Anybody interested in this topic should begin by reading this article: Back in 2008 I posted a message about the controversy on another board. Today, Robert K. Wilcox, the author of the book Target: Patton revisits Patton’s death: November 22, 2012 The Mysterious Death of Gen. George S. Patton By Robert K. Wilcox Articles: The Mysterious Death of Gen. George S. Patton Here is an edited version of my 2008 original message including some stuff gleaned from the lively debate that took place in that thread. The subject matter is a mind-blower. I have not heard “Patton’s assassination” talked about in decades; not since the 1970 movie Patton, and very little back then. The only place you might hear it discussed these days is in VFW halls when a few old-timers who fought in WW II bat it around. Naturally, the book Target: Patton will be dismissed as another crackpot conspiracy theory. I’m not so sure that is the case. The first question most people will ask is: Why? The details in the Tim Shipman article give the reason Patton was assassinated. Taking that reason as valid I still asked myself: Why? My answer begins with the Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944. Patton died in 1945. The United Nations had not yet succeeded the League of Nations; so the blueprint for the New World Order was drawn before Patton died. That tells me that assassinating Patton, if true, goes far deeper than criticism of wartime leaders. Target: Patton charges the Soviet Union with finishing Patton off. Can you imagine the reaction of the men who fought in Patton’s Third Army had the Soviet Union been outed for the crime not to mention the botched attempt by Mr Bazata on orders from “Wild Bill” Donovan? My point is that anything Patton said might have derailed the New World Order’s plans. Assassinating Patton to keep that from happening makes more sense to me than does killing him simply because he might embarrass people in FDR’s inner circle; people like Alger Hiss. At the very least, the United Nations might never have gotten off the ground if Hiss, who was spying for Stalin, was tarred by Patton. Hiss became the Secretary General presiding over the UN Charter Conference. Not many Americans would have approved of sitting side by side with the Soviet Union in the United Nations. As soon as I posted the message touchy-feely Patton detractors jumped all over the slapping incident. An incident made famous by none other than columnist Drew Pearson (1897 - 1969). In addition to being a big supporter of the Soviet Union, Pearson was not known for accuracy. Here’s a four part excerpt from the book The Unknown Patton for those who might be interested in the facts: CHAPTER EIGHT THE SLAPPING INCIDENTS The Whole Story Part I Thousands of words have been written about the "slapping incidents" which took place during August 1943 on the island of Sicily and almost ended the career of General Patton, yet little has been written as to the complete facts; the whole story . I will state the entire list of facts, the principle persons involved, and how they acted or reacted. It will be left to the reader to decide for himself whether Patton was correct in his actions or if he was a victim of unethical practices. First, the recorded information, which has been publicized to date. We will then tell the rest of the story which has never been brought to light before. From a letter dated August 16, 1943 by Lt. Col. Perrin H. Long, Medical Corps, on the subject of "Mistreatment of Patients in Receiving Tents". "Exhibit 1 - Pvt. Charles H. Kuhl, L Company, 26th Infantry, 1st Division, was seen in the aid station on August 2, 1943. A diagnosis of "Exhaustion" was made. He was evacuated to C Company, 1st Medical Battalion. There was a note made on the patient's Emergency Medical Tag that he had been admitted to Company C three times for "Exhaustion" during the Sicilian Campaign. From C Company he was evacuated to the clearing company and there was put in "quarters" and was given sodium mytal. On 3 August 1943, the following note appears on the E.M.T. "Psychoneurosis anxiety state - moderate severe" (soldier has been twice before in hospital within ten days. He can't take it at the front, evidently. He is repeatedly returned). He was evacuated to the 15th Evacuation Hospital. While he was waiting in the receiving tent, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., came into the tent with the commanding officer and other medical officers. The general spoke to the various patients in the receiving tent and especially commended the wounded men. Then he came to Pvt. Kuhl and asked him what was the matter. The soldier replied, "I guess I can't take it." The general immediately flared up, cursed the soldier, called him all types of a coward, then slapped him across the face with his gloves and finally grabbed the soldier by the scruff of his neck and kicked him out of the tent. The soldier was immediately picked up by corpsmen and taken to a ward tent. There he was found to have a temperature of 102.2 degrees F and he gave a history of chronic diarrhea for about one month, having at times as high as ten or twelve stools a day. The next day his fever continued and a blood smear was found to be positive for malarial parasites. The final disposition diagnosis was chronic dysentery and malaria. This man had been in the Army eight months and with the 1st Division since about June 2d." "Exhibit 2 - Pvt. Paul G. Bennet, C Battery, 17th Field Artillery, was admitted to the 93rd Evacuation Hospital on 10 August '43. This patient was a 21 year old boy who had served four years in the regular Army. His unit had been with II Corps since March and he had never had any difficulties until August 6th, when his buddy was wounded. He could not sleep that night and felt nervous. The shells going over him bothered him. The next day he was worried about his buddy and became more nervous. He was sent down to the rear echelon by a battery aid man and there the medical officer game him some medicine which made him sleep, but still he was nervous and disturbed. On the next day the medical officer ordered him to be evacuated, although the "boy" begged not to be evacuated because he did not want to leave his unit. Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., entered the receiving tent and spoke to all the injured men. The next patient was sitting huddled up and shivering. When asked what his trouble was, the man replied, "It's my nerves," and he began to sob. The General then screamed at him, "What did you say?" The man replied, "It's my nerves, I can't stand the shelling anymore." He was still sobbing. The General then yelled at him, "Your nerves, hell; you are just a Goddamned coward, you yellow son of a bitch." He then slapped the man and said, "Shut up that Goddamned crying. I won't have these brave men here who have been shot at seeing a yellow bastard sitting here crying." He then struck the man again, knocking his helmet liner off and into the next tent. He then turned to the admitting officer and yelled, "Don't admit this yellow bastard; there's nothing the matter with him. I won't have the hospitals cluttered up with these sons of bitches who haven't got the guts to fight." He then turned to the man again, who was managing to sit at attention though shaking all over and said, "You're going back to the front lines and you may get shot and killed, but you're going to fight. If you don't, I'll stand you up against a wall and have a firing squad kill you on purpose. In fact," he said, reaching for his pistol, "I ought to shoot you myself, you Goddamned whimpering coward." As he left the tent, the general was still yelling back to the receiving officer to send that yellow son of a bitch back to the front line. Nurses and patients attracted by the shouting and cursing came from adjoining tents and witnessed this disturbance. The deleterious effects of such incidents upon the well being of patients, upon the professional morale of hospital staffs, and upon the relationship of patient to physician are incalculable. It is imperative that immediate steps be taken to prevent a recurrence of such incidents." These reports had been made through the normal chain of command and eventually reached the desk of General Omar Bradley who was at the time Patton's subordinate. Other than to show the reports to his superior, Bradley chose to secure them in his safe and forget the whole affair. Had he shown them to Patton, he would have, at least, let him know that his actions were being challenged by his medical officers and he could have possible re-considered his actions. As it turned out, the medical officers by-passed the normal channels and sent a second set of reports through medical channels to the High Command at Eisenhower's headquarters. The reports above are verbatim according to the "medical authorities". Later, after talking with another medical officer present at one of the incidents, General Brenton Wallace reported, "As for the so-called "slapping incidents"; General Patton made frequent visits to the hospitals to see that the wounded were being properly cared for. One day he visited a large hospital in Sicily when he commanded the Seventh Army. As he came to the last ward, having been much distressed by the sights he had seen of the severely wounded and how bravely they were bearing up, he saw suddenly a young soldier sitting on the edge of his cot, apparently crying. Patton went over and said, "What's wrong, soldier, are your hurt?" Without rising, but burying his face in his hands, the soldier whimpered, "Oh, no, I'm not hurt, but, oh, it's terrible - terrible - boo-hoo-hoo." With that the general, disturbed after seeing all the badly wounded and mutilated soldiers, commanded, "Stand up." The soldier got to his feet and the general slapped him across the neck with his gloves, which he was carrying, and said, "Why don't you act like a man instead of a damn sniveling baby? Look at these severely wounded soldiers, not complaining a bit and as cheerful as can be, and here you are, a Goddamned crybaby." I was told by the medical officer that it was the best thing that could have happened to the boy and that he was discharged from the hospital in less than a week, perfectly normal and well." It would appear from this accounting that there are, indeed, two sides to each story. On August 17, 1943, General F.A. Blesse, the Chief Surgeon at AFHQ brought to General Patton a letter from Eisenhower. It read, "I am attaching a report which is shocking in it's allegations against your personal conduct. I hope you can assure me that none of them is true; but the detailed circumstances communicated to me lead to the belief that some ground for the charges must exist. I am well aware of the necessity for hardness and toughness on the battle field. I clearly understand that firm and drastic measures are at times necessary in order to secure the desired objectives. But this does not excuse brutality, abuse of the "sick"**, nor exhibition of uncontrollable temper in front of subordinates." (**Author's note: the definition of sick is Eisenhower's. It was Patton's firm conviction that "battle fatigue" was not a sickness. He believed that all men were afraid in combat, but only the coward allows his fear to overcome his sense of duty.) Excerpt two "In the two cases cited in the attached report, it is not my present intention to institute any formal investigation. Moreover, it is acutely distressing to me to have such charges as these made against you at the very moment when an American Army under your leadership has attained a success of which I am extremely proud. I feel that the personal services you have rendered the United States and the Allied cause during the past weeks are of incalculable value; but nevertheless, if there is a very considerable element of truth in the allegations accompanying this letter, I must so seriously question your good judgement and your self discipline as to raise serious doubts in my mind as to your future usefulness. I am assuming, for the moment, that the facts in the case are far less serious than appears in this report, and that whatever truth is contained in these allegations reports an act of yours when under the stress and strain of winning a victory, you were thoughtless rather than harsh. Your leadership of the past few weeks has, in my opinion, fully vindicated to the War Department and to all your associates in arms my own persistence in upholding your pre-eminent qualifications for the difficult task to which you were assigned. Nevertheless, you must give to this matter of personal deportment your instant and serious consideration to the end that no incident of this character can be reported to me in the future, and I may continue to count upon your assistance in military tasks." "In Allied Headquarters there is no record of the attached report or of my letter to you, except in my own secret files. I will expect your answer to be sent to me personally and secretly. Moreover, I strongly advise that, provided that there is any semblance of truth in the allegations in the accompanying report, you make in the form of an apology or other such personal amends to the individuals concerned as may be within your power, and that you do this before submitting your letter to me." "No letter that I have been called upon to write in my military career has caused me the mental anguish of this one, not only because of my long and deep personal friendship for you but because of my admiration for your military qualities, but I assure you that conduct such as described in the accompanying report will not be tolerated in this theater no matter who the offender may be." Eisenhower had decided that Patton was far too valuable to the war effort to lose. His audacious, driving leadership was surely needed at this stage of the game. Eisenhower's plan was to have Patton apologize to the soldiers he had slapped and also to all of the personnel in his Army in Division formation. Knowing Patton's pride, he felt that this would be severe punishment, indeed. In Beatrice Patton's words, "The deed is done and the mistake made, and I'm sure Georgie is sorrier and has punished himself more than anyone could possibly realize ... I just hope they won't kick him to death while he's down." Some of the correspondents at AFHQ, including Demaree Bess of the Saturday Evening Post had learned of the slappings. They acquiesced in the reporting of the situation because they were uncertain if Patton might not be subject to a Court Martial for his actions. They contacted Eisenhower prior to submitting the story for publication. Eisenhower then had a meeting with three of the Senior Correspondents at AFHQ during which he had explained the situation to them and the exact course of action that he had followed, hoping that the matter would then be completely settled. The correspondents decided as a group to drop the matter. They, too, thought Patton too valuable a man to lose. Although Eisenhower thought that this course of action was the best, Patton disagreed. Of course, being in the doghouse at the time, he thought better of silence than of protestation. Later, he would write in his diary, "I had been expecting something like this (the Pearson attack) to happen for some time because I am sure that it would have been much better to have admitted the whole thing to start with, "particularly" in view of the fact that I was RIGHT in what I did. (Patton never admitted that he was in error. In his "apologies" he actually only explained why he had done what he had done). At this point, our story would seem to be finished. Fate, however, had much different ideas in mind. There would become involved figures whose presence in the case were curious, indeed. One of these persons was a homosexual employee of the State Department who had no other relationship to General Patton than that they both worked for the same government. It was pure irony that two men so diametrically opposed could be involved in the same historical tragedy. One who was a homosexual, and the other, the epitome of manhood; a warrior. In the month of November, 1943, Drew Pearson broadcast the story of Patton and his slapping of two American soldiers. Disregarding the fact that many other correspondents and news media people knew of the incidents and that the story was three months old, Pearson claimed the story as his own, personal "scoop". Pearson's broadcast, of course, created quite a sensation throughout the United States. Some Senators and Congressmen, upon hearing the broadcast, clamored for the dismissal of General Patton purely on the grounds of Pearson's allegations, not waiting for any evidence nor the complete facts of the story. One congressman went as far as to compare Patton to Hitler and one newspaper ran a political cartoon of Patton in which the General bore a remarkable resemblance to "Der Fuhrer". One of the reasons that Pearson's "scoop" caused a furor was his allegations that the Army, in general, and Eisenhower, in particular, had made an attempt to "cover-up" the whole story. Actually, there was no attempt at a cover up. During Eisenhower's absence a press conference was held by General Bedell Smith (never one of Patton's best friends). During this conference, when asked about the slappings, Smith said that Eisenhower's letter to Patton was "private" rather than a public reprimand. Later, Eisenhower termed Smith's remarks as a "mistake". Smith probably did not care too much, though, as he had no great liking for Patton. This apparently "impressed" Pearson as an attempt to keep the story from the American public. Here we arrive at what is normally considered the end of the story. We know that Patton did slap two soldiers. He was reprimanded and made to apologize. He was relieved of command of his Seventh Army. He later went on to vindicate himself by the dynamic leadership he had always shown. His Third Army would go farther, faster, kill more enemy, take more prisoners, and conquer more territory than any other Army in all of history. All of this with Patton in the vanguard of the attack. Part II There are some questions which should be asked concerning the personalities with whom we are dealing. Of course, there was Patton, himself. He was known to be a hard taskmaster and stern disciplinarian. He demanded and received the utmost from his men. He was, in fact, harder on himself than he was with his subordinates. Patton was the personification of the warrior spirit; aggressive, driving, and impervious to enemy opposition. He was imperative to Allied victory. He strove for the perfection of leadership indicated in his own words, "It lurks invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning; the warrior soul." There is, then, a question which must be asked, even if only rhetorically. Why was everyone surprised when he acted as he did? Eisenhower, Bradley, Marshall, all of his colleagues who had either known him personally or known of him during his 30 years in the Army had also known of his volatile nature and his flaring temperament (which was largely a preconceived act). The public knew of his personality because of the mass press coverage about his style of leadership. The media not only knew of his brash actions and his powerful personality, but they ENCOURAGED and CONDONED it because he was "good copy". They actually helped to create the image of the "fighting general" that fit Patton so well. Why, then were all of these people so surprised and upset when Patton acted like Patton? The only answer can be; human nature. A child thinks little of the danger of a fascinating, shiny, new fishhook, yet he cries when it's sharp point becomes imbedded in his finger. Patton knew war for what it was and that to fight a war required ruthlessness. In his diary he wrote, "I believe that in war the good of the individual must be subordinated to the good of the Army. I love and admire good soldiers and brave men. I hate and despise slackers and cowards." On the day that one of the slappings occurred, Patton had written, "At another evacuation hospital saw another alleged "nervous patient" - really a coward. I told the doctor to return him to his company and he began to cry so I cursed him and he shut up. I may have saved his soul, if he had one." Excerpt three When the criticism began about his harshness with his men, he wrote in his diary, "For every man I have criticized in this Army, I have probably stopped, talked to, and complemented a thousand. But, people are more prone to remember ill usage than to recall compliments." Regarding Drew Pearson, he wrote, "My men are crazy about me, and this is what makes me most angry with Drew Pearson." Later he wrote, "If the fate of the only successful general in this war depends on the statement of a discredited writer like Drew Pearson, then we are in a bad fix." In December of 1943 the Gallup Poll showed the general to be, "77% good, 19% bad, and 4% uncertain." Patton's wife, Beatrice wrote at the time to a friend, "I wonder that he (Pearson) does not die of his own poison. The only excuse, and it is not an excuse, that I can see for his existence, is that the world is made up of forces of good and forces of evil, and that without the latter there would be no struggle, and people might get soft. I cannot explain him any other way. I have followed his predictions now for some time, and am convinced that he is a traitor to America." Whereas in Pearson's broadcast he claimed Patton to be the "most hated man" in his Army, Eisenhower, in his report to General Marshall states, "In every recent public appearance of Patton before any crowd composed of his own soldiers, he is greeted by THUNDEROUS applause." On December 1, 1943 Patton received a letter from an old friend, Gen. Kenyon Joyce who wrote, "George, tell them the exact truth in these words - 'I had been dealing with heroes. I saw two men whom I thought to be cowards. Naturally, I was not too gentle with them'." By the end of 1943, approximately 1500 letters had been received at the White House concerning Patton. Most of them favored his actions and understood his motives, some even called for his immediate promotion. One of the interesting pieces of information which was not published during the issue was told to General Patton by General John A. Crane (Pvt. Bennet's Brigade Commander). He informed Patton that, "... the man (Bennet) was ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE (AWOL) and had gone to the rear by falsely representing his condition to the Battery Surgeon." Patton remarked, "It is a commentary on justice when an Army Commander has to soft soap a skulker to placate the timidity of those above." Further evidence regarding the motives behind Patton's actions comes from Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner. After the war he had mentioned the possibility that he might have been partly responsible for the slapping incidents. Patton had once asked Huebner how things were going. Heubner replied, "The front lines seem to be thinning out. There seems to be a very large number of "malingerers" at the hospitals, feigning illness in order to avoid combat duty." Patton, of course, would not stand for this type of thing. One of his maxims was, "Cowardice is a disease and must be checked immediately, before it becomes epidemic." In a special memo to Seventh Army dated August 5, 1943, Patton says, "It has come to my attention that a very small number of soldiers are going to the hospital on the pretext that they are nervously incapable of combat. Such men are cowards and bring discredit on the army and disgrace to their comrades, whom they heartlessly leave to endure the dangers of battle while they, themselves, use the hospital as a means of escape. You will take measures to see that such cases are not sent to the hospital but are dealt with in their units. Those who are not willing to fight will be tried by Court-Martial for cowardice in the face of the enemy." Had these orders been followed, the slappings could have never occurred. Part III Now we have a more complete picture of what occurred and how Patton and his friends reacted to criticism. We shall now see how Drew Pearson fits into this story and why he would attack the only "successful general" that the United States had at that time. According to reports of Drew Pearson's personality, even by his friends, he was at best, a "bastard". He was similar to a copperhead snake. It made no difference "who" he bit as long as he bit "someone". It was his nature. Pearson would attack friend or foe alike. Pearson's only requirement was that it would benefit Pearson. We now become involved with four other principle characters in our story. They are Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States; Cordell Hull, Secretary of State; Sumner Welles, Undersecretary of State; and Ernest Cuneo, Pearson's lawyer. Pearson was pro-communist, pro-Chinese, and pro-Russian. As a friend of Russia, he demanded in 1943 that the Allied Command create a second front in Europe to assist our Russian "friends". When Pearson's demands were not immediately met, he became angry. President Roosevelt was by no means an "admirer" of Cordell Hull. The reason he had appointed Hull as Secretary of State was nothing more than a political move to placate southern Democrats. Whereas Hull was more inclined to the idea of a "close to home" foreign policy, Roosevelt favored a "good neighbor" policy. Hull resisted all attempts to bring about that "good neighbor" policy. Roosevelt then turned to Sumner Welles, Undersecretary of State, who, like Roosevelt, favored a more flexible foreign policy. What Roosevelt succeeded in doing was to create a confrontation between Hull and Welles. Hull wanted very much to be rid of Welles and was willing to do just about anything to attain that goal. Roosevelt had known for some time that Welles was a homosexual. He cared little. His attitude was that as long as Welles was doing an adequate job, his sexual preferences should be his own concern. Welles, backed up by Roosevelt, refused to budge from his position and held his ground against Hull until the latter part of 1943. At that time some friends of Hull (who were of course enemies of Welles) began to attack Welles. In newspaper columns they began to make references alluding to his sexual preferences claiming that he was a "security risk". The American public was far less tolerant of homosexuality in those days than they are today. Welles finally resigned his post as Undersecretary citing among other reasons the possibility of being a "security risk" as newspapers had suggested. Welles' forced resignation infuriated Pearson, who was a close friend of Welles. In retribution, Pearson vociferously attacked Secretary Hull stating that Hull had only one idea in mind; that being to not have a second front, nor a "good neighbor" policy, but that he wanted to "bleed Russia white". The Secretary upon responding said, "Pearson's allegations are pure falsehood; monstrous and diabolical lies." Roosevelt, always the politician, then chimed in with Hull. Using one of his favorite labels, he blasted Pearson as a "chronic liar". Knowing Pearson's affection for the Russians, Roosevelt then added insult to injury by claiming that the Russians might be offended by Pearson's untrue remarks. Pearson, being as friendly as he was with the Russians and also being pro-communist, had anxieties about Roosevelt's remarks. He worried over the impact of the President's criticism because it could hurt his position with the Russians and also because it was a blow to his credibility. He then called an emergency meeting with his lawyer, Ernest Cuneo. Cuneo suggested that Pearson might use a "distraction" to focus the public eye away from his lost battle. His idea was to create a sensational, new diversion. This, then, was the moment that Fate had been planning. Now was the time that some seemingly unrelated occurrences would be tied together to make history. Cuneo suggested that Pearson use the story of the "slapping incidents". There were a number of Washington correspondents, along with the North African correspondents, who had already heard the story, but they had avoided using it. Pearson had no scruples about any story at any time. Pearson was one of the masters of "yellow journalism". He never failed to use this mastery for his own benefit and to his advantage. On November 21, 1943, Pearson broke his three month old "scoop". He had predicted, too, in his broadcast that Patton would never again hold a responsible war assignment. He was wrong, as he often was. Another columnist jumped on the story immediately. Walter Winchell claimed that Patton was going to be murdered by one of his own men. So much for media credibility. It is difficult to believe that a muckraker like Drew Pearson and the firing of a homosexual government employee could almost cause the destruction of the career of one of the greatest military figures in the history of the United States, but it is true. Excerpt four It would be at least understandable and perhaps gratifying if it could be reported that Pearson had broadcast the story because he truly believed in the rights of soldiers, or that he deeply cared about those men. It would be nice to be able to say that he did it because it was "the right thing to do" and because of his moral convictions. Unfortunately, that is not true. Pearson created a sensation not out of virtue, but out of necessity; the only reason being to salve his hurt image and nurture his injured pride. Pride was an interesting emotion for Pearson, though, since he was a Quaker. Patton probably understood the whole matter better than anyone. He firmly believed in FATE. He wrote in his diary, "Well, pretty soon I will hit bottom and then bounce." The following day he wrote a poem entitled "Seven Up". The last verse was; Yet, like the fabled Phoenix, The Seventh shall arise. Again to soar in triumph, Through flaming smoke veiled skys. He probably was also thinking of "his" destiny as well as the Seventh Army. Patton always tried to be optimistic. So there is the final story. Facts that have never before been publicly exposed. Repeated here is a summary of those facts: Patton was known to be the type of man who would react violently when confronted with soldiers whom he thought to be cowards, yet everyone was "surprised" when he was true to his image. Patton had received reports of "malingering" and had issued orders that offenders be dealt with at unit level. His orders were not followed. One of the slapped individuals was "AWOL" at the time of the incident, yet that fact was never publicized. The "scoop" used by Pearson was three months old and had been avoided by other, more discrete journalists. Pearson used the story not for some virtuous, moral purpose, but to cover his own blunders. It would be well to close with one of Patton's personal observations. "If the fate of the only successful General in the war depends on the statement of a discredited writer like Drew Pearson, we are in a bad fix." Finally, Target: Patton I don’t know if the book explains “low-velocity projectile” in detail. I thought of it as some kind of mechanical karate chop developed by the OSS. Something like that would have been undetectable had it worked.