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Book Review

‘Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General‘

10/22/2014

bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Harriet Leitch

Sept. 23, 2014

Hardcover $30

352 Pages

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In a straightforward presentation of the wartime experiences of General George S. Patton, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard develop a good picture of the character of General Patton. Less time is spent on his personal life, although near the end, the reader is allowed to become somewhat familiar with his wife and children. General Patton was on one hand a problem for the political and military leaders of the day, but on the other was beloved by many of the men he led into battle and considered the most able of the U.S. generals by the Germans.

Familiar to all is his mistreatment of personnel who he considered cowards, even those who had served long and honorably but eventually succumbed to what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In spite of attempts to keep it quiet, the incident was spread worldwide by the press. In another famous event, in a talk with a group in England he slighted the Soviets, resulting in the expected difficulties in the diplomatic arena. He never did change his opinion of the Soviets, as he was sure they were our next enemies in the world.

The details of the accident that led to his death and the preceding threats to his life make for an effective ending. An aura of conspiracy surrounds the death, supported by the facts of who was (not) held responsible and the loss of accident reports and other relevant documents. It is a good mystery, without any real resolution. CV

Harriet Leitch retired to enjoy her grandchildren, garden, dogs, flute and to return to her love of books.

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