4. the Armies of George S Patton

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Text of 4. the Armies of George S Patton

THE ARMIES OF GEORGE S.GEORGE FORTY

PATTON

THE ARMIES OF GEORGE S. PATTONGeorge Forty

ARMS AND ARMOUR

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED THE PATTON MUSEUM FORT OF KNOX,

TO ARMOR,

CAVALRY AND KENTUCKY

Arms and Armour Press A Cassell Imprint Wellington House, 125 Strand, London WC2R OBB. Distributed in the USA by Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810. First published in paperback 1998 George Forty, 1996 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying recording or any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: a catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 1-85409-484-X Maps by Adam Forty. Designed and edited by DAG Publications Ltd. Designed by David Gibbons; edited by Michael Boxall; Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd. Bodmin, Cornwall J a c k e t illustrations Front: Major General George S. Patton, Jr, Commandng General US 2nd Armored Division, photographed in front of his tank during the Louisiana manoeuvres of autumn 1941; inset, portrait of Patton painted by Boguslav Czedekowski in September 1945; US Army Photo courtesy of the Patton Museum, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Back, from top: sets of commemorative stamps featuring Patton (courtesy of Mike Province); one of the last photographs of Patton, taken in the summer of 1945 and showing him wearing most of his decorations; and the 'Pyramid of Power' - the symbol of American Armor (see page 74).

All photographs in this book are US Army Photographs which have mainly been supplied courtesy of the Patton Museum, Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA, except where indicated otherwise.

ContentsACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, 9 INTRODUCTION, 10

PART I. THE MAKING OF AN ARMOUR COMMANDER, 13

1. THE MAKING OF AN ARMOUR COMMANDER (PART ONE), 15 (1885-1917), 15

Section 1: The Early Years West Point, 16 Joining the Cavalry, 16 The Olympics, 17 Saumur, 18 Mexico, 18 Section 2: 'Treat 'em Rough!', 19 The Move to Tanks, 19 Esprit de Corps, 20 Organising the Tanks, 21 The 'Treat-'em Rough Boys', 23 First Blood, 242. THE MAKING OF AN ARMOUR COMMANDER (PART T W O ) , 2 6 (1920-1940), 26

Section 1: Back to the Cavalry Peacetime Reductions, 26 Section 2: Goodbye to Boots and Saddles! ( 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 4 2 ) , 2 9 Organisation, 29 Equipment, 30 Uniform, 30 Expansion Brings Promotion, Corps Command and the Desert Training Center, 33 Mission of the Desert Training Center, 35 Armoured Division Organisation, 35 On the Move Again, 36

Section 1: Operation 'Torch' and II Corps, 39 The Landings, 39 Western Task Force, 39 'I Wish I Could Get Out and Kill Someone', 41 II (US) Corps, 43 Infantry Divisions, 44 Dress and equipment, 44 1st Armored Division, 45 Dress and equipment, 46 Just 43 Days in Command, 47 Back to Morocco, 47 Section 2: Operation 'Husky' and US Seventh Army, 47 Background Planning, 47 Organisation, 49 Special Units and Equipment, 50 The Landings, 50 A Clash of Personalities, 51 The End in Sicily, 52 Annex 'A' to Chapter 3: Operation 'Torch', Composition of Western Task Force, 52 Annex 'B' to Chapter 3: Sicily Composition of US Forces on DDay, 10 July 1943, 53

3 . HIGHER COMMAND, 3 9

P A R T II. P A T T O N ' S T H I R D ARMY, 55

4 . U S THIRD ARMY, THE BASICS, 5 7

'Well, I have an Army and it is up to me', 57 Third Army's Early Years, 57 A New Commander, 59 Patton's Address to His Troops, 60 Operation 'Fortitude', 61

CONTENTS

The Knutsford Incident, 62 The 'Hub', 62 Third Army, Initial Organisation of Corps and Divisions, 63 Organic Components of Activated US Divisions initially in Third Army, 64 The Basic Divisions, 64 The Infantry Division, 65 The Armoured Division, 69 The Airborne Division, 71 A Divisional Headquarters in Action, 71 Preparing for Battle, 72 Annex 'A' to Chapter 4: Shoulder Patches; Nicknames and Shoulder Patches of the Initial Divisions in Third Army, 73 Annex 'B' to Chapter 4: Strengths and Principal Weapons of the US Infantry Division, circa 1944, 74 Annex 'C' to Chapter 4: Strengths and Principal Weapons of the US Armoured Division, circa 1944, 755. PATTON, HIS IMMEDIATE STAFF AND HIS THIRD ARMY COMMANDERS, 83

'I am a genius. I think I am', 83 Patton's Aides, 83 Charles Codman, 84 Alexander 'Al' C. Stiller, 84 Francis P. Graves, Jr, 85 A Personal Physician, 85 GSP's Orderly, 85 Personal Driver, 86 Best Damn Cook in the US Army!, 86 Willie, 86 Personal Accommodation, 87 Corps Commanders, 87 Pen Portraits of the Corps Commanders, 87 Major General John Millikin, 87 General James A. Van Fleet, 88 Major General (later General) Clarence R. Huebner, 89 Major General Troy H. Middleton, 896

Major General Gilbert R. Cook, 90 Major General Manton S. Eddy, 90 Major General S. LeRoy Irwin, 92 Lieutenant General Wade H. Haislip, 92 Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, 93 Armour Commanders, 94 4th Armored Division, 94 5th Armored Division, 94 6th Armored Division, 95 7th Armored Division, 96 8th Armored Division, 96 9th Armored Division, 97 10th Armored Division, 97 11th Armored Division, 98 12th Armored Division, 98 13th Armored Division, 98 14th Armored Division, 99 16th Armored Division, 99 20th Armored Division, 99 Infantry Commanders, 100 1st Infantry Division, 100 2nd Infantry Division, 100 4th Infantry Division, 100 5th Infantry Division, 101 8th Infantry Division, 101 26th Infantry Division, 101 28th Infantry Division, 101 29th Infantry Division, 102 35th Infantry Division, 102 42nd Infantry Division, 102 65th Infantry Division, 103 69th Infantry Division, 103 70th Infantry Division, 103 71st Infantry Division, 103 76th Infantry Division, 104 79th Infantry Division, 104 80th Infantry Division, 104 83rd Infantry Division, 105 86th Infantry Division, 105 87th Infantry Division, 105 89th Infantry Division, 105 90th Infantry Division, 106 94th Infantry Division, 106 95th Infantry Division, 106 97th Infantry Division, 107 99th Infantry Division, 107

CONTENTS

Airborne commanders, 108 Foreign commanders, 109 Up and coming officers, 109 Clarke of St-Vith, 109 CO 37th Tank Battalion, 110 Annex 'A' to Chapter 5: Division Commanders and Assistant Division Commanders who served with Third (US) Army between 1 August 44 and 9 May 1945, 111 'Lucky Forward', 113 Principal Staff Officers in HQ Third Army, 113 The Chief of Staff, 117 Chiefs of Staff: Biographies, 118 Hobart R. Gay, 118 Hugh Joseph Gaffey, 120 Composition and Duties of Third Army HQ Staff, 121 G-l Section (Personnel), 121 G-2 Section (Intelligence), 121 G-3 Section (Operations and Training), 124 G-4 Section (Supply), 125 G-5 Section (Civil Affairs), 126 Special Staff Sections and Duties, 127 Adjutant General Section, 127 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Section, 128 Artillery Section, 128 Chaplain Section, 129 Chemical Warfare Section, 130 Engineer Section, 131 Finance Section, 133 Headquarters Commandant Section, 134 Inspector General Section, 134 Judge Advocate Section, 135 Medical Section, 135 Ordnance Section, 137 Provost Marshal Section, 138 Public Relations Section, 138 Quartermaster Section, 139 Signal Section, 139 Special Services Section, 141 Tank Destroyer, 1427 6 . PATTON'S STAFF, 1 1 3

XIX Tactical Air Command, 142 Annex 'A' to Chapter 6: Locations of Lucky Forward between 5 July 44 and 3 May 1945, 143 Mobilisation and Training, 145 'A Prodigy of Organisation', 145 The Selective Service Act, 146 Training, 147 Basic training, 148 Service schools, 149 Officer training, 149 Personal reactions to induction, 149 Tactical training, 151 Overseas training, 152 The Move Overseas, 153 Embarkation, 154 Uniforms, 156 Non-Combat Dress, 156 Combat Dress, 156 Specialised Clothing, 157 Personal Equipment, 158 Webbing, 158 Personal Weapons, 160 Rations, 161 Living Conditions, 162 Morale, 163 Cocky Bastards, 1648. T H E COMBAT ARMS, WEAPONS, VEHICLES, EQUIPMENT AND TACTICS, 165 7 . GEORGIE'S BOYS, 1 4 5

Combat Arms and the Technical Services, 165 The All Arms Team, 165 Infantry Weapons, 166 Machine-Guns, 166 Mortars, 167 Flame-Throwers, 168 Anti-Tank Weapons, 168 Artillery, 169 Armoured Fighting Vehicles, 170 Light Tanks, 171 Medium Tanks - The M4 Sherman Series, 173 Heavy Tanks, 174 Tank Destroyers, 174

CONTENTS

Armoured Cars and Scout Cars, 176 Patton's Household Cavalry, 177 Half-Tracks, 177 Field Artillery, 177 'Artillery Won the War', 177 Towed Field Artillery, 178 Heavy Towed Artillery, 178 Self-Propelled Artillery, 179 A German view, 180 Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA), 180 Battle record, 181 Engineer Equipment, 181 Engineers at work, 182 Signals, 183 Shortages in 1939, 183 Radios, 183 Wire Communications, 184 Linemen for the Army, 1849. THE SERVICES, SPECIALIST WEAPONS, VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT,

Chaplains, 198 Special Services, 198 Post Exchange, 199 PART III. THE BATTLE HISTORY OF THIRD ARMY, 2011 0 . CHRONOLOGY, THIRD ARMY'S BATTLE RECORD: 1 AUGUST 1 9 4 4 TO 8

Moving to Fiance, 203 Patton Arrives, 205 Breakout from the Bridgehead, 205 Third Army Goes Operational, 205 Weekly Chronology, 207-233 From the Channel to the Alps, 236 Decorations, 236 Records of the Supporting Arms and Services, 237 Annex 'A' to Chapter 11: Corps And Divisions that Served with US Third Army in Combat, 241 PART IV. END OF AN OLD CAMPAIGNER, BIRTH OF A LEGEND, 243 Section 1: The Traumas of Peace, Lucky's Last Operational Briefing, 245 Patton's General Order for VE-Day, 246 Occupation Problems for Patton, 247 All Good Things Must Come to an End, 248 Fifteenth Army, 248 Section 2: The Accident, 250 Section 3: Patton, the Man and the Legend, 253 A change of heart, 253 'Not to be beaten', 254BIBLIOGRAPHY, 2 5 7 INDEX, 2 5 9 245 1 2 . N E W CHALLENGES, 2 4 5 1 1 . OPERATIONA