We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
--the middle daughter and hubby visited his grave a few months ago, while nearby on biz. The name of the cemetery is Hamm. The kids hadn't heard the old joke their grandpa --dad --used to tell, that the Belgians had named the cemetery after Gen. Patton. It was a good-natured joke --Patton used drama in his persona as a leadership skill.
My stepdad felt that Patton wasted men, and that Bradley accomplished as much with less loss of life.
I offer no opinion, not being anything like an expert. But I did want to mention that the PR has gone in one direction only since 1970, and may not be the only valid opinion.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Complex comparison, as Patton was working for Bradley during his epochal charge across Europe --at times --such as Patton's night small-boat crossing of the Rhine, came about from Bradley's exhorting Patton to go faster --urging him to "take the river on the fly".
The stats are in: Third Army had drastically fewer casualties than First Army -- even after excluding the Normandy Campaign.
Bradley 'owns' the fiasco of the Hurtgen Forest. He absolutely shredded the following divisions there:
On and on it went.
The reason that the 28th and the 4th were in the Bulge Campaign: they were sent to the quiet sector to completely rebuild.
Both units are special to Bradley: he was the 28th's first wartime commander -- when the nation's oldest National Guard division, Pennsylvania, had to be completely re-officered. ( He left the 82nd Airborne to do so -- it was a crisis. )
The 4th Division, three regiments: 8th, 12th, 22nd, was special in the heart of Marshall. He once commanded the 22th regiment, as its Colonel, IIRC. Hence, Bradley CONSTANTLY had the boss's old regiment at the spear tip of First Army.
That's why it, just the one regiment, and the 28th Division, were the American formations marching through Paris -- on film, of course.
And that's why the boss's regiment was the first to cross the West Wall defenses -- TWICE -- at the exact same spot. One of its junior officers wrote a memoir -- complaining that it seemed that his regiment was ALWAYS leading the way -- all the time!
If he'd only known. BTW, this regiment was receiving the cream of the manpower pool -- directed there by Bradley.
( Famously, Bradley ENTIRELY rebuilt the 29th Division for Overlord. This was done from mid-April through to late May, 1944. To do so, Bradley gutted EVERY 'reserve' ( non-Overloard ) infantry division for talent. The 29th Division of June 6th fame was the single most powerful division to have fought in the war on all fronts -- man-power wise. Bradley lifted the cut-off for physical and mental traits through the roof. IIRC, he even got rid of any trooper that needed glasses. Only the top 2% in athletics were permitted in this shock division. (!)
In one company, one one man survived the transition! Everyone else was culled -- to include the officers, as well.
This super division is never much commented upon by historians. They gloss over it as if it were still the same formation that existed April 1, 1944.
No, your father had it backwards: Patton did more with less. It has been Bradley that has warped history.
BTW, Bradley pretty much wrote the script to the movie Patton. He attributed the story to his WIFE. (!) You will note that the vast bulk of the movie turns on Bradley-centric events -- or on stuff so widely known that any reporter could gin up a script.
Copolla, et. al. then polished the narrative -- and we have a fantastic script.
With the Hurtgen Forest: put a fork in Bradley's reputation -- it's done.
Google it. It's now infamous -- sort of a Stalingrad of the West.
Patton was rather controversial, and spoke out, which got him into trouble. It was several years after his passing that I first heard that there were questions about his death. Within the last few years, I read an interesting book, entitled "Target: Patton," which makes a strong case that he was killed by some around him.
His immediate post-war comments about chasing the Red Army back to Moscow, combined with the loyalty of a ready army not yet mustered out, may have panic'd some high ups from either army. Worrying about an incident or somesuch. All that, combined with the circumstances of the accident, then the fatal hospital procedural oddities, sure does make for questions.
For me, this seemed a very well researched book on the intricate and complex relationships between the three men, Eisenhower, Marshall, Patton. One can't simply put Patton in a box, he had many different personalities which he used as required in order to beat the shit out of the enemy, which was nearly always his only goal. Though, if he got another star out of it so much the better.