Today's Economic History: Agricultural Development in Jiangnan, 1620-1850

Liveblogging World War II: September 29, 1945: The Relief of General Patton

Peter J. K. Hendrikx: The Relief of General Patton:

On September 29, 1945, General Eisenhower took away the army that General Patton lead so successfully from Normandy to Czechoslovakia. Eisenhower could no longer keep Patton in his position as military governor of Bavaria, not only because Patton didn’t believe in and didn’t carry out the orders of denazification, but he also openly said so in the press. Eisenhower was aware that he was just as much at fault, knowing Patton’s strengths and weaknesses as he did.

General Truscott took over Third Army on October 7, 1945, and Patton was, as he called it, “kicked upstairs” to command the Fifteenth Army with its HQ in Bad Nauheim. The Fifteenth Army had no troops, but was a paper army (AKA the Theater General Board), researching the past campaigns for historical and analytical reasons to improve military tactics and operations. This Theater General Board was chaired by the commanding general of the Fifteenth Army. To his wife, Beatrice, Patton wrote he “liked it better than being a sort of executioner to the best race in Europe.” In an interview, he said the most essential piece of equipment he needs are eye drops and that his new assignment “is right down my alley, because I have been a student of war since I was about seven years old.”

Since most of his “sources” for this research were back in America, he hoped to finish this short tour of duty by January 1, 1946. In the meantime, Patton traveled to France, Brussels and Stockholm to receive honorary citizenships and decorations. During Eisenhower’s absence, Patton was Acting Commander of United States Forces European Theater (USFET) for little over two weeks.

With his job at Fifteenth Army almost over, he planned to leave on December 12, 1945, to go back to America. Gotten over his initial rage to resign from the army and “tell the truth,” he would wait and see what job he would get in the post-war regular army. He hoped for commandant of the Army War College; otherwise, he would retire. “I hate to think of leaving the army, but what is there?” he wrote in his last letter to his wife"...