War as I Knew It
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War as I Knew It

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,100 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The personal and candid account of General Patton's celebrated, relentless crusade across western Europe during World War II



First published in 1947, War as I Knew It is an absorbing narrative that draws from Patton's vivid memories of battle and his detailed diaries, covering the moment the Third Army exploded onto the Brittany Peninsula to the final Allied casualty repor...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 8th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published 1947)
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Jeanne
I'm more enamored with Patton than ever! I read this books and simultaneously watched a few films about Patton. And now I can say from experience, that "you are what you listen to." (this was a book on tape). Just after finishing the book, I taught a class at church. I got so passionate about one story I was telling that I swore!! -- (The 'd' word.) It was a perfectly good Patton word to use. I had just told Hal that swearing didn't bother me so much when Patton was swearing. Me and George S!!!...more
Dwain
Patton's memoirs of WWII are interesting on many levels. First, it is interesting to gain a glimpse into the man. Most of what people know about Patton is his brashness, his reputation for profanity, and his aggressiveness in battle. His memoirs show him to be much less crass in his private life than he acted around his men. They also showed him to be a surprisingly well-rounded person who obviously admired and knew a lot about architecture and was an avid reader and student of history. He was...more
Kevin
One of my great uncles was part of Patton's 3rd Army, and when he died, his rotten f-ing grandkids attacked his house like locusts, tossing out 80+ years of keepsakes & antiques that they couldn't pawn or sell on ebay.
One of my little treasures that my mom snagged was his copy of "War as I Knew It".
The only truly charasmatic person I've ever been in the presence of was Pope John Paul II, and that was simply stunning. I cant imagine what it was like to be around Patton. The man truly was la...more
Robert
George S. Patton, Jr., in spite of his weaknesses and propensity to enrage General Eisenhower from time to time, whether by comments or actions, was World War II's most brilliant field commander. His near total recall of of battles fought, from North Africa to Sicily to Italy, France and Germany is remarkable. Patton describes his wartime experiences in a way that makes the reader feel as if he or she is sitting with him and hearing about the war in great detail...as General Patton perceived it....more
Mark Singer
Published in 1947 just two years after his death, General George S. Patton's "War As I Knew It" was assembled and edited from his wartime diary. It is fascinating reading, but needs to be read as a diary, not an autobiography, and if the reader has a knowledge of events beyond what is in the diary it helps.
Martin


Patton's own eloquent words, hard to put it down.
Nathan
non-fiction. excellent and highly relevant
Dr. Amiruddin Alauddin
One of our greatest generals indeed.
Mike Salmans
Great words from an even Greater man!
Justin Tapp

This was another of my $1 garage sale audio books. While Patton didn't exactly write an autobiography, this book is entirely made up of his journal entries, memoirs, letters home, and copies of orders given. As such, it's all in the first person and reads like a personal history of WWII.

Since much of it deals with commands given, areas taken, tactics used, and suggestions for future Army organization, it is pretty boring for a non-soldier to read. But sprinkled throughout are Patton's philosophi...more
Jim Gallen
War As I Knew It" is the World War II memoirs of General George S. Patton, beginning with the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in 1942 and continuing to the German Surrender on May 8, 1945. Patton died a few months after the end of the war. I suspect that this explains its fairly unpolished style.

This book is, essentially, World War II as Patton observed it. It verifies many of the scenes and dialogues which we enjoy in the movie "Patton". It does not get into deep analysis of the war or...more
Shaun
In this book, Patton reflects on his military career from the invasion of Morocco to the end of the war in Europe (he died shortly after the war ended). If you've seen the George C. Scott film, you'll recognize a few of the lines that were worked into the movie. What surprised me, though, was that this book didn't quite show Patton as the gruff, divisive figure you may expect. Early on, in the chapters on Morocco, he spends much time talking about the architecture, the landscape, the trees, the...more
Sheryl Smith
I learned a lot about Patton himself and a lot about the inside details of a war. I found all of that very interesting. A good thing for me, since I'm not really a history or military buff!

There were parts where he wrote about statics that were very boring to me. I listened to this as an audiobook, so couldn't easily flip past that stuff and it just droned on, but I stuck with it waiting for the nuggets that were to come . . .

You'll especially like it if you like war strategy. Lots of which divi...more
Michael Burnam-fink
If anybody was unclear on the matter, George Patton was a pyscho. An excellent soldier, but a pyscho all the same. War as I Knew It is his memoir of WW2, and you get a solid sense of the man, his energy, and his confidence. What this book doesn't supply is any kind of perspective or insight on strategy. True, Patton had a genius for the attack and a relentless drive that he somehow imparted to his corps and division commanders, and eventually to the grunts, but he also had one of the best suppli...more
Craig
There are some gruff Patton gems in this battle report from North Africa and the European theater where Patton commanded the Third Army. I suppose military strategists and historians would glean much from his discussions of the logistics and tactics of his various movements and battles. Some of it is fine, but after the 'Bulge' I found it mostly tedious reading. Not enough of the flavor of the man. And he claims this is an informal description for a few old friends! Some of the famous incidents...more
Mike Prochot
General Patton's view of war "from the top". Interesting perspective/biography as the General holds nothing back - of course - and the original editing was handled by the General's wife, Beatrice.

While I enjoyed the General's commentary, I could not help but think of other books I have read more recently published than this which have been written by the every day soldiers in Patton's army and the perspectives brought to light in those tales as opposed to this.

A must read for anyone interested...more
brendan
This book was recommended to me by one of the numerous "without home" Key West locals. I picked it up because he was well spoken and provided an interesting review of Patton's exploits and narrative tone. At first, I was quite interested; however, my attention waned once military tactics and maneuvers replaced local assessment and pith. I gave up reading during the counter-offensive to The Bulge.

Military history does not interest me. People and characters interest me. All war does is end charac...more
José
It's a great firsthand account of some of the most important military campaigns of the ETO. However, it basically read like a unit's (in Patton's case, an army) daily journal. I have picked up Heinz Guderian's Panzer Leader and leafed through it and it has reminded me of this book, so I have skipped it. I still thinks it's worthwhile reading for a military history nut, but it requires a special frame of mind. It's like having your wisdom teeth pulled (painful but necessary).
ThomasAD
A very rough memoir due to the fact that Patton never got a chance to formalize his writings. It is a very factual account of his experience in the way, but the entire book has a very sincere tone. You can tell that General Patton meant every word he wrote and was not glossing the truth for future posterity.

I know this book is not well read, but I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in World War II, it has tremendous insight. And its actually a very easy read.
Doug
Where is George Patton when we need him. This is the story of one of America's best generals. A man not afraid to do whatever it took to get the job done. He also had an ego as big as America which led him to push himself and his troops to do the impossible. He was also an escentric man bordering on the insane, which only increased his mystique. He was a hero from his days as a Lt. during the Mexican Excursion for Pancho Villa. That's another good story!
Dan
Sep 21, 2007 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: history
A published version of Patton's journal from WWII. An excellent read that gets you in the mind of one of the best General's America has ever produced. A small caveat is that it will make you wish that he was still alive and running our current war in Iraq--if he was the war would be over.
Matt
Phenomenal! Everyone under the age of 40 should read this book and then start a journal. The amount of detail he put into his writing and letters really paint a wonderful picture of the places he went on his campaigns across Africa and Europe.
Josh Bradham
Great Story of a brilliant mind, Not of the weak variety of the modern generation. This man was a part of a generation that really meant something thing. He was a great tactician, straightforward but still highly intelligent.
Jean-Vincent
As the only Patton's readily available writings, it's a book that may be of interest for anyone wanting to know more about the man, although as a writer, Patton's isn't exactly stellar.
Steve
Very captivating reading. Personal writings of General Patton are mesmerizing. He writes in laman's terms and provides a interesting perspective to the conduct of the war.
Mark Lancaster
I should have taken a military history course while reading this, but otherwise it's a fantastic book about a brilliant commander.
Inknscroll
This book was recommended in one of the "Bookmarks" magazine's issues of either: (Nov/ Dec 2007) or (Jan/ Feb 2008).
Leo
Having similar struggle in childhood...
it make me pretty easy read his life...
A great General I admire..
Hhfields
when in doubt, go on the offensive. words to live by. loved this book.
Rick Wong
Nice quick read. Mostly from an autobiographical sense, but insightful.
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370054
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.

Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1909. In 1916–17, he participated in the unsuccessful Pan...more
More about George S. Patton Jr....
The Patton Papers: 1940-1945 The Patton Papers: 1885-1940 The Wit & Wisdom of General George S. Patton The Defense of Gallipoli Patton Principles

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“I want you to remember, that no poor dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it, by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” 80 likes
“continue to advance until you run out of ammunition. Then, dig in.” 22 likes
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