1 page, 8vo. " />
18 December 2003
PATTON, George S. (1885-1945), General. Typed letter signed ("GSP, Jr."), as Lt. Col., to Jerry, Fort Shafter, Hawaii; 1 November 1935. 1 page, 8vo.
PATTON LOOKS FORWARD TO "A LITTLE REALLY HIGH POWERED KILLING" AND PREDICTS "IN LESS THAN TEN YEARS WE WILL BE MIXING IT WITH JAPAN."
Bored with peacetime staff work, stalled at the rank of Lt. Colonel, drinking too much, and suffering a midlife crisis so acute that he took to hanging around with the friends of his teenage daughter at Fort Shafter, Patton writes to his broker: "God alone knows how dumb I am in many walks of life and in all business." War was all he really cared about, and in its absence he had to contrive artificial threats to life and limb. He suffered a concussion during a hard-charging polo match that summer, but went straight from the match to an equally hard-charging cocktail party, the next day tearing off on a sail to Maui that nearly proved fatal. "I am quite well at the moment as there is no polo or hunting I may remain so (Tapping wood). Last month Ruth-Ellen [his daughter] and I got nearly drowned sailing to Maui but we dident so that is that." He is encouraged by the deteriorating international situation: "I am still hopeful that the situation in europe is simply the lull before the storm. Certainly in less than ten years we will be mixing it with Japan. I will then still have at least four years in which to enjoy my self with a little really high powered killing." He closes by asking for "some suggestions as to what to do with any moneys I may have. What would you think of putting say $10,000.00 in a savings account...My idea is that in the case of a Communist revolution I could take the money out and like Noha [Noah] of old buy an arc and look for some secluded mountain on which to land."
As disturbing for its prescience as well as its relish of the carnage to come, Patton's letter offers a revealing glimpse into the mind of this famous warrior. Partly quoted, with commentary, in R. Patton, The Pattons, pp.225-226.
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