Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Meet Amazing Americans Leaders & Statesmen George S. Patton Jr.
Photo of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (left) accepted Patton's apologies for the hospital incidents.

Enlarge this image
A Great Commander Loses His Temper
The hard-fought victory in Sicily increased Patton's popularity at home in the United States, but may have stressed the great commander to the breaking point. Twice, in August 1943, Patton lost his temper when he encountered hospitalized soldiers who, while not physically wounded, were suffering from battle fatigue (stress). He accused both soldiers of cowardice, struck one across the mouth with his glove, and threatened to have the other shot. When doctors and hospital staff complained, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (later to be President of the United States) asked Patton for an explanation and directed him to apologize if reports of the incidents were true. Patton apologized to both men, the hospital staff, and his divisions, but when the incidents became public there were loud cries for Patton's removal. In the end, General Eisenhower accepted Patton's apologies and Patton went on lead his troops to dramatic victories in France and Germany later in the war.
Back page 2 of 3 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us