General George S. Patton referred to by many historians as the “Forgotten General” didn’t see much action in almost the entirety of his military career. In fact he did not have the opportunity to show his genius in military warfare until World War II. It wasn’t until the end of 1942 thru 1945 that General Patton had finally proved to the world the genius he was in tactical warfare, and many compared him to Hitler because of his talk of never giving up an inch of land, his contempt for civilian authority, and his joy at killing. Patton’s love of war, coupled with his seemingly coldhearted approach to battle, still makes his critics uncomfortable. Despite the Public persona of a lone warrior, Patton’s superiors referred to him as a team player.
Between General Patton’s greatest achievements that went right in the battle of Bastogne it is fair to mention his ability to incapacitate the German Supply lines in particular their fuel supply. In doing so, Patton forced Kampfgruppe Peiper to abandon his assigned mission of breaking thru the Ardennes and being forced to blow up eighty of his own tanks. With the German tanks out of the picture Patton had set the stage for the eventual German defeat. Another major achievement was Patton’s ability to be able to anticipate the German break thru the Ardennes. All allied intelligence had suggested otherwise but Patton’s ability to foresee the enemies move enabled him to wheel the entire 3rd Army north within forty-eight hours with amazing speed in order to counter attack the German flank and relieve the siege of Bastogne. It came to be known as the most famous action of the battle of the Bulge in which the allied forces claimed victory after six weeks of intensive fighting.\
I believe that during the battle of Bastogne, Patton’s biggest downfall was not being able to execute his initial plan that was to attack the Germans thru Koblenz, cutting of the bulge at the base and trapping the entirety of the German armies involved in the offensive. This plan was vetoed by General Bradley, who was less concerned with killing large numbers of Germans than he was for the relief of Bastogne before it was overrun. General Patton warned him that this was a mistake because attacking thru Koblenz would have giving the allies a chance to completely wipe out the Soviet regime, a regime that would rise again and would have to be dealt with again. Patton’s warnings came true and the Soviet regime was one we had to deal with later on in the during the Cold War.
Without General Patton’s ability to foresee the German offensive in the battle of the Bulge, the outcome of World War II would have been other. If Patton had not wheeled the entire 3rd Army north within forty-eight hours with amazing speed in order to counter attack the German flank and relieve the siege of Bastogne, Bastogne would have been overtaken by the Germans and ultimately would have resulted in another loss for the allied forces with Hitler becoming Supreme Commander of the entirety of Europe and therefore history being rewritten.
Harvey, Robert. (2008). Maverick Military Leaders: The extraordinary battles of Washington, Nelson, Patton, Rommel, and others. New York. Skyhorse Publishing, N.Y.
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