01 September 2011

George Patton On Reading History

"To be a successful soldier you must know history. Read it objectively–dates and even the minute details of tactics are useless. What you must know is how man reacts. Weapons change but man who uses them changes not at all. To win battles you do not beat weapons–you beat the soul of man of the enemy man. To do that you have to destroy his weapons, but that is only incidental. You must read biography and especially autobiography. If you will do it you will find that war is simple. Decide what will hurt the enemy most within the limits of your capabilities to harm him and then do it. TAKE CALCULATED RISKS. That is quite different from being rash. My personal belief is that if you have a 50% chance take it because the superior fighting qualities of American soldiers lead by me will surely give you the extra 1% necessary."

Obviously, General Patton embraced the exceptionalism of the American soldier. More on that topic coming soon. 

General Patton was the grandson of Confederate Colonel George S. Patton, Jr.


13thBama said...

Audace! Audace! Toujours Audace!

My favorite scene from the movie :)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I just watched it again on July 4th. Hadn't seen it in years. Great film.

The Warrior said...

Great man, great quote, and yes, great film!

"An entire WORLD at war, and I'm left out of it? God will NOT permit this to happen! I am going to be ALLOWED to fulfill my destiny!"