Patton's Photographs: War as He Saw It

Overview

While researching an article on Gen. George S. Patton, Kevin M. Hymel made an astonishing discovery. Browsing the Library of Congress's Patton index, he found lists of photo albums. Opening one, he found photos Patton himself took during World War II, a gold mine of historical photographs of which even Blumenson, Patton's official biographer, was unaware.

Patton photographed everything that interested him and produced tableaux of the battlefields of North Africa, Sicily, and ...

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Overview

While researching an article on Gen. George S. Patton, Kevin M. Hymel made an astonishing discovery. Browsing the Library of Congress's Patton index, he found lists of photo albums. Opening one, he found photos Patton himself took during World War II, a gold mine of historical photographs of which even Blumenson, Patton's official biographer, was unaware.

Patton photographed everything that interested him and produced tableaux of the battlefields of North Africa, Sicily, and continental Europe. For Patton, history was everything, and his Leica camera-standard issue for reporters and historians in the U.S. Army-ensured he could provide historians an accurate depiction of events, free from interpretation. His photographs depict the victorious face of war, with GIs on the move, military bridges under construction, and tanks slicing through the countryside. They show defeat as well-smashed German tanks, prisoners of war, and bodies strewn across the landscape. Moreover, they provide a record of where Patton fought, showcasing historic sights and the different terrain from North Africa to Europe.

Now, for the first time, many of Patton's personal photographs are presented in one book for the reader to observe history as Patton saw it. Hymel provides background information and captions for the photographs and occasionally uses Patton's own words to describe the sights. Patton claimed his hobby once saved his life. Stopping to take a photograph in Italy, he witnessed a salvo of German shells exploding on the roadway up ahead, where he likely would have been had he not stopped. With Patton's Photographs, readers can now view that life during the war through the eye of one of America's greatest commanders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Patton's Photographs is a unique portrait of a famous general who was also a photographer and a collector. It adds a new dimension to one of history's great commanders."

"A groundbreaking book that fills a vacuum in the understanding of one of America's truly outstanding military leaders . . . To see these pictures is to know and see the war through Patton's eye rather than just through his mind's eye. Here we have an added and welcome new dimension. . . . Patton's Photographs will be a fine addition to the library of any Patton, World War II, or military history student."

"A virtually unknown aspect of Gen. George S. Patton’s genius was his flair for photography. IN Patton's Photographs, military historian Kevin Hymel has assembled, written, and produced a visual tour de force that is a splendid tribute to an amazing life. The reader will see Patton as he really lived, experience what he saw, and better understand World War II through his eyes. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in Patton and the war he fought."

"Through careful research and years of devoted study, Kevin Hymel shows us an intimate, little-known side of General Patton. This book breathes fresh life into our understanding of one of the most important, and fascinating, commanders of World War II."

"This book, with photos depicting the human condition in war and capturing the damage inflicted by various types of weapons, enriches our understanding of Patton, not only as a general but as a human being who earnestly sought to participate in and record great events as he saw them."

"Thanks to Kevin Hymel’s innovative research, the vast library of volumes on my grandfather’s life and career receives an essential new perspective in Patton's Photographs. The snapshots that he took during campaigns ranging from Africa to the Rhine convey the war as he saw it and further illuminate the mind and personality of one of history’s unique commanders."

"Kevin Hymel has done what I thought was virtually impossible. He has written a book about Patton that provides a fresh perspective to the enigmatic commander of the U.S. Third Army in World War II."

"Accompanied by a detailed text that adds new material to our understanding of Patton, the pictures show a new dimension of Patton--a visual record of what he wanted to remember of his service in America's largest war."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574888720
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/30/2006
  • Pages: 158
  • Sales rank: 1,438,088
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin M. Hymel is the research director for WWII History and Military Heritage magazines and is the author of Patton’s Photographs: War as He Saw It (Potomac Books, Inc., 2006). He is a battlefield tour guide for Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours and leads an annual tour of General Patton’s European battlefields. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.
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