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Profile of General George S. Patton
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Profile of General George S. Patton
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Hi, I'm Christian Bryant and today we're profiling the life of United States Army General George Patton.George Smith Patton, Jr. was born on November 11, 1885 to George S. Patton, Sr. and Ruth Patton in San Gabriel, California. Inspired by a family history of military service and the war stories of family friend and Confederate Raider John S. Mosby, Patton became a student of military history at a young age.Patton decided to pursue a career in the military in 1903 when he enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute. He later transferred to West Point in 1904. After graduating as a cadet adjutant in 1909, Patton took part in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Patton finished fifth overall in the modern pentathlon.After the Olympics, Patton was posted at Fort Riley, Kansas, before moving on to Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1916, he participated in the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa led by Brigadier General John J. Pershing. That year, Patton led the U.S. Army's first armored attack striking an enemy position with three armored cars.As World War I began, Patton was promoted to captain by Pershing in 1917 and was posted to the U.S. Tank Corps. He became commander of the 1st Provisional Tank Brigade in August of 1918. In battles later that year, he was wounded in the leg, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medal, and promoted to the battlefield position of colonel. He would return to the rank of captain after the war. After World War I, Patton went to Washington D.C. where he met Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower. The two worked together on improvements for tank warfare.Through the 1920's and 1930's Patton received a string of promotions. They included major in 1920, lieutenant colonel in 1934, and colonel in 1938, when he was placed in charge of Virginia's Fort Myer.As World War II approached, Patton was promoted to brigadier general in October of 1940 and major general in April of 1941. In November 1942, during Operation Torch, Patton led the Western Task Force which captured Casablanca, Morocco.In 1943, Patton was tapped by Eisenhower to help plan the invasion of Sicily. As part of Operation Husky, the Seventh U.S. Army, led by Patton, landed on Sicily. During the invasion, Patton's men captured Palermo, Italy.After the D-Day landings, Patton joined General Omar Bradley in France, where they liberated large portions of the country. After the war, Patton was honored with a parade in Los Angeles. Patton was well-known for his colorful leadership style, which included profanity-laced speeches and attire which included a brightly polished helmet, calvary pants, botos, and a pair of ivory-handled pistols.Patton died of injuries sustained in a car crash on December 21, 1945.Thanks for watching our overview of General George Patton. For more information, go to About.com.   
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