Patton

Question: Is it just me or does this film seem to have some definite homosexual undertones when it comes to Patton? He dresses flamboyantly, wears lots of jewelry, designs uniforms, caresses his dead staff member, kisses a soldier tenderly after a battle. Did the writers do this intentionally and/or were there rumors about Patton's sexual orientation?

1

Answer: It's just you.

3

Answer: In real life Patton spoke with a high pitched effeminate voice, not the gruff George C Scott type of voice.

stiiggy
2

Question: During the slapping, what did George mean when he said send him up to the front?

1

Answer: "The front" means the front line, i.e., where the enemy is being engaged. He's saying that since the soldier isn't physically injured, he should be fighting, not (as Patton sees it) being a coward and shirking his duty.

5

Answer: He meant that he intended to send the soldier back to his unit where the main fighting with the enemy is taking place. This is referred to as "the front."

raywest Premium member
1

Question: When Patton visits the battlefield he says he was there when the battle happened. What did he mean? He wasn't born yet.

1

Answer: George S. Patton was not speaking figuratively. In real life, Patton very much believed in reincarnation, and he believed he had been reincarnated as a warrior many times, going back thousands of years. His poetry described his real-life belief in reincarnation.

4

Answer: In real life, George Patton wrote a poem called "Through a Glass, Darkly." This scene is a way to tie that poem into the film. Depending on how you interpret the poem (I suggest reading it and drawing your own conclusion) he's talking about his past lives, where he has been reincarnated as a soldier, or warrior, etc each time. In the poem he suggest he remembers each life and the battles he's fought. So in the scene he's saying he fought in the Punic Wars. If you think he's speaking figuratively, then through his studies of past wars, he's able to vividly image himself there and it feels as if he was there.

Bishop73

Question: Why did they have to have Patton slow down?

Answer: The Allied High Command had to slow Patton down for two reasons: first, he was advancing so quickly across France he was outrunning his fuel and supply lines, leaving the resupply units vulnerable to attack and risking Patton's army being cut off from its supplies and strangled by the Germans. Second, British General Montgomery griped to Churchill and Eisenhower that Patton was getting priority, and Montgomery said he needed fuel so he could launch his own attacks via Operation Market Garden, the seizure of bridges in Holland across the Rhine river.

Scott215
7

Question: How accurate is Patton's temper?

Answer: Very accurate, almost spot on, as veterans who served under him during WW2 would attest after seeing the film "Patton." The real life difference between actor George C. Scott and the real General Patton was his voice- unlike the gravel voice that Scott possessed, Patton had a high voice that would get higher the angrier he got.

Scott215
6

Question: I know Patton really did slap a soldier named Bennett. I have two questions. Firstly, is the dialogue in the scene where Patton slapped Bennett accurate? Secondly, was Bennett really a coward?

Answer: The entire slapping incident is surprisingly accurate, including the second slap knocking off Bennett's helmet. The dialogue is not verbatim but the scene is accurate in spirit. By today's standards Bennett would not be considered a coward. He suffered from what we call today post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During Patton's time PTSD was called "shell shock" or other terms and was not treated with the same compassion as today. Patton himself did not believe in the concept of shell shock and thought men like Bennett were simply cowards.

BaconIsMyBFF
2

Question: When Patton arrives at corps headquarters, a lieutenant says they have a new commander due. What is he talking about? Was their previous commanding general fired?

Answer: Due to his poor performance at Kasserine, General Eisenhower sacked Major General Lloyd Fredendal (Patton's predecessor), and he was sent back home in disgrace, never to command combat troops ever again.

stiiggy

Answer: Patton was put in charge of the American II Corps in North Africa after the Americans were badly defeated at the 1943 Battle of the Kasserine Pass. The lieutenant apparently does not realise that Patton has been sent to replace the previous commander and will begin enforcing strict discipline into the troops.

raywest Premium member

OK, but what about the other part of the question? Was their previous commanding general fired?

1

The previous commanding general was not "fired" he was replaced. It was Major General Lloyd Fredendall who was in command of the II Corps, at the Battle of Kasserine Pass. He was reassigned stateside, then about three months later was promoted to lieutenant general. For the rest of the war he was in command of training assignments in the US.

Super Grover Premium member
5

He was effectively "fired", as in removed, from his commanding position, due to his weak leadership, but that did not mean to say he was fired from the U.S. Army. The term "fired" is relative here.

raywest Premium member

I feel the need to clarify the point that my original reply was to the person who asked this question: "OK, but what about the other part of the question? Was their previous commanding general fired? " Please know that my reply was not meant to come off as butting heads with your answer, raywest, I was merely answering the submitter's question and acknowledging their use of the word "fired" within their question. But since you responded directly to my original reply, I'll respond. You state in your reply to me, "He was effectively "fired", as in removed, from his commanding position, due to his weak leadership, but that did not mean to say he was fired from the U.S. Army. The term "fired" is relative here." Okay, well I really don't agree with that, because I can't see the term "fired" as being relative here, IMO. In civilian life, when a civvie is "fired" from their job it means getting laid-off, being unemployed. To say a servicemember is "fired" from the military, it would basically mean being dishonorably discharged. The OP's question was regarding Lloyd Fredendall. After his reassignment, Major General Fredendall even received a promotion and became Lieutenant General Fredendall within a few months. Anyway, those are my personal thoughts on the matter. :) Be well, raywest. With warm regards, Rikki.

Super Grover Premium member
4

Not fired, just relieved of command and transferred elsewhere.

3

Yes, he was removed (fired) from his post because his troops were so badly defeated in the battle. Patton was assigned to take over.

raywest Premium member

Question: Did George Patton really change the time which the mess hall was open and closed like he does in the movie?

Answer: Yes, Patton did change the mess hall times. Chester B. Hansen, who was General Omar Bradley's aide, kept a detailed personal wartime diary. In it he wrote about Patton, and regarding the mess hall Hansen described it this way, "When Fredendall was the corps commander, the II Corps people generally went to breakfast at about 9 o'clock in the morning. When Patton came, however, he changed all that, and in Fairlana they stopped serving breakfast at 6 o'clock in the morning. Therefore it was necessary for us to stumble out of bed at about 5, hurry down and grab a breakfast. It was quite cold at that time in the morning..." After the war, because of his detailed diary Hansen was the ghostwriter of Bradley's war memoir, A Soldier's Story, which was one of the resources for the movie's screenwriters.

Super Grover Premium member
3

Did Patton change the mess hall times in order to discipline his troops?

In short, yes, it was part of Patton's stern discipline and strictly enforced regulations, which he believed essential. Following the disastrous defeat at Kasserine Pass, when Eisenhower had Patton promoted and appointed the new commander of II Corps, it was because Patton was the perfect choice. Just as Scott215 mentioned Patton's helmet requirement and the wearing of shirt and tie, this was all part of one of Patton's top priorities - the dress code and the strict adherence to it, and the strengthening of morale and fighting spirit. Eisenhower himself had later written, "morale in II Corps was shaken and the troops had to be picked up quickly. For such a job Patton has no superior in the Army... General Patton's buoyant leadership and strict insistence upon discipline rapidly rejuvenated the II Corps and brought it up to fighting pitch...the troops...had a much higher appreciation of the value of training, discipline, and speed in action."

Super Grover Premium member
1

Answer: As the commanding Corps General, Patton did, indeed, have the authority to change not only the opening and closing times of the mess hall, but many other areas under his command, like the helmet requirement. He even required his officers to wear shirt and tie while in combat zones, so he did call the shots. His command, his rules.

Scott215

Question: Did the part where allied command cuts off Patton's supplies really happen?

Answer: Yes, it did. In short, Allied command favored a more spread out approach to the offensive rather than the "single thrust" approach Patton favored. It was deemed that Montgomery's Twenty First Army Group had a higher priority to Patton's Third Army.

BaconIsMyBFF

Plus, Patton was advancing so fast he was outrunning his fuel, and supply lines.

1

Question: Did Patton really promise to control his temper before being assigned to the third army?

Answer: He most likely would have had to agree to monitor his temper and behavior and also his habit of making off-the-cuff, politically incorrect or politically charged remarks. He at times spoke or acted impulsively.

raywest Premium member

Factual error: The British drum major in the Messina parade gives the order "Forward March". This is only used by the British forces when troops are marking time. If at the halt, as here, the order is "Quick March".

Necrothesp
More mistakes in Patton

Capt. Richard N. Jenson: What are you doing there, soldier?
Soldier getting up from floor: Trying to get some sleep, sir.
Patton: Well, get back down there, son. You're the only son of a bitch in this headquarters who knows what he's trying to do.

More quotes from Patton

Trivia: This film's most remarkable for the ironic choice of vehicles used. All of the German tanks represented in the movie are, in fact, M48 "Patton" tanks borrowed from the Spanish army. This is most likely the first and only time in history a general is unintentionally fighting to destroy his own namesakes!

More trivia for Patton

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.