Presented by: Juan Diego Villegas
Presented to: Mr. Hawkins
Renaissance Fair
June 1st, 2000

GEORGE S. PATTON, “Old blood and Guts”

George Smith Patton is a very famous American because of his contributions in both World War I and II. He was considered one of the greatest U.S. generals of World War II. This war started in 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Hitler. Then, Italy, under the leadership of Benito “el duce” Mussolini, unites with Germany. The United States wouldn’t enter this war until Japan declared war by destroying their naval base on the Pacific Ocean called Pearl Harbor. It lasted 6 years and ended in1945 with the triumph of the Allies and the use of the atomic bomb for the first time on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of Patton’s great leadership, the U.S. was able to invade North Africa, capture Sicily and halt the German counter attack in the Battle of Bulge.
Patton had a family with a long tradition of military service. His father, George Patton, was the son of a brigadier general in command of the 22d Virginia Regiment who was killed at the Battle of Winchester in the Civil War for the Confederacy. His mother, Ruth Wilson, was the daughter of a savage fighter nicknamed “Don Benito” who was very well known for once returning from a battle with Indians, with a basket full of the enemies heads. George Smith Patton Junior was born on November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel, California. Even though George grew up on his father ranch, he learned a lot of things. Here he was taught how to hunt, fish, sail, horseback ride and many things about agriculture. His mother was an excellent horsewoman who taught Patton, while his father read to him the works of Homer, Shakespeare and the Holy Bible.
All that Patton could learn from his parents was very important because he was not able to begin his formal education until he was 11. There is no known reason to why he couldn’t enter any school until he was this old. It has been stated that the cause may have been his dyslexia. Not even the fact that Patton had memorization abilities could get him on educational institutions. “Patton could quote long passages of books that other students would not dare attempt to read. Though impressive, this ability did not change the fact that he was illiterate.”
Patton studied at Dr. Stephen Cotter Clark’s Classical School for Boys in Pasadena and then passed on to the Pasadena High School. He had many learning problems and here he learned things that many of the boys his age had learned a long time ago. Patton had many great ideas and made many contributions to the class, but had problems with arithmetic and other important themes. Later on Patton decided to leave this school and was accepted at the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, VA. Patton had a year of preparation and then was transferred to the respected West Point. He had problems graduating due to his bad grades in French and Math classes, but he finally graduated in 1909 and was given the rank of 2d Lieutenant in the 15th Cavalry.
While at West Point, Patton was a very skillful athlete. He played football and was not only characterized for his amazing records, but also for his roughness while playing. He played with so much passion that once he broke both his arms and broke records. He participated in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. His event was the military pentathlon, but he put so much effort in the swimming part that he had to be removed with a boat hook.
Patton can be thought of one of the most successful leaders of his time. And he is not only the best general because of his roughness or because of his techniques, but because of his preparation. “His military career was one of the most colorful of all 20th century military leaders.” Patton’s military career was one of the best of every other general in the World War II. When Patton graduated, he was commissioned a second Lieutenant. Later on in 1916, a Mexican bandit called Francisco “Poncho” Villa was causing some problems to the U.S. and killed 16 Americans in New Mexico.