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GeneralPatton Keeps his mouth shut and hands to himself

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post

    One of the ugly little secrets about Patton, one his fans frantically deny... is he was very good at staff work and running a staff. His flashy style and long running cavalry commands obscure to some extent that he was well regarded by his superiors from lowly company grade time up through organizing the 2d Armored Div & II Armored Corps, as a superior officer in planning organizing and executing tasks. Like all his peers in senior command in WWII Patton had a strong if obscured track record in organizational ability. A very significant part of his sucesses in WWII, or in the peace time Army was his ability to bring out maximum performance in his staff officers.
    Carl I find the "ugly little secret" statement interesting. Everything you are saying is a positive! Bringing "maximum performance" out of subordinates is one of any leader's most important jobs be it civilian, government or military.
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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    • #17
      The downside is that the people on Patton's staff were generally regarded as not great; choosing good subordinates is also Important.

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      • #18
        Yes, I've seen a number of people, including some of Pattons subordinates - Bradley was one, dis Pattons staff. Yet Patton did well with them. Perhaps the most telling example from WWII would be when he took over the US I corps from Fredendal. There was no wholesale turnover in corps staff & for the most part he did what he did with the existing G officers and other HQ staff.

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        • #19
          Bradley went to the other extreme, being very happy to quickly sack subordinates who he thought hadn't performed.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
            Mark Clark had combat time in WWI with the 11th Inf Regiment. Maybe he should have been 12th Army Group or SHAEF commander?.
            God forbid.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Aber View Post
              Bradley went to the other extreme, being very happy to quickly sack subordinates who he thought hadn't performed.
              Bradley relieved one of my favorite division commanders, Major General Terry Allen of the 1st Infantry Division after the Sicily campaign. As far as I know General Allen is the only U.S divisional commander to be relieved and latter given command of another division. (The 104th Infantry Division).
              "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
              Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Aber View Post
                Bradley went to the other extreme, being very happy to quickly sack subordinates who he thought hadn't performed.
                Bradley was a bastard towards his staff, whereas Patton tended to build his up. If you look at his campaigns staff work usually started out fairly rough but built up into an efficient machine over time. Certainly his ability to pivot ninety degrees and move north at the Bulge was due to excellent staff work.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                  Bradley was a bastard towards his staff, whereas Patton tended to build his up. If you look at his campaigns staff work usually started out fairly rough but built up into an efficient machine over time. Certainly his ability to pivot ninety degrees and move north at the Bulge was due to excellent staff work.
                  Bradley is often given the title of the G.I. general, but I've never understood why. Bradley never regularly visited the troops under his command unlike Patton and Monty, he tended to keep his headquarters too far back from the front, and his broad front attacks in Normandy lead to high infantry casualties.

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                  • #24
                    IIRC Eisenhower pointed a reporter Ernie Pyle, in Bradley's direction during Sicily with a suggestion to talk him up. Bradley was found in shabby uniform, carrying a rifle, in great contrast to Patton, and the journalist's tag stuck.

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                    • #25
                      Ridgeway carried a Springfield rifle loaded with AP rounds. In his auto bio he describes finally getting a shot at a German AFV during one of the winter 1944-45 battles. Said he had no idea of the effect but it seemed like the thing to do.

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                      • #26
                        Its really tough to judge how Patton would have handled 1st Armys sector in Normandy. I've not looked closely at how he used fire power, which was important in dealing with the fortified beaches and the bocage inland. The opportunity for manuver there was limited, the advance across the Cotentin being more or less it. A detailed comparison of how Patton handled 3rd Army in the winter 1944/45 battles vs 1st, 7th, & 9th Armies might indicate something. Hodges, Patch, & Simpson seldom enter into these discussions & Patton may or may not compare favorablly with them.

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