The World Wars: Why every man should strive to be like George Patton

I probably think of General Patton at least once every day of my life since I saw the movie about him when I was a very little boy.  In the film when Patton was under strife by aircraft instead of taking cover like everyone else, he ran out into the street and poured his revolver into the planes as they flew by staring down the bullets as they hit around his feet without flinching an iota.   Later, during 90’s while watching the historically accurate Young Indiana Jones Chronicles on ABC television I learned of a much younger Patton who was hunting down Pancho Villa on the Mexican border and challenged some of his men there to an old-fashioned duel.  That clip is seen below.  In the 80’s I was working at the restaurant ran by the Chinese mob out of Chicago and froze when I saw on the bar television the broadcast movie called The Last Days of Patton done once again by George C. Scott.  I clocked out and the owner let me sit down at the bar next to two former Bengal players—Isaac Curtis and Gary Burly to watch the show—which floored me, because it seemed like such a bad end to such a glorious life that George Patton had.  I never forgot it—in many ways Patton shaped my view of politics, military life in general, and the role mankind plays in the fate of its own history.  I promised myself never to be stuck in the same situations that Patton found himself in—so have approached my own life much differently. But there is not a day where I don’t think of George Patton at least once.

Much to my delight the History Channel put on a miniseries after Memorial Day 2014 which captured the back story of the most important men from World War II and how World War I shaped their lives—and of course Patton was heavily featured which is why I watched the show.  Much of the history shown in the program I already knew, but it was so wonderfully done that the context to the presentation was quite extraordinary.  It was a stunning series done excessively well by The History Channel.   And while I enjoyed the fresh perspective on George Patton, the rise of Adolf Hitler, the context of Mussolini—the newspaper man who wanted to rule the world—the wisdom of Churchill it was the sequences about Lenin and Stalin which hit me the hardest.  Here is the press release material on the program.  If you get a chance to catch the show—do so.…

An assassination in Sarajevo sparks a global war. For the next 30 years, deadly fighting rages across Europe, Africa, China and the Pacific.

Hitler. Churchill. De Gaulle. MacArthur. Patton. Stalin. Mussolini. We know them as legends. But they first learn what it will take to rise to greatness as young soldiers, fighting for their lives on the frontlines.

This is the story of a generation of men who come of age in the trenches of World War I, only to become the leaders of World War II. The lessons they learn on the frontlines shape them as they rise to power—and haunt them as the deadly fighting breaks out again. Some become heroes, forged in courage under fire. Others emerge as the most infamous villains the world has ever seen.

Theirs is one story—the story of a 30-year global struggle. A fight that will either save the world—or destroy it.

Narrated by two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town), this three-night event series featured gripping dramatic scenes, stunning CGI visuals and interviews with contemporary leaders, including John McCain, Colin Powell, John Major and David Miliband, along with noted historians from around the world. The World Wars is a mini-series event that takes viewers on an epic and groundbreaking ride through the bloodiest century in history.

I knew that Lenin was in exile from Russia in Germany and that he had returned to Petrograd to ignite the Communist Revolution—but I didn’t have the context of the role the German government played in the expansion of that diabolical scheme which still haunts the world as the most devastating aspect of the 20th Century.  The Germans sent Lenin back to Russia on a train with $10 million dollars and the philosophy of Karl Marx not to spread communism to the rest of the world for the benefits of mankind—but to destroy Russia so that Germany would not have to fight the war on two fronts.  It worked—obviously  The Communist Revolution in Petrograd has been covered by me extensively on these pages—but what I learned from the new History Channel documentary is that Germany intended to use Marxism to destroy Russia—not help it.

Later when Hitler would rise to power as well, it was socialism—a softer version of communism that he used to advance his position against the Allied powers which had crippled the German government into poverty after the Treaty of Versailles which has also been covered by me extensively.  I have so many articles on this topic I wouldn’t even know which one to link to properly.  What the History Channel documentary did so well was pull back far enough on the characters without emotion and tell their story correctly—and clearly in the early stages of Hitler’s rise—was a combination of two German philosophers, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.  One of them I despise, one of them I love—and Hitler got them both wrong just bad enough to nearly destroy the world.  It quickly became quite clear that the Germans were vastly responsible for the creation of communism and played a major role on the defamation of the human race which persists to this day.

I am of German decent.  Cincinnati was built essentially by Germans.  The beer which established Cincinnati as a city came straight from Munich and was adored all over the nation.  Yet some of the worst clashes I have had—business wise—have been against old German money in Cincinnati where my reverence for good ol’ Patton takes precedence over my German heritage.  The Germans make great engineers, great philosophers, and a great productive society—but they are essentially collectivists whom I have grown to despise—first from my business experience—then from my knowledge of their history.  And it gives me great satisfaction to know that Patton overwhelmed the German troops and caused the acquisition of Berlin ending both World Wars.

So many bad things have come out of Germany, specifically communism.  For that alone, they deserve responsibility for one of history’s greatest follies.  It is the modern Germans who still function under socialism and carry the rest of the European Union financially.  It is because the Germans as so good at technical feats that they have managed to have a robust economy as socialists playing around in small ways with capitalism in the manner only collectivists can do.  It is because of their collectivist nature that Hitler rose to power, and that Russia was destroyed as a rival in World War I.  But in the end, Patton beat them twice—with a little help—but with the same gusto shown on a dusty street at the border with Mexico hunting down Pancho Villa.  It is the Americans who function from bravery and the rest of the world through collective effort—and the two are radically different and can never be reconciled.  These differences are on full display on the History Channel’s miniseries The World Wars.  Watch it if you have not already.

What wins is Patton.  What loses is Germany.  It is better to face down a bullet than to hide from it, and when it comes to communism—it has to be stared down and dealt with directly.  Not hidden from behind a barricade of cardboard capitalism.  It has to be met the way Patton met things—head on, and with bravery—which is why I love that guy so incredibly much to this very day.

Rich Hoffman