Books: Gorgeous George

THE PATTON PAPERS, 1940-1945

by MARTIN BLUMENSON 889 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $17.50.

A 1943 radio broadcast in the U.S. called George Patton "a rootin', tootin', hip-shootin' commander whose chief ambition is to meet Marshal Rommel in a personal tank battle, just the two of them, squared off in a duel to the death." Patton encouraged that flamboyant image until finally he threatened to degenerate into self-parody. He once presented a speaker to his troops by saying: "Men, I want to introduce to you the noblest work of God—a killer!" With his ivory-handled pistols and magnificently bloodthirsty battle speeches, his dashing tank tactics and...

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