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The current time is: 9/19/2018 9:26:14 AM
 (1939-1945) WWII Battles
, Posts: 4534
Alexander M. Patch
Posted on: 3/4/2018 1:04:18 PM

He was the first American commander to drive the Japanese off a major island; commanded soldiers from North America, Africa, and Europe in a stunningly successful invasion of the European mainland; led the first Allied units to successfully establish themselves along the Rhine; and defeated the last German offensive in the west. Other than Lucian Truscott, he was the American to command a division, corps, and field army in combat. He was the only American general to command large forces in three distinct theaters, namely, a division and corps in the Pacific Theater; an army in the Mediterranean Theater during the invasion of southern France; and an army in the European Theater. The field army he commanded fought over the most diverse and difficult terrain in all of western Europe, yet he never lost a major unit, and accomplished every mission assigned. Eisenhower rated him as “more valuable” than several of his much more well-known peers; Barry Goldwater said that he would have given his “right arm” to have served under him. He was deeply admired by his men, and lost his only son, an infantry captain serving under his command in combat.
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3192
Re: Alexander M. Patch
Posted on: 3/4/2018 2:00:54 PM
Good one, Bill !


The profound humanity and decency of the man comes over loud and clear.

It’s reassuring to learn that such attributes are revealed to posterity in essays like the one you’ve shown us.

Regards, Phil
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

, Posts: 4534
Re: Alexander M. Patch
Posted on: 3/5/2018 12:57:44 AM

 Glad you enjoyed it. Did you note the mention of the casualties exchange during the offensive in the Vosges Mountains? Interesting.


With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
Posts: 7825
Re: Alexander M. Patch
Posted on: 3/5/2018 7:47:01 AM
Very interesting essay Bill.

There was more than a tinge of bitterness I thought that this man did not receive sufficient credit. Not from Patch, but by the author. (Poulos via Bonn)

It seems though that he didn't seek it.

Patch did seek a Battle honour for his men however when it was not granted (can't recall the name of the battle) and Eisenhower relented and granted the honour but Patch had to fight for it.

I confess that he was largely unknown to me except for reading his name in passing about other campaigns. He sounds like a great leader and a compassionate man who cared about his men and the casualties that they were taking.

It sounds as though he effectively managed all his assignments with little fanfare and with great success and then was somewhat ignored.

This line by Quinn was telling:

“The way to get recognition is to lose your ass—get the shit kicked out of you.”

I suppose that that is true. Desperate situations attract attention.

Rather than praise him and leave it at that, the author seemed to feel it was necessary to take a few hits at other commanders, like Patton, who received a great deal of credit.

I noted the comparisons with other battles in terms of prisoners taken at the Falaise Gap vs Patch's advance from the south of France.

I think that if the author was going to do that then it would be fair to compare the forces facing the different groups, the geography and a whole bunch of other factors.

But I did enjoy it and learned quite a bit. The landings in the south of France don't get very much attention, I don't think.

Thanks for posting this.



EDIT: While reading the section from Patch's work in the Pacific, the author alluded to the public relations capacity of the US Marines.

So was there inter-service rivalry that left the US Army perhaps receiving less credit than it deserved?

Did the Marines really have a superior PR network?

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 811
Re: Alexander M. Patch
Posted on: 3/5/2018 9:48:31 AM

Love Patch but with all due respect to him when he takes over on Guadalcanal the Japanese had basically already given up. One of his Regiments did a hell of a job alongside and mixed in with Puller's men in the Second battle of Edson's/Bloody Ridge against the Sendi Division. Two Bats were on the flank and the third was feed into the Marine line by 2's and 3's as reinforcements. The thing is I don't think Patch had reached the island for that fight. Maybe by the Battle of the Points but again I think only a single Army regiment involved.
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"

New York City, NY, USA
Posts: 253
Re: Alexander M. Patch
Posted on: 3/9/2018 6:37:28 AM

The Patch family plot at the West Point Cemetery

Cry "Havoc"...and let slip the dogs of war.