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George S. Patton, Jr.

"What is General George Patton most famous for?" Patton Jr. was a pioneer in tank warfare and one of the best known and most effective American generals of World War II. A brilliant battlefield commander and inspiring and colorful leader, Patton was admired by his troops for his great determination. America's Library
"How did George Patton impact WW II?" Patton led Third Army on a rapid, highly successful drive across France, engineered the relief of besieged American troops at the Battle of the Bulge and, by the end of the war, pushed his army deep into Nazi Germany.
Patton led his soldiers by example. While he’s best known for commanding troops during World War II and perfecting the art of tank warfare, his troops knew he was more than willing to personally get into the fight. Insider
The general didn’t sugarcoat what combat would be like for his soldiers. While movies and books tend to glorify war, Patton gave speeches to his men where he explained exactly what they faced: “You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he’s not, he’s a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.”
US Army field commanders during impromptu conference with the supreme commander. Left to right, Gen. Eisenhower; Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr., Cg., 3rd US Army; Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Cg., 12th Army Group; and Lt. Gen. Courtney Hodges, Cg., 1st US Army. US Army Signal Corps

Battle Of The Bulge

December 1944: The Weather Prayer for the Battle of The Bulge. Stuck at Bastogne, weather so overcast that air cover could not protect his 3rd Army troops, Nazi Panzer tanks unstoppable without our planes bombing them, General Patton asked his Third Army's head chaplain, James Hugh O'Neill, an American Catholic priest for a weather Prayer. While Patton was heard saying, "Father O'Neill has an in with the Creator", click here to hear Fr. O'Neill's recollection of the event in his own words called "The True Story of the Patton Prayer" which he wrote to clear up the different versions of the event, including one by General Patton and another by the Baltimore Sun.

Despite the extreme cold and overcast

"I have never been so cold in my whole life!" Mina Harrison, 18 years old, recalling the wards in her field hospital in the Battle of the Bulge
"General Patton prayed for fair weather for Battle. He got it." Fr. O'Neill

of winter, the prayer worked. The Allies' bombers got in and Germany's last major counterattack of World War II was over.

Father O'Neill's work was not done, however. [See wedding pictures below] After WW II he also married Col.William H. Harrison, Patton's youngest General Staff officer to Mina Cohan, American Red Cross in Munich.

Harrison's prediction had come true.

  • Dec. 8th - Stalemated by winter and no possible air support, Patton orders the Weather Prayer.
  • Dec. 12-14 - 250,000 copies of the Prayer Card and Training Letter No. 5 reach the troops.
  • Dec. 16th - the Battle of the Bulge begins with Nazi Panzers and troops break thought the Allied lines.
  • Dec. 19th - Third Army diverts north from its eastern progress to try to reverse the break-through.
  • Dec. 20th - The Prayer is answered. Weather clears.
  • Dec. 21-26 - The Allies aerial bombardment begins and the tide of the war reverses.
  • May 8th, 1945 - Victory in Europe (VE-Day)
[After watching the film] "Of course we liked the movie, Scott really had him down. I felt like I was back in 3rd Army headquarters. I heard a lot of those speeches. Patton was the perfect gentleman in the drawing room but when he was talking to the men, he could have a mouth on him that would make any gentleman blush. He spoke their language and he won them over. This film was like a home movie. They captured the man I knew." Maj. General William H. Harrison

George Patton signed their wedding menu

Married by Msgr. James H. O'Neill

Their wedding was held in one of the few buildings in Munich not bombed out, the former Museum of Nazi Culture. The war in Europe ended on May 8th May1944. The Normandy landings began on June 6th, 1944. The couple married June 30th, 1945.

Col. William H. Harrison and Red Cross Volunteer Minna Cohan marry