Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny

Overview

He was a harsh taskmaster who comforted dying soldiers and quietly commended their valor. A crusty, often foulmouthed commander who wrote tender letters home to the love of his life.

Gen. George S. Patton Jr. comes to life in these pages as one of the most colorful, enigmatic, and unfairly maligned leaders in U.S. military history. Often caricatured—as in the big-screen biopic, Patton—the general was a complex blend of battle-tested strengths ...

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Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny

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Overview

He was a harsh taskmaster who comforted dying soldiers and quietly commended their valor. A crusty, often foulmouthed commander who wrote tender letters home to the love of his life.

Gen. George S. Patton Jr. comes to life in these pages as one of the most colorful, enigmatic, and unfairly maligned leaders in U.S. military history. Often caricatured—as in the big-screen biopic, Patton—the general was a complex blend of battle-tested strengths and nearly fatal personal flaws.

Without varnishing over his shortcomings, Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny shatters myths and builds a compelling case for a deeper appreciation of the man who inspired unsurpassed loyalty and admiration from the soldiers who served under him.

Destined for an outsized life, Patton parlayed his family’s deep military roots, his World War I experiences, his Olympic exploits, and his passion for freedom to become one of the linchpins of Allied victory in World
War II.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595550569
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Series: Generals Series
  • Pages: 195
  • Sales rank: 945,220
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Agostino von Hassell earned degrees in European History and Journalism at Columbia University. He is the president of The Repton Group and has expertise in national security matters, high-level investigations around the globe, terrorism, and military issues and global trade problems.

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Table of Contents

A Note from the Editor

Introduction

Prologue

Chapter One Bloodlines and Childhood 1

Chapter Two Military Education 19

Chapter Three An Officer and a Gentleman 31

Chapter Four The Olympian 39

Chapter Five Black Jack and Pancho 51

Chapter Six Tank Commander 57

Chapter Seven Between the Wars 71

Chapter Eight War Games 81

Chapter Nine Operation Torch 95

Chapter Ten Triumph 109

Chapter Eleven The Slapping Debacle 119

Chapter Twelve Breakout 129

Chapter Thirteen The Bulge and Bastogne 141

Chapter Fourteen Bastogne and Beyond 165

Legacy 181

Bibliography 189

Acknowledgments 191

About the Authors 195

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Patton

    Patton-by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin 17 Sep 2011 Leave a Comment by bernicesblog in book reviews, reading Tags: Patton [Edit] I hated this book. No matter how many times I tried to read it, I just could not make myself read it. A man as interesting as Patton shouldn't be hard to write about.what happened here? I wanted to appreciate Patton more but couldn't do it from this book. Sorry.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    terrible

    this author nonsense. it's hard enough to find a good book these days, but to read a book by an author who is a pervert is disgusting. actually, this author is an old man who runs around the city chasing young girls while he keeps his wife and son in Boyce, VA. i personally know 2 females he sexually assaulted, and one female he falsely arrested. or he got his cop buddies to falsely arrest just because he was scared she'd blow his cover. this "author" is seldom honest, and he runs around threatening young girls who don't give him his way. he uses his cop buddies at the 17th precinct to get personal information about any civilian he wants and, although i've never wished anything negative on anyone, but i hope this pig gets what he deserves. he'll go to hell for his perverted acts, or his abuse on young girls!

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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    Patton

    I am not very fond of military warfare, so picking up this book was a very different choice for me. The book is a great introduction on Patton's life, his military strategy and his impact on modern war. I liked the perspective this author took in sticking to facts instead of the movie persona of Patton.


    The book attempts to portray Patton as a man who was fearful of death, cowardice; led by example and demanded excellence from his men on the battlefield. He had an intense hatred for Communism. He was a man of great contradictions, using the most profane expletives; yet he also carried a Bible with him and wrote tender love letters to his wife, while it is also known he had extra-marital affairs.


    He is remembered for his fierce determination and ability to lead soldiers. Unlike most generals, he wasn't content to stay behind enemy lines and watch the battle from afar. He developed a system that allowed him to be on the frontlines and maintain communication with his rear command post by means of pigeons and a group of runners.


    It's likely that men would be more interested than women, but I did find it interesting to learn more about Patton, and more about his part in WWII.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    Pursuing Destiny

    From the legacy of George Patton's illustrious ancestors to the muddy roads of World War II Europe, this book follows Patton's pursuit of the destiny that awaits him. This easily read biography doesn't gloss over Patton's all too human faults, but it also reveals the inner quality of a man driven by ambition and his own military genius. Through well organized chapters we follow Patton from one stage of his life to the next, through both his triumphs and his failures.

    The book opens with a look at Patton's childhood - an idyllic time on his grandfather's ranch in southern California. We see a young man who was shaped by stories of his hero-grandfather and steeped in the study of classical warfare. We see a young career officer who is frustrated by the lack of combat in his life, while at the same time fascinated by the possibilities he sees in motorized warfare. We see the general who grieves at the waste of human life during war, and does his utmost to wage quick and decisive battles in order to preserve the lives involved.

    There is really no better story than a well told biography, and this book fits the bill. I enjoyed learning details about Patton's life that had escaped me before, such as his participation in the 1912 Olympics and his prowess as a swordsman. This book showed me a Patton I had never met, and now I feel like I know a hero.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    Patton; The Pursuit of Destiny by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin

    This is not the Patton of the Oscar-winning film of the same name.

    While the movie and this book cover much of the same ground with respect to Patton's wartime behavior and events, the authors show us how George S. Patton, son of privilege, become General George S. Patton, commander of armies, with all the complexity and flaws of this American hero on display. George S. Patton is show as a child growing up surrounded by a loving family, strong family traditions and high expectations.

    Patton endured several adversities during his adolescent and young manhood, mostly stemming from a learning disability which forced him to spend a year preparing for West Point and then enduring the trouble of having to repeat his first year academically. The fact that he was able to do so with grit, determination, and unfailing belief in that aforementioned destiny is a very telling trait of this man.

    In many ways, George S. Patton is a challenging figure - a military hero who was also very knowledgeable about the Bible, a man of supreme self-confidence who suffered bouts of deep self-doubt, and a loving father and husband who could also work in the killing fields of World War II with relish and even enjoyment. He was a world-class athlete, a recognized expert on the use of armor in warfare, and a cultured man who spoke a number of languages fluently

    Patton did not learn to read until age 12. As a result, he developed a strong memory, which served him well as a commander of men in wartime. He had a gift for inspirational oratory, but also a tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong people.

    Patton had a number of Civil War heroes among his older relatives, and from them and their deeds, he learned the ideal of the Gentleman Warrior - brave in battle, learned, and with a patrician air of gentility. Patton loved history and knew the events and people, especially those of war, well, often referring to obscure battles and leaders with his staff in Europe.

    As a result, Patton became steeped in the Man of Destiny motif, with an early and continuing belief that his fate was to carry out some great purpose in the world. Perhaps his commander and friend, Dwight D. Eisenhower, another true giant among military leaders, gave the most exact description of Patton when he simply said: "He was one of those men born to be a soldier."

    I enjoyed this book tremendously, partly due to my ongoing fascination with this particular soldier hero, but also due to the easy readability of the chapters. This is not a long or particularly detailed book, but the authors have chosen the most telling events, incidents, and relationships of Patton's life to help us understand both his actions and the motivations which drove him.

    If you want to know more about how a person's prepares for leadership in extreme circumstances, this is a very worthy choice. Just the right length, just the right blend of tactics and personality, and just the right depth to give you a real feel for Patton, the man and Patton, the general.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Monday, August 23, 2010 Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny By Agostino Von Hassell

    Monday, August 23, 2010Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny By Agostino Von Hassell

    This Is The First Book I Have Ever Read On General Patton.
    I Had Seen The Oscar Winning Movie Numerous Times,But After Reading
    This I Definately Have A More Realistic Understanding And Picture Of This Great War Hero.
    This Book Gives A Very In Depth Look Into The Man , Myth , And Legend.
    From His Childhood All The Way To His Last Days. It Truly Shows That There Was
    Alot More To This Man Than Just An Egotistical Warmonger.
    I Enjoyed This Book A Great Deal .If You Are A History Fanatic Then I Strongly
    Reccomend This Book To Your Library.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Patton (The Generals)

    I found this book hard to put down, Patton was an ordinary man but unlike other men he had huge shoes to fill, his father and his grandfather all did well in the military, and like them Patton also had a taste for the military. But things were not just handed to him on a platter. The book does start with the mention of the film that was made about Patton and that it did not portray patter at all well. I also found interesting that Patton struggled while at school, but with a little more application he eventually overcame his academic short comings. And yet when faced with tactical decision Patton excelled. But he also suffered from bouts of depression which sometimes affected his behaviour especially when it came to dealing with others. But the one thing you could not take away from this man was the fact that he was a military genius, who had a kind of love for the military and its life, from day one Patton wanted to make something of his military life and climb the military ladder. The book also goes into Patton's Family life and how his father tried his best to help his son. We also learn a little about his wife and the kind of life they had which sometimes did not run smoothly.

    The one thing I found interesting About Patton was his attention to detail; he was hard on his men and demanded nothing but the best from them, if any of Patton ruled with an iron claw, and in doing so often found others disliked him, and he sometime bumping heads with others. Patton had a passion for tanks and other military weapons, and helped make some significant changes to advance weaponry; they even named a sword after him. It was Patton's military genius that helped the country defeat the Germans. He was strict with his men, cavalier with his life, demanded the best from people around him, and suffered painful bouts of depression. At the end of the day Patton was a man, and at the end of the day whatever way you look at it he made a difference.

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  • Posted August 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Seen the movie? Read this book!

    Agostino VonHassell and Ed Breslin's biography of General George Patton is a quick and honest account of one of America's most famous, and, at times, infamous, generals. Published by Thomas Nelson Press, and part of their new series, The Generals, this small volume presents Patton to a new generation of Americans.
    I found it to be a balanced view of Patton, whose battlefield feats were legendary and valuable in the defeat of Germany in World War 2. The authors acknowledge Patton's drive for perfection and achievement in both himself and those he commanded in battle. His strengths as a well-prepared tactician are balanced against his volatile anger that caused him trouble throughout his military career.

    I learned many new facts about Patton especially his family history and upbringing as well as his life-long fear of failure.

    I highly recommend Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny for your reading and as a gift.

    (Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program called Book Sneeze (www.booksneeze.com) I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    Patton

    I have always heard of General Patton, mostly from the movie staring George C Scott. Who doesn't like the beginning of that movie? But I have never really taken the time to understand Patton and what his life was really like. In his New Book Mr. Von Hassell take you inside the man that Patton really was, not just the Hollywood version but the real truth behind the man.
    I love to ready about WWII and I like to read about the Generals in that war. I just read one about IKE and his leadership he gave to the war. In this book I came to understand a little bet better about Bastogne and how Patton played a major role.
    One thing I think I will take away from this book the most is, Patton was a great leadership and ideas to better the military with are still used today.
    If you like history and WWII this book is a great read and I really would suggest it to all that are thinking about buying it. You will not be disappointed.
    Thanks to Thomas Nelson for my Free Copy.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    A Balanced Biography

    General Patton is often portrayed for his faults, such as the slapping incident, his foul mouth, and his often failure of social judgment. Though this book covers those lackings of the General very thoroughly, they are not focused upon as the full story of General Patton. Instead the book covers the full story of his life, his ancestry, his childhood, and his life at West Point. Patton is painted as a General who "keeps his date with Destiny" which ultimately, despite many battles in WWI and II, is met at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Agostino von Hassell covers this in beautiful detail and shows the true softhearted side of Patton that was hidden beneath his outer shell. This is a book that gives you a good sense of history in a non-biased biography of the great General Patton.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review - Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny

    Definitions for leadership abound.

    It's been said that leadership is influence; simple but true. It's also been said that if people are following you, you're a leader. However, if you look behind and no one is following, you're simply out for a walk.

    By both counts and dozens more, General George S. Patton was a leader extraordinaire. In Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny, authors Agostino von Hassell and Ed Breslin have written a clear, concise biography of Patton as part of series, The Generals.

    In addition to providing detailed historical background on Patton's pre-military years as well as his exploits as a World War II general, von Hassell and Breslin clear up many of the myths, legends, and false misperceptions put forth by other biographers, especially the 1970 movie, Patton.

    Known by a number of nicknames (the G.I. General, Old Blood and Guts, the General), the authors do a commendable job of dispelling many of the negative perceptions of Patton or at least putting them in context. While they accurately acknowledge Patton's serious character flaws - "the overstated machismo, the egregious use of foul language, the demonic lack of impulse control over his worst fear and over his most pronounced dislike" - they also help the reader see his strengths and attributes which often times overshadowed his flaws.

    If one has an interest in WWII, the military, or leadership in general, I would recommend Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Patton: Man of Destiny

    General George S. Patton Jr. was a man of destiny. During his military career that spanned the first half of the 20th century he was a man in the right place at the right time. Then, as usual, by his own undoing, he became his own worst enemy with deeds and words making him the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    I learned so much about this man, the military from 1900 to 1945, tank warfare and key battles of WWII from this book. It is an absolute 'must read' for any student of history. I could not stop reading the book, getting up at one point in the middle of the night to finish. Yes, this is a book worth losing sleep over. Grab this book to learn about the greatest military mind who possibly ever wore an American uniform. The "I didn't know that" phrases will pour out of your mouth as you read this book, especially if your only diet of Patton trivia and information was from the 1970s George C. Scott Hollywood movie rendition of the General. Founder of tank warfare? Olympian? Bible student? The war's best decoy? Read the book to find out all these great details. I think to study Patton is to learn about human nature and how dangerous it can be to be who we really are in front of people. Do you dare? Patton certainly did, paying many dear prices in route to becoming a great American still studied and remembered 65 years later.
    (Book provided by Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze.com program.)

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    Man of War

    Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a copy of Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny from their The Generals series. While many know the military accomplishments of George S. Patton, few know about him personally. I found this book to be a little bit of both. This book profiles George S. Patton, one of most famous and decorated Generals in American History and certainly of WW2.
    From the time he was born, Patton was destined to become great. Hailing from a long line of military men, Patton was certain that his course in life would be one of military pursuits. While Patton was not perfect in any sense, as evidenced in a variety of anecdotes, no one can dispute that his relief of Bastogne was seen as one of his greatest accomplishments. I thought the book was well written in many parts, but there was a little too much military history for me and not enough personal stories. When I read biographies, I like to learn about the whole person. Don't get me wrong, I did learn of Patton's wife and kids, his time as an Olympic competitor and his love of sailing and polo, but most of the stories in the book were about specific military feats. As a reader, who does so as a leisurely activity, this book read more like a textbook to me. I did enjoy learning about General Patton and continue to think that God can use imperfect people to do great things.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    A good biography if a bit biased

    Aside from being initially put off by the 16 page introduction dissecting the 1970 film Patton, I truly enjoyed the book. The introduction was not only unnecessary, the issues raised could and should have been addressed in the main text, but also off putting. However, once I got to the body of the book it was very interesting and informative. Although the author tends to gloss over or make excuse for Patton's flaws, he still paints a good picture of Patton, the man. The book is engaging and a quick read. I learned a lot about Patton I didn't know. Unlike many books that focus solely on his World War II exploits this book shows the full tapestry of his life. I would recommend this book for additional reading on Patton but I would not recommend it as a sole resource.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2010

    I've Never Been so Interested in a Biography Before!

    Halfway through this book, I made the statement, "Wow...I've never read a biography with the anticipation of what is going to happen next!" Seriously...although I knew the basic story of Patton's life, I did not know the details and was enthralled by the interesting combination of traits that he bore. He rough exterior often hid a passionate, kind-hearted man who faced his own fears alongside his aspirations for glory.

    I cannot possibly say enough about what a great man he was...but that is what this book is for. I am simply in awe of his heroics, loyalty, and patriotism, and was comforted by his humanity and the presence of his faults. He overcame and never took his eye off his goal. He is, in every way, a true American hero.

    I think this is an excellent book for anyone who has any interest in American History or simply in biographies of interesting people. This is one that will stay on our shelf and one I will encourage our children to read when they are old enough. I encourage you to read it too.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Life of Patton

    Honestly, the only thing I know about General Patton is what I saw in the movie "Patton" staring George C. Scott. After reading the introduction to this book, you learn that the way Patton was portrayed was not correct. Patton's rival General Omar N. Bradley worked as the film's chief consultant, so all of the facts were not correct.

    George S. Patton Jr. was born on November 11, 1885 in Los Angeles, California. Most of his ancestors were military heroes. At an early age, George wanted to continue the tradition. He learned to ride a horse and shoot guns, but he didn't learn how to read and write until he was twelve years old. This caused a bit of a challenge for him when he started school in 1897. Despite his educational setbacks, he entered VMI in 1903 and later he would attend West Point. Patton studied all of the great military books.

    After graduation, Patton joined the Army. Through the years he quickly went up the ranks. First as a Tank Commander and later as a General during WWII.

    I enjoyed reading the book. I never knew that Patton was obsessed with perfection. I also never knew that Patton studied and kept track of new technology being developed. Patton was a respected man, who loved his family, his fellow soldiers, his country and God. I recommend this book to historical and military buffs.

    I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me this book to review.

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    Patton

    General George Smith Patton Jr. was a Us army officer, most famous for his leadership commanding corps and armies as general in World War II. Patton is also known for his controversial outspokenness. Patton graduated from West Point Academy in 1909. He unsuccessfully participated in the Pancho Villa Expedition. During World War I, he was 1st officer to the new US Tank Corps. Patton commanded corps and armies in North Africa, Sicily and the European Theatre of Operations during World War II, the service he is best known for. During his duties in World War II, he is best known for his disengagement of his army during the Battle of the Bulge.







    This book originally caught my attention because of the mild obsession my 10 year old cousin has for World War II; made me think it would make a great book for him to read. I decided to read it before handing it over to him to make sure it was easy enough for him to read. After only a few chapters I found myself equally fascinated with one of the most famous generals in US history. Love him or hate him, Patton was one of the best generals this country has ever had. This book is a wonderfully written narrative about a man who lived for his country. If you love to learn about historical military figures, this is the book for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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