PATTON, George S. Jr., Major General, U.S. Army. Typed letter signed ("G S Patton Jr.") as Commander, Third U.S. Army, to Lt. Col. Charles R. Codman (Patton's former aide-de-camp) in Boston, with an 11-word autograph postscript added, Headquarters, 3rd U.S. Army [in southern Germany], 18 July 1945. 1 full page, 4to, on Patton's 3rd Army stationery.
DISMANTLING THE THIRD ARMY, ALTHOUGH "THERE IS ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY, OF A FLARE-UP ON THIS CONTINENT"
A letter, written a year after the Normandy landings, in which Patton describes the rapid reduction of his Third Army in the wake of the German surrender, as many divisions are either demobilized or transferred to the Pacific: "The situation here is as follows: At the present time, the Third Army has 32 divisions and 4 Corps. However, we are losing these rapidly and will probably be down to 10 or 12 divisions by the end of the year and still lower by next spring. The activities at Army headquarters have changed completely , the important staff sections now being the Adjutant General, G-1 and G-5. Personally, I am more occupied than during combat, as I have to, or feel that I have to, visit all the divisions, inspect them administratively and tactically, and also visit them when they leave, to say good-bye. The result is that I spend a great deal of time flying. It is quite apparent, I believe, that there is no probability, though there is always a possibility, of a flare-up on this continent."
While "there is no one I would rather have around with me than yourself I do not believe you have any obligation to return, and probably have many obligations to fulfill at home. However, I hope we can defer judgement as long as possible. I am sure that McCarthy can get you a still further extension of leave. I am enclosing a few snapshots." In an ink postscript, Patton adds: "If you can locate Al, send him his picture enclosed here."