No one in the history of warfare was less likely to follow that advice than George S. Patton Jr. His place was in front of his men, and he paid the price, when he lay bleeding to death in a bomb crater in France.
Patton’s survival that day at the end of World War I was nothing short of miraculous. It confirmed the powerful sense of destiny that guided him through three decades of war and made him a military legend—“Old Blood and Guts,” an impossible mixture of irascibility and courage, profanity and profound religious faith, tactical impulsiveness and strategic genius.Blood and guts were indeed a large part of what made Patton Patton. Descended from an illustrious line of warriors, he was acutely conscious of the martial heritage in his blood. He met every challenge of his life with determination and guts. He demanded the same from his men, and he usually got it.
But as Michael Keane shows in this masterly portrait, the foundation of Patton’s character was his vivid awareness of the presence and providence of God. Patton’s Christian faith was idiosyncratic, even unorthodox, but his habit of prayer was as simple, trusting, and constant as a monk’s.
A singular combination of virtues and flaws, Patton has been venerated and despised but rarely understood. In Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer, Michael Keane penetrates the fog of legend and reveals as compelling a human character as any in American history.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Part I Blood
Chapter 1 Ghosts of the Confederacy 7
Chapter 2 Benjamin Davis Wilson 19
Chapter 3 Papa 25
Chapter 4 Dearest Bea 41
Part II Guts
Chapter 5 Pancho Villa 67
Chapter 6 World War I 81
Chapter 7 Tanks 87
Chapter 8 Teaching Courage 103
Chapter 9 Task Force Baum 119
Chapter 10 Saving the Lipizzaners 133
Part III Prayer
Chapter 11 Growing Up 149
Chapter 12 God of Battles 155
Chapter 13 Saving a Soul 179
Chapter 14 Patton's Prayer 203
Chapter 15 The Last Enemy 221
Appendix 1 Patton's Obituary 229
Appendix 2 Patton's Prayer for Courage 231
Appendix 3 Patton's Letter to Headquarters, Third United States Army 233