Book Review by Cos Barnes
I have always heard that many servicemen who fought in World War II refused to speak of their days on the battlefield. After reading “Killing Patton,” I understand their reticence. The atrocities inflicted by the Germans were beyond belief, too horrible to call to mind later. The dreadful carnage, the bloody massacre that our soldiers had to endure were fixed in their memories forever, and they stayed there.
Written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, “Killing Patton” is the latest in their series, which includes “Killing Jesus” and “Killing Lincoln.” The authors call Patton “America’s most audacious general,” and point out his gutsiness, his daring and bravery as well as his profanity and lack of respect for his higher-ups whom he frequently insulted or ignored.
Patton used coarse language and often did impulsive things. Yet, he kept detailed notes each night of what had occurred during the day and kept his wife informed daily.
A disciple of the French general Napoleon and a West Point graduate, Patton displayed tactical brilliance on the battlefield but was void of tact in diplomatic situations. His men loved him and were loyal in following him. So what went wrong?
The speculation of the authors is he died under mysterious circumstances in December 1945 after being severely wounded in an automobile accident. He was buried in Luxembourg near his fallen comrades. Who’s to know who was responsible? Read the book.
Barnes has been writing for OutreachNC since the first publication in 2010 and currently participates in three book clubs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.