n s . . . . S u c c e s s d e p e n d s upGn t h e c o o r d i n a t e d u s e o f t h e g u n s and t h e t a n K s , w i t h t h e guns paying particular a t t e n t i o n t o h o s t i l e a r t i l l e r y , and above a l l t o anti-tanK guns and o b s e r v a t i o n
POSt5.<20>

Not o n l y d o e s t h i s p a s s a g e r e f l e c t P a t t o n s commitment t o c o m b i n e d arms b u t


it

i l l u s t r a t e s h i s view t h a t massing of

a r t i l l e r y f i r e s c a n b e s t b e a c h i e v e d by l e a v i n g g u n s u n d e r diu isional control. Penetration--this For static situat ions--defense and tactical

a p p r o a c h made g o o d s e n s e , b u t

i n more f l u i d

s i t u a t i o n s r e q u i r i n 9 c o m b a t comrnands o r r e g i m e n t a l c o m b a t t e a m s t o taKe w i d e l y s e p a r a t e d r o u t e s t o s e p a r a t e o b j e c t i v e s

108

centralization did not

WOPK

well.

I n f a c t , i t was common

p r a c t i c e t o a t t a c h o n e f i e l d a r t i l l e r y b a t t a l i o n t o each combat
command o r r e g i m e n t f o r m o b i l e o p e r a t i o n s . < 2 1 > N e v e r t h e l e s s , Patton's belief

i n m a s s i n g a r t i l l e r y f i r e s was s u p p o r t e d i n
During Third Flrmy's c o u n t e r a t t a c K
108 b a t t a l i o n s o f

Practice wheneuer p o s s i b l e . in t h e B a t t l e of t h e Bulge, s u p p o r t e d attacK i n g u n i t s . rounds

field artillery

35 b a t t a l i o n s a l o n e , f i r i n s 94,230
111 C o r p s '

in f i v e d a y s , supported

attacK t o r e l i e v e

B a s t o g n e . < 2 2 > C o l o n e l R o b e r t A l l e n on P a t t o n ' s G-2 t h a t t h e a r t i l l e r y made t h e d i f f e r e n c e

staff s a i d

i n t h e B u l g e by s m a s h i n g

German a s s a u l t s a n d C l e a r i n g t h e way f o r a s t e a d y , a l b e i t s l o w ,
advance.
The t e r r a i n

i n t h e A r d e n n e s c a n a l i z e d German movements

a n d r e d u c e d a r t i l l e r y t a r g e t s t o a f e w Key h i g h w a y b o t t l e n e c K s , enabling t h e a r t i l l e r y t o f i r e a program of


h a r a s s i n g and

long-range
PO

i n t e r d i c t i n g f i r e s o n t h o s e Key

i n t s . <23>

In t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign,

a r e l a t i v e l y s t a t i c p e r i o d of
1944, t h e a r t i l l e r y ' s

o p e r a t i o n s f r o m S e p t e m b e r t o November a b i l i t y t o mass

i t s f i r e s a t c r i t i c a l p o i n t s a n d t i m e s wa5
For X I 1 C o r p s '
attaCK

t a c t i c a l l y d e c i s i v e time a f t e r time.

on 8

Muember, and

for

instance, t h e s u p p o r t i n g artillery f i r e d a one

I/E

h o u r p r e p a r a t i o n a g a i n s t p i n p o i n t t a r g e t s e m p l o y i n g 42 i n c l u d i n g 5 f r o m XX C o r p s . Those targets included

battalions,

221 artillery p o s i t i o n s , and 12 d e f i l e s .

40 command p o s t s ,

14 assembly areas,

Not o n e r o u n d o f enemy a r t i l l e r y f i r e was


f i r e XI1 Corps

r e c e i v e d b e c a u s e of t h e massed c o u n t e r - b a t t e r y d e l i v e r e d . < 2 4 > FInother e x a m p l e of

t h e t a c t i c a l e f f e c t of massed

109

artillery

is i l l u s t r a t e d b y 3 0 t h I n f a n t r y D i v i s i o n ' s a s s a u l t
On 8

a c r o s s t h e M o s e l l e River d u r i n g t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign. Nouember


1944, e l e m e n t s o f two r e g i m e n t s o f t h e 9 0 t h

Infantry

O i u i s i o n i n WalKer's X X C o r p s c o n d u c t e d a n a s s a u l t c r o s s i n g o f t h e rain-swollen b e c a u s e of Moselle R i u e r and


i n i t i a l l y achieved surprise

an e l a b o r a t e d e c e p t i o n plan and t h e f a c t t h a t t h e

G e r m a n s were n o t e x p e c t i n g o f f e n s i u e o p e r a t i o n s
w e a t h e r . Severe German
COUnterattaCKS

i n s u c h bad
10 N o u e m b e r

on 9 and

threatened t h e 30th Diuision's toehold across t h e Moselle, t h e

e f f e c t s o f w h i c h were a m p l i f i e d b e c a u s e t h e M o s e l l e b e g a n t o
rile, cutting off committed infantry units from other

d i ~ J l S i o n a 1e l e m e n t s . S e u e n t e e n a r t i l l e r y b a t t a l i o n s f i r i n g a r o u n d t h e c l o c K were u s e d t o b r e a K u p G e r m a n C o u n t e r a t t a c K s

until divisional
EmJentUal ly

armor u n i t s c o u l d cross t h e Mosells.<25>

, t h e 3 0 t h D i u is i o n s u c c e e d e d i n e s t a b l i s h i n g a
its tactical success r e s t e d
l a r g e l y on t h e

bridgehead, but

massed employment of f i e l d a r t i l l e r y u n i t s . examples--the Bulge and Lorraine--poor

In b o t h of t h e s e impeded t h e

weather t h a t

u s e of

s u p p o r t i n g a i r power f o r c e d P a t t o n a n d h i s s u b o r d i n a t e

c o m m a n d e r s t o r e l y h e a u i l y o n t h e a r t i l l e r y a s a Key m e m b e r o f t h e c o m b i n e d arms team. B u t w h e n e v e r p o s s i b l e P a t t o n made e x t e n s i v e u s e o f s u p p o r t i n g a i r a s s e t s t h a t were a v a i l a b l e t o h i m , thereby

r o u n d i n g o u t h i s c o m b i n e d arms c o n c e p t i o n w i t h a n a l m o f i t f u l l y integrated air-ground

team. P a t t o n r e c o g n i z e d t h e v a l u e o f a i r

ii0

p o w e r and worKed h a r d t o e s t a b l i s h a g o o d W O P K i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G e n e r a l Wevland, (TflC), w h i c h was Commander o f

% I % T a c t i c a l A i r Command

i n s u p p o r t o f T h i r d Army t h r o u g h o u t o p e r a t i o n s
1i a i s o n o f f i c e r t o Patton's headquarters and P a t t o n d i d n o t h e s i t a t e
if h e n e e d e d a i r s u p p o r t .

i n Europe.
sat

Weyland's

i n on a l l o p e r a t i o n s b r i e f i n g s ,

t o c a l l G e n e r a l Weyland p e r s o n a l l y

X I X TAC o p e r a t i o n s i n c l u d e d a i r r e c o n n a i s s a n c e ,
interdiction, great use. and c l o s e a i r support,

deep

a l l o f w h i c h P a t t o n made

He was p a r t i c u l a r l y p l e a s e d w h e n e v e r X I X TAC p l a n e s On
14 flugust

worKed c l o s e l y w i t h g r o u n d u n i t s . after

1944,

t w o weeKs

t h e b r e a K o u t f r o m t h e Normandy b e a c h h e a d , of such air-ground

P a t t o n observed

the effects thoughts:

c o o p e r a t i o n and r e c o r d e d h i s

J u s t e a s t o f LeMans was o n e o f t h e b e s t e x a m p l e s o f armor and a i r c o - o p e r a t i o n 1 have e v e r seen. F o r about t w o m i l e s t h e r o a d was f u l l o f enemy m o t o r t r a n s p o r t a n d a r m o r , many o f w h i c h b o r e t h e U n m i s t a K a b l e c a l l i n g c a r d o f a P-47 f i g h t e r - b o m b e r - - n a m e l y , a group o f fifty-caliber holes....<26>

I n t h a t same p a s s a g e P a t t o n g o e s o n t o e x p l a i n w h a t t w o
ingredients a r e necessary f o r Intimate confidence successful air-ground teamworK: and

and f r l e n d s h i p

between a l r and ground, His

r u t h l e s s d r i v i n g o n t h e p a r t o f t h e g r o u n d commander. operations

i n d l c a t e t h a t P a t t o n was a d e p t a t m e e t i n g b o t h

requirements. E v i d e n c e t h a t P a t t o n e m p l o y e d % I % TAC a s s e t s d e e p l y t o i n t e r d i c t movement o f flanKs of is e n e w r e s e r v e s and t o p r o t e c t h i s a r m y ' s recollections

i l l u s t r a t e d by Colonel Robert A l l e n ' s

o p e r a t i o n s w h i l e s e r v i n g as P a t t o n ' s d e p u t y 0-2.

In

LUCKY

111

F o r w a r d , A l l e n p o i n t s o u t t h a t d u r i n g T h i r d F I r m y ' s sweep t o t h e L o i r e R i v e r a f t e r t h e b r e a K o u t f r o m t h e Normandy l o d g e m e n t


early August

in

1 3 4 4 , t h e G e r m a n s were h a v i n g g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y
allied airpower's

moving r e s e r v e s b e c a u s e of battlefield.
On 8 A u g u s t

i s o l a t i o n of t h e

1 9 4 4 , f o r e x a m p l e , X l X TAC f l e w 717 dropping t h r e e

s o r t i e s i n s u p p o r t o f T h i r d Army o p e r a t i o n s , b r i d g e s , d e s t r o y i n g 23 l o c o m o t i v e s , vehicle:., additional

137 f r e i g h t c a r s , 505 m o t o r

a n d 23 t a n K S . < 2 7 > On 3 A u g u s t X I X TAC f l e w a n

780 s o r t i e s w i t h s i m i l a r r e s u l t s .

I n h i s own m e m o i r s

P a t t o n maKes i t c l e a r t h a t h e r e l i e d h e a v i l y o n X I X TAC b o t h t o watch and p r o t e c t h i s f l a n K s and h e l p him advance

t a c t i c a l l y . < 2 8 > The number o f v e h i c l e s d e s t r o y e d o r b r i d g e s


dropped does not of itself

illustrate the operational


What
is

s i g n i f i c a n c e o f XIX T A C ' s a i r s u p p o r t . Know

important t o

is w h a t e f f e c t s u c h a i r attacKs h a d on G e r m a n a b i l i t y t o
o r , equally

moue r e s e r v e s o r r e a c t t o T h i r d A r m y ' s m o v e m e n t s ,

i m p o r t a n t , how s u c h a i r a t t a c K s e n a b l e d P a t t o n t o m a n e u v e r h i s

army t o a p o s i t i o n o f a d v a n t a g e .

In t h e l a t t e r r e s p e c t ,

it

is

p l a u s i b l e t o s u p p o s e t h a t XIX T A C ' s r e c o n n a i s s a n c e a n d d e e p i n t e r d i c t i o n o p e r a t i o n s 80 m i l e s o u t t o t h e L o i r e R i v e r were what a l l o w e d Patton t o leave h i s s o u t h e r n f l a n K s t r u n g o u t and e x p o s e d a l o n g t h e L o i r e f o r o v e r 300 m i l e s , c o v e r e d o n l y b y a n i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n a n d t w o c a v a l r y g r o u p s . XIX TAC p r o v i d e d h i m t h e eyes t o s @ e deeply and, consequently, t h e time needed t o

react t o potential t h r e a t s t o T h i r d Army's f l a n K s .


I n t h e B u l g e C a m p a i g n X I X TAC f l e w f r o m d a w n u n t i l d u s K

e v e r y d a y t h e w e a t h e r p e r m i t t e d . A t n i g h t a P-61 N i g h t F i g h t e r

112

S q u a d r o n attacKed German s u p p l y r o u t e s .

I n f i v e d a y s X I X TAC
1806

c l a i m e d 3200 u e h i c l e s , 293 t a n K s a n d a r m o r e d u e h i c l e s ,

f r e i g h t cars, and I 1 b r i d g e s . < 2 9 > Although t h e precise e f f e c t


X I X TACs o p e r a t i o n s h a d d u r i n g t h e B u l g e

is i n c a l c u l a b l e ,

c o n t i n u o u s d a y 1 i g h t a i r o p e r a t i o n s f o r c e d t h e G e r m a n s t o moue

a t n i g h t , m a K i n g t h e i r t a c t i c a l a n d s u ~ p l yo p e r a t i o n s m o r e
d i f f i c u l t a n d s l o w i n g t h e momentum o f t h e G e r m a n a t t a c K . T h e s e

few e x a m p l e s i l l u s t r a t e a m e t h o d o f o p e r a t i o n t h a t P a t t o n
adhered t o throughout h i s series o f campaigns d u r i n g t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign, in Europe. Even

when t h e w e a t h e r was p a r t i c u l a r l y

p o o r f o r a i r o p e r a t i o n s , X I X TAC m a n a g e d t o g e t a i r c r a f t

into

t h e air in s u p p o r t of P a t t o n s o p e r a t i o n s , a t t e s t i n g t o t h e e x c e l l e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p h i s command e n j o y e d w i t h h i s s u p p o r t i n g

air component.
P a t t o n s p u b l i s h e d l e t t e r s of i n s t r u c t i o n and t h e time he

s p e n t w i t h f r o n t l i n e u n i t s a n d c o m m a n d e r s i n d i c a t e h e was b o t h s e r i o u s a n d s i n c e r e i n i m p o s i n g h i s t a c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s on h i s c o r p s a n d d i u is i o n c o r r m a n d e r s

W i t h i n h is g u i d e l i n e s t h e r e was innouat ion and in i t iat i u e ,

c e r t a i n l y enough room f o r t a c t i c a l

w h i c h P a t t o n was a l w a y s q u i c K t o r e c o g n i z e a n d a p p r e c i a t e . B u t

t a c t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d p r i n c i p l e s were o n l y b u i l d i n g b l o c K s
f o r P a t t o n l s c o n c e p t i o n o f o p e r a t i o n a l a r t . What n e e d s e l u c i d a t i o n now in combat. A c c o r d i n g t o U.S.
Army d o c t r i n e

is t h e way P a t t o n o r g a n i z e d a n d e m p l o y e d c o r p s

in

1939, d i v i s i o n s were t o

be l e a n and s i m p l e o r g a n i z a t i o n s , o f f s n s i u e l y o r i e n t e d ,

to

w h i c h a t t a c h m e n t s o f c o m b a t s u p p o r t e l e m e n t s c o u l d b e made a s

113

n e c e s s a r y I C o r p s were p u r e l y t a c t i c a l h e a d q u a r t e r s t h a t were
s t r u c t u r e d t o h a n d l e a n y mix o f
When o r g a n i z e d f o r c o m b a t ,

infantry and armored d i v i s i o n s .

each c o r p s had a h e a d q u a r t e r s with t w o or t h r e e

s u p p o r t elernents, a c o r p s a r t i l l e r y h e a d q u a r t e r s ,

i n f a n t r y and one o r two armored d i u i s i o n s , one o r two c a v a l r y g r o u p s of t w o s q u a d r o n s e a c h , and a c o r p s a r t i l l e r y g r o u p composed o f f o u r o r f i v e a r t i l l e r y b a t t a l i o n s . The c o r p s F i r e Direction Center e i t h e r controlled o r allocated f i e l d artillery b a t t a l i o n s a n d was t i e d into divisional

a r t i l l e r y FDCs, maKing

it p o s s i b l e t o c o o r d i n a t e e v e r y f i e l d a r t i l l e r y t u b e in t h e
corps,

a technique Patton rather 1iKed.<30>


allocating divisions t o corps

F i e l d armies h a d t h e t a S K o f

and ass i g n ing s u p p o r t i n 9 combat s u p p o r t and combat s e r u ice support u n i t s where needed. Patton
5

T h i r d Flrmy a l s o c o n t r o l l e d
tan^

six e n g i n e e r g r o u p s , o n e a n t i - a i r c r a f t b r i g a d e , a n d o n e
destroyer brigade,

i n a d d i t i o n t o i t s many l o g i s t i c a l s u p p o r t
l o g i s t i c s flowed from t h e

units.<ZIi> Doctrinally,
communications zone

(COMMZ) t h r o u g h t h e f i e l d a r m i e s t o In p r a c t i c e , c o r p s commanders and

d i u is i o n s , b y p a s s i n s c o r p s . t h e i r staffs did get

involved

i n s o m e l o g i s t i c a l m a t t e r s . Fl

d i v i s i o n s l i c e i n t h e E u r o p e a n T h e a t e r was 1S,000 o r g a n i c divisional troops,


CQMMZ t r o o p s ,

1 5 , 0 0 0 c o r p s a n d army t r o o p s ,

and

10,000

f o r a t o t a l o f 40,000.<32> i n t h e European Theater of

During tactical operat i o n s

O p e r a t i o n s P a t t o n s T h i r d Flrmy c o n t r o l l e d a s few a s t w o c o r p s w i t h s e v e n d i v i s i o n s a n d as m a n y as f o u r c o r p s w i t h e i g h t e e n d i u ision+--540,0B0 m e n . G e n e r a l i z a t i o n s t h a t d e s c r i b e how a n d ,

114

more i m p o r t a n t ,

why P a t t o n o r g a n i z e d T h i r d A r m y

f o r combat a r e for he

as h a z a r d o u s t o maKe a s t h e y a r e d i f f i c u l t says uery enemy, l i t t l e a b o u t what s p e c i f i c

t o support,

factors

among m i s s i o n ,

terrain,

a n d f o r c e s a v a i l a b l e h e c o n s i d e r e d i n taSK One s a f e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n t h a t c a n

organ i z in9 a p a r t i c u l a r corps. b e made

i s t h a t he t r i e d t o o r g a n i z e c o r p s so t h a t e a c h
l e a s t one arrrmred d i v i s i o n .

controlled at

I n War A s I Knew It

P a t t o n r e c a l l s that on 7 Ftpril Patton t o operation. l e n d F i r s t Army t h e

1345 G e n e r a l B r a d l e y a s K c d

13th Armored D i v i s i o n f o r an

A t the time,

the

1 3 t h A r m o r e d D i v i s i o n was a s s i g n e d t o replace 13th He

t o XX C o r p s ,

a n d P a t t o n deemed i t e s s e n t i a l

A r m o r e d D i v i s i o n i n XX C o r p s w i t h a n o t h e r a r m o r e d d i u i s i o n . remarKS,

I n o r d e r t o r e p l a c e t h e 1 3 t h Armored D I u i S i o n , I t r a n s f e r r e d t h e 4 t h Armored D i v i s i o n f r o m t h e V I I I C o r p s t o t h e XX, l e a v i n g t h e V I I I C o r p s t e m p o r a r i l y w i t h o u t a n a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n , b u t t h i s was n o t t o o d i s a d v a n t a g e o u s , as t h e c o u n t r y i n i t s zone o f a c t i o n was n o t s u i t a b l e f o r a r m o r . : 3 3 >

P a t t o n ' s comment

i m p l i e s he w a n t e d t o e n s u r e e a c h o f h i s c o r p s even
if t h e t e r r a i n

h a d an a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n , zone o f

in that corps'

a c t i o n was n o t s u i t a b l e f o r
is f u r t h e r

tanKs.

T h i s approach t o

tasK o r g a n i z i n g corps

supported by t h e simple f a c t infantry divirions

t h a t u s u a l l y P a t t o n o r g a n i z e d c o r p s w i t h two

a n d o n e a r m o r e d d i u i s i o n . Ft c o u p l e o f e x a m p l e s point.

illustrate the

F o r O p e r a t i o n COBRA i n w h i c h P a t t o n ' s T h i r d Army made debut

its

i n Europe,

Patton controlled four

corps,

nine divisions,

and t h r e e c a v a l r y g r o u p s ,

o r g a n i z e d a s shown b e l o w . < 3 4 >

115

V I I I Corps
8 t h I n f Oiu 83rd I n f Diu 6 t h Armd O i u 4 t h Armd O i u X I 1 Corps (Not o p e r a t i o n a l u n t i l 4 hug) 8 0 t h I n f Oiu

XV Corps 79th Inf Oiu 90th Inf Diu 5 t h Armd D i u


XX Corps (Not o p e r a t i o n a l u n t i l 4 hug) 2nd ( F r ) Armd O i u

A s shown,
effect

t h e army taSK O r g a n i z a t i o n u a s t h a t w h i c h was 1944.


Flt t h e t i m e ,

in

1 August

n e i t h e r X I 1 n o r XX C o r p s was 1944.

operational
So,

b u t became o p e r a t i o n a l on o r a b o u t 4 ' A u g u s t

on

1 A u g u s t P a t t o n ' s army was o r g a n i z e d i n t w o c o r p s , one infantry diuisions, By

w i t h t w o a r m o r e d and t w o a r m o r e d and t w o infantry

t h e o t h e r w i t h one

diuisions.

14 A u g u s t X I 1 C o r p s and assigned d i u i s i o n s ,

XX C o r p s were f u l l y o p e r a t i o n a l w i t h t h e i r

r e f I e c t i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g t a s K o r g a n i z a t i o n . (35)

V I I I Corps ( S t i l l i n B r i t t a n y ) 8 t h I n f Oiu 83rd I n f Diu 6 t h Armd O i u 80th I n f D i u elements TF A l p h a ( 1 s t TK D e s t B d e )

X I 1 Corps 3 5 t h I n f Oiu 4 t h Armd D i u

116

XV C o r p s 79th Inf

Oiv 9 0 t h Inf Diu 5 t h nrmd O i u 2 n d ( F r ) hrmd O i u

XX C o r p s

5 t h Inf D i u 8 0 t h Inf Oiu(-) 7 t h Armd D i u

T h i s taSK o r g a n i z a t i o n also r e f l e c t s P a t t o n ' s p r o c l i v i t y t o spread h i s armored d i v i s i o n s t h r o u g h o u t h i s army r a t h e r t h a n

r e t a i n them in one separate c o r p s t o be "used...for


d e l i u e r y o f t h e f i n a l shocK

the The p o i n t

i n some great b a t t l e . . . . "

is t h a t P a t t o n n e v e r e m p l o y e d h i s a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s

in one

a r m o r e d c o r p s as h e h a d s a i d
way h e a c t u a l l y

i n 1927 t h e y s h o u l d b e u s e d . T h e
l e a v e P a t t o n open

taSK o r g a n i z e d h i s a r m y may

t o t h e charge t h a t h e d o l e d o u t h i s armored assets

in penny

paCKets, t h e r e b y l o s i n g h i s a b i l i t y t o d e l i v e r c r u s h i n g armored t h r u s t s a g a i n s t t h e enemy. Even so, P a t t o n ' s t h i n K i n g on t h i s s u b j e c t may b e open t o a f a v o r a b l e o r g a n i z a t i o n of interpretation.


His

XV C o r p s f o r t h a t c o r p s ' m i s s i o n t o c l o s e t h e XV C o r p s h a d t w o a r m o r e d and

F a l a i s e Gap m a y h a v e b e e n c o r r e c t . two

i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n s with which t o c l o s e t h e gap a g a i n s t

German p a n z e r a n d s u p p l y t r a i n s u n i t s a t t e m p t i n g t o escape t o
t h e e a s t . His i n s t r u c t i o n s t o M a j o r - G e n e r a l
Haislip,
XV C o r p s

c o m m a n d e r , were t o l e a d w i t h h i s a r m o r e d d i u i s i o n s a n d f o l l o w
w I t h h is i n f a n t r y d i u is i o n s .

Recogn i z in9 t h e o r g a n i c s h o r t a g e

of

infantry

in t h e armored d i v i s i o n s b u t a l s o t h e i r c a p a b l l i t y

t o d e l i v e r shocK a c t i o n , P a t t o n d i r e c t e d H a i s l i p t o

117

u t i l i z e a l l a v a i l a b l e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , including tanKa, t o m a i n t a i n one i n f a n t r y combat team in t h e immediate rear o f e a c h armored d i u i s i o n : t h e r e m a i n i n g combat t e a m s o f t h e t w o i n f a n t r y d i u i s i o n s t o p r o c e e d by marching.<36>

Here

i s e v i d e n c e t h a t P a t t o n was t h o r o u g h l y

f l e x i b l e in h i s

approach t o o r g a n i z i n g and f i g h t i n g h i s u n i t s and t h a t h e had a f a i r l y c l e a r v i s i o n o f w h a t was r e q u i r e d t a c t i c a l l y . B u t t h e


Key p o i n t

is t h a t g i u e n h i s m a t u r e c o n c e p t i o n o f how

infantry

and armor f i g h t t o g e t h e r , h i s a s s i g n m e n t of t o each corps--for

an armored d i u i s i o n

e x p l o i t a t i o n a t t h e corps level--maKes

s e n s e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , w h a t i t u l t i m a t e l y l e d t o was f u r t h e r
" P e n n y pacKet i n g " by c o r p s c o m m a n d e r s .
t h e c o m b a t commands o f

For

i n s t e a d of Keeping

t h e armored d i u i s i o n s t o g e t h e r , c o r p s

commanders f r e q u e n t l y p a r c e l e d o u t c o m b a t commands across t h e c o r p s f r o n t . One is r e m i n d e d h e r e o f G u d e r i a n ' s m a x i m " K l o t z e n , n i c h t KlecKern" because Patton


' 5

manner u f u r g a n i z i n g and

f i g h t i n g more c l o s e l y a p p r o x i m a t e s t h e maxim " K l e c K e r n , n i c h t Klotzen." Consequently, P a t t o n can be accused of f a i l i n g t o S p r e a d o u t on a

e c o n o m i z e a n d mass h i s f o r c e s a p p r o p r i a t e l y .

f r o n t s o m e 490 m i l e s a s h i s a r m y was i n i t s sweep a c r o s s F r a n c e

after t h e breaKout at Avranches, Patton attempted t o be strong


i n a r m o r e v e r y w h e r e w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t h e was s t r o n g n o w h e r e . F o r t u n a t e l y , P a t t o n c o r r e c t l y r e c o g n i z e d t h a t t h e Germans were o f f b a l a n c e a f t e r h i s breaKout and t h e i r d e f e a t a t M o r t a i n , and

mass was n o t t h e c r i t i c a l a s p e c t f o r s u c c e s s i n p u r s u i t
operat ions; s p e e d was !

A similar c h a r g e , h a r d e r t o r e f u t e , can be l e v i e d against

118

Patton concerning h i s conduct of operations Campaign.

in t h e Lorralne

I n t h a t c a m p a i g n X I 1 C o r p s ' f i g h t t o s e c u r e N a n c y was in September


1944.

Third Army's big b a t t l e

I n November

1944 X X
yet

C o r p s ' s e i z u r e o f Metz was T h i r d f i r m y ' s d e c i s i v e b a t t l e , P a t t o n d i d n o t r e i n f o r c e e i t h e r of

t h e s e c o r p s w h i l e t h e y were

e n g a g e d i n t h e A r m y 's d e c i s i v e o p e r a t i o n s . <37> I n L o r r a i n e T h i r d firm? fought dispersed because of Patton's tendency t o The real

a s s i g n m i s s i o n s beyond t h e c a p a b i l i t e s of h i s u n i t s .
f a i l i n g at t h e operational

level

Is t h a t s e p a r a t e c o r p s a n d

d i v i s i o n b a t t l e s were n o t l i n K e d t o g e t h e r u n i f i e d campaign p l a n .

in a c o h e r e n t and

The o n l y p l a n a p p e a r e d t o b e t o attacK

east and g e t t o t h e Rhine River b e f o r e any o t h e r A l l i e d u n i t s .


What w o r K e d d u r i n g t h e h a l c y o n d a y s o f r a p i d m o v e m e n t a c r o s s
F r a n c e a g a i n s t a r e t r e a t i n g e n e m y d i d n o t w o r K well a t a l l

against a d e t e r m i n e d , dug-in enemy i n L o r r a i n e .


For P a t t o n ,

what a p p l i e d t a c t i c a l l y a l s o a p p l i e d two infantry in

operationally.

With corps g e n e r a l l y corwosed of

and one armored d i v i s i o n s , mind o p e r a t i o n a l l y .

it

is e a s y t o s e e w h a t P a t t o n h a d

1n"Letter

of

I n s t r u c t i o n bl0.2:'

he directed

h i s c o r p s and d i v i s i o n commanders t o h o l d t h e enemy f r o n t a l l y and maneuver fire i n t o h i s rear, pointing out t h a t f l m K o r rear

is t h r e e times m o r e e f f e c t i v e t h a n f r o n t a l f i r e . H e w e n t

on t o s a y ,
H i t h a r d s o o n , t h a t is w i t h t w o b a t t a l i o n s U P I n a r e g i m e n t , o r t w o d i v i s i o n s u p i n a c o r p s , o r two c o r p s up i n an army--the i d e a b e i n g t o d e v e l o p y o u r maximum f o r c e a t o n c e b e f o r e t h e e n e m y can d e v e l o p h i s . < 3 3 >

Patton's

i m a g i n a t i v e "two UP-and-one

b a c ~ 'advice f i t s n i c e l y

119

with t h e two

i n f a n t r y a n d o n e a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s taSK The i n f a n t r y d i v is i o n s , h e t h o u g h t ,

organ izat ion f o r h i s c o r p s .

were p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l s u i t e d t o a t t a C K f r o n t a l l y , p e n e t r a t i n g
o r f i x i n g t h e enemy, so t h a t t h e

more m o b i l e a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n

c o u l d pass t h r o u g h o r a r o u n d a n d S t r i K e i n some d e p t h a g a i n s t t h e enemy


'5

artillery

, command
view

p o s t s , and supply s e r v ices.


is c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e

Moreover, t h i s operational d o c t r i n a l v i e w t h a t saw t h e

i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n as t h e

o r g a n i z a t i o n c a p a b l e o f t a c t i c a l p e n e t r a t i o n b u t n o t well suited for exploitation or pursult operations. a b o u t S e v e n t h Army point.


' 5

Patton's rsmarKs

o p e r a t i o n s on S i c i l y i l l u s t r a t e s h i s

I f e e l t h a t t h e f u t u r e s t u d e n t s o f t h e Command a n d General S t a f f S c h o o l w i l l s t u d y t h e c a m p a i g n o f Palermo as a classic example of t h e u s e of t a n K s . I h e l d t h e m bacK f a r e n o u g h so t h a t t h e e n e m y c o u l d n o t


t e l l w h e r e t h e y were t o b e u s e d : t h e n w h e n t h e i n f a n t r y h a d f o u n d t h e h o l e , t h e t a n K S went t h r o u g h l a r g e numbers and fast.<39:

in

In t h i s p a s s a g e , P a t t o n e x p l o i t a t ion after lines

is r e f e r r i n g t o 2 n d A r m o r e d D i v i s i o n ' s

i n f a n t r y p e n e t r a t i o n of t h e German-Ital ian

i n t h e s o u t h w e s t c o r n e r o f S i c i l y o n 22 J u l y 1943. U n d e r
Hugh G a f f e y , 2 n d f w m o r e d moved

t h e command o f Major-General

r a p i d l y u p t h e west c o a s t o f S i c i l y , c o n d u c t i n g c o n v e r g i n g t a n K

a t t a c K S a g a i n s t w h a t s l i g h t r e s i s t a n c e e n e m y u n i t s were a b l e t o
offer. In t h i s a c t i o n 2nd fwmored p a s s e d b e t w e e n elements o f

t h e 3rd I n f a n t r y and 82nd Airborne D i v i s i o n s , a r m o r e d e x p l o i t a t i o n as P a t t o n e n v i s i o n e d t e c h n i q u e was f o l l o w e d t i m e a n d t i m e a g a i n

a c l a s s i c case of

i t . < 4 0 > This same

in Third firmy's

128

o p e r a t i o n s on t h e c o n t i n e n t . after

I n one o f X V C o r p s ' a t t a c K s h o r t l y

t h e b r e a K o u t t h r o u g h Fluranches

i n e a r l y Flusust 1944, 5 t h

a r m o r e d D i v i s i o n f r o m t h a t c o r p s was o r d e r e d t o p a s s t h r o u g h 90th I n f a n t r y D i v i s i o n and a t t a C K t o s e c u r e t h e c i t y o f i t s surrounding roadnet, which

F o u g k r e s and

it did.

Colonel w h i c h began in late

R o b e r t F l l l e n d e s c r i b e s T h i r d F l r m y ' s E i f e l Campaign, Immediately a f t e r January says : t h e B u l g e Campaign came t o a c l o s e

1945, a s c l a s s i c P a t t o n b r e a K t h r o u g h o p e r a t i o n s . He

[ P a t t o n e m p l o y e d I a r m o r e d - m o t o r i z e d i n f a n t r y teams, w i t h c l o s e a i r s u p p o r t K n i f i n g t h r o u g h t h e enemy; o t h e r i n f a n t r y f o l l o w i n g c l o s e behind t h e spearheads, m o p p i n g UP b y - p a s s e d e n e m y f o r c e s and p o c K e t s and strengthening t h e shoulders o f t h e breaKthrough.<41>

A l l e n says such o p e r a t i o n s were t y p i c a l o f fighting, and b y a l l a c c o u n t s he

P a t t o n ' s way o f

i s correct.
on

Most o f t h e t e c h n i q u e s d e s c r i b e d t h u s f a r have focused offensiue operations,

s o a word o r t w o

is

i n o r d e r on P a t t o n ' s The s h o r t

c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e employment o f and l o n g o f

corps defensively.

i t is t h a t P a t t o n d i d n o t v i e w d e f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n s
at all. Even when he was f o r c e d t o g o o n t h e

very favorably

d e f e n s i v e a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f September

1944, P a t t o n e x h o r t e d

h i s c o r p s and d i v i s i o n conunanders t o c o n d u c t a g g r e s s i v e p a t r o l 1ing, reconnaissances i n force, and 1 i m i t e d o b j e c t i u e i n h i s soldiers. In

attacKs t o maintain the offensive

spirit

'Letter

of

I n s t r u c t i o n No.3"Patton

d e v o t e s o n l y one s m a l l

paragraph t o t h e use o f operat ions. He s a y s :

armored d i u i s i o n s

in defensive

121

I n d e f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n s , armored d i u i s i o n s s h o u l d be p l a c e d t o c o u n t e r a t t a c K enemy a s s a u l t s . C o u n t e r - a t t a c K s s h o u l d be r e h e a r s e d and l i n e s o f a p p r o a c h r e c o n n o i t e r e d so t h e enemy c a n be v i o l e n t l y destroyed.<42>

The

l i t t l e he s a y s

i n t h i s p a s s a g e i n d i c a t e s he t h o u g h t t h e
i n defensive p o s i t ions

i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n s s h o u l d be f o r w a r d

w h i l e a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s s h o u l d be h e l d bacK as m o b i l e r e s e r v e s i n a CounterattacK r o l e . FIn a n a l y s i s o f warfare


t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign,

the nearest t h i n g t o defensive

P a t t o n was

involved in,

s u g g e s t s a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s were g e n e r a l l y u s e d i n t h i s f a s h i o n . Perhaps t h e b e s t example i n support of 1944. the 35th

is 6 t h FIrmored D i u i s o n s C o u n t e r a t t a c K

Infantry Division

o n 29-30 September

B o t h t h e 3 5 t h D i v i s i o n and t h e 4 t h FIrmored D i v i s i o n o f Eddy were b e i n g a t t a c K e d e a s t o f 1 5 t h and 5 3 9 t h

X I 1 Corps under Major-General


Nancy, France,

b y e l e m e n t s o f t h e German

Divisions,

w h i c h were h a v i n g some l o c a l s u c c e s s a g a i n s t X I 1 P a t t o n o r d e r e d 6 t h Ftrmored D i v i s i o n , i n support of a XX C o r p s

Corps u n i t s . unit,

t o CounterattacK

X I 1 C o r p s and 3 5 t h

D i v i s i o n a t once.

This story

i s memorable b e c a u s e Eddy g o t

WhaK K n e e s and o r d e r e d t h e 3 5 t h D i v i s i o n t o w i t h d r a w r a t h e r than hold; further, he d i d n o t o r d e r 6 t h Ftrmored t o When P a t t o n h e a r d a b o u t

c o u n t e r a t t a c K as P a t t o n had d i r e c t e d . Eddys act ions, he

immediately countermanded E d d y s o r d e r , as p l a n n e d , and went t o

d i r e c t e d 6 t h FIrmored t o C O U n t e r a t t a C K

t h e s c e n e t o e n s u r e t h e a c t i o n he h a d d i r e c t e d t o o K p l a c e . < 4 3 > Even t h i s e x a m p l e i s n o t f u l l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o + t h e manner

in

w h i c h armored d i v i s i o n s w e r e employed d e f e n s i v e l y .

122

Because o f

the

i n h e r e n t command o r g a n i z a t i o n o f

the

armored d i v i s i o n - - t w o

c o m b a t a n d o n e r e s e r v e command--the

t e n d e n c y was t o e m p l o y c o m b a t commands r a t h e r t h a n w h o l e divisions


in countattacK roles.

The m a n n e r

i n w h i c h 9th Armored

D i v i s i o n was d i s p e r s e d a t t h e o p e n i n g o f t h e B u l g e C a m p a i g n i s f u r t h e r evidence o f t h e tendency t h r o u g h o u t t h e Europ@an Theater o f Operat i o n s t o d i s p e r s e armored d i v i s i o n s s e p a r a t e l y e m p l o y e d c o m b a t commands. the clear focus not operational Consequently, into defensively level,

i n P a t t o n ' s command was a t t h e t a c t i c a l

.
"two

m a t P a t t o n was s e r i o u s a b o u t e m p l o y i n g h i s up-and-one below

b a c K " c o n c e p t a t t h e army l e v e l a s w e l l a s c o r p s a n d

i s revealed 1 Knew

i n h i s war d i a r y ,

published under t h e t i t l e

War Fls

~ tW .hile v i s i t i n g General B r a d l e y ' s headquarters

o n 20 S e p t e m b e r

1944,

P a t t o n saw a map s t u d y t h a t , t h a t o n e army composed o f

he says,

confirmed h i s b e l i e f

three corps

c o u l d have a t t a c K e d s t r a i g h t H i s c o n c e p t was t o

i n t o Germany t o w a r d s F r a n K f u r t .

d r i v e t h r o u g h w i t h t w o c o r p s a b r e a s t and t h e t h i r d one echeloned t o t h e r i g h t r e a r on t h e general a x i s , N a n c y - C h a t e a u S a l I n s - S a a r g u e m i n e s - M a i n z o r Worms, t h e n northeast through FranKfurt.<44>

Patton's thinKing here r e f l e c t s quite a simple Plan operationally, though it


i s n o t c l e a r how h e t h o u g h t t h i s

p a r t i c u l a r o p e r a t i o n would have supported t h e o v e r a l l t h e a t e r strategy. Presumably, s e i z u r e o f a bridgehead over t h e Rhine i n d u s t r i a l r e g i o n around Germany t o s u r r e n d e r

River followed by seizure o f the

FranKfurt-Kassel-Coblenz

would force

123

unconditionally.

B e 1 i e v i n g t h e R u h r was m o r e v i t a l ,
i t t h e way P a t t o n d i d ,

Eisenhower

and Montgomery d i d n o t see

which
in support

s u g g e s t s t h a t P a t t o n ' s a b il i t y t o c o n d u c t o p e r a t i o n s o f theater later. s t r a t e g y was q u e s t i o n a b l e ,

a p o i n t t o be d i s c u s s e d

The m o r e

imrnediate q u e s t i o n P a t t o n '5 o p e r a t i o n a l c o n c e p t i s h i s concept of operational

f o r seizure o f FranKfurt raises art itself.

I n Uar fls

1 Knew

It P a t t o n rnaKes a d i s t i n c t i o n He s a y s :

between s t r a t e g y and t a c t i c s .

Use s t e a m r o l l e r s t r a t e g y ; t h a t i s , maKe UP y o u r m i n d on c o u r s e a n d d i r e c t i o n o f a t t a c K , a n d S t i C K t o i t , B u t i n t a c t i c s , do n o t s t e a m r o l l e r . AttaCK weaKness. (45)

P r e c i s e l y what P a t t o n meant b y clear, for he does n o t d e f i n e

" s t r a t e g y " and e i t h e r term.

"tactics"

i s not
is

What h e

implies

t h a t s t r a t e g y s e t s t h e end o r o b j e c t i v e , fixed,

which

is f a i r l y well
achieving

a n d t a c t i c s a r e t h e v e r y f l e x i b l e means f o r How o p e r a t i o n a l a r t ,

strategic goals. f i t s

a t e r m P a t t o n never used, What

i n t o this conception i s n o t clear.

is c l e a r is t h a t
concept

P a t t o n ' s scheme f o r s e i z i n g F r a n K f u r t r e f l e c t i n g t h e s t e a m r o l l e r approach. t o operational art, however,

i s an o p e r a t i o n a l

This s t e a m r o l l e r approach

i s i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h P a t t o n ' s own
F o r example,
his turning

most s u c c e s s f u l conduct o f o p e r a t i o n s . movement w i t h X V C o r p s Falaise-flrgentan Gap

i n an e f f o r t

t o close the 1944 i s a p e r f e c t e x a m p l e o f f l a n K s and r e a r . Patton

i n mid-flugust

a t t a c K i n g t h e enemy's weaKness--his

b e l i e v e d h i s XV C o r p s u n i t s e a s i l y c o u l d h a v e c l o s e d t h e g a p , t h e r e b y e n c i r c l i n g m o s t o f e i g h t e e n German d i u i s i o n s c a u g h t b e t u e e n F i r s t and T h i r d Armies. Similarly,

in the Palatinate

124

Campaign T h i r d Army e x e c u t e d an e n v e l o p m e n t a c r o s s t h e Palatinate region i n March 1945 t h a t smashed German A r m y Group Here i s o p e r a t i o n a l a r t a t its

0 a g a i n s t t h e Rhine R i v e r .

best--or

w o r s t c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t many o f t h e

18 d i v i s i o n s a t

F a l a i s e escaped f r o m t h e e n c i r c l e m e n t , t h e i r equipment.

a l b e i t w i t h o u t most o f

" O p e r a t i o n a l a r t " may n o t h a v e b e e n p a r t o f b u t h i s somet imes a r t f u l maneuver o f corps

Patton's vocabulary,

t o a c h i e v e a d e c i s i v e a d v a n t a g e o v e r t h e ensmy as h e d i d a t
Falaise, t h e Bulge, and

i n t h e P a l a t i n a t e i n d i c a t e s he
art.

u n d e r s t o o d how t o c o n d u c t o p e r a t i o n a l

Conclusions

F r o m t h i s s e c t i o n on Combined Arms O p e r a t i o n s

it

is fair

t o draw t h r e e b r o a d c o n c l u s i o n s - - c a l l
P a t t o n ' s conduct of Patton believed operational a r t .

them tenets--about First,

it i s quite clear

i n an i n t e g r a t e d c o m b i n e d arms c o n c e p t a t t h e
I n f a n t r y and a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s were which suggest a f i r s t t e n e t :

d i v i s i o n and c o r p s l e v e l .

h i s c o m b i n e d arms b u i l d i n g b l o c K S ,

Corps s h o u l d l e a d w i t h i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n s t o achieve t a c t i c a l p e n e t r a t i o n : t h e n armored d i v i s i o n s s h o u l d pass t h r o u g h o r around t o e x p l o i t o r pursue.

Second,

P a t t o n ' s method o+ t a s K o r g a n i z i n g c o r p s e m p l o y i n g a i n f a n t r y and a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n s i n a 2:1 ratio implies

mix o f

the tenet:

TasK o r g a n i z e c o r p s t o be i n f a n t r y heauy and employ c o m b i n e d arms teams w i t h t m K S d i s p e r s e d , n o t concentrated.

12s

T h i s t e n e t may b e h a r d t o a c c e p t ,

but Patton's failure t o

o r g a n i z e an a r m o r e d c o r p s o r e v e n a n a r m o r e d h e a v y c o r p s a n d

his,

at

least,

t a c i t a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e d i s p e r s e d employment of

armored d i v i s i o n s

i n combat command-size
Third,

u n i t s support this Patton believed

t e n e t a s one b y w h i c h h e o p e r a t e d . massed a r t i l l e r y

f i r e s under c e n t r a l i z e d c o n t r o l a r e an Hence, a

i n t e g r a l p a r t o f a c o m p l e t e c o m b i n e d arms c o n c e p t . t h i r d tenet:

C o n t r o l o f a r t i l l e r y s h o u l d be c e n t r a l i z e d whenever p o s s i b l e t o e n s u r e i t i s massed a n d c o o r d i n a t e d w i t h i n f a n t r y - a r m o r attaCKS.

T h a t P a t t o n f o u g h t e m p l o y i n g a c o m b i n e d arms c o n c e p t should n o t be s u r p r i s i n g , t h e use of the tanKs f o r h e was a c a v a l r y m a n who p i o n e e r e d 1. He a l s o w o r K e d c l o s e l y w i t h


i n W o r l d War

i n W o r l d War

infantry

a l l h i s c a r e e r and

I saw t h e

devastat ion a r t i l l e r y could

i n f 1i c t .

There

i s no eu i d e n c e

P a t t o n e v e r t h o u g h t one a r m a l o n e c o u l d b e d e c i s i v e .
of

in s p i t e in the
even

h i s o b s t i n a t e a r g u m e n t s a b o u t c a v a l r y w h i l e h e was o f t h e Chief o f Cavalry. What

Office

is of

interest--maybe

surprising--is

t h e manner

in which P a t t o n a c t u a l l y p u t t h e

various a r m together

i n h i s c o r p s a n d demanded t h e y b e u s e d .
far
instance, i s especial I y

H i s d i s p e r s i o n o f armor a s s e t s ,

c u r i o u s because P a t t o n i s w i d e l y r e g a r d e d as t h e p r e - e m i n e n t fimerican armor advocate


in World W a r
11.

In fast-moving

operat ions the dispersion o f

a r m r had no obu i o u s d e t r i m e n t a l

126

effects.

But

i n more s t a t i c s i t u a t i o n s , L o r r a i n e f o r i n s t a n c e , German

t h e d i s p e r s i o n o f a r m o r e u e n s u r p r i s e d soma h i g h - l e u e l commanders. In d e f e n s e o f P a t t o n ,

i t can b e a r g u e d t h a t s u c h

d i s p e r s i o n of

a r m o r e d u n i t s was t h e l o g i c a l o u t c o m e o f linear
all

E i s e n h o w e r ' s b r o a d f r o n t s t r a t e g y . FI f u n d a m e n t a l l y

b a t t l e f i e l d 956 K i l o m e t e r s l o n g a n d a l i m i t e d n u m b e r o f
t y p e s of

d i u is i o n s u i r t u a l l y d i c t a t e d t h a t a r m o r e d d i u is i o n s and h o l d l a r g e f r o n t a g e s , and c o u l d n o t ,

had t o

OCCUPY

t h e r e f o r e , b e h e l d i n r e s e r v e o r m a s s e d . P a t t o n ' s own d e f e n s e on t h i s c r i t i c i s m would p r o b a b l y h a v e b e e n t o p o i n t o u t t h a t h e had i n t e n d e d n e i t h e r t o s t o p n o r d e f e n d i n any case, which


analysis:

s u g g e s t s a n o t h e r t o p i c of

O f f e n s i u e flct i o n .

127

OFFEWIVE flCTION

AttacK

G e o r g e P a t t o n d i d n o t much c a r e f o r d e f e n s i v e w a r f a r e . W i l e h i s command p o s t was a t E t a i n , Verdun, France, Patton v i s i t e d Pointing mnument t o

e s p e c i a l l y t h e b a t t l e f i e l d a t F o r t Douamont.

o u t t h a t F o r t D o u a m o n t was a m a g n i f i c e n t b u t f u t i l e heroism, defensive Chief of h e rernarKed t h a t

"Douamont e p i t o m i z e s t h e f o l l y o f P a t t o n ' s Deputy

warfare."<46> Colonel Paul HarKins, S t a f f throughout World War warfare

11, e c h o e s P a t t o n ' s
i n one o f h i s prefaces in

sentiments about defensive War As

I Knew I t :

He C P a t t o n l c o n d u c t e d A m e r i c a n t r o o p s t h r o u g h t h r e e y e a r s o f s u c c e s s f u l o p e r a t i o n s a g a i n s t t h e enemy. He n e v e r i s s u e d a d e f e n s i v e o r d e r . H i s theory--ATTACK, f l T T f l C K , ATTACK, and, when i n d o u b t , flTTflCK a g a i n - - s h o r t e n e d t h e war b y n e v e r g i v i n g t h e enemy a c h a n c e t o o r g a n i z e o r r e o r g a n i z e e n o u g h t o maKe a concerted attacK a g a i n s t him.<47>

HarKins t h e war

'

c l a i m t h a t Patton's operational technique shortened i s debatable.


What

i s not debatable

is that

Patton

t h o u g h t a t t a c K was o n e K e y e l e m e n t o f art. Undoubtedly,


if P a t t o n h a d h a d

successful operational

his way, t h e r e n e v e r w o u l d
l e a s t P a t t o n would never and

have been a L o r r a i n e Campaign, have been p a r t o f


it. C l e a r l y ,

or at

his conception o f t a c t i c a l

128

O p e r a t i o n a l a r t was c o n t i n u o u s o f f e n s i v e B e a t r i c e Flyer P a t t o n ,

action.

FIccnrding t o

h i s w i f e and most a r d e n t s u p p o r t e r .

P a t t o n ' s o p i n i o n o n t h i s s u b j e c t was n o t t h e r e s u l t o f untutored conjecture. says: FIbout t h e s u b j e c t o f o f f e n s i v e a c t i o n she

From h i s r e a d i n g o f h i s t o r y he b e l i e v e d t h a t no d e f e n s i v e a c t i o n i s e v e r t r u l y s u c c e s s f u l . He o n c e a s K e d me t o l o o K UP a s u c c e s s f u l d e f e n s i v e action...any s u c c e s s f u l one. I f o u n d t h r e e , b u t t h e y w e r e a 1 1 P v r r h i c v i c t o r i e s . (48)

Fllthough she does n o t m e n t i o n w h i c h t h r e e d e f e n s i v e a c t i o n s she had i n mind o r what t h e c r i t e r i a a r e f o r Beatrice Patton's point
i s c l e a r enough.

"successful" action,

P a t t o n was a g r e a t it, p r a c t i c e d h i s

s t u d e n t o f m i l i t a r y h i s t o r y who, hobby of

a s she p u t s

warf i g h t i n g b y s t u d y i n s "h i s t o r y s e a s o n e d w i t h

i m a g i n a t i o n and a p p l i e d t o t h e p r o b l e m i n hand.. Evidentally,

. ."<49>
in

w h a t h i s t o r y h a d l e d P a t t o n t o b e l i e v e was t h a t

the f i n a l analysis engage

i n o r d e r t o win on t h e b a t t l e f i e l d one must


n a m e l y FITTFICK! E v e n a c u r s o r y l o o K

i n offensive action,

a t P a t t o n ' s campaigns c o n f i r m s t h i s o p e r a t i o n a l t e n e t .

To b e g i n ,

P a t t o n h a d some b r o a d

i d e a o f w h a t was g o i n g t o

b e r e q u i r e d o n t h e c o n t i n e n t o f E u r o p e o n c e T h i r d Army became operational.


In h i s mind,

t h e lessons o f h i s t o r y , and S i c i l y ,

a n d rrmre

r e c e n t l y those of due t o o f f e n s i v e enemy.

N o r t h flfrica

w e r e t h a t s u c c e s was

a c t i o n and t h e use o f maneuver a g a i n s t t h e p i e c e m e a l a t t a c K s a r e n o t t h e way t o g o ; a r e what p r o d u c e

fldditionally,

coordinated--synchron ized?--attacKs

12s

s u c c e s s . < 5 0 > I n a s p e e c h t o S e v e n t h Flrmy s o l d i e r s a t t h e c o n c l u s i o n of t h e S i c i l y Campaign, P a t t o n s a i d t h a t t h e enemy

w i l l be t r u e t o h i s p r i n c i p l e s and w i l l

attacK. S t o p p i n g h i s

Initial

a t t a c K w i l l t h e n p r o m p t t h e enemy t o C o u n t e r a t t a c K w i t h
i n an e f f o r t t o c r e a t e large s a l i e n t s i n

several d i v i s i o n s

f r i e n d l y l i n e s and t h e n o p e r a t e l a t e r a l l y . P a t t o n went on t o say:

The a n s u e r t o s u c h attacKs is t o attacK h i m o n t h e f l a n K o f h i s s a l i e n t . F o r s u c h o p e r a t i o n s armor a n d g u n s C a r t i l l e r y l a r e t h e s u r e s t a n s w e r . To m a K e s u c h attacKs a g a i n s t l a r g e c o u n t e r a t t a c K s , w e m u s t Know w h e r e we a r e g o i n g , a n d we m u s t a t t a C K w i t h v i o l e n c e , speed and precis ion. (51 >

Two a s p e c t s . o f of

t h i s p a s s a g e d e s e r v e comment.

First,

by t h e e n d

t h e S i c i l y Carwaign P a t t o n had a f a i r l y clear

i d e a a b o u t how

h i s p r inc iPal adversary conducted o p e r a t i o n a l

a r t . H e was,

t h e n , w e l l S t u d i e d a n d Knew h i s e n e m y ' s o p e r a t i o n a l m e t h o d s .
Second, he had an idea--even
if

unref ined--about

how h e

i n t e n d e d t o d e a l w i t h German o p e r a t i o n a l m e t h o d s and what t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s would b e : c o m b i n e d arms c o n d u c t i n g o f f e n s i v e

o p e r a t i o n s w i t h s p e e d a n d p r e c is i o n . P a t t o n made e v e r y e f f o r t t o commanders w i t h h i s b e l i e f infect h i s subordinate Once

t h a t o n e s h o u l d a l w a y s attacK. in August

d u r i n g X I 1 C o r p s ' attacKs a r o u n d Nancy

1944 P a t t o n

went f o r w a r d t o u l s l t G e n e r a l Eddy a t h i s c o r p s h e a d q u a r t e r s
a n d f o u n d Eddy t o b e d i s p i r i t e d . Elements of the 35th Infantry

D i v i s i o n had j u s t been pushed o f f a h i l l n o r t h e a s t of Nancy, S u r r e n d e r i n g a t a c t i c a l a d v a n t a g e t o t h e Germans t h a t a l l o w e d

130

them t o f i r e

i n t o t h e town.

The 4 t h A r m o r e d O i u i s i o n was a l s o for


XI1

being h e a v i l y attacKed;
COPPS.

things were j u s t n o t g o i n g w e l l

P a t t o n t o l d E d d y t w o s t o r i e s d e s i g n e d t o h e l p h i m Keep
in perspective.

things

First,

h e r e m i n d e d Eddy o f

U.S.

Grant's

words

"In

e v e r y b a t t l e t h e r e comes a t i m e when b o t h s i d e s t h e n h e who c o n t i n u e s t h e a t t a c K L e e ' s PemaPK a t

c o n s i d e r themselves beaten; wins."' Second,

h e r e c o u n t e d R o b e r t E.

Chancellorsuille:

" ' I was t o o weaK t o d e f e n d ,

so

a t t a c K e d . "'<52> As P a t t o n r e m e m b e r s i t , 3 5 t h D i u i s i o n r e t o O K t h e h i l l a t once. T h i s example and t h e d i s c u s s i o n t h u s f a r it. Patton

s u g g e s t s one o p e r a t i o n a l t e n e t a n d one c o r o l l a r y t o clearly believed

i n and o p e r a t e d b y t h e p r i n c i p l e :

A corollary t o this principle of

attacK

i s " N e u e r g i u e UP

ground.

In h is'letter

of

I n s t r u c t i o n No . 2 " t o

corps and

d i u i s i o n commanders P a t t o n f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e s t h i s c o r o l l a r y ,
saying,

" i t i s c h e a p e r t o h o l d what you have t h a n t o r e t a K e


The c o r o l l a r y a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t

what you have l o s t . ' < 5 3 >

P a t t o n d i d n o t have a u e r y f i r m U n d e r s t a n d i n g o f d e f e n s i v e operational a r t .
If the true objectiue o f operational a r t

is

t h e d e s t r u c t i o n of

enemy f o r c e s ,

t h e n g i v i n g UP g r o u n d

in order

t o d e s t r o y t h e m w i t h m u l t i p l e d i v i s i o n c o u n t e r a t t a c K s may b e necessary. Guder i a n ,

It i s n o t c l e a r t h a t P a t t o n u n d e r s t o o d ,
Manste in, a n d o t h e r German g e n e r a l s d i d ,

i n t h e way
that

131

d e f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n a l m a n e u v e r may b e n e c e s s a r y a n d d e s i r a b l e a t times. The m o s t g e n e r o u s r e a d i n g o f P a t t o n ' s o p e r a t i o n s a r t but that

c o u l d suggest he u n d e r s t o o d d e f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n a l

he d i d n o t want h i s s u b o r d i n a t e s t h i n K i n g a n y t h i n g o t h e r t h a n offensively. This offensive a t t i t u d e about t a c t i c s and o p e r a t i o n s

P a t t o n p r e s s e d o n h i s s o l d i e r s u n r e m i t t i n g l y . One t e c h n i q u e h e i n s i s t e d o n was f o r a l l d i v i s i o n a n d c o r p s commanders t o s e c u r e P a t t o n ' s p u r p o s e was

a b r i d g e h e a d as s o o n a s c o m i n g t o a r i v e r . at least three-fold s e i z u r e of

i n demanding t h i s o p e r a t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e .
i s o f f e n s i v e l y o r i e n t e d and,
as

First, such,

a bridgehead

does n o t g i v e f r i e n d l y s o l d i e r s t i m e t o t h i n K about Second,

s t o p p i n g and g o i n g o v e r on t o t h e d e f e n s i v e . d i s r u p t s t h e enemy's p l a n ,

it

steals or retains the

initiative,

a n d c a u s e s t h e enemy t o r e a c t r a t h e r t h a n d e l i b e r a t e l y p r o c e e d w i t h h i s own p l a n . Third, a b r i d g e h e a d a c r o s s an o b s t a c l e ions. Even d u r i n g t h e

f a c i l i t a t e s future--offensive--operat

L o r r a i n e C a w a i g n P a t t o n i n s i s t e d t h a t h i s e n t i r e army r e m a i n offensively o r i e n t e d by conducting reconnaissances


i n force,

active patrolling, future

and l i m i t e d a t t a c K s t o s e i z e t e r r a i n f o r Patton's act ions

offensive operations. a way o f

in the Lorraine

Campaign r e f l e c t the reader. tactical Y

l o o K i n g a t war t h a t s h o u l d n o t e s c a p e

Fln o f f e n s i v e s p i r i t

i s c r u c i a l t o success
a n d P a t t o n s p e n t much o f

as w e l l a s o p e r a t i o n a l l y ,

h i s t i m e a s a commander
W i t h thi

i m b u i n g h i s commanders a n d s o l d i e r s To w h a t e x t e n t t h i s o f f e n s i v e

offensive

spirit.

132

s p i r i t made U P f o r t a c t i c a l of

o r o p e r a t i o n a l errors on t h e p a r t

P a t t o n o r h i s c o m n a n d e r s remains U n K n O w n . P a t t o n a l s o r e c o g n i z e d t h a t t h e t i m i n g o f a t t a c K s is

crucial t o success. R e f l e c t i n g h i s v i e u t h a t a good p l a n


executed at t h e r i g h t t ime--usually immediately--is better than

a " f l a w l e s s " p l a n e x e c u t e d a t some f u t u r e t i m e , P a t t o n i n u a r i a b l y d i r e c t e d h l s corps and d i v i s i o n s commanders t o


attaCK

even i n t h e most o b s c u r e of s i t u a t i o n s . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g
instance, Eisenhower c a l l e d a
13 D e c e m b e r 1344 t o

of

t h e Bulge Campalgn, f o r

m e e t i n g o f s e n i o r commanders a t Verdun on

d i s c u s s what s h o u l d b e d o n e a b o u t t h e German c o u n t e r - o f f e n s i u e . M e n a s K e d w h e n h e c o u l d maKe a s t o n g a t t a C K w i t h s i x divisions, P a t t o n r e p l i e d t h a t h e c o u l d maKe a s t r o n g a t t a c K in t h r e e days, but t h a t he could not some d a y s l a t e r . In s p i t e of

with three divisions

a t t a C K w i t h more t h a n t h a t u n t i l

Eisenhower

' 5

resistance t o t h e idea, P a t t o n convinced


in t h r e e days with t h r e e

Eisenhower t h a t a s t r o n g a t t a C K

d i v i s i o n s was b e t t e r t h a n w a i t i n g t o a t t a c K w i t h s i x b e c a u s e o f
t h e s u r p r i s e g a i n e d . <S4> P a t t o n ' s
PO

int

of

c o u r s e , was t h a t

t h e t i m i n g o f t h e attacK w o u l d s u r p r i s e t h e Germans a n d 1 i K e l Y upset their timetable. further revealed Patton's seriousness about t h i s point
K

is

i n h i s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t General M i l 1 i

in

'5

III
fls

C o r p s attacK a s s o o n as i t c o u l d d u r i n g t h e B u l g e C a m p a i g n .
it turned out,

I 1 1 C o r p s was a b l e t o attacK o n 22 D e c e m b e r , what l a y

wholly

ignorant of

i n f r o n t of

i t and o n e day a h e a d of

P a t t o n ' s p r e d i c t ion.

Patton remained convinced t h a t t h e timing

133

of

this attacK materially aided

in the early r e l i e f of

Bastogne.<SS> L a t e r Middleton,

i n t h e B u l g e C a m p a i g n when G e n e r a l
asKed t o d e l a y h i s c o r p s ' Patton

commanding V I I I C o r p s ,

attaCK because h i s t r o o p s were t i r e d f r o m a l o n g march, d e n i e d t h e r e q u e s t and o r d e r e d M i d d l e t o n t o a t t a c K . event, Corps'

In t h e

t h e t i m i n g c o u l d n o t have been b e t t e r because V I I I a t t a c K o n 29 D e c e m b e r "ran d i r e c t l y into the flanK o f a

German c o u n t e r - a t t a c K diuisions:<56>

c o n s i s t i n g o f two and a h a l f P a t t o n was e x u b e r a n t o v e r t h i s t h a t t h e t i m i n g of

Needless t o say,

s u c c e s s and c l a i m e d ,

probably correctly,

V I I I C o r p s ' C o u n t e r a t t a c K h e l p e d Keep o p e n t h e t e n u o u s c o r r i d o r
between f w l o n and Bastogne.

Speed o f O p e r a t i o n s

There

i s n o d o u b t t h a t a s e c o n d Key o p e r a t i o n a l t e n e t o f

P a t t o n ' s u n d e r t h e c a t e g o r y o f O f f e n s i v e A c t i o n was1

Speed o f o p e r a t i o n s

i s e s s e n t i a l t o success.

E v i d e n c e t h a t s u p p o r t s t h e c l a i m t h a t t h i s t e n e t o n s p e e d was c r u c i a l t o Patton's conception o f operational a r t a n d comes f r o m a v a r i e t y o f s o u r c e s .


First, i s abundant

Patton's advice t o P a t t o n on

h i s son which he r e c o r d e d i n a l e t t e r t o t h e j u n i o r 2 1 August 1944--Just

a t t h e e n d o f P a t t o n ' s r a p i d sweep a c r o s s He w r i t e s :

western France--is

revealing.

I have one p r i n c i p l e i n t h e s e o p e r a t i o n s . . . a n d

this

is

134

t o - - " F i l l t h e unforgiving minute with s i x t y seconds w o r t h o f d i s t a n c e r u n . " T h a t is t h e w h o l e a r t o f war, a n d when y o u g e t t o b e a g e n e r a l , r e m e m b e r i t . < S 6 >

I t r e q u i r e s no g r e a t powers of

a n a l y s i s t o s e e w h a t P a t t o n was

P r o c l a i m i n g i n t h i s passage, and it relates t o P a t t o n ' s thinKing about t i m e and t i m i n g d i s c u s s e d above. Because time
is

i r r e t r i e v a b l e , Patton thought t h a t t o be successful tactically a n d o p e r a t i o n a l l Y a commander must


"go a l l

out" with the time

a v a i l a b l e s i n c e t h e c o m m a n d e r n e v e r Knows f o r s u r e how much

t i m e i s a v a i l a b l e . P a t t o n ' s o p i n i o n was t h a t

i n war

o p p o r t u n i t e s are always f l e e t i n g and m u s t be r u t h l e s s l y e x p l o i t e d o r c r e a t e d t o t h e maximum e x t e n t . he d e c l a r e s , I n War A s I Knew It

" I n s m a l l o p e r a t i o n s a s i n l a r g e , s p e e d is t h e

essential element o f success. "<58>


P a t t o n h a d d e f i n i t e i d e a s a b o u t how s p e e d o f o p e r a t i o n s could be a t t a i n e d and r e t a i n e d . can be acquired According t o him, one way speed

is b y MaKing t h e n e c e s s a r y r e c o n n a i s a n c e . H i s

c o n c e p t was t o g e t a r m o r e d r e c o n n a i s s a n c e u n i t s a u t

in f r o n t

f a r e n o u g h t o m a i n t a i n c o n t a c t w i t h enemy u n i t s a n d t o f i n d s u i t a b l e r o a d nets t h a t w i l l s u p p o r t armored o r mechanized columns. Reconnaissance elernents n o t o n l y can f i n d where t h e enemy not.
is, b u t ,

equally

important, t h e y can f i n d where he

is

When r e l a y e d

in a t i m e l y manner t o h i g h e r commanders, s u c h commanders t o p e n e t r a t e , Speed can

i n f o r m a t i o n can e n a b l e t a c t i c a l

e n v e l o p , o r s e n d enemy u n i t s i n t o h e a d l o n g f l i g h t .

a l s o b e g a i n e d by p r o v i d i n g p r o p e r a r t i l l e r y a n d a i r s u p p o r t and by u s i n g e v e r y a v a i l a b l e man. P a t t o n ' s p o i n t was t h a t

135

prOperl!J

i n t e g r a t e d c o m b i n e d a r m s c a n o v e r c o m e enemy d e f e n s e s the shortest

and e n s u r e t h a t s o l d i e r s a r e e x p o s e d t o f i r e f o r porsible time. P a t t u n a l s o t h o u g h t speed o f operation: the operational level

was e s s e n t i a l Many t i m e ;

at

as w e l l as t h e t a c t i c a l .

t h r a u g h o u t o p e r a t ions.
had t o r e i g n

i n E u r o p e G e n e r a l s B r a d l e y and E i s e n h o w e r

i n P a t t o n b e c a u s e t o t h e m h e a p p e a r e d t o b e ouerl:, prone t o accept unwarranted operational t h o u g h t speed of

hacty or

i n h i s mouements,

logistical risK.

Patton,

on t h e o t h e r hand,
it alrnoit

o p e r a t i o n s was e s s e n t i a l commander who

because

ensured t h e initiatiue. One

attacKed faster

would r e t a i n t h e

e x a m p l e o f h i s t h i n K i n g c e n t e r s o n t h e Normandy b r e a K o u t operation. into P a t t o n was a f r a i d conrequently, t h e war w o u l d end b e f o r e he g o t

i t and,

h e was n o t s a t i s f i e d w i t h
'5

E i s e n h o w e r I s , B r a d l e y ' 5 , o r Montgomery
COBRR.

t h i n K i n g on O p e r a t i o n

He 2 a y s :

I was a l s o c e r t a i n t h a t , b y p u z h i n g h a r d e r , we c o u l d advance f a s t e r . I s t a t e d a t t h e t i m e , snd s t i l l be1 i e v e , t h a t two armored d i v i s i o n s , preceded by a heavy a r t i l l e r y c o n c e n t r a t i o n u s i n g a i r b u r s t s , and f o l l o i i e d b y two i n f a n t r y dilJi%iOn%, c o u l d haue c u t s t r a i g h t down t h e w e s t c o a s t t o f l u r a n c h e s w i t h o u t t h e n e c e s s i t y o f w a i t i n g f o r an a i r b l i t z . < 5 9 \

It

i s notable t h a t Patton

i s a d v o c a t i n g n o t o n l y speed of
b u t t h e use o f c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f s o m e t h i n g he n e v e r a c t u a l l y Patton believed that a did

operations armor

i n t h i s passage,

t o p e n e t r a t e and e x p l o i t ,

i n any o f h i 5 o p e r a t i o n s . . r a p i d c ingle-army

Similarl?,

t h r u s t t h r o u g h t h e Saar r e g i o n of

Germany

I3G -

i n t o the FranKfurt-Coblenz t h e c a p i t u l a t i o n of

a r e a of

Germany w o u l d p r e c i p i t a t e

Germany.

He b e l i e v e d t h a t h e c o u l d h a v e crossing the

a c c o m p l i s h e d t h i s maneuver w i t h i n t e n days a f t e r S e i n e R i v e r o n 2 1 Augu5.t almost a year. there As


1944,

t h e r e b y S h o r t e n i n g t h e war b y

i m p l a u s i b l e a s P a t t o n ' s c l a i m s may s o u n d , impatience w i t h

i s some e v i d e n c e t h a t P a t t o n ' s

E i s e n h o w e r ' s a n d B r a d l e y ' s c a u t i o u s n e s s was n o t u n f o u n d e d . Major-General Richard Schimpf, c o m m a n d i n g t h e German 3 r d


5

Paratroop O i u i s ion,

says t h i s o f P a t t o n '

operat ions:

W e a l w a y s c o n f i d e n t l y r e l i e d on A l l i e d h e s i t a n c y t o e x p l o i t s u c c e z s t o g i v e u s t i m e ' t o w i t h d r a w and r e g r o u p i n o r d e r t o s l o w UP t h e n e x t t h r u s t . B u t w i t h y o u r G e n e r a l P a t t o n i t was d i f f e r e n t . He was v e r y aggressive i n e x p l o i t i n g a penetration. His b r e a K t h r o u g h a t f l u r a n c h e s was a n o u t s t a n d i n s e x a m p l e o f t h i s . So was h i s p h e n o m e n a l c a m p a i g n i n t h e Palat inate. (60)

Schimpf

is simply pointing out t h a t unliKe other A l l i e d


P a t t o n r e a l i z e d t h e advantages t o be accrued f r o m balance, steal ins the initiative, and and

commanders,

K n O c K i n g t h e enemy o f f

then Keeping him o f f

balance by developing t a c t i c a l

o p e r a t i o n a l dilemmas f a s t e r Supporting Patton


' 5

t h a n t h e enemy c a n c o p e w i t h t h e m .

a n a l y s is on t h e s i n g l e - a r m y

t h r u s t Concept,

Schimpf goes on t o s a y t h a t

t t l h e r e i s n o q u e s t i o n t h a t if y o u r T h i r d Army h a d n o t been h a l t e d b e f o r e Metz i n September, it c o u l d have p e n e t r a t e d t h e S i e g f r i e d L i n e v e r y q U l C K l Y and b e e n on t h e R h i n e i n a s h o r t t i m e . A t t h a t t i m e we w e r e powerless t o cope w i t h t h e s i t u a t i o n i n t h a t p o r t i o n o f t h e F r o n t . B u t when Y o u r T h i r d Army was h a l t e d , we o b t a i n e d t h e t i m e t o r e g r o u p and ue used t h a t opportunity t o the utmost.<61>

137

Even

if

S c h i m p f and P a t t o n are wrong i n t h e i r assessments of Schimpf


' 5

t h i s speculative argument, t h e essential f e a t u r e s of

remarKs r i n g t r u e : s p e e d o f o p e r a t i o n s d e v e l o p s f a v o r a b l e
operational

s i t u a t i o n s w h i c h , t o b e o p e r a t i o n a l l y d e c is i u e ,
in a t i m e l y fashion. Patton had a g r e a t feel

must be e x p l o i t e d

f o r t h e value of speed t a c t i c a l l y and o p e r a t i o n a l l y , though he


may h a v e b e e n o n l y v a g u e l y aware t h a t t h e r e a r e o t h e r

conaiderations

i n war. W h a t , f o r e x a m p l e , w o u l d h a v e b e e n t h e
if Patton, Knife-liKe, had t h r u s t

e f f e c t on t h e a t e r s t r a t e g y
h i s army into the

industrial

Saar a s h e p r o p o s e d ? C h a p t e r 4

examines t h i s q u e s t i o n and its i m p l i c a t i o n s n o t o n l y f o r P a t t o n , b u t G u d e r i a n as w e l l . Suffice

it h e r e t o s a y t h a t

P a t t o n thought speed of o p e r a t i o n s success at t h e operational

is a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l f o r

l e v e l o f war.

E n v e l o p t h e Enemy

I t h a s a l r e a d y been pointed o u t t h a t P a t t o n thought frontal

a t t a c K s a l o n e made 1 i t t l e s e n s e t a c t i c a l l y . H e f o r e s a w in meeting

t h a t f o r w a r d movement would p r o b a b l y r e s u l t

e n g a g e m e n t s , which t h e t a c t i c a l commander s h o u l d d e v e l o p i m m e d i t a t e l y by m a n e u v e r i n g a p o r t i o n o f h i s f o r c e a r o u n d t o o n e f l a n K o f t h e enemy. Should t h i s tactical envelopment be met

w i t h y e t a n o t h e r enemy f o r c e , a s t i l l wider envelopment s h o u l d be e f f e c t e d . There


is e v i d e n c e t h a t P a t t o n t h o u g h t t h a t

138

operations

d e s i g n e d t o e n v e l o p t h e enemy w e r e a l s o a p p r o p r i a t e level.
A few

a t the operational

examples f r o m h i s o p e r a t i o n s First,

in

E u r o p e show t h i s t o b e t h e c a s e .
XV C o r p s
i n a t u r n i n g movement

P a t t o n ' s employment o f

a g a i n s t F i f t h P a n z e r Army, illustrates

Panzer Group Eberbach, Patton's operational thought--before i s reflected Commander.

a n d S e v e n t h Army a t A r g e n t a n ( S e e Map 4). T h a t P a t t o n

style

the fact--such

a n e n v e l o p m e n t m i g h t come a b o u t Haislip,
XV C o r p s

i n h i s remarK t o General

A f t e r s e t t i n g t h a t corps flanK

in motion i n t o t h e 80-mile
France, and t h e

g a p b e t w e e n t h e German l e f t L o i r e River t o t h e south, surprised

a t Mortain,

P a t t o n t o l d H a i s l i p n o t t o be h e r e c e i v e d o r d e r s t o move Patton

if,i n s h o r t o r d e r ,

n o r t h e a s t or d u e n o r t h t o w a r d A r g e n t a n . < 6 2 > E u i d e n t a l l y ,

h a d s t u d i e d t h e map a n d h a d s e e n t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f e n v e l o p i n g F i f t h P a n z e r FIrmy b e t w e e n t h e B r i t i s h a t F a l a i s e a n d t h e Amer I c a n s a t A r g e n t a n .


A s i m i l a r account can be g i v e n f o r

Patton's conception of

t h e Bulge c o u n t e r a t t a c K plan.

His

i n i t i a l reaction t o reports

t h a t t h e Germans h a d l a u n c h e d a s i z a b l e a t t a c K t h r o u g h t h e FIrdennes, o v e r r u n n ins M i d d l e t o n


'5

V I 1 I C o r p s , was t h a t A11 i e d
t o allow the Then,

commanders s h o u l d h a v e t h e

intestinal fortitude

German a t t a c K t o d e v e l o p a n d r e a c h

i t s culminating point.

p a t t o n ' s T h i r d Army s h o u l d c o u n t e r a t t a c ~ t h e German a t t a c K b u t do s o b y c r o s s i n g t h e O u r a n d S u r e R i v e r s a n d e n v e l o p i n g t h e German t h r u s t a t a g r e a t e r d e p t h t h a n E i s e n h o w e r e n u i s i o n e d . (63) S u c h an e n v e l o p m e n t - - i n conjunct ion w i t h a

139

MILLS

rnt7-C

s i m i l a r . t h r u s t f r o m Montgomery

' 5

forces--would

not only striKe b u t would

t h e WeaKest e l e m e n t s o f t h e a t t a C K i n g German a r m i e s ,

e n c i r c l e m o r e German u n i t s t h a n w o u l d a t h r u s t a c r o s s t h e w a i s t of the Bulge toward Houffalize (See Map 9 ) . M o r e o v e r , Patton

t h o u g h t a deeper e n v e l o p i n g c o u n t e r - t h r u s t Prum would P u t A l l i e d armies, better position for subsequent

t o w a r d B i t b u r g and course,

~ a r t i c u l a r l yh i s o f operations

in a

i n t o Germany.

Eisenhower, he t h o u g h t , plan,

would never have agreed t o such

risKY

a n d h e p r o b a b l y was r i g h t . P a t t o n ' s P a l a t i n a t e Campaign, which so impressed M C ; enuelop

Schimpf,

best r e f l e c t s h i s attempts t o operationally ( S e e Map 61. After

enemy f o r c e s

piercing the Siegfried Line t h e Bulge

n e a r B i t b u r g and Prum i n t h e Campaign,

immediate a f t e r m a t h of

P a t t o n ' s army p u n c h e d t h r o u g h t h e E i f e l r e g i o n o f H i s army's r a p i d

Germany t o w a r d C o b l e n z o n t h e R h i n e R i u e r . s e i z u r e of

bridgeheads a c r o s s t h e M o s e l l e R i v e r p u t Thir*d Army i n the Siegfried Line that

i n a p o s i t i o n t o t a K e enemy f o r c e s
w e r e h o l d i n g up S e v e n t h Army.

H i t t i n g e l e m e n t s o f t h e German and f l a n K , T h i r d Army

F i r s t and S e v e n t h R r m i e s i n t h e r e a r

e n v e l o p e d a n d c r u s h e d Rrmy G r o u p G a g a i n s t t h e R h i n e R i v e r .

W i t h W a l t o n ' s XX C o r p s o n t h e r i g h t f l a n K ,
the center,

E d d y ' s X I 1 Corps

in

and M i d d l e t o n ' s V I I I Corps on t h e l e f t ,

T h i r d Army

swept t h r o u g h t h e P a l a t i n a t e , commands, Rhine. b y p a s s i n g p o c K e t s of

l e a d i n g w i t h armored cowhat r e s i s t a n c e and c h a r g i n g t o t h e

I n t e n d a y s P a t t o n ' s a r m y d e s t r o y e d German Army G r o u p G o v e r 70,000 Germans i n one f o u r - d a y

and f o r c e d t h e s u r r e n d e r of

140

EIFEL A N 3 PALATINATE C!JPAIGNS

(Feb-Mar 1945)

Nap 6
- 140a

p e r i o d a l o n e . < 6 4 > The e f f e c t o f P a t t o n ' s e n v e l o p m e n t G r o u p G was t h a t , surrendered locally, w i t h few e x c e p t i o n s ,

o f Army

German s o l d i e r s

in droves,

German command a n d c o n t r o l e v a p o r a t e d

and s e r i o u s r e s i s t a n c e c o l l a p s e d . the operational payoff for

As P a t t o n

recognized,

bold--even

r isKy--rapid

envelopments,

employing whole c o r p s as t h e e n v e l o p i n g f o r c e , dec i s i u e . T h i s c a r w a i g n and P a t t o n


' 5

can be o p e r a t i o n a l l y

a t t e m p t s t o envelop F i f t h Panzer Army

at Argentan-Falaise

imply

t h a t he a t t e m p t e d t o adhere t o t h e P r i n c i p l e :

O p e r a t i o n a l l y e n v e l o p t h e enemy w h e n e v e r p o s s i b l e i t h a t i s , maneuver r a p i d l y i n t o t h e enemy's r e a r .

In fact,

s o r a p i d was P a t t o n ' s movement t h r o u g h t h e P a l a t i n a t e


G e n e r a l P a t c h ' s S e v e n t h A r m y g o t c a u g h t UP At
in

t h a t e l e m e n t s of

Patton's race t o t h e Rhine. Campaign, Gerow, said,

the conclusion o f the Palatinate

Patton received a telegram from Lieutenant-General 1 5 t h U.S. Army,

Commanding G e n e r a l o f

i n w h i c h Gerow
o n e 0.F t h e m

" C o n g r a t u l a t i o n on e n v e l o p i n g t h r e e Armies,

A m e r i c a n . "(65) The c o n c l u s i o n t o b e d r a w n a t t h i s p o i n t conceived of offensive i s that Patton

o p e r a t i o n a l a r t as e s s e n t i a l l y a s e r i e s Of

actions.

To b e d e c i s i v e , s u c h o f f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n s
incessant s e r i e s o f t a c t i c a l and

s h o u l d be c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an operational culminating, level attacKs,


if p o s s i b l e ,

executed w i t h g r e a t speed,

i n an e n v e l o p m e n t o f

l a r g e enemy

f o r c e s t o ensure t h e i r

defeat.

141

COMMfWdl a n d CONTROL

I n e a r l y August i n T h i r d Flrmy,

1944,

General H a i s l i p ,

commanding XV C o r p s

and P a t t o n g o t

i n t o a v i c i o u s argument because command P o s t . P a t t o n a n d when

Patton could not f i n d H a i s l i p ' s forward

c o m p l a i n e d t h a t H a i s l i p was r u n n i n g away f r o m h i r n , told

i t was T h i r d A r m y ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o m a i n t a i n

communications w i t h Finally,

i t s corps,

P a t t o n was n o t m o l l i f i e d .

Haislip said,

A l l r i g h t . TaKe y o u r c h o i c e . Do y o u w a n t me t o s i t bacK and w a i t f o r y o u r l o u s y u n i t s t o g e t i n t h e i r c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , o r d o Y O U want me f o r w a r d w h e r e t h e f i g h t i n g is? You c a n ' t h a v e b o t h . < 6 6 >

When H a i s l i p f i n i s h e d ,

P a t t o n c a l m e d down a n d a l l o w e d as how The s t o r y is interesting not only

H a i s l i p h a d s o m e t h ng t h e r e . because it is mild y

amusing--Patton it

g e t t i n g a dose of

h i s own

med i c i n e - - b u t

a l s o because art:

i l l u m i n a t e s a c e n t r a l t e n e t of

P a t t o n 's o p e r a t i o n a l

Command a n d l e a d a t t h e f r o n t .

P a t t o n f i r m l y b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e r e was n o g o o d s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e p e r s o n a l p r e s e n c e o f t h e comnander o r o f leaders generally.

In 'Letter

of

I n s t r u c t i o n No. 1 " t o

d i u i s i o n a n d c o r p s commanders

P a t t o n spec i f i e d that lead i n person."<67>

"Ce l a c h , i n h i s a p p r o p r i a t e s p h e r e ,

w ill

I n t h a t same d o c u m e n t h e made i t c l e a r
of

t h a t h e e x p e c t e d e i t h e r t h e commanding g e n e r a l o r h i s c h i e f

142

staff

a n d o n e member o f

each s t a f f

section t o v i s i t frontline medical,

u n i t s every day. ordnance,

T h i s p o l i c y aPPl i e d t o s i g n a l ,

engineer,

a n d q u a r t e r m a s t e r s e c t i o n s as we1 1 as Moreover, i n h i s own

combat and combat s u p p o r t u n i t s . headquarters

i n d i v i d u a l s who v i s i t e d f o r w a r d staff briefing

u n i t s would be

present a t the next day's

t o r e p o r t o n any

s i g n ifi c a n t o b s e r v a t i o n s t h a t r n i g h t b e n e f i t t h e w h o l e cornrnand. P a t t o n had good r e a s o n s f o r policies. i n s i s t i n g on c o m p l i a n c e w i t h t h e s e

One r e a s o n was t o e n s u r e t h a t s t a f f o f f i c e r s who d o

t h e p l a n n i n g a t t h e h i g h e r e c h e l o n s o f command d o n o t l o s e t o u c h w i t h t h e r e a l i t i e s cornbat u n i t s h a v e t o f a c e a plan.

in executing

A s e c o n d r e a s o n was t h e s i m p l e f a c t t h a t m o r e s e n i o r Patton thought, h a v e mclre t i m e ; hence,


it i s t h e y who

officers,

s h o u l d go f o r w a r d t o s e e t h e j u n i o r

officers.

An e x c e p t i o n t o
i s necessary

t h i s g e n e r a l r u l e o c c u r s when a c o o r d i n a t e d P l a n and r e q u i r e s a m e e t i n g o f One o f response of several junior

and s e n i o r commanders.

t h e r e a s o n s P a t t o n was w i l l i n g t o e n d u r e t h e t e s t y G e n e r a l H a i s l i p was t h a t h e h a d n o p a t i e n c e f o r

commanders who w e r e u n w i l l i n g t o go f o r w a r d w h e r e t h e a c t i o n t o personally decisions. i n f l u e n c e e v e n t s a n d rnaKe t i m e l y critical

is

On t h e h a z a r d s o f

comnanding t o o f a r t o t h e r e a r ,

P a t t o n says:

It i d i l l be remembered t h a t on J a n u a r y 8 [ d u r i n g t h e B u l g e C a r n p a i g n l , I was u r g e d b y h i g h a u t h o r i t y t o a t t a c K . A t 1030, o n t h e t e n t h , t w o d a y s l a t e r , 1 r e c e i v e d a d i r e c t o r d e r t o p u l l o u t an a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n and p u t It i n r e s e r v e s o u t h o f t h e c i t y o f L u x e m b o u r g as a p o s s i b l e c o u n t e r - m e a s u r e t o t h e s u p p o s e d l y impend i n s b r e a K - t h r o u g h . These t w o

143

instances.. indicate the f r o m t o o f a r bacK.<68>

i n a d u i s a b i l i t y o f commanding

T h i s b i t t e r comment was d i r e c t e d a t E i s e n h o w e r , who

in Patton's

e s t i m a t i o n was t o o f a r t o t h e r e a r t o h a v e any r e a l s e n s e o f w h a t was g o i n g o n Campaign and,

i n and a r o u n d Bastogne d u r i n g t h e B u l g e
a t b e s t was a m b i v a l e n t a b o u t w h a t issue contradictory orders.

consequently,

t o do and a t w o r s t p r o n e t o f a i r n e s s t o Eisenhower,

In

i t s h o u l d be p o i n t e d o u t t h a t

in the

a f t e r m a t h o f t h e German B u l g e o f f e n s i v e Staff

t h e Combined C h i e f s o f and

d i r e c t e d Eisenhower t o r e t a i n an o p e r a t i o n a l r e s e r u e ,

E i s e n h o w e r was t r y i n g b o t h t o h a u e P a t t o n a t t a c K a n d g i v e UP a d i v i s i o n a s a SHAEF r e s e r u e . notwithstanding, These s a l i e n t f a c t s intact: command

P a t t o n ' s main p o i n t remains

c a n b e f a c i l i t a t e d if c o m m a n d e r s a r e w i l l i n g t o g o f o r w a r d . example t h a t t h e manner illustrates the application of the principle into effect


is

An

i n which Patton put

Eisenhower's order To

t o s e n d an a r m o r e d d i u i s i o n t o t h e c i t y o f L u x e m b o u r g . arrange f o r t h e r e l i e f and w i t h d r a w a l o f

4 t h Armored D i v i s i o n ,

P a t t o n went f o r w a r d

t o B a s t o g n e a n d met w i t h t h e commanders o f l0lst Airborne Divisions. Although

4th and 6th Armored and t h e

the affected

commanders o n l y r e c e i v e d t h e o r d e r t o r e l i e v e 4 t h 1030 h o u r s on

Armored D i u i s i o n a t a b o u t

10 J a n u a r y

1945,

before

d a r K t w o c o m b a t commands o f t h e 4 t h A r m o r e d D i v i s i o n s t a r t e d f o r Luxembourg u i a A r l o n . < 6 9 > B o t h t h i s a c t i o n and P a t t o n ' s remarKs about E i s e n h o w e r ' s f a i l u r e amount o f h i s t i m e w i t h f o r w a r d t o spend a s i g n i f i c a n t

a r m i e s and c o r p s s u g g e s t s an

144

o p e r a t i o n a l t e n e t b y w h i c h P a t t o n e x e r c i s e d command a n d control:

Commanders s h o u l d i d e n t i f y a h e a d o f t i m e c r i t i c a l e v e n t s , t h e i r l o c a t i o n s , and t i m e s o f o c c u r r e n c e and b e t h e r e t o maKe d e c i s i o n s a n d o v e r c o m e f r i c t i o n .

The o f t - r e p e a t e d

and amusing s t o r y t h a t r e c o u n t s P a t t o n ' s of a n unnamed a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n j u s t

encounter with t h e o f f i c e r s before

t h e breaKout a t fivranches f u r t h e r r e v e a l s P a t t o n ' s The s t o r y g o e s t h a t w h i l e France, o n 29 J u l y


A l l

t h i n K i n g o n commanding f o r w a r d . v i s i t i n g t r o o p s near Coutances, found

1944 P a t t o n
the officers

a n a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n 1 i n e d UP o n a r o a d .

f r o m d i v i s i o n h e a d q u a r t e r s w e r e s t u d y i n g a map f o r t h e p u r p o s e ,

so t h e y s a i d ,
Riuer.

of

f i n d i n g a s u i t a b l e place t o cross t h e Sienne "One looK i s worth a hundred reports,"

RemarKing t h a t

P a t t o n i n f o r m e d t h e m a l l t h a t h e h a d j u s t waded a c r o s s t h e river, hampered o n l y by t h e inaccurate f i r e i s clear: of o n e enerrtf i s no good

machinegun.<70> P a t t o n ' s p o i n t substitute for whether personal forward


or

there

r e c o n n a i s s a n c e b y commanders,

tactical

aperat ional

a s h i s comment a b o u t

Eisenhower shows. P a t t o n a p p e a r s t o h a u e made i t h i s b u s i n e s s t o be a t find t h e s e locations

c r i t i c a l locations a t the c r i t i c a l time.

w e r e u s u a l l y f o r w a r d w h e r e some c r u c i a l p h a s e o f
was o n g o i n g .

an o p e r a t i o n

F o r example,

r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t t h e p o t e n t i a l was

high for

t h i n g s t o go wrong

i n and a r o u n d Avranches w h i l e h i s
P a t t o n made

two o p e r a t i o n a l c o r p s passed t h r o u g h t h a t town,

145

s u r e h e was t h e r e t o p r e v e n t o r r e d u c e f r i c t i o n .

His traffic

d i r e c t i n g i n A v r a n c h e s t o u n t a n g l e t r a f f i c j a m s seems l a u g h a b l e until it
is realized that

German g e n e r a l s d i d t h e same t h i n g i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e need t o a n t i c i p a t e it even


if

in

b o t h Ardennes o f f e n s i v e s ,

f r i c t i o n and h a v e a p l a n t o d e a l w i t h turning traffic cop f o r a while.

i t means

Another example,

w h i c h has a l r e a d y b e e n d e s c r i b e d ,

is
33th

P a t t o n ' s h a n d l i n g o f General Eddy's d e c i s i o n t o withdraw I n f a n t r y D i v i s i o n d u r i n g t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign. As P a t t o n remembers i t , he had o r d e r e d t h e 6 t h Armored D i v i s i o n t o

CounterattacK

i n support of

the 35th

Infantry D i v i s i o n f r o m X I 1

C o r p s b e c a u s e t h e 3 5 t h D i v i s i o n was u n d e r t r e m e n d o u s p r e s s u r e from a t l e a s t t w o German d i v i s i o n s . Staff, visited When G e n e r a l G a f f e y , Corps t h e n e x t day t o see he discovered t h a t

P a t t o n ' s Chief of

XII

how 6 t h A r r m r e d D i v i s i o n ' s a t t a c K was g o i n g ,

n o t o n l y had t h e 6th Armored n o t been c o m m i t t e d b u t t h a t Eddy,

X I 1 C o r p s commander,

h a d o r d e r e d t h e 35th D i v i s i o n t o w i t h d r a w . and he

P a t t o n t o l d G a f f e y t o countermand t h e w i t h d r a w a l o r d e r ,

w e n t f o r w a r d t o t h e command p o s t o f t h e 6 t h A r m o r e d D i v i s i o n t o have a t e t e - a - t e t e w i t h t h e c o r p s a n d t w o d i v i s i o n commanders.

He f o u n d t h a t a l l t h r e e g e n e r a l o f f i c e r s w e r e f a t i g u e d a n d 5 h a K e n b y a n e a r m i s s f r o m German a r t i l l e r y e a r l i e r

i n t h e day.

P a t t o n t h e n d i r e c t e d 6th Armored t o a t t a c u t h e n e x t day and left, t e l l i n g Eddy h e h a d p e r f e c t c o n f i d e n c e i n h i m .


6th f w r m r e d ' s

As

it

turned out, tactical

a t t a c K went o f f w e l l

and p r o d u c e d a

success.

Here a g a i n P a t t o n e x e m p l i f i e s h i s b e 1 i e f t h a t

146

n o t h i n g c a n s e r v e as a n a d e q u a t e s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e commander a t t h e c r i t i c a l p o i n t .

t h e p r e s e n c e of

And P a t t o n c l e a r l y as

b e l i e v e d t h e p r i n c i p l e a p p l i e s a t t h e o p e r a t i o n a l as w e l l the tactical l e v e l o f command.

C o n s i s t e n t w i t h h i s P r i n c i p l e t h a t commanders s h o u l d b e located forward, (CPs): P a t t o n o p e r a t e d t w o f o r w a r d command p o s t s

a F o r w a r d E c h e l o n and an Advanced T a c t i c a l H e a d q u a r t e r s
i t was P a t t o n ' s p o l i c y

o f t h e Forward Echelon.<71> In f a c t ,

t h a t a l l d i v i s i o n s a n d c o r p s h a v e a CP c o n s i s t i n g o f a t l e a s t these two echelons, which roughly corresponded t o t h e a m a i n CP a n d T a c t i c a l

contemporary American c o n f i g u r a t i o n of CP.

P a t t o n f u r t h e r s t i p u l a t e d t h a t t h e A d v a n c e d T a c t i c a l CP

" s h o u l d be as s m a l l as p o s s i b l e and m o b i l e w l t h minimum r a d i o t r a f f i c . " < 7 ? > According t o Patton,

a t army and c o r p s t h e
Chief

F o r w a r d E c h e l o n s h o u l d c o n s i s t o f t h e commanding G e n e r a l , of Staff, Engineers, Secretary o f t h e General S t a f f , Field Artillery, Antiaircraft


G-1, G-2,

3 .

G-3,
Signal, and

Artillery,

cooperating a i r . Marshal,

I n add i t i o n ,

representat ives from the Provost


1i a i s o n

S p e c i a l Troops,

H e a d q u a r t e r s Commandant, Medical

o f f i c e r s f r o m 6-4,

Ordnance,

, Quartermaster,

and 0-5

Sections should also be present. The A d v a n c e d T a c t i c a l H e a d q u a r t e r s t h e Cornmanding G e n e r a l , (ATH) s h o u l d c o n s i s t o f and a


I?,

forward echelon Chief o f S t a f f , Field

s m a l l o p e r a t i o n s s e c t i o n o f 0-2, 0-3, E n g i n e e r s , Artillery, and S i g n a l .

T h i r d A r m y a l s o m a i n t a i n e d a R e a r CP w h e r e t h e G-4,

commanded b y t h e 0-4,

0-5,

Chemical Warfare,

147

Finance,

Medical,

Quartermaster,

Ordnance,

Signal,

Engineers,

Adjutant General, Special Services, b u s i n e s s . <73> The ideal

Inspector General,

Judge Advocate G e n e r a l ,

and C h a p l a i n p e r f o r m e d t h e i r main

location for

a c o r p s CP was w i t h i n o n e - h a l f Such p r o x i m i t y

h o u r ' s d r i v e f r o m t h e f a r t h e s t d i v i s i o n CP.

would c e r t a i n l y f a c i l i t a t e t h e use o f w i r e communications, w h i c h P a t t o n much p r e f e r r e d o v e r r a d i o .

In fact,

Patton never

u s e d t h e r a d i o t o t a l K t o h i s commanders. preference, telephone.

In order o f
o r by

he communicated o r d e r s t o them f a c e - t o - f a c e He much p r e f e r r e d t o as he p u t issue orders v e r b a l l y ,

general-to-general

i t , and t h e n f o l l o w w i t h a w r i t t e n

memorandum c o n f i r m i n g w h a t was t r a n s m i t t e d o r a l l y . < 7 4 > T h i s technique o f Patton's amplifies what h a s a l r e a d y b e e n s a i d :

P a t t o n b e 1 i e u e d p e r s o n a l l e a d e r s h i p was a n a b s o l u t e r e q u i r e m e n t f o r s u c c e s s f u l commanders. Evidently, h e was n e r u o u s a b o u t f o r he s a y s t h a t in a l l

P l a c i n g t o o much r e l i a n c e o n r a d i o s ,

a t t a c K s o n e s h o u l d maKe t h e maximum u s e o f

w i r e as t h e p r i m a r y

m e a t i i o f c o m n u n i c a t i o n a n d u s e r a d i o as a s e c o n d a r y means. h i g h l y mobile warfare an r e l i a n c e on w i r e

In
In

is d i f f i c u l t a t best.
1944,

i n t e r e s t i n g l e t t e r w r i t t e n t o h i s son on 2 1 August sweep a c r o s s w e s t e r n F r a n c e , He s a y s ,

during Third Army's c o n f irrns t h i s p o i n t .

Patton

The g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y we h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d h e r e i s t h a t we h a v e moved so f a s t a n d s o f a r t h a t we a r e n e a r l y always o u t o f cormunication.<75>

148

Unfortunately, communication.

P a t t o n d o e s n o t m e n t i o n w i t h whom h e was o u t o f But h i s fear o f enemy a i r a t t a c K s a g a i n s t CPs large

may h a v e b e e n P a r t o f

t h e p r o b l e m b e c a u s e he s a y s t h a t

r a d i o s s h o u l d n o t be Kept

i n t h e u i c i n c i t y o f a command p o s t .

They s h o u l d b e s e p a r a t e d f r o m t h e CP a n d r e m o t e d i n w i t h telephone: "toltherwise, t h e enemy a i r w i l l home o n t h e m a n d Remoting r a d i o s there i n t o a CP t a K e s


i s n o t much t i m e t o

g e t t h e command p o s t . ' < 7 6 > time, and

i n highly f l u i d operations,

l a y wire a n d e s t a b l i s h e i t h e r r a d i o o r t e l e p h o n e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s
w i t h h i g h e r h e a d q u a r t e r s o r anyone e l s e f o r

that matter.

As

it

was.

T h i r d Army's

F o r w a r d E c h e l o n ( M a i n ) moved a n a u e r a g e o f
1 flugust
1944 a n d O c t o b e r

once e u e r y t h r e e days between when u n i t s s e t t l e d i n for

1944,

t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign.<77> Thus, face-to-face


i t i s no

given P a t t o n ' s preference t o r e l y on verbal

c o m m u n i c a t i o n s and h i s r e l u c t a n c e t o use r a d i o a t a l l ,

w o n d e r h e was o u t o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h o t h e r e c h e l o n s o f command. L i K e Guder i a n , P a t t o n a t t e m p t e d t o a1 l e u i a t e h i s a small

command and c o n t r o l p r o b l e m s b y m a K i n g e x t e n s i u e u s e o f plane t o trauel, the radio.<78> Another t e c h n i q u e t h a t P a t t o n used t o f a c i l i t a t e and c o n t r o l a l s o e m u l a t e d G u d e r i a n ' s approach. Patton l e f t Army, command o f one u n i t , s u c h as though, u n l i K e Guderian,

he d i d n o t r e l y on

command when

Inuar iably,

I 1 Corps o r Seventh
These

h e t o o K w i t h h i m some K e y m e h e r s o f h i s s t a f f .

w e r e men whose j u d g m e n t P a t t o n t r u s t e d a n d who o b v i o u s l y h a d been b a t t l e t e s t e d . When P a t t o n l e f t S e v e n t h Army t o f o r m T h i r d

149

Army

i n England,

for

instance,

h e toOK w i t h h i m s i x t e e n a T h i r d Army

o f f i c e r s f r o m h i s S e v e n t h Army s t a f f . < 7 9 > O u t of staff s t r e n g t h o f 450 o f f i c e r s ,

s i x t e e n o f f i c e r s i s n o t many.

However, but,

t h e men P a t t o n s e l e c t e d f i l l e d n o t o n l y K e y s l o t s , w e r e r e g u l a r o f f i c e r s who h a d l o n g Consequently, h e l p i n g h i m p l a n and

w i t h few exception,

c a u a l r y and armored s e r u i c e . control operations,

P a t t o n had a s m a l l c o r e o f b a t t l e w i s e s t a f f

o f f i c e r s who s h a r e d a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g a b o u t how o p e r a t i o n s s h o u l d be conducted. Furthermore, P a t t o n tooK t i m e t o t r a i n h i s

i n c o m i n g c o r p s commanders a n d t h e i r s t a f f s b y h a v i n g t h e m perform duty for

a p e r i o d o f t i m e o p p o s i t e t h e i r army

c o u n t e r p a r t . < S 0 > The r e s u l t was t h a t n e w c o m e r s qu i C K l Y P i c K e d


up o n how T h i r d Army

o p e r a t i o n s were p l a n n e d and c o n d u c t e d and

l a t e r l e d t o smoother o p e r a t i o n s

in the corps.
u n i t s and

General P a t t o n a l s o mandated t h a t d i u i s i o n - s i z e higher i n T h i r d Army w o u l d c o n d u c t a d a i l y s t a f f

briefing to

ensure c o o r d i n a t i o n o f e f f o r t Army t h e d a i l y s t a f f

within t h e organizat ion.

In T h i r d

b r i e f i n g t o o K p l a c e a t 0830 i n t h e m a i n CP The b r i e f i n g b e g a n w i t h t h e 0-3

according t o a fixed routine. operations officer

d e s c r i b i n g t h e f r i e n d l y s i t u a t i o n on t h e
The G-3 a i r o f f i c e r t h e n g a v e t h e

whole o f t h e Western F r o n t . friendly air situation, officer,

a n d was f o l l o w e d b y t h e G - 2

operations

who g a v e a d e s c r i p t i o n o f strengths,

t h e enemy s i t u a t i o n , mouements,
pr

including d ispost ions, figures,

i s o n e r of

war

c a p a b i l i t i e s and t e r r a i n a n a l y s i s .

The 0 - 2 was

followed by the Public Relations Officer,

who h i g h l i g h t e d t h e

150

w o r l d news.

The C h i e f o f

Staff

c l o s e d w i t h announcements and who e i t h e r SpOKe o r d l s m i s s e d lasted only 15-20

turned the floor

over t o Patton,

e u e r Y o n e . < 8 1 > The w h o l e a f f a i r minutes,

usually

n o t much t i m e t o maKe a n y intended f o r

important decisions. any important decisions t o important

HOWe8Jer, P a t t o n n e u e r

b e made d u r i n g t h i s 0830 d a i l y b r i e f i n g b e c a u s e t h e

d e c i s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g f u t u r e o p e r a t i o n s a l r e a d y h a d b e e n made a t a m e e t i n g w h i c h d a i l y p r e c e d e d t h e f o r m a l 0830 s t a f f b r i e f i n g .
A t

a r o u n d 0808 e u e r y d a y P a t t o n h e l d a m e e t i n g w i t h Key t o have an exchange o f ideas. Included in of and

members o f h i s s t a f f this informal 6-2,

m e e t i n g were t h e C h i e f o f S t a f f , Chief of Staff

deputy Chief of
X I X TfiC,

Staff, Patton.

a s s i s t a n t G-2, G - 3 ,

I t was a t t h i s m e e t i n g t h a t P a t t o n u s u a l l y made Key


impend i n s o p e r a t i o n s ,
is

decisions about

and t h e u i s i b i l i t y and indicative o f Pattons

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e 6-2 s e c t i o n interest
in i n t e l l i g e n c e rnattilrs

i n planning o p e r a t i o n s and

maK i n g d e c i s i o n s . In fact, Flllen, a c c o r d i n g t o P a t t o n s d e p u t y 0-2, Colonel Robert

P a t t o n n e u e r made a moue w i t h o u t f i r s t c o n s u l t i n g G-2.


G-2

In planning,

always had t h e f i r s t say.<82> P a t t o n s


in

intense interest firmys G-2,

i n t e l l i g e n c e i n f o r m a t i o n i s echoed by T h i r d who p o i n t s o u t t h a t P a t t o n w e n t intelligence, including the This

C o l o n e l Oscar Koch,

t o great

lengths t o obtain timely t h e T h l r d firmy

c r e a t i o n of

Information Seruice.

organization, C o l o n e l E.M.

h e a d e d b y t h e commander o f FicKett, had t h e tasK of

t h e 6th C a v a l r y Group,

m o n i t o r i n g t h e T h i r d firmy

151

radio traffic

f r o m b a t t a l i o n t o d i v i s i o n and t h e i r t h e purpose o f g a i n i n g c r i t i c a l combat

reconnaissance u n i t s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n and r e l a y i n g Headquarters r a p i d l y . traffic,

it t o T h i r d Army Advanced T a c t i c a l

In a d d i t i o n t o monitoring f r i e n d l y r a d i o

C o l o n e l F i c K e t t 's u n i t a l s o e s t a b l i s h e d o f f i c e r f r o n t 1 i n e b a t t a l i o n and r e g i m e n t a l t h e purpose o f timely exchanging inforrnat ion. Because

patrols. along a l l headquarters for P a t t o n saw t h a t

r e p o r t i n g was a b s o l u t e l y c r u c i a l ,

he

" t e l e s c o p i c a l l y " e m p l o y e d 6 t h C a u a l r Y Group a s h i s e y e s and ears, b y p a s s i n g normal r e p o r t i n 9 channels.:S3> In a d d i t ion t o h i s i n c r e a s i n g use of "telescope" technique, P a t t o n made

a i r p h o t o g r a p h y a5 h e became rnore e x p e r i e n c e d

a s a n o p e r a t i o n a l commander.. command o f flown

I n T u n i s i a w h i l e P p t t o n was

in

X I Corps o n l y t w o a i r p h o t o g r a p h y m i s s i o n s were
I 1 Corps d u r i n g t h e 30-day
period from

i n support o f

January-February

1943.

D u r i n g o p e r a t i o n s on S i c i l y , i n support of

140 a i r

p h o t o g r a p h y m i s s i o n s were f l o w n d u r i n g t h e 38-day campaign.

S e v e n t h Army

I n September

1 9 4 4 a l o n e 223 a i r i n support of in sortie rates Seventh

r e c o n n a i s s a n c e p h o t o g r a p h y m i s s i o n s were f l o w n T h i r d firmy operations.<84> In part, differences

can be e x p l a i n e d by o r g a n i c o r a t t a c h e d a i r firmy, of

capability.

for

example,

had a p h o t o g r a p h i c r e c o n n a i s s a n c e squadron

ten planes

i n d i r e c t s u p p o r t o n c e HUSKY b e g a n :
it

I 1 Corps had

no such a s s e t s . < 8 5 > B u t intelligence staff capabilities of

i s also clear

t h a t P a t t o n and h i s

m r e a n d m o r e came t o r e l y o n t h e

a i r photography t o a i d

in operational planning.

152

P a t t o n ' s 6 - 2 , C o l o n e l Koch, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Bulge attacK before

claims t h a t

largely through the had t h e

a i r photography, as he P u t s

t h e T h i r d Army s t a f f

"pegged."

i t , b e f o r e t h e a t t a c K and
inKling the

any o t h e r a l l i e d h e a d q u a r t e r s h a d a n

attacK

w o u l d o c c u r . < S S > K o c h m a i n t a i n s t h a t o n e r e a s o n T h i r d Army Knew a s much as


it d i d about

the

i m p e n d i n g German o f f e n s i v e for

was t h a t

i t was s t a n d a r d p r a c t i c e overlap other

i n T h i r d firmy

t h e 0-2 S e c t i o n t o O u e r l app i n g intelligence

a r e a s o u t s i d e T h i r d firmy

boundaries.

couerage ensured t h a t P a t t o n ' s s t a f f

had adequate

i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e a r m y '5 f l a n K s a n d p r e c a u t i o n a r y s e c u r i t y measures c o u l d be taKen of


i f n e e d e d . < S 7 ? B o t h t h e weaK

strength a

V I I I Corps on T h i r d A r m y ' s n o r t h f l a n K and t h e e v i d e n c e of


t h e Ardennrs l e d Koch t o b e l i e v e t h e Patton could a t

German b u i l d u p e a s t o f

Germans c o u l d l a u n c h a n o f f e n s i u e .
get

Hence,

least

his staff

t o b e t h i n K i n g a b o u t an o p e r a t i o n a l

concept t o is that

deal w i t h such a c a p a b i l i t y . P a t t o n ' s G-2 his left focused

A point worth noting here

on t h e enemy's c a p a b i l i t i e s r a t h e r t h a n estimates.

i n t e n t i o n s when m a K i n g G - 2

I t was a p p a r e n t l y
in

t o P a t t o n t o j u d g e w h a t t h e enemy

i n t e n d e d t o do

p a r t i c u l a r cases. suggests

The o p e r a t i o n a l t e n e t t h a t t h i s d i s c u s s i o n

is:

E s t a b l i s h an i n t e l l igence channel t h a t ensures irapid and t i m a l y i n p u t o f combat i n f o r r n a t i o n , b y p a s s i n g normal channels.

Patton'r.

r e l i a n c e on h i s G-2

and t h e e f f o r t s 0.F C o l o n e l according t o

F i c K e t t ' s 6 t h C a v a l r y G r o u p h e l p e x p l a i n why,

153

P a t t o n ' s d e p u t y G-2,

" T h i r d Flrmy was n e v e r s u r p r i s e d a n d why


' 5

it

was a l w a y s s m a s h i n g t h r o u g h v u l n e r a b l e s e c t o r s i n t h e e n e m y
1 i n e s . "':33> Although P a t t o n d i d h a v e access t o Ultra d u r i n g h i s European operat i o n s , there
is c o n f 1 i c t i n s e u i d e n c e

o n how

e x t e n s i v e l y h e u s e d t h i s s o u r c e of

information.

I t was

i n t e l l igence f r o m Ultra t h a t p r o m p t e d P a t t o n t o h a l t t h e 3 5 t h

Infantry, 30th

I n f a n t r y , a n d 2 n d F r e n c h A r m o r e d D i u is i o n s near

St. Hilaire j u s t a f t e r t h e p a s s a g e t h r o u g h Avranches

in early

hugust

1944. A t t h e time P a t t o n t h o u g h t word of


' 5

an i m e n d i n g

German C o u n t e r a t t a c K t o c u t h i s a r m y
b l u f f . < Z S > In t h e e v e n t ,

cornmun i c a t i o n s was a and h a l t i n g

i t was n o t a b l u f f

e l e m e n t s o f X I I , X V , a n d XX C o r p s t u r n e d o u t t o b e f o r t u i t o u s ,
f o r t h e y h e l p e d h a l t t h e German c o u n t e r a t t a c K s in and around

M o r t a i n , F r a n c e . B u t b e c a u s e of t h e d e s i r e t o s a f e g u a r d U l t r a
as a s o u r c e o f
intell igence,

i t s i n t e l l i g e n c e p r o d u c t s were
consequently,

d i s t r i b u t e d on a p u s h r a t h e r t h a n dernand b a s i s ;
it

is. q u e s t i o n a b l e w h e t h e r P a t t o n was a b l e t o r e l y o n i t On t h e o t h e r h a n d , Major WarracK W a l l a c e , an U l t r a in August and September


1944,

heauily.

r e c i p i e n t on P a t t o n ' s s t a f f

c l a i m s t h a t a l t h o u g h P a t t o n i n i t i a l l y was S K e P t i c a l o f U l t r a ' s
ualue,
a5 i t p r o v e d

its r e l i a b i l i t y o v e r t i m e , P a t t o n came t o
p r e c i s e l y how m u c h

r e l y o n U l t r a more a n d m o r r . < S B > H o w e u e r , Ultra

influenced Patton's operational planning remains unclear.

A r e a s o n t h a t h e l p s e x p l a i n Why P a t t o n ' s T h i r d Flrmv was


" n e u e r s u r p r i s e d " may b e t h e use h e made o f his dally

informal

154

staff

briefing.

Koch Says P a t t o n used t h i s s e s s i o n t o exchange i n t e l l i g e n c e b r i e f i n g t o those

ideas a f t e r present.

Koch gave a q u i c K Koch d e s c r i b e s

fis

it,

[ t l h i s e a r l y - h o u r b r i e f i n g l e d t o a most f r u i t f u l exchange o f i d e a s . B u t euen o f g r e a t e r i m p o r t a n c e , i t made e v e r y o n e t h e r e a w a r e o f w h a t t h e commander h a d i n m i n d , what h e w o u l d do u n d e r v a r i o u s c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t m l g h t a r I s e . The s t a f f was K e p t UP t o d a t e w i t h P a t t o n ' s t h i n K i n g on a d a i l y b a s i s . F u t u r e p l a n s were l a i d a n d made Known a n d a n i n t i m a c y o f t h i n K i n g developed. (91 >

K o c h ' s comment s u g g e s t s f o u r

point5 worth elucidation. informal

First,

he appears t o be s a y i n g t h a t t h e s e P a t t o n h e l p e d t o convey P a t t o n ' s future operations. Second,

sessions w i t h c u r r e n t and

intentions f o r

Koch i m p l i e s t h a t P a t t o n used t h e o r wargaming o u t loud; this

b r i e f i n g t o d o some

'what-iffing"

undoubtedly got P a t t o n ' s s t a f f a l r e a d y were n o t ,

t o s t a r t thinKing, plans f o r

if t h e y

about contingency

various

operational scenarios t h a t might develop, counterattacK contingency. Third, focus h i s s t a f f ' s

s u c h a5 t h e B u l g e

P a t t o n used these sessions t o plans, indeed whole points out that d e v e l o p and

t h i n K i n g on f u t u r e

c amp a i9 n I
maps c a n where t h e

In'ketter

of

I n s t r u c t I o n No. ? ' P a t t o n

n d i c a t e where c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s w i l l commander s h o u l d b e . P a t t o n says: Moreover,

from the operational

perspect iue,

firmy a n d c o r p s commanders a r e n o t s o much i n t e r e s t e d i n how t o b e a t t h e enemy f r o m a t a c t i c a l s t a n d p o i n t a s i n w h e r e t o t e a t h i m . The w h e r e is l e a r n e d f r o m a c a r e f u l s t u d y o f r o a d , r a i l w a y , a n d r i v e r maps. The q u e s t i o n o f t h e t a c t i c a l means t o b e u s e d b y d i u i s i o n s in securing these p o i n t s is, o f necessity, studied

155

from large-scale

maps.(92>

T h i s s u o t a t i o n r e v e a l s more a b o u t P a t t o n s u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d c o n c e p t i o n o f t a c t i c a l and o p e r a t i o n a l a r t t h a n p e r h a p s any o t h e r o f h i s rernarKs.


I t a 1 5 0 h e l p s e x p l a i n w h y h e made a s m u c h

u s e a s h e d i d o+ a 1:1,000,08D

M i c h e l i n t o u r i n g map.

I t was

J u s t s u c h a s m a l l - s c a l e map t h a t e n a b l e d P a t t o n t o d e t e r m i n e
where,

from t h e operational perspective, t h e critical b a t t l e s

w o u l d p r o b a b l y taKe p l a c e d u r i n g a c a m p a i g n . T h i s is o n e w a y P a t t o n r a i s e d t h e p r o b a b i l i t y t h a t h e would be a t t h e l o c a t i o n s
that critical
5ays

e v e n t s o r b a t t l e s w o u l d l i K e l y taKe p l a c e . Koch
1944 T h i r d A r m y e n g i n e e r s h a d

that

a5 e a r l y a s S e p t e m b e r

p r e p a r e d a p r e l i m i n a r y t a c t i c a l t e r r a i n estimate of Ardennes r e g i o n . Included i n t h a t a n a l y s i s were t h e

th@

riuers,

c a n a l s , road networKs, r a i l r o a d s and--as commands--an

always i n P a t t o n s

a n a l y s i s of t h e t e r r a i n s s u i t a b i l i t y f o r

m e c h a n i z e d r n a n e u u e r s . (93) h l t h o u g h many o f t h e f u t u r e o p e r a t i o n s P a t t o n s s t a f f s t u d i e d a n d p l a n n e d were n e v e r e x e c u t e d , h e was a l w a y s f o r c i n g h i s s t a f f t o t h i n K a h e a d a n d plan f o r f u t u r e operations.

H i s t e c h n i q u e i n d i c a t e s t h a t h e was
linKage

a b l e t o e n v i s i o n f u t u r e t a c t i c a l b a t t l e s and t h e i r c a m p a i g n p l a n a n d rnaKe t h e f u r t h e r s t e p o f together


i n a n a p p r e c i a t i o n of

in a

l i n K i n g CarWaignS

t h e a t e r s t r a t e g y , which s u g g e s t s

h e o p e r a t e d by t h e t e n e t :

S u c c e s s . i n o p e r a t i o n a l a r t c o m e s f r o m an i n t e n s e s t u d y o f s m a l l - s c a l e maps t o e n v i s i o n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e campaign as a whole a n d its linKed b a t t l e s .

156

Neuertheless,
well

it

i s a r g u a b l e t h a t P a t t o n d i d n o t do t h i s as
H i s h a n d l i n g of t a c t i c a l b a t t l e s during t h e Nancy

as h e z h o u l d .

L o r r a i n e Carnpaign

i m p l i e s he d i d n o t see t h e b a t t l e s f o r find t h e manner

and Fletz as c o n n e c t e d i n any way. "dragged"

i n which he

1 2 t h HrmY O P O U p a c r o s s E u r o p e s u g g e s t s h e d i d n o t , s e e how h i s o p e r a t i o n s s u p p o r t e d

a l o n g w i t h many o t h e r s , E i s e n h o w e r 's t h e a t e r The f i n a l


PO

strategy. 1i g h t
is

i n t K o c h 's r e m a r K P a b o v e b r i n g t o

Koch's perception t h a t P a t t o n ' s e a r l y morning briefings of fostered "an

lnformal

staff

i n t i m a c y o f t h i n K i n g " among ~ e y members


i t was immensely

Patton's s t a f f .

Patton' apparently thought

i m p o r t a n t t h a t K e y members o f h i s s t a f f

s h a r e h i s v i e w o f how

t h e P l a n n i n g and e x e c u t i o n o f o p e r a t i o n s s h o u l d be conducted; hence, t h e G-2,

6-3, C h i e f o f S t a f f ,

and C h i e f o f S t a f f o f X I X

TAC w e r e a l w a y s p r e s e n t a t t h e s e

informal sessions.

Consequently,

the fact

t h a t P a t t o n was f r e q u e n t l y a b s e n t f r o m h e was f o r w a r d w i t h c o r p s a n d on s t a f f o p e r a t i o n s . h i s staff could, rmre

h i s cornmand p o s t - - b e c a u s e diuisions--had Knowing what

no d e p r e c a t i n g e f f e c t

a n d how P a t t o n t h o u g h t ,

often than not,

d o what P a t t o n w a n t e d d o n e d u r i n g o b s c u r e

s i t u a t i o n s o r when P a t t o n was o u t o f t o u c h w i t h t h e m .
In theory,

P a t t o n t h o u g h t commanders s h o u l d n e v e r r o b
i n i t i a t i u e b y o u e r - c o n t o l l i n s thern.

subordinates of

He i n s i s t e d

t h a t s u b o r d i n a t e s b e t o l d w h a t t o d o b u t n o t how t o d o t h i n g s .
To g u a r d a g a i n s t o u e r - c o n t o l ,

he t h o u g h t

"a general should

command one e c h e l o n down,

a n d Know t h e p o s i t i o n o f u n i t s t w o

- 157 -

e c h e l o n s down. " ( 9 4 )

an

a r m y g r o u p commander,

f o r example,

s h o u l d command h i s a r m i e s a n d K n O W t h e l o c a t o n 5 o f h i s armies and t h e i r c n r p s .


way

Patton thought t h i s p r inc i p e applied a l l t h e


n y c o m m a n d e r who

down t h e h i e r a r c h y o f c o m m a n d , a n d t h a t

p o s t e d on h i s own rnap l o c a t i o n s o f u n i t s t h r e e o r f o u r e c h e l o n s down w o u l d s o o n f a l l


and

i n t o t h e h a b i t of

cornrmnding t h o s e u n i t s

lose efficiency.

In practice, Patton himself

was n o t

e n t i r e l y a b l e t o a d h e r e t o h i s own p r i n c i p l e .

M a n y tirnes h e

d l r e c t e d d i u is i o n c o m m a n d e r s t o s e n d c o r n b a t c o m m a n d s o r r e g i m e n t s on s p e c i f i c m i s s i o n s .
H5

an example, t h e d e t a i l e d

T h i r d firmy f i f t e r A c t i o n R e p o r t r e c o r d s t h e f o l l o w i n g a c t i o n :

The firmy commander C P a t t o n l v e r b a l l y o r d e r e d t h e X X C o r p s t o rnove o n e r e g i r n e t i t a l c o m b a t t e a m f r o m t h e 5 t h I n f a n t r y O i v i s i o n t o f i n g e r s , t o move one i n f a n t r y b a t t a l i o n frorn 5 t h I n f a n t r y D i v i s i o n t o Nantes [ F r a n c e l a n d t o moue 5 t h I n f a n t r y D i v i s i o n , l e s s a t t a c h r n e n t s , f r o m s o u t h o f V i t r e t o t h e v i c i n i t y of


S e g r e . (35)

G i v e n P a t t o n ' s own p r i n c i p l e s f o r
control--mission orders--it

e x e r c i s i n g command a n d

is d i f f i c u l t t o j u s t i f y h i s t e l l i n g
Even s o , it is p o s s i b l e by P o i n t i n g

a c o r p s c o m m a n d e r t o move a b a t t a l i o n .
t o d e f e n d P a t t o n against t h e c h a r g e of out t h a t

over-control

i n t h e h i g h l y f l u i d and fast-mouins

m o b i l e warfare in

w h i c h h e was a t h i s b e s t , P a t t o n h a d a d u t y t o g i v e o n - t h e - s p o t o r d e r s when h e saw t h l n s s g o i n g a w r y o r w h e n h e saw a n o p p o r t i i n i t y t h a t dernanded


irnmed i a t e e x p l o i t a t i o n .

H i s cornrnent

t h a t o n e company of t a n K s on t h e o b j e c t i v e can c a r r y t h e day comes t o m i n d h e r e . H e o n c e rernarKed t h a t T h i r d A r m y f a c e d

15s

three enemies:

t h e Germans,

t h e weather, and t i m e . irretrieuable;

The l a s t of

these--time--is

u n f o r g i v i n g and

hence, h i s

c o n t i n u a l c o n c e r n t h a t v a l u a b l e time n o t b e w a s t e d o r t h a t f l e e t i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s s h o u l d n o t go u n e x p l o i t e d .

Given h i s

a g g r e s s i u e p e r s o n s 1 i t y and h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e n a t u r e of combat o p e r a t i o n s ,
it

is n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t P a t t o n was u n a b l e

a t t i m e s t o a d h e r e t o h i s own g u i d a n c e c o n c e r n i n g o u e r - c o n t r o l
of subordinates.

159

RISK

I n h i s booK M e c h a n i z e d

I n f a n t r y R i c h a r d SimpKin s a y s t h a t in t h e

two f a c t o r s m i l i t a t e d a g a i n s t b o l d and s w e e p i n g maneuuer European Theater:


Bradley;

t h e broad f r o n t d o c t r i n e of

Eisenhower and

a n d t h e f u n d a m e n t a l American c o n c e p t s o f t h e v a l u e of

firepower

and t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a f i r e b a s e . However,

SimpKin g o e s on t o s a y t h a t

Cals G e n e r a l S p e i d e l , RGrnmel's C h i e f o f S t a f f , p u t s i t , P a t t o n was " t h e o n l y e l l i e d g e n e r a l w h o d a r e d exceed t h e s a f e t y l i m i t s i n t h e endeavor t o w i n a decision."<SS>

As

i n t h e c a s e o f G u d e r i a n , a n a n a l y s i s of P a t t o n ' s c o n d u c t of high

o p e r a t i o n a l a r t r e v e a l s t h a t h e e l e c t e d t o a c c e p t risK--a
degree a c c o r d i n s t o Spe i d e l --in

o r d e r t o a c h ieue o p e r a t i o n a l

d e c i s i o n . T h e r e f o r e , a n exarninat ion of P a t t o n ' s approach t o

r i s K a c c e p t a n c e a n d r is.^ r e d u c t i o n

is a p p r o p r i a t e ,

and t h e

present d i s c u s s i o n f o c u s e s on t h r e e areas i n which P a t t o n


accspted riSK: exposed f l a n K s , r e s e r v e employment, and

l o g i s t ical sustainment.

FlanKs

Patton's operations

i n Europe a l l

indicate t h a t he adhered

in h i % o p e r a t i o n s t o t h e f o l l o w i n g o p e r a t i o n a l t e n e t :

Accept r i s ~ t o exposed flanKs t o achieve o p e r a t i o n a l d e p t h and d e c i s i o n .

166

E v i d e n c e t h a t P a t t o n o p e r a t e d b y t h i s p r i n c i p l e abounds b o t h i n h i s w r i t i n g and o p e r a t i o n s . flavor for flanKs.

It i s

instructive,

first,

t o get a

P a t t o n ' s whole a t t i t u d e about r i S K t o exposed b r i e f i n g on 31 J u l y 1944, t h e Patton

R f t e r h i s morning s t a f f

d a y b e f o r e T h i r d Army became o p e r a t i o n a l

in Europe,
of

d e l i v e r e d t h e f o l l o w i n g remarlcs on t h e :ub.ject

flanKs:

F o r g e t t h i s goddamned b u s i n e s s o f w o r r y i n g a b o u t o u r flanKs. W e must guard o u r f l d n K S , b u t n o t t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t we d o n ' t do a n y t h i n g e l s e . Some goddamned f o o l once s a i d t h a t f l a n K s must be secured, and s i n c e t h e n s o n s - o f - b i t c h e s a l l o v e r t h e w o r l d haue been . F l a n ~ sa r e g o i n g c r a z y g u a r d i n g t h e i r f lanlcs.. s o m e t h i n g f o r t h e enemy t o w o r r y a b o u t . N o t u s . < 9 7 >

Beneath t h e e a s i l y - i m a g i n e d remarKS,

t h e a t r i c s t h a t accompanied P a t t o n ' s

t h e r e was u n d o u b t e d l y s e r i o u s n e s s o f t h e f i r s t o r d e r .

E v e n t h o u g h t h i s s t a t e m e n t was made b e f o r e T h i r d Army became engaged i n p u r s u i t o p e r a t i o n s a c r o s s F r a n c e , t h a t P a t t o n had a v i s i o n o r it

i s probable

c o n c e p t i o n o f how f a s t - m o u i n s Included in that


if

m o b i l e o p e r a t i o n s s h o u l d be conducted. c o n c e p t i o n were exposed f l a n K s ,

b u t t o l e r a b l y expobed f l a n K s

r e a s o n a b l e p r e c a u t i o n s were t a K e n and o p e r a t i o n s were e x e c u t e d a t g r e a t speed. Patton himself,

in fact,

c i t e s o n l y two

examples o f h i s acceptance o f r i s K : t h r o u g h Avranches


in twenty-four

h i s passage o f two c o r p s and h i s d e c i s i o n t o

hours:

leave h i s army's r i g h t f l a n K

open d u r i n g h i s sweep f r o m

A v r a n c h e s t o t h e M o s e l l e R i v e r . <98> B o t h e n t a i l e d an a c c e p t a n c e of r i s K t o an e x p o s e d f l a n K , and t h e passage t h r o u g h Auranches as w e l l .

e x p o 5 e d P a t t o n ' s army t o d e s t r u c t i o n f r o m t h e a i r

161

These examples r a i s e t h e q u e s t i o n o f h i s flanKs.

how P a t t o n r e d u c e d r i S K t o

The P i S K o f b e i n g c o n c e n t r a t e d i n a n a r r o w c o r r i d o r a n d sub.ject t o a i r b o m b a r d m e n t a s o c c u r r e d w h i l e T h i r d Army was t h e C o t e n t i n Peninsula in Rusust


1944 was

breaKins o u t of unique of

in Patton's operations.

It i s a r g u a b l e t h a t d u r i n g r m s t

h i s operations and,

i n Europe h i s c o r p s and d i v i s i o n s were s p r e a d


therefore, were n o t s u b j e c t t o t h e t h r e a t or corridor. But

out too far

associated with being concentrated i n a d e f i l e a t Auranches, a single,

narrow road about f i v e m i l e s long B r i d g e and f u n n e l e d a l l t r a f f i c

c o n v e r s e d a t t h e f+Jranches

t h r o u g h t h e town and o u t t h e s o u t h e r n s i d e f o r t w o and o n e - h a l f traffic miles or so.

a distance o f
if a

P a t t o n was w o r r i e d t h a t

jam should occur w h i l e elements of

t w o arrnored and t w o l o s s e s would

i n f a n t r y d i v i s i o n s were f i l i n g t h r o u g h Rvranches, be t e r r i f i c , especially among t r u c K - b o r n e

infantry.

E s s e n t i a l l y , h i s p l a n t o c o p e w i t h t h i s r i S K was t w o - f o l d : ( 1 ) Keep t h i n g s m o v i n g f a s t ; your f e a r s . and

(2) do n o t taKe c o u n s e l of

R e c o g n i z i n g t h a t passage t h r o u g h Rvranches would Patton

p r o v e t o be a c r i t i c a l because high P i S K event, positioned himself traffic jam.

i n Avranches t o e n s u r e t h e r e w o u l d be no

The p a s s a g e o f

V I I I a n d XV C o r p s w i t h i n
P a t t o n says,

twenty-four

h o u r s was o n e o f t h o s e t h i n g s , b u t was.

that

t h e o r e t i c a l l y c o u l d n o t be done, because o f t h e officers and b : ,

I t was s u c c e s s f u l

"extremely e f f e c t i v e use of t h e a c t i v e p a r t taKen on occas i o n ,

veteran 5taff

i n i t b y c o r p s and
p e r s o n a l IY directed

d i u i s i o n c o m m a n d e r s who,

182

traffic."C99? ingredient

Thus,

speed of

o p e r a t i o n s p r o v e d t o be t h e ~ e y i n this operation. B u t s p e e d was

in reducing risK

f a c i l i t a t e d by employing a b a t t l e wise s t a f f close c o n t r o l by s e n i o r o f f i c e r s . The German S e v e n t h Army France,


' 5

and t h r o u g h t h e

c o u n t e r a t t a c ~t o w a r d M o r t a i n , T h i r d Rrmy f r o m t h e r e s t

w i t h t h e o b j e c t of

cutting off

of

e l l i e d forces

on t h e c o n t i n e n t r a i s e s t h e f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n and m e a s u r e s t a K e n t o r e d u c e t h a t
PiSK.

o f r i s K t o flanKs Certainly speed o f

o p e r a t i o n s was one way t o r e d u c e r i s K t o

exposed f l a n K s . sufficient

I f c o r p s move f a s t e n o u g h a n d a c h i e v e enough,

depth quiCKly

i t i s t h e enemy who w i l l b e

w o r r y i n g a b o u t his- f lanKS. t h a t fast-paced initiative,

P a t t o n t h o u g h t t h i s b e c a u s e h e saw the

o f f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n s r o b t h e enemy o f

c a u s i n g h i m t o r e a c t t o a s e r i e s of

rapidly

changing t a c t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s . infantry leading,

He a l s o t h o u g h t t h a t when infantry

and armored d i v i s i o n s W O r K t o g e t h e r w i t h "there

is l f t t l e

r i S K

from successful

enemy

c o u n t e r a t t a c K s on t h e division

infantry

f l a n K because t h e armored

i s t h e mo%t i d e a l ueapon f o r C o u n t e r a t t a c K i n g a

counterattacK. "<10B> P a t t o n corps

is s u g g e s t i n g t h a t d e p t h i n t h e
His

i s a n o t h e r way t o r e d u c e r i % K t o e x p o s s d f l a n K s .
i n t h i s v e i n a t t h e army

thinKing

level

is reflected

i n his

concept ion f o r area.

a one-army

thrust

i n t o the FranKfurt-Kassel

It w i l l

be r e c a l l e d t h a t h i s concept c a l l e d f o r two c o r p s

t o advance a b r e a s t and a t h i r d e c h e l o n e d t o t h e r i g h t r e a r . Hence,


in P a t t o n ' s opinion r i s K t o flanKs

can b e r e d u c e d b y

advancing

in depth,

quicK1y.

R t Rvranches P a t t o n h e l d elements

163

Map 4

163a

of

XII,

XV,

and XX C o r p s

[one d i v i s i o n each) on h i s l e f t f l a n K

t o guard against

F i f t h P a n z e r A r m y ' s c o u n t e r a t t a c ~ . And

a l t h o u g h P a t t o n b e l i e v e d t h e p r e d i c t e d German a t t a c K was a bluff,


it turned out

n o t t o b e a n d XX C o r p s ' 3 5 t h D i v i s i o n b u t T h i r d Army p a s s e d t h r o u g h fluranches

became h e a v i l y e n g a g e d : without difficulty.

Patton's efforts flanK

t o reduce r i s K t o T h i r d Army's

right

along the L o i r e River while h i s forces

swept t o t h e

Meselle River

<See Map 4) s h o w s e v i d e n c e o f a m o r e First,

s o p h i s t i c a t e d approach t o r i S K r e d u c t ion. t h a t P a t t o n used t h e L o i r e R i v e r flanK. 35th Second, itself

it is notable

t o protect h i s southern Patton l e f t

a l t h o u g h h e was r e l u c t a n t t o d o s o , D i v i s i o n t o cover

Infantry

h i s a r m y ' s ClanK between V i t r y

and C h a l o n s . German f o r c e s

P a t t o n d i d n o t b e l i e v e t h e r e were any s i g n i f i c a n t south o f the Loire River, b u t he c o m p l i e d w i t h guard f o r his

B r a d l e : ? ' ~o r d e r t o e m p l o y a d i v i s i o n a s f l a n K army.<l01> In f a c t , LeMans t o N a n c y , infantry howeuer,

P a t t o n ' s f l a n K was e x p o s e d f r o m Hence, an

France,

some 4 0 0 K i l o m e t e r s .

d v i r i o n was h a r d l y a d e q u a t e t o c o v e r anK i n any e u e n t .

T h i r d Army's

southern f efforts

P a t t o n supplemented h i s p r o t e c t i o n g r o u p s a l o n g t h e L o i r e and French g u e r r i l l a forces.


F1

by employing h i s cavalry groups of Maquis,

maKing use o f

t h i r d and p e r h a p s t h e most s i g n i f i c a n t t e c h n i q u e P a t t o n u s e d t o p r o t e c t h i 2 f l a n K s was t o r e l y h e a v i l y o n X I X TeC.


TF1C s q u a d r o n s p e r f o r m e d d e e p

Several

XlX

i n t e r d i c t i a n a g a i n s t Key b r i d g e s howeuer, were t h e a i r south

and r a i l

lines.

Of

more

importance,

r e c o n n a i s z a n c e and a i r

p h o t o g r a p h y m i s s i o n s X I X TAC f l e w

164

of

the Loire River

i n s u p p o r t o f T h i r d Army.

P a t t o n ' s G-2

S e c t i o n and X I X TAC worKed o u t b o t h a n a i r r e c o n n a i s s a n c e and r o a d and r a i l c u t t i n g p l a n t h e M o s e l l e . < l 0 2 > It i n s u p p o r t of T h i r d A r m y ' s sweep t o

i s n o w o n d e r P a t t o n was n o t t e r r i b l y h i s G-2 was t e l l i n g h i m t h a t


in retreat from

w o r r i e d about h i t army's f l a n K s : t h e German 6 4 t h C o r p s s o u t h o f

t h e L o i r e was

S e v e n t h A r m y ' s a d v a n c e UP t h e Rhone V a l l e y a n d c o u l d n o t a f f e c t
Th i r d Arrny
' 5

f 1 anK

operat ional l y

. The

ev i d e n c e

then,

indicates

that

i n a d d i t i o n t o s p e e d o f o p e r a t i o n s and d e p t h ,

Patton

thought that r i s K t o flanKs cavalr:,

c o u l d be minirnized by employing air as w e l l

g r o u p s and b y maKing e x t e n s i v e use o f

r e c o n n a i s s a n c e and deep natural

i n t e r d i c t i o n operat ions,

as

t e r r a i n o b s t a c l e s such as r i v e r l i n e s .

Reserves

P a t t o n ' s v i e w s on t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f r i s K

i n t h e employment

o f o p e r a t i o n a l r e s e r v e s is m o r e d i f f i c u l t
handling of flanKs. This

t o assess than h i s l i t t l e

i s so because he says v e r y

a b o u t how h e e n v i s i o n e d t h e e r n p l o y m e n t o f r e s e r u e s .

A
the

c o n v i n c i n g c a s e c a n b e made t h a t h e d i d n o t t h i n K much o f idea of r e t a i n i n g an o p e r a t i o n a l r e s e r u e .

A c o u p l e o f examples

illustrate Patton's

i n c l i n a t i o n e i t h e r t o r e t a i n no r e s e r v e o r D u r i n g X X a n d X I 1 C o r p s ' 21 flugust France, Patton committed

t o r e t a i n a v e r y s m a l l one. a t t a c K s on Melun, h i s entire force

Monteresy and Sens,

w i t h o u t r e t a i n i n g any r e s e r v e . < l 0 3 > P a t t o n

r e c a l l s t h i s a c t i o n b e c a u z e he remembers n o t r e t a i n i n g a

165

r e z . e r u e a n d a g a i n h a d t o r e s i s t t h e u r g e t o taKe c o u n s e l o f h i s

fears.
A second example.

revealing

in

i t s own w a y ,

occurred j u s t

a f t e r t h e b r e a K o u t t h r o u g h f l u r a n c h e s . Because o f t h e s p e e d o f movement o f T h i r d A r m y a n d t h e d i v e r g i n g a t t a c K s i t s c o r p s were

maKing a s t h e y d e b o u c h e d f r o m t h e f l v r a n c h e s a r e a , a l a r g e h o l e i n t h e FImerIcan l i n e s d e v e l o p e d b e t w e e n S t . H i l a i r e a n d

M a v e n n e , F r a n c e . T h e n a s e c o n d g a p o p e n e d U P west o f f l l e n c o n ,
a n d P a t t o n P e m a r K S t h a t a l l h e c o u l d d o was t o a s s e m b l e t h e 8 t h A r m o r e d D i u i s i o n a t F o u g \ e r e s t o f i l l t h i s s e c o n d g a p . < 1 8 4 > What
is s i g n i f i c a n t

is P a t t o n ' s a d m i s s i o n t h a t h e had t o a s s e m b l e a i m p l i e s h e h a d no s u c h u n i t earmarKed

d i v i s i o n , which c l e a r l y

f o r j u s t such a contingency. b e e n a b l e t o move s t r a i g h t

an

i d e n t i f i e d r e s e r v e would h a v e

into t h e gap.
X I 1 C o r p s became

D u r i n g t h e B u l g e C a m p a i g n when MG Eddy o f

concerned about an a t t a C K only army reserve--a

i n t o h i s f l a n K , P a t t o n s e n t Eddy h i s

company of

t a n K d e s t r o y e r s ! < l m > The

p i c t u r e t h a t e m e r g e s is o n e o f P a t t o n h a b i t u a l l y o p e r a t i n g w i t h

a small r e s e r v e o r without one a t a l l . T h e r e f o r e , a t e n e t of


1 Patton's

was:

Accept t h e o p e r a t i o n a l P l S K e n t a i l e d b y a small r e s e r v e t o g e t maximum c o m b a t p o w e r f o r w a r d .


Evidence t h a t Patton thought t h i s p r i n c i p l e appl led o p e r a t i o n a l l y 1 ies i n h i s a n g e r a t SHflEF's d e c i s i o n t o r e t a i n a

reserve during t h e Bulge Campaign. Claiming t h a t at t h a t period


o f t h e war n o r e s e r v e was n e e d e d , P a t t o n
"attaCKS

insisted that violent

everywhere w i t h e v e r y t h i n g " w i t h a l l a v a i l a b l e f o r c e s

166

would

l e a d t o s u c c e s s . < l 0 6 ~To K e e p h i g h e r h e a d q u a r t e r s f r o m

t a K i n g d i v i s i o n s f r o m h i m f o r an7 r e a s o n , P a t t o n and h i s s t a f f
e x h o r t e d c o r p s commander:
engaged.

to get a l l their units decisively

HOWeUer

t h i s should not be s u r p r i s i n g

, f o r P a t t o n 's

' J e r 7 c o n c e p t i o n o f O p e r a t i o n a l a r t was t h a t
s e r i e s of balance.

i t consisted o f a

o f f e n s i v e a c t i o n s d e s i g n e d t o Keep t h e enemy o f f

N t t h e corps level t h i s meant penetrating t h e enemy's


i n f a n t r y a n d t h e n e x p l o i t i n g w i t h armor.

line with the

In a

s e n s e , a n a r m o r e d d i v i s i o n was a r e s e r v e u n i t t h e purpose of protecting t h e

in t h e c o r p s f o r

infantry against a counterattacK

and e x p l o i t i n g a t a c t i c a l s u c c e s s .

In order t o operate in t h a t

f a s h i o n , P a t t o n had t o s p r e a d h i s armored d i v i s i o n s around, r e t a i n i n g nothing a t t h e army l e v e l f o r e x p l o i t a t i o n o r CounterattacK.

It

is p o s s i b l e t o s e e i n P a t t u n ' s d e c i s i o n n o t

t o r e t a i n a r e s e r v e a t a r m y l e v e l a w i l l i n g n e s s t o a c c e p t an
e l e v a t e d o p e r a t i o n a l risK w h i l e lowering t h e riSK a t t h e

t a c t i c a l l e v e l . Hence, P a t t o n ' s d i s p e r s e d armor, w h i c h c o u l d h a v e p r o v i d e d h i m w i t h a n a r m y l e v e l r e s e r u e , was e m p l o y e d tactically

p l a c i n g most of T h i r d Nrmy

'5

a r m o r e d combat power

forward and r e d u c i n g t a c t i c a l r i s K .

Patton compensated f o r t h e

I n c r e a s e d o p e r a t i o n a l risK b y e m p l o y i n g a i r and c a v a l r y a s s e t s
t o s u r v e y a n d g u a r d h i s a r m y ' s f l a n K S . H i s a p p r o a c h t o risK r e d u c t i o n p l a c e d h e a v y r e l l a n c e on h i s a b i l i t y t o f l e x i b l y a s s e m b l e a r e s e r v e or f l a n K p r o t e c t i o n e l e m e n t
air reconnaissance
if

long-range

i n d i c a t e d s u c h a u n i t were n e e d e d l h e

c o u n t e d on s u c h r e c o n n a i s s a n c e t o prov i d e him w i t h t h e c r i t i c a l

t i m e h e n e e d e d t o taKe d e f e n s i v e m e a s u r e s .

167

Logistical

Sustainment

LiKe Heinz Guderian,

G e o r g e P a t t o n d i d n o t s p e n d much o f

h i s t irne c o n s i d e r i n 9 l o g i s t i c a l m a t t e r s . And 1 iKe G u d e r i a n , P a t t o n ' i . l o g i s t i c a l n e g l e c t came t o h a u n t h i m . guess t h i s t o be t h e case, f o r P a t t o n SPOKC

One would n e v e r
i n glowing

only

t e r m s a b o u t h i s own l o g i s t i c a l a r r a n g e m e n t s .
s y s t e m of
administration

He thought t h e

i n T h i r d A r m y , f o r e x a m p l e , was

e x c e l l e n t . The s y s t e r n t h a t a l l o w e d a d m i n i s t r a t i v e m a t t e r s t o

p a s s f r o m a r m y t o d i v i s i o n , b y p a s s i n g c o r p s , was t h e w a y t o d o
b u s i n e s s s i n c e t h e c o r p s was a t a c t i c a l unit.

He s a y s t h a t
in

"Cblecause o f t h i s arrangement w e had p e r f e c t f a c i l i t y

s h i f t i n g diuir.ions without l o s i n g a moment's t i m e .

We never had
in

t o r e g r o u p , w h i c h s e e m e d t o b e t h e c h i e f f o r m o f arnusernent
t h e B r i t i s h armies

."< 107)

Becau2.e l o g i s t i c s a n d r e p l a c e m e n t s

f l o w e d f r o m t h e Cummun i c a t i o n s Z o n e

(COFIMZ) t h r o u g h f i e l d
in

armies t o d i v i s i o n s , f i e l d armies had a l a r g e r o l e t o p l a y l ogi st i c al sustainment.


C a m p a i g n T h i r d firm!)

In f a c t , b y t h e time o f

the Lorraine

had two q u a r t e r m a s t e r g r o u p s t o t a l 1 i n g

s i x t y c o m p a n i e s a n d two o r d n a n c e g r o u p s w i t h e l e v e n b a t t a l i o n s

between t h e m t o c a r r y o u t
However,

its l o g i s t i c a l responsibil ities.<lEI8>

i n s p i t e o f P a t t o n ' s s m u g PemarK a b o u t B r i t i s h
is 1 i t t l e ev i d e n c e t h a t s h o w s P a t t o n

regroupment, there

p e r s o n a l l y h a d a f irrn u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n

168

t h e a t t a i n m e n t of capabil itles, relationship.

o p e r a t i o n a l o b j e c t i v e s and l o g i s t i c a l investigating this i n d i c a t e s he l e f t most

o r s p e n t much t i m e

The e v i d e n c e a v a i l a b l e i n T h i r d firmy

l o g i s t i c a l matters

to his logisticians. 1 i t t l e w r i t t e n g u i d a n c e on h e s a i d was c o n f i n e d t o b r o a d

P a t t o n g a v e h i s commanders l o g l s t i c a l matters. Most o f what

g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s such a s : equally," and

" s u p p l y r e s t s on g i v e and t a K e

" s u p p l y u n i t s must a n t i c i p a t e t h r o u g h

r e c o n n a i s s a n c e t h e needs o f users and g e t s u p p l i e s u p b e f o r e t h e y a r e c a l l e d f o r . " < l 0 9 > H e r e P a t t o n i s d i s p l a y i n g a measure of s o p h i s t i c a t i o n because a l t h o u g h d o c t r i n a l l y t h e Flmerican s y s t e m i n W o r l d War suggesting a

logistical

I 1 was a " d e m a n d " s y s t e m , P a t t o n


The "demand" s y s t e m i n

is a l m o s t

"push" system.

p l a c e w h e n h e b e g a n h i s sweep a c r o s s F r a n c e was a b l e t o s u p p l y h i s army w i t h s u f f i c i e n t i n i t i a l phases o f supply fuel, ammunition, and p e r s o n n e l

in the

operations.

Fuel,

o f course,

was t h e c l a s s o f

i n g r e a t e s t demand as T h i r d firrw

swept toward t h e

Moselle River.

To Keep h i s a r m y a d e q u a t e l y s u p p l i e d d u r i n g operations, P a t t o n r e l i e d m a i n l y o n 2-1/2 ton

these fast-moving
trUCKS.

P a t t o n c l a i m s t h a t t h e s u c c e s s e s o f T h i r d Army r e s t e d equipment. He s a y s :

l a r g e l y on two p i e c e s o f

The war not its

a n d t h e 2-1/2 t o n t r u c K d i d m o r e t o w i n t h i s t h a n a n y o t h e r e q u i p m e n t we h a d . T h i r d % m y could have e x e c u t e d i t s h i s t o r y - m a K i n g sweeps and w i n g r e a t v i c t o r i e s w i t h o u t t h a t p l a n e and t P U C K . < 1 1 0 >


C-47

There

i s e v i d e n c e t h a t P a t t o n made g r e a t u s e o f

both the trucK

a n d t h e p l a n e t o Keep h i s a r m y s u p p l i e d . airplane
is.,

H i s use o f t h e illustrate

perhaps,

ouerstated,

b u t a few examples

169

his point. T h i r d FlrmY f i r s t 1 3 4 4 when 77 t o n s o f France, August made u s e o f a i r r e s u p p l y o n 21 A u g u s t i n t o t h e LeMans, From 21

r a t i o n s were f l o w n

a r e a a n d 5 1 wounded s o l d i e r s w e r e f l o w n o u t . on, T r o o p C a r r i e r Command ITCC),

w h i c h f l e w t h e C-47

missions

i n support of

P a t t o n ' s army,

made

it a practice t o

establish airstrips effect resupply.

immediately behind forward b a t t l e 1 ines t o


TCC h a d d e l i v e r e d 500 t o n s o f

6:) 25 A u g u s t ,

supplies, flew

e m p l o y i n g 207 C - 4 7 a i r c r a f t . 100,000 g a l l o n s of after fuel

I n o n e d a y a l o n e TCC
vehicles

i n over

t o Keep P a t t o n ' s

running.<lll> Later, was a t t h e f a r d e l i v e r what About t h a t flying end o f

T h i r d Army h a d c r o s s e d t h e R h i n e a n d tether, TCC was a b l e t o

i t s logistical

amounted t o emergency f u e l

r a t i o n s t o T h i r d Army.
i t n o t been f o r

a c t i o n P a t t o n says t h a t had

TCC

planes

i n t o t h e Lirnburg [Germany1 a i r p o r t a t t h e r a t e o f plane containing

60 a i r c r a f t a n h o u r - - e a c h cans--Third

115 f i u e - g a l l o n

Army w o u l d h a v e r u n o u t o f

gasoline.<ll2> Colonel

R o b e r t F l l l e n maKes a much s t r o n g e r s t a t e m e n t a b o u t t h e r o l e o f a i r resupply t h a t t h e war Spring o f

i n t h e European Theater of

Operations.

He c o n t e n d s in the

i n Europe c o u l d n o t have been concluded

1 3 4 5 had i t n o t b e e n

for TCC's a i r r e s u p p l y e f f o r t s .

He s a y s t h a t t h e d a y a f t e r

t h e 4 t h Flrmored D i v i s i o n a t t a c K e d
for

o u t o f t h e Oppenheim b r i d g e h e a d , began d e l i v e r i n g e s s e n t i a l M a r c h C-47s

example,

TCC c a r r i e r s

s u p p l i e s t o advanced u n i t s . gallons o f gasoline; gallons.

On 2 3

u n l o a d e d 435,000

t h r e e days flew
is

l a t e r TCC d e l i v e r e d 5 2 6 , 0 0 0 out over 13,000

O n r e t u r n t r i p s C-47s

c a s u a l t i e s between

1-8 May

1 9 4 5 . < 1 1 3 > What

170

i n t e r e s t i n g a b o u t t h e s e comments h a d t o maKe g o t awa!, i n c r e a s i n g use of

i s that

it appears that

Patton

a i r r e s u p p l y t h e f a r t h e r h i s army And t h i s
i s so b e c a u s e

f r o m t h e Norrnandy b e a c h h e a d .

Patton's tactical

and o p e r a t i o n a l pace 9 U i C K l Y o u t s t r i p p e d h i s Consequently, he a c c e p t e d l o g i s t i c a l

logistical capabilities.
r i S K

which had p o t e n t i a l l y d i s a s t r o u s r e s u l t s . The g r e a t b u l K o f T h i r d R r m y ' s l o g i s t i c s was t r a n s p o r t e d

n o t b y a i r b u t b y 2-1./2 Express are f a m i l i a r ,

ton trUCK.

S t o r i e s a b o u t t h e Red B a l l at
i t s peaK t h e Red

and

it i s t r u e that

B a l l h a d some 6000 t r u c K s o p e r a t i n g d a y a n d n i g h t a n d p e r f o r m e d monumental l o g i s t i c a l f e a t s . e v e n 6000


trUCKS

B u t as P a t t o n l e a r n e d ,

i n t h e end to

o p e r a t i n g n i g h t and day were n o t s u f f i c i e n t

Keep h i s a n d ' t h e o t h e r f i e l d r a t e of

armies adequately suppl ied a t h i s Dur i n g p u r s u i t o p e r a t i o n s a f t e r


gal Ions

advance a c r o s s Europe.

t h e breaKout a t Ruranches, o f g a s o l i n e a day, c o n s u m e d 300,000

T h i r d Army c o n s u m e d 350,000

and t h e t r u c K s o f

t h e Red B a l l t h e m s e l u e s

g a l l o n s a day.

The p r o v i n c e o f L o r r a i n e l i e s a

a b o u t 800 K i l o m e t e r s o u e r l a n d f r o m t h e Normandy b e a c h h e a d ,

f a c t t h a t n e l t h e r SHAEF's n o r P a t t o n ' s l o g i s t i c i a n s w e r e a b l e t o change, b u t w h i c h had more t o say a b o u t t h e c o n d u c t o f For although there

o p e r a t i o n s t h a n P a t t o n was w i l l i n g t o a d m i t . were s u f f i c i e n t StocKs o f g a s o l i n e t h e r e were

i n t h e Normandy b e a c h h e a d ,

i n a d e q u a t e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n a s s e t s t o moue t h a t when P a t t o n ' s August lead units a

gasoline t o u s e r s . < l l 4 > Consequently, finally came t o a h a l t a t t h e e n d o f

1344 b e c a u s e o f
two

lacK o f f u e l ,

o n l y n i n e German i n f a n t r y

battalions,

artillery battalions,

and t e n tanKS were d e f e n d i n g i n L O r r a i n e .

171

BY t h e t i m e e n o u g h g a s o l i n e a r r i v e d t o c o n t i n u e h i s o f f e n s i v e
o n 5 S e p t e m b e r , G e r m a n u n i t s h a d r e i n f o r c e d L o r r a i n e a n d were prepared t o put up a stubborn defense.<ll5> P a t t o n ' s violation
of

l o g i ~ t i c a lp r i n c i p l e s c a u g h t U P w i t h h i m i n L o r r a i n e , f o r tactical p r i n c i p l e s , t h e e f f e c t of is c u m u l a t i u e

u n l i K e t h e v i o l a t i o n of

neglecting l o g i s t i c a l matters

in nature.

< 116:

In a n e f f o r t t o a l l e v i a t e h i s g a s o l i n e s h o r t a g e , P a t t o n a t v a r i o u s times used c a p t u r e d g a s o l i n e o r hiJacKed g a s o l i n e f r o m f gasoline, o t h e r a l l i e d armies, a n d r e l i e d o n a i r P ~ S U P P ~oY n o n e o f w h i c h u l t i m a t e l y s o l v e d t h e p r o b l e m . He a l s o s w i t c h e d more a n d more t r u c K s i n h i s army f r o m a m m u n i t i o n t r a n s p o r t a t i o n t o gasoline transportation. F l l t h o u g h t h i s move s o m e w h a t

improved t h e g a s o l i n e d e f i c i t

in t h e short run,

i t had o t h e r

deleterious effects in t h e long run.

Switching transportation

a s s e t s t o t h e tasK of

f u e l r e s u p p l y caused an acute s h o r t a g e of

h e a u v c a l i b e r a r t i l l e r y ammunition and p r e c l u d e d t h e b u i l d i n g
o f s t o c ~ so f C l a s s V a l t h o u g h t h e a m m u n i t i o n was

a u a i l a b l e . < l l 7 > To h e l p a l l e v i a t e s u c h s h o r t a g e s P a t t o n r e s o r t e d t o r a t i o n i n g d u r i n g t h e L o r r a i n e Campaign. Third Arrw

was so s h o r t o f

l a r g e c a l i b e r a r t i l l e r y ammunition t h a t tanKs In a d d i t i o n ,

a n d t a n K d e s t r o y e r s were s u r v e y e d i n a s a r t i l l e r y . T h i r d A r m y made u s e o f

c a p t u r e d G e r m a n a m m u n i t i o n . One X X C o r p s

TOT was f i r e d w i t h c a p t u r e d G e r m a n 1 0 5 - m m h o w i t z e r , R u s s i a n m a d e 7 6 . 2 mm g u n s , F r e n c h
155-mm

h o w i t z e r s , and German 88-mm

anti-tanK
Corps

guns;

88% o f

t h e a r t i l l e r y a m m u n i t i o n e x p e n d e d b y XX
1944 was G e r m a n . < l l B > T h e

i n t h e l a s t weeK o f O c t o b e r

clear p o i n t of

t h e s e f a c t s is t h a t P a t t o n s e e m e d t o b e o n l y

172

diml!)

a w a r e t h a t b u r n i n g UP g a s o l i n e r e s e r v e s t o Keep h i s a r m y

m o v i n g a n d t h e n n e g l e c t i n g a m m u n i t i o n StoCKS u l t i m a t e l y h a v e t h e i r curnulat i u e e f f e c t s on o p e r a t I o n a l c a p a b i l i t y . T h i r d A r m y was f o r c e d Finally,

t o s h i f t t o railroads f o r transportation

a n d l o c a l r e q u i s i t i o n f o r r e s u p p l y b e c a u s e t h e Red B a l l E x p r e s s c o u l d n o t Keep UP w i t h h i s a r m y . < l l S j P a t t o n a l m o s t r e l i s h e s t e l l i n g t h e s t o r y a b o u t how h i s c o r p s commanders l o c a t ion of inuariably got i n t o heated arguments over t h e The s u b j e c t o f those

corps boundaries.

< 120)

d i s c u s s i o n s was a l w a y s t h e a s s i g n m e n t o f r o a d n e t s w i t h i n t h e army z o n e o f a c t i o n . E a c h c o r p s commander w a n t e d t o maKe s u r e i t needed t o e n s u r e h i s c o r p s c o u l d Similarly, P a t t o n i m p l i e s t h a t army

h i s corps got the road nets be l o g i s t i c a l l y s u p p o r t e d . b o u n d a r i e s were d e t e r m i n e d

i n g r e a t p a r t on t h e b a s i s o f m a j o r

r o a d a n d r a i l n e t s . < l 2 1 > The s p e e d w i t h w h i c h F r e n c h r a i l r o a d s w e r e r e p a i r e d a n d made o p e r a t i o n a l h e l p e d a l l a u i a t e T h i r d Army's logistical shortages. Fortunately f o r Patton, the

railroads and were

i n c e n t r a l a n d e a s t e r n F r a n c e w e r e n o t b a d l y damaged left i n t a c t b y t h e r e t r e a t i n g Germans. Additionally,

d u r i n g October

1944 T h i r d R r m y l o g i s t i c a l u n i t s w e r e a b l e t o

e s t a b l i s h s u p p o r t i n g r a i l h e a d s as f a r f o r w a r d a s Nancy, F r a n c e . < l 2 2 > By A p r i l 1945, the bulK o f Third Army's gasoline

was t r a n s p o r t e d b y r a i l r o a d t a n K c a r s f r o m a c o n t i n e n t a l
p ipel ine ending a t

Th i o n u 11 l e , F r a n c e ,

t o Mainr, i n t o tanK

Germany,
trUCKS

where

i t was pumped a c r o s s t h e R h i n e R i v e r

and

t r a n s p o r t e d t o f o r w a r d tin i t s .
Rn examinat ion of

< 123>

P a t t o n ' s l o g i s t i c a l operations suggests

173

t h a t he n e g l e c t e d t h i s v i t a l a s p e c t o f o p e r a t i o n a l a r t and b r o u g h t o n h i s command n o t o n l y a g r e a t d e a l o f a l s o a r e d u c e d o p e r a t i o n a l c a p a b il i t y . they ran out o f fuel, anguish but

D r i v i n g h i s tanKs u n t i l and

n e g l e c t i n g ammunition StocKs,

d i v e r t i n g t r a n s p o r t a t i o n a s s e t s a l l had t h e i r c u m u l a t i v e effects.

In defense

of Patton,

i t can be s a i d t h a t he t r i e d by p r e s s i n g

d e s p e r a t e l y t o d e f e a t enemy f o r c e s o p e r a t i o n a l l y h i s o f f e n s i v e o p e r a t i o n s t o and b e y o n d t h e i r s u p p o r t a b l e means.

logistically

P a t t o n d i d t h i s because he be1 ieued t h a t t o

" f i l l t h e u n f o r g i u i n g m i n u t e w i t h s i x t y seconds w o r t h of
distance r u n " would reflection, of Lorraine,
it

i n t h e l o n g r u n save s o l d i e r s '

lives.

On

is a b i t t e r

irony that t o capture the province air

T h i r d A r m y t o o K t h r e e m o n t h s t o move 4 0 - 6 0 casualties, one-third of the total

m i l e s a n d c o s t 50,000

c a s u a l t i e s T h i r d Army s u f f e r e d OPerat i o n s .

i n t h e whole European Theater of

< 124>

Conclusions

O e s p i t e w h a t has j u s t b e e n s a i d a b o u t P a t t o n ' s assessment and h i s a t t e m p t s t o reduce r i s K ,

risK

Patton can r i g h t l y

b e a c c l a i m e d a n a b l e p r a c t i t i o n e r o f t h e o p e r a t i o n a l a r t . He

was c l e a r l y a n a g g r e s s i v e commander who t h o u g h t t h a t t h e w h o l e


of O D e r a t i o n a l a r t was t h e o f f e n s i v e . Consequently, he e x h o r t e d

a l l h i s commanders t o a t t a C K a l l t h e t i m e w i t h a l l u n i t s u n d e r command t o t h r o w t h e enemy o f f b a l a n c e a n d Keep h i m t h e r e u n t i l

174

attaCKing u n i t s a c h i e v e o p e r a t i o n a l d e p t h and e n v e l o p t h e e n e m y . He a p p e a r e d w i l l i n g t o d i v e s t h i m s e l f operational reserve of any s i z a b l e

in o r d e r t o g e t maximum combat power level, thereby trading off tactical for s p e e d a n d t imel i n e s s o f o p e r a t i o n s f e a t u r e s of t h e s u c c e s s f u l is m e a s u r e d o n l y

forward at t h e t a c t i c a l operational
P

i5K.

For h i m ,

were t h e a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l o p e r a t i o n a l commander.

If succese

i n terms of

tactical

o r operational

outcomes, w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r a t ion of

c o s t s incurred t o achieve t h o s e outcomes, t h e n George P a t t o n

was c l e a r l y a s u c c e s s . Y e t ,
conditional

it

t5 d o u b t f u l

t h a t t h e preceding

is t r u e , and an a c c u r a t e e v a l u a t i o n o f P a t t o n a s a o p e r a t i o n a l a r t must t u r n , a t l e a s t
i n waging war.

p r a c t i t i o n e r of

i n p a r t , on

t h e q u e s t ion of h i s means

175

ENDNOTES

Sons,

1 E d i t o r s o f firmy T i m e s , 1 9 6 7 > , P . 39.

Warrior

(New 'YorK:

G.P.

Putnam's

2 M a r t i n B l u m e n s o n , The P a t t o n P a p e r s , V o l . 1 H o u g h t o n M i f f 1 i n Company, 1 9 7 2 ) , P P . 8 6 0 - 8 6 1 .
3 The P a t t o n P a p e r s ,
4 The P a t t o n P a p e r s ,
5 Jhe

(Boston:

Vol.1,
Vol.1,

P.
P.

861.
960. 953-960.

P a t t o n Papers,

Vol.1,

PP.

6 K e n t G r e e n f i e l d , R. P a l m e r , B. W i l e y , U n i t e d S t a t e s firmy i n W o r l d War I!: The O r g a n i z a t i o n o f G r o u n d Combat U.S. flrmv H i s t o r i c a l D i u i s i o n , 1 9 4 7 1 , T r o o p s ( W a s h i n g t o n , D.C.: p . 307.

7 C h r i s t o p h e r R. G a b e l , T h e L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n : fln O v e r u i e w , S e p t e m b e r - D e c e m b e r 1944 ( F o r t L e a u e n w o r t h , K a n s a s : Combat S t u d i e s I n s t i t u t e , U . S . firmy Command a n d G e n e r a l S t a f f as The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n . C o l l e g e , 1385), p.13. H e r e a f t e r ~ i t e d


8 K.
P.

Greenfield,

The O r g a n i z a t i o n o f G r o u n d Combat T r o o p s .

321.
9 K. G r e e n f i e l d , 324-326.

The O r g a n i z a t i o n o f G r o u n d Combat T r o o p s ,

pp.

I 0 The P a t t o n P a p e r s ,

Vol.1,

P.

758.

1 1 G e o r g e S. P a t t o n , Jr., W a r Fls I Knew H o u g h t o n M i f f l i n Company, 1 9 4 7 ) , P . 337.

It ( B o s t o n :

12 G e o r g e 5 . P a t t o n , J r . , " L e t t e r o f I n s t r u c t i o n No .3!' HQ, T h i r d U.S.Army, d a t e d 20 May 1 9 4 4 , p . 1 . H e r e a f t e r c i t e d a s L O 1


N0.3.

13 L O 1 No.3,

p.7.

14 L O 1 No.3,

p.3.

15 The P a t t o n P a p e r s , 16 L O 1 N o . 3 ,
17 L O 1 N o . 3 ,
p.2.
p.4.

Vol.1,

PP.

833-834.

I76

1 8 G e o r g e S . P a t t o n , J r . , " T a c t i c a l Use o f S e p a r a t e TanK B a t t a l i o n s , " T h i r d Army L e t t e r d a t e d 15 A p r i l 1 9 4 4 , p . 1 . 1 9 LO1 No.3, p.6.


p.1.

20 L O 1 No.3,

2 1 U.S. D e p a r t m e n t o f t h e Army F i e l d M a n u a l 1 0 0 - 5 , S e r v i c e R e g u l a t i o n s : O p e r a t i o n s ( W a s h i n g t o n , D.C.: U.S. Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 1941), pp.3-4.

Fielj

22 R o b e r t A l l e n ,
Inc., 19471, p.238. Forward,

LUCKY Forward

(New

YOPK:

Vanguard

Press,

23 LUCK:,

p.263.
P . 167.

24 LUCKY Forward,

25 H.M. C o l e , U.S.flrmv i n W o r l d War 1 1 : The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n ( W a s h i n g t o n ,D.C. : H i s t o r i c a l D i u i s i o n , D e p a r t m e n t o f t h e A r m y , 1950), p p . 3 8 0 - 3 9 6 . See a l s o L o r r a i n e O u e r u i e w , p . 2 5 .


26 War A s

I Knew It, p . 105.


P . 106.

27 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,
22 F a r As

I Knew I t , p . 9 6 .
pp.240-241. p.11. p.10. p.14.

29 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,

30 The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n ,

3 1 The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n ,

32 The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n ,

33 War As

I Knew I t , p . 2 7 1 .
HQ, T h i r d U.S.Army,

34 A f t e r H c t i o n R e p o r t , 1 9 4 4 - 9 May 1 9 4 5 , P . 16.

1 flugust

35 p f t e r

Action Report,

HQ,

T h i r d U.S.Army,

P.31.
YOPK:

36 H a r r y H. Semrnes, Appleton-Century-Crofts,

P o r t r a i t o f P a t t o n (New Inc., 1955), p.197. p.33.

37 The L o r r a i n e C a r w a i g n ,
38 L O 1 N o . 2 , p.3.

177

39 P o r t r a i t o f P a t t o n ,

p.163.

4 0 War A s

I Knew I t , p p . 5 8 - 6 0 .
P P .296-297.

41 LUCKY Forward, 42 L O 1 No.3, 4 3 War A s 4 4 War A s


45 War
p.5.

I Knew

It, pp.136-140.

I Knew I t , p p . 1 2 9 - 1 3 0 .
I h e w
I t , p.5.

As

4 6 War As
47 War
As

I Knew I t , p . 1 2 7 . I Knew
It, p.232.

4 8 B e a t r i c e 6. P a t t o n , (Nou-Oec 1 9 5 2 1 , P . I I . 4 9 '"A S o l d i e r ' s

" A S o l d i e r ' s Reading,''

in

Reading,"

p.11.

50 P o r t r a i t o f P a t t o n ,

pp.170-17 pp.170-17

.
.

51 P o r t r a i t o f
52 W a r

Patton,

6s

I Knew
p.3.

I t , P . 123.

53 L O I
54 War

r.io.2,

As As

I Knew

It, P . 181.

55 War

I Knew I t , p . 3 6 4 . I Knew I t ,
P

56 War A s

.364.
V o l .2,
P .523.

57 The P a t t o n P a p e r s ,

58 War
59 W a r

As
As

I Knew I t , p . 3 2 3 .
I Knew

I t , P .93.
p.30.

60 L U C K ?

Forward,

6 1 LtlCKy F o r u a r d ,

p.30. (New Y0i-K:

62 H. Essame, P a t t o n : A S t u d y i n Command C h a r l e s S c r i b n e r ' s Sons, 1974), pp.153-154.

63 C h a r l e s 8. M a c O o n a l d , A T i m e f o r T r u m p e t s W i l I i a r n M o r r o w a n d Company, I n c . , 1 9 8 5 ) , p .599.

(New

YorK:

17s

64 P a t t o n :

A Study

i n Command,
p.337.
p.208.

p.242.

65 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,
66 P o r t r a i t o f

Patton,

67 L O 1
63 War

No.1, p . 1 .
As
I Knew

It, p.207.

69 War A s
70 War

I Knew I Knew

I t , p.207.
It, p.94.

As

7 1 L O 1 No.1,

p.2.
p.2.

7 2 LO1 No.1,
73 War A s
7 4 War As

I Knew

I t , p.339.

I Knew I t , p . 3 3 3 .
Vo1.2,
p.523.

75 The P a t t o n P a p e r s ,
76 War

As

I Knew

I t , P .327. p.218.

77 P o r t r a i t o f P a t t o n ,

78 War A s

I Knew

I t , p.98.
P .47.

79 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,

30 War

As

I Knew

It, p.149.
p.68.
P .68.

81 LUCKY Forward, 32 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,

83 O s c a r W. K o c h , G - 2 : Intelligence f o r Patton ( P h i l a d e l p h i a : W h i t m o r e P u b 1 i s h i n g Company, 1 9 7 1 1 , p . 5 8 .


84 G - 2 :

Intelligence for

Patton,

p.140. pp.45-46. pp.80-84. p.110.

85 G - 2 :
86 6-2: 37 G - 2 :

Intelligence f o r Patton, Intelligence for Patton, Intelligence f o r Patton,


p.68.

33 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,

179

83 War As

I Knew

It, p.39.

90 WarraCK W a l l a c e , " R e p o r t o n f l s s i s n m e n t w i t h T h i r d U n i t e d S t a t e s Army, 15 A u g u s t - 1 8 S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 4 , " NFlRS R e c o r d s (Washington, D.C.: National flrchiues G r o u p # Nb.13-457-81-12 R e c o r d S e c t i o n > , PP - 2 - 4 .
9 1 G-2: Intrllisence for As Patton, 7.148.

32 War
93 G - 2 : 34 War

I Knew

It, p.339.

Intelligence for As

Patton,

p.105.

I Knew I t ,

P . 141.

55 A f t e r

A c t i o n Report,

Vo1.2,

HQ, T h i r d U.S.f%-my,

p.22.

96 R i c h a r d E. SirnpK i n , M e c h a n i z e d I n f a n t r y B r a s s e y ' s P u b l i s h e r s L i m i t e d , 1980), p.21.

<N@wYOrK:

37 L U C K Y
98 War 93 War

Forward,

P .85.

Fls
As

I Knew
I Knew
P.5.

It, p.361.
It, p.36.

I 0 0 LO1 Fl0.3,

1 0 1 The P a t t o n P a p e r s , 162 L U C K Y F o r w a r d , 103 W a r As

Vol.2,

P.523.

p p . 133-134.

I Knew I Knew

I t , P . 108.
I t , P . 100.

104 W a r A s 1 0 5 War 1 0 6 War 1 0 7 War


As

I Knew
I Knew I Knew

I t , p.205.

f3s

It, p.196,223.

Fls

I t , P . 104.
p.10.

1 0 8 The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n , 1 0 3 L O 1 No.1, 110


LUCK),

p.4. p.363.
p p . 124-125;

Forward,

1I 1 LUCKY Forward, 1 1 2 War As

p . 126.

I Kneu I t , p.265.

180

113 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,

pp.360-361.
p.6.

114 The L o r r a i n e C a m p a i g n ,
115

u.,
pp.7-3,

116
117

u.,
p.34.

m.,p . 7 .
p.22.

11s I U . ,
119

w . ,p . 3 6 .
I Knew

120 M a r As

It, p . 2 7 6 .

121

m.,p . 1 4 8 .
p.22.
P .375.

I22 The L o r r a i n e Campaign,

123 L U C K Y F o r w a r d ,

124 The L o r r a i n e Campaign,

p.36.

131