Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
Part of the Biography television series from A&E, this documentary reviews the career and personal life of controversial General George S. Patton. Patton graduated from West Point and placed fifth in the military pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics. By April 1941 he was commander of the Second Armored Division and in October 1942 he directed the amphibious landings near Casablanca and the ensuing campaign across North Africa. By July 1943 he commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Allied invasion of Sicily; he excelled militarily there with a bold campaign that beat the British into Palermo, but the notorious incident in which he verbally abused two ailing soldiers, one of whom he also slapped, nearly cost him his career. He was eventually assigned to lead the Third Army, which led the breakout from Normandy in July--September 1944; after diverting his forces to relieve the Americans trapped in the Battle of the Bulge, he crossed the Rhine in March 1945 and advanced through the heart of Germany into Czechoslovakia. A staunch anticommunist, after the German surrender Patton argued for a combined Allied-German campaign against the Soviet Union. He died just after the war as the result of an automobile accident. The 1971 Academy Award winning film, Patton, starring George C. Scott in the title role stirred up interest in him once again.