Fighting Patton: George S. Patton Jr. Through the Eyes of His Enemies

Author(s): Harry Yeide

Overseas Military

What was it like to fight against one of the most hard-driving generals in history? He is remembered as an officer with few equals, a leader who attained legendary status while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. Nicknamed "Old Blood and Guts," he was also well known for his hard attitude, eccentricities, and controversial outspokenness. But no matter the image or label attached to his name, few will dispute General George S. Patton Jr.'s place as a truly timeless figure in the annals of military history. In Fighting Patton, U.S. international affairs analyst Harry Yeide is the first to examine this legendary leader through the eyes of his enemies: the opposing German commanders of WWII. Featuring hundreds of unpublished unit reports, officer accounts, and telephone transcripts-all uncovered during Yeide's extensive exploration of German wartime records-Fighting Patton exposes the German perspective on how and why they lost their battles with Patton's forces.
This truly unique narrative follows Patton's rise through the ranks in the Mexican Expedition and World War I as well as his many campaigns throughout World War II, from Tunisia, Sicily, and Normandy to Lorraine, the Bulge, and the heart of Germany. The result is a fresh, fascinating, and beautifully illustrated take on one of the most storied figures of twentieth-century warfare.


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Publishers Weekly, July 25, 2011 Known for his work on American armored units in WWII, Yeide combines extensive research in published and archival materials to render a unique sketch of General Patton as seen through the eyes of his enemies. Save a brief encounter with the Vichy French in 1942, Patton primarily tangled with the Germans, who, due to their renown in Patton's own forte--armored and mobile operations--served as his most qualified judges. Without debunking Patton's achievements, Yeide shows that the German command regarded the general as a formidable adversary on the battlefield, but they did not view him as "the key to Allied intentions." Rather, such accolades went to strategists Bernard Montgomery and Omar Bradley. Still, it was Patton's gumption on the battlefield that set him aside from his more conservative peers. Following Patton's struggles and victories throughout the war, Yeide unveils a man far more complicated than the mythologized military hero; Patton "was a leader whom some adored and some loathed," a man simultaneously imperious and humble. Yeide adds new depth to our picture of Patton. Considered and evaluated in the specific context of armored commanders, he stood among the greats. In Yeide's words, "It is enough." The News-Review (Eugene, OR), April 16, 2011 Dozens of books have profiled the charismatic, outspoken American general, George S. Patton Jr. What makes Harry Yeide's 528-page Fighting Patton a different story is that Yeide, a military historian, has written the book from the perspective of his enemies, a unique twist that provides the reader a new historic viewpoint... New York Journal of Books "For students of the German armed forces, the publication of Fighting Patton is especially significant, because of the depth and breadth of the German material utilized by Mr. Yeide. Suffice it to say that there are many professional historians writing in the same general field of investigation who would profit from learning and utilizing Harry Yeide's research methods. The particular German documents that make Fighting Patton such a useful and interesting book are the personnel files of the general officers who are "actors" in Mr. Yeide's story, the fitness reports that they wrote regarding their subordinates (including the officers commanding the German armies, corps and divisions that fought Patton's troops), and their communications between each other during the battles leading up to Germany's defeat. The result is that the reader gains a comprehensive insight into the personalities and battlefield experiences of Patton's principal enemies." Brian M. Sobel, author of The Fighting Pattons "Harry Yeide has written a powerful book that looks at General George S. Patton, Jr. from the enemy's perspective. This truly unique view of one of America's greatest military leaders benefits from superb research and previously unpublished material from enemy archives and is all woven together by a compelling narrative." Library Journal "This book offers a detailed perspective on the German and Italian armies as they worked with smaller forces and crippling shortages to counter Patton. Yeide (The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force) deepens the story by describing the military background of the commanders, e.g., in World War I and the interwar years, as well as their actions early in the war before facing Patton. VERDICT: Well documented from official reports and personal accounts and with extensive endnotes. Useful for its perspective from the other side, for both interested general readers and specialists. (Index and photos not seen.)" WWII History magazine "...Harry Yeide has written an absorbing account of Patton and the adversaries he faced during both conflicts." Stone & Stone World War II Books "During the last seven or eight years, Harry Yeide has emerged as a prolific and increasingly important author of WWII-related books. With this title, his most recent, the author takes his work to a new level, producing a big, solid, serious book that transcends all his earlier output. Strictly speaking, he writes far less about Patton, or even the enemy perspective of Patton, and much more about the commanders and operations of units opposing Patton, so that this proves mostly a history of campaigns rather than any kind of biography. Nevertheless, Yeide includes a few chapters about Patton's youth and early years, including WWI. By far the majority of the book, however, deals with WWII, and almost half the pages cover the campaign in western Europe during 1944-1945. It would have been easy to manufacture a superficial, derivative account of those campaigns from the plethora of existing books on the topic, but Yeide seems to have done some significant digging into original sources to produce a praise-worthy exposition about what was happening on the Axis side of the front in Northwest Africa, Sicily, France, and Germany while Patton was trying to win the war with his ivory-handled pistols. Good stuff, without wasting time on old news such as the slapping incident. Quite a nice addition to anyone's library." Bowling Green Daily News "Carefully researched and filled with interesting biographical detail about Patton's opponents, "Fighting Patton" provides a view of Patton that has been largely ignored by his biographers. It also corrects some of the myths about the Germans' reaction to his generalship. It is well worth reading for anyone interested in the Second World War and shows how biographers can sometimes accept stories just because they have been published, without checking if they are true." Tucson Citizen "There have been dozens of books written about George S. Patton but none from the point of view of the enemies he fought, namely the German commanders...During his research for this book, Harry Yeide sifted through German wartime records where he uncovered hundreds of unpublished unit reports, officer accounts, and telephone transcripts that illuminate German thinking on how and why they lost their battles with Patton's forces. This is a fresh look at one of the U.S. military's most colorful characters." Bookviews by Alan Caruba "General George S. Patton, Jr. was one of WWII's greatest generals and one in whom the Germans took a great interest. Fighting Patton by Harry Yeide is a thick history and biography of a man who Hollywood immortalized in film. His real life equaled and surpassed that drama. At the age of five he told his parents he intended to be "a great general" and he did. He studied war like others study music or architecture. It was his passion. This book is the first to examine the legendary general through the eyes of his opposing generals, the Germans who devoted time and effort to know as much as possible about him and, during the conflict, where he was and where he was headed. They had good reason because he was instrumental in their defeat. This book is a wonderful piece of history on many levels by an author who understands the story of the mechanized cavalry-tanks-and the men who drove them into historic battles." IPMS "... it is very well researched and written and puts an end to some of the myths surrounding George Patton. It is recommended to those who enjoy reading about tactics of the German army during WWII."

HARRY YEIDE is an international affairs analyst with the U.S. federal government. He has worked primarily with political and security/military issues, writing assessments for the president and other senior policymakers. He is the author of Steel Victory (Presidio Press, 2003) and Zenith Press titles The Longest Battle (2005), Weapons of the Tankers (2006), The Tank Killers (2007), Steeds of Steel (2008), and Fighting Patton (2011, 2014). He is also the co-author, with Mark Stout, of First to the Rhine (Zenith Press, 2007). Yeide lives with his wife Nancy and three cats in Hyattsville, Maryland.

General Fields

  • : 9780760345924
  • : Motorbooks International
  • : Zenith Press
  • : February 2014
  • : 229mm X 152mm
  • : United States
  • : January 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Harry Yeide
  • : 528
  • : 355.0092
  • : Paperback
  • : Black and white