An evening pause: The opening speech from the 1970 movie Patton that captured the character of one of America’s most unique and successful generals.
Patton was a difficult man with little diplomacy, but then, soldiers are not hired to be diplomats. (At least we didn’t when America was the sane country of courageous fighters, as described in this speech.) Yet, as difficult as he was, his philosophy of war was a direct descendant of the war strategy and tactics of Ulysses S. Grant. As Patton is believed to have actually said,
“Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose!”
This was how Grant won the Civil War. It was how Americans fought every war that followed through World War II. Sadly, that philosophy was lost by the bureaucratic military that developed during the Cold War.
If only we had generals and political leaders today who understand this utterly essential approach for winning wars.
One note: The speech’s language at times violates my rules about obscenities. In the context of war and death however I think the use of such language wholly appropriate.
Hat tip Daniel Morris.