Accession Number : ADA531978

Title :   George S. Patton's Student Days at the Army War College

Descriptive Note : Journal article


Personal Author(s) : Blumenson, Martin

Full Text :

Report Date : Jan 1976

Pagination or Media Count : 9

Abstract : After a month of leave at home in Massachusetts, Major George S. Patton, Jr., sailed his yacht to the Chesapeake Bay and arrived in Washington as it was getting dark on 30 August 1931. He was about to enter the Army War College, a significant step in any soldier's career. A reward for professional proficiency and an acknowledgment of capability for continued professional growth, selection to attend the College offered an officer a period of study that would determine his fitness and eligibility for the ultimate exercise of high command. Instead of the shortness of breath or vague feeling of apprehension and malaise that afflicted Patton throughout his life on the eve of important decisions, battles, and other like events, he had an attack of hay fever. He was somewhat older than his fellow students. For example, his friend Dwight D. Eisenhower had graduated from West Point eight years after Patton's class of 1909, yet had finished the Army War College three years earlier. But this only served to prod Patton's ambition and energy. Constantly laboring under the fear that he would fail to measure up to the demands of any situation, he always worked hard, driving himself to make good. His year at the Army War College was no exception. He applied himself to the requirements with characteristic vigor and determination. Yet he found time too at the beginning of the course to maneuver for an assignment. He had long wished to be the Commandant of Cadets at West Point, and he asked two distinguished friends to put in a good word for him. General James G. Harbord, Pershing's former chief of staff and the godfather of Patton's son, as well as General Hugh Drum, who then commanded the Fifth Corps Area, wrote letters of recommendation but in vain. Patton took the time also to lobby sympathetically on behalf of his old boss, General Guy Henry, Chief of Cavalry, who feared that he had reached the end of the line and would have no further promotion.


Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE