“Shrewd critics have assigned military success to all manner of things – tactics, shape of frontiers, speed, happily placed rivers, mountains or woods, intellectual ability, or the use of artillery. All in a measure true, but none vital. The secret lies in the inspiring spirit which lifted weary, footsore men out of themselves with an army it is the result of external impetus – leadership.”
Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr (1885 to 1945), speaking as a Major in 1931.
George Patton, in full George Smith Patton, Jr.,was a US Army officer who was an outstanding practitioner of mobile tank warfare in the European and Mediterranean theatres during World War II. His strict discipline, toughness, and self-sacrifice elicited exceptional pride within his ranks, and the general was colourfully referred to as “Old Blood-and-Guts” by his men. However, his brash actions and mercurial temper led to numerous controversies during his career.