US Army

"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t," the old George S. Patton quote goes. In the theater of war and on the page, Patton was nothing if not blunt and effective, like Conan the Barbarian with mechanized infantry. But there's more than meets the eye to the cantankerous general who's famed for slapping a shellshocked troop, racing through Europe to smash Nazis, and being portrayed by a hard-assed, pith-dispensing George C. Scott on the big screen.

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Image via Library of Congress

Seventy-one years ago this week, U.S. Army General George S. Patton, Jr. delivered what is considered one of the most rousing military speeches of all time to the American 3rd Army waiting to do battle in German-occupied France.

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