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General George S. Patton, Jr.

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General George S. Patton, Jr., New World Celt


One of the most complicated military men of all time, General George Smith Patton, Jr. was born November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel, California. He was known for carrying ivory pistols and his intemperate manner, and is regarded as one of the most successful United States field commanders of any war. He continually strove to train his troops to the highest standard of excellence.

Patton decided during childhood that his goal in life was to become a hero. His ancestors had fought in the Revolutionary War, the Mexican War and the Civil War, and he grew up listening to stories of their brave and successful endeavors. He attended the Virginia Military Institute for one year and went on to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point on June 11, 1909. He was then commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the 15th cavalry Regiment.

In 1917, Patton became the first member of the newly established United States Tank Corps, where he served until the Corps were abolished in 1920. He took full command of the Corps, directing ideas, procedures and even the design of their uniforms. Along with the British tankers, he and his men achieved victory at Cambrai, France, during the world's first major tank battle in 1917.Using his first-hand knowledge of tanks, Patton organized the American tank school in Bourg, France and trained the first 500 American tankers.

An outspoken advocate for tanks, Patton saw them as the future of modern combat. When the German Blitzkrieg began on Europe, Patton finally convinced Congress that the United States needed a more powerful armored striking force. With the formation of the Armored Force in 1940, he was transferred to the Second Armored Division at Fort Benning, Georgia and named Commanding General on April 11, 1941. Two months later, Patton appeared on the cover of Life magazine. Also during this time, Patton began giving his famous "Blood and Guts" speeches in an amphitheater he had built to accommodate the entire division.

The United States officially entered World War II in December 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. By November 8, 1942, Patton was commanding the Western Task Force, the only all-American force landing for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. After succeeding there, Patton commanded the Seventh Army during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, and in conjunction with the British Eighth Army restored Sicily to its citizens.

Patton commanded the Seventh Army until March 1944, when he was given command of the Third Army in France. Patton and his troops dashed across Europe after the battle of Normandy and exploited German weaknesses with great success, covering the 600 miles across France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. When the Third Army liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp, Patton slowed his pace. He instituted a policy, later adopted by other commanders, of making local German civilians tour the camps. By the time WWII was over, the Third Army had liberated or conquered 81,522 square miles of territory. Remembered
for his fierce determination and ability to lead soldiers, Patton is now considered one of the greatest military figures in history.

William Brown

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William Brown   

Irish-born Admiral of the Republic of Argentina, b. 1777, in the County Mayo, Ireland; d. 3 May, 1857, in Buenos Aires. His family immigrating to America in 1786, Brown shipped as a cabin boy on a vessel sailing from Philadelphia. During the war between France and England his ship, an English merchantman, was captured by a French privateer and he was made prisoner of war. He escaped to England, where, in 1809, he married a lady of good family and education. He re-entered the ocean trade with a ship of his own, which was wrecked on the coast of South America. Here he established the first regular packet service between Buenos Aires and Montevideo. In the revolt of Buenos Aires against Spain the insurgents appointed Brown, February 1814, to the command of a squadron of seven ships. With these he achieved wonders. On St. Patrick's Day he captured the fort of Martin Garcia, called "The Gibraltar of the La Plata", compelling nine Spanish men-of-war under Admiral Romerate to retire. Later, at Montevideo, which capitulated 20 June, he captured several Spanish men-of-war. These he took to Buenos Aires, and received the rank of admiral. In 1816 Admiral Brown sailed round the Horn to succor the new republics on the western coast, but his expedition was only partly successful. Ten years later, when war ensued between the new republic and Brazil, Admiral Brown greatly distinguished himself against tremendous odds in the blockade of Buenos Aires, which he succeeded in breaking. Taking the offensive he scoured the coast as far as Rio de Janeiro. His most brilliant victory was the battle of Juncal, 24 February 1827, when, with seven ships and eight one-gun launches, he destroyed a fleet of seventeen war-vessels under Admiral Pereira. He acted as Argentine Commissioner when, at the close of the war, the liberty of Buenos Aires was guaranteed by the treaty of Montevideo 4 October 1827.

After a visit to his native land, Admiral Brown spent his last years in the republic in the founding of which he had been such a powerful factor. He died in Buenos Aires 3 May, 1867, and in the Recolta cemetery a lofty column marks his resting-place.