George S. Patton Quotes
(Left Picture)Patton as a temporary colonel at Camp Meade, Maryland, 1919 U.S. Army – (Right Picture)General George S Patton (

20 Gen. George S. Patton Quotes and Sayings


When we think of General George S. Patton, most of us think of George C. Scott’s portrayal of the general, which was excellent, but there is far more to be said of the man other than the charismatic leader of armies in World War II. During his youth, in California, he was known as an intellectual and avid reader of military history, although he never considered serving in the military. In the 1912 Olympics, he participated in the pentathlon and finished fifth overall, first among non-Swedish competitors.

Early in Patton’s military service, he was assigned as John J. Pershing’s personal aide during the Pancho Villa Expedition to capture Pancho Villa. Pershing would later intervene in Patton’s military career during World War I when he requisitioned Patton’s duties to assist Pershing after he was put in command as the American Expeditionary Force Commander. This would be where Patton would gain his experience as a mechanized troop leader as he was given the command of the 304th Tank Brigade and was injured with a bullet wound to the leg. Although wounded, he continued to serve and not seek treatment until later. After his service in World War I, he was part of a committee that wrote the strategies on how American military forces would use tanks and set their place for effective use during battle. While in Salem Massachusetts, he saved several children from drowning after they had fallen off of a yacht.

At the beginning of World War II, Patton was a colonel and earned the rank of four star general by the end. During a speech at the beginning of the war, Patton was describing his preference to keep troops engaged in battle as constantly as possible with the added “it takes blood and brains” to win in combat. His strategy was that the more the troops are engaged in battle rather than waiting to plan battles, the less the enemy had a chance to plan defending their attack. He gained the nickname “blood and guts” from this strategy. His strategy would be used throughout his commands during the war and was highly successful although it received great criticism for the amount of allied casualties that resulted. From Tunisia, through Italy, and into Germany and the conclusion of the war during battles in and around Berlin, Patton remained fierce, combative, and an aggressive leader. While in Germany after the war, he was involved in a car crash that injured his spinal cord and led to heart failure. After twelve days in spinal traction, he died on December 21st, 1945. This is why we want to share these General George S. Patton quotes to honor one of the most successful combat generals in U.S history.

We hope you enjoy these George S. Patton quotes:

  1. “A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect plan ten minutes later.”
  2. “Do everything you ask of those you command.”
  3. “Say what you mean, mean what you say.”
  4. “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
  5. “Do more than what is required of you.”
  6. “Many soldiers are led to faulty ideas of war by knowing too much about too little.”
  7. “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”
  8. “A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”
  9. “You are not beaten until you admit it.”
  10. “Do you duty as you see it, and damn the consequences.”
  11. “The object of war is not to die for your country, but make the other bastard die for his.”
  12. “There is nothing more pathetic or futile than than a general who lives long enough to explain a defeat.”
  13. “Officers must assert themselves by example and voice.”
  14. “Punishment is not for the benefit of the sinner; it is for the salvation of his comrades.”
  15. “By perseverance, and study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.”
  16. “It is better to live in the limelight for a year than in the wings forever.”
  17. “Cowardice is a disease and it must be checked before it becomes epidemic.”
  18. “War is a killing business. You must spill the enemy’s blood or they will spill yours.”
  19. “The hardest thing for a general to do is to wait for the battle to start after all of the orders have been given.”
  20. “Lack of orders is no excuse for inaction.”

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