First US Army Group

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“There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled sh-t in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-G-dd—ed-B—h named Georgie Patton!”

General George S. Patton, Jr., June 5, 1944

 

General George S. Patton, Jr., not only had high military skills, he was also a skilled actor, using that skill to inspire his troops and sometimes to terrify his immediate subordinates.  After Patton was placed in the dog house due to the slapping of a private on Sicily, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall came up with the idea of using Patton as a decoy:  Marshall wrote to Eisenhower on October 21, 1943: “It seems evident to us that Patton’s movements are of great importance to German reactions and therefore should be carefully considered. I had thought and spoke to [Eisenhower's chief of staff, Walter Bedell] Smith about Patton being given a trip to Cairo and Cyprus but the Corsican visit appeals to me as carrying much more of a threat [to northern Italy].” Eisenhower responded, “As it is I am quite sure that we must do everything possible to keep [the Germans] confused and the point you have suggested concerning Patton’s movements appeals to me as having a great deal of merit. This possibility had not previously occurred to me.”

Ironically, although the Germans after his dash across France at the head of Third Army would regard Patton as one of ablest Allied generals, prior to that time his name figures little in German intelligence reports, while constant attention was paid to the movements of Montgomery.  The plan to use Patton as a decoy was therefore based on a faulty premise, but of course Eisenhower and Marshall were completely unaware of that.

Thus Patton in the months of 1944 leading up to the invasion of Normandy found himself at the head of an impressive force: the First US Army Group, consisting of the US 14th Army and the British 4th Army.  It was entirely fictitious.  Codenamed Operation Quicksilver, the First US Army Group produced lots of radio chatter and paper reports, along with endless dummy tanks and fake troop bases.  It worked along with the other allied deceptions that made up Operation Fortitude South.  The Germans were convinced that the First US Army Group was a real formation and that the Allies were going to invade with it at Calais.  Patton made speeches and appearances throughout England at this time that received maximum publicity to enhance his assumed position as head of the Allied invasion.  At the same time he was secretly training Third Army for its role after the invasion.

The archetypal Patton speech that became famous in the movie Patton was delivered by Patton to some units of the Third Army on June 5, 1944.  It of course received no press coverage at the time in order not to spoil the illusion that Patton was in charge of the invasion.  However, it is well worth the reading and go here to do so.  (Strong content advisory as Patton was as profane as he was devout, and he was very devout.)  Patton’s time as a decoy was coming to an end and he was about to join the hunt.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x156uvg

10 Responses to First US Army Group

  • Love this great figure in US military history.

    Loved the movie.

    Thanks for the great info., some of which I was not aware of.

  • Patton was a real hero, a manly man, and so were those who served under him. Not for him would be the Army of Barack Hussein Obama – effeminate, narcissist and sissified. Oh what eloquent words of profane, vile invective he would have for Obama, his wife Jezebel and the weak-kneed, yellow bellied Democrats would be a harmonious melody of music to hear over and over again. The things he said are so anti-liberal:
    .
    “Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bull$###. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.”
    .
    “Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men.”
    .
    “We’re going to murder those lousy Hun c###s#####s by the bushel-f###ing-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You’ve got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts.”
    .
    Oh the words he would have for Obama I would so love to hear be uttered! Patton would know how to deal with the Islamic terrorists. Patton would know how to respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and China’s aggression against the Philippines. But we no longer have real men as leaders. We have p#$$ified politicians more interested in promoting sexual filth and murdering unborn babies. Cowards are they one and all. They commit acts of violence against the most innocent that would make Hitler and Stalin green with envy, and then tell us it is all about human rights. Patton would be aghast. Indeed, it is only men like Patton and those who served under him who understand what real human rights are, and who are willing to fight and defeat the enemy utterly, totally and completely.
    .
    I am ashamed of the America that Obama and Jezebel and their Democrats have created. It is not the America that Patton and his men fought for.
    .
    Mors Atheismo Democratiaeque! Vive Christe Rex!

  • What this country suffers from is a wholescale sissification in its educational system and the entertainment business does nothing but cause damage.

    We see it in the Church hierarchy. Ranting about the “broken” immigration system and the (rather rare use of) the death penalty but little to nothing about abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, contraception is what most of the Catholic Churchgoing public hears in homilies. One can count on one hand the bishops who openly confront abortionist politicians who call themselves Catholic.

    We are stuck with “Catholicrats”.

    This morning I was took my six year old to Mass and then to hockey camp. I was listening to Grove City college professor Paul Kengor substituting for Glenn Meacham. Kengor was interviewing a gentleman who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. It was a captivating interview. The courage those men had far exceeded any courage I have had.

  • Donald, wasn’t sure how to reach out by email, but I appreciate the thoughtful exchange on ‘Killing the Messenger.’ I regret some found it necessary to derail the entire conversation. Best Regards, Wayne

  • My dad was in the Third Army with Patton. I love Patton.
    Did you know that he converted to Catholicism on his deathbed.

  • Interesting stuff. My favorite line from that great movie “Patton”, is when he is trying to out maneuver Rommel in N. Africa:

    Patton: “Rommel… you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”

  • PWP, I hope you feel better after that exemplary eruption. I know that for reading it, I certainly do. Bravo. Viva Christo Rey!

  • I wasn’t aware that he converted to Catholicism. There is an Episcopal church here in San Gabriel, California just a few blocks away from my home that prominently features the Patton family name on various memorials. There’s also a life sized statue of Gen Patton on the grounds next to the cemetery. Every Memorial Day my wife and I take the kids to the San Gabriel Mission where there is a small plaque honoring the local war dead and veterans, and we say a prayer and leave flowers. In the future we may carry out the tradition at the Patton statue, as long as we can be sure his ghost isn’t haunting the church grounds and cursing obscenities. ; )

  • Patton was a victim of ‘political correctness’ long before the term was invented. Lord knows what he would have made of female combat soldiers and enforced tolerance of homosexuality. Sadly, we shall not see his like again. A memorable line from the movie: “Gimme two weeks and I’ll start a war with those goddam Russkies and make it look like it was their fault”.

  • “I wasn’t aware that he converted to Catholicism.”

    He didn’t, although he did attend Mass occasionally during the War. The chief chaplain of the Third Army was Monsignor James H. O’Neil who wrote the famous weather prayer. Go to the link below to read his account:

    http://www.pattonhq.com/prayer.html

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