United States / Biography

General George Patton


United States General George Patton made his reputation in North Africa and Sicily. The Germans feared his skill and bravura. Therefore he was put in charge of the fictional 1st U.S. Army Group, a successful ruse to convince the Germans that the invasion of Europe would take place in Calais, and not in Normandy.

George Smith Patton was born in California to a privileged family. His career began during the First World War, when he became the first officer assigned to the new U.S. Army Tank Corps. Promoted through the ranks over the years, Patton came to lead the 7th U.S. Army during the Second World War. After his successful invasion of Sicily, the German High Command held more respect for Patton than for any other Allied commander. Therefore he was given a vital role in Operation Fortitude South, where he was appointed commander of the fictional 1st U.S. Army Group (FUSAG), an elaborate ploy to convince the German army that the main invasion of Europe from Britain would take place at Pas-de-Calais. Following a controversial incident in Sicily with the slapping of a shell-shocked soldier, he was sidelined in the major planning of the Normandy invasion, but as his expertise in the field of modern mobile warfare was considered vital to the Normandy breakout after D-Day, he was reinstated. After the invasion, Patton headed the 3rd U.S. Army, broke through the German defence at Normandy and cleared a path across northern France, later crossing the Rhine and moving into heartland Germany and Austria. Patton died in December 1945 from injuries suffered in a car crash.