Patton's Way: A Radical Theory of War

Patton's Way: A Radical Theory of War

by James Kelly Morningstar


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Patton's Way is a unique approach to the legend of General George S. Patton Jr. and his development and application of modern warfare. Rather than a biography, Patton's Way argues that popular representations of Patton are built on misconceptions and incomplete understandings about his approach to battle.

Morningstar addresses the contradiction between the historiographical criticism of Patton's methods and popular appreciation for his successes. The author identifies several schools of thought offering explanations yet, he notes, they all fail to fully comprehend the real Patton.

The secret to Patton's success was a radical and purposely-crafted doctrine developed over several decades. The author identifies four core principles in Patton's creed: targeting the enemy's morale through shock; utilizing highly practiced combined arms mechanized columns; relying on mission tactics and flexible command and control; and employing multi-layered and synthesized intelligence systems to identify enemy capabilities and weak spots. These precepts directly contradicted official U.S. Army doctrine and created misunderstandings that led commanders to truncate Patton's operations in Tunisia, Sicily, and France.

Morningstar details how Patton developed and applied each principle and uses the breakout from Normandy as a case study to illustrate Patton's Way in application. This book discusses the "death and resurrection" of Patton's ideas in the U.S. Army directly following World War II to the present and comments on the status of Patton' ideas in the Army today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612519791
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publication date: 06/15/2017
Pages: 404
Sales rank: 590,660
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

JAMES KELLY MORNINGSTAR is a twenty-year Army veteran who served in the Gulf War and in a wide range of assignments including tours in Germany, Bosnia, Washington, D.C., and at the National Training Center. He is a West Point graduate and now teaches military history at the University of Maryland. This is his first book.

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