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74 years on - was General Patton murdered ?

By T.K. Randall
December 22, 2019 · Comment icon 23 comments

General George S. Patton. Image Credit: Public Domain
General George S. Patton, who died in 1945, was one of the most celebrated military leaders of World War II.
The subject of countless books and movies, General Patton was a prominent figure who commanded both the US Seventh Army in the Mediterranean theater and the US Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II.

His untimely death was particularly ill-fitting of a man who had contributed so much to the Allied war effort and even today the circumstances surrounding his demise remain a topic of heated debate.

Patton had been on his way to a pheasant hunting trip in a devastated part of Germany when his Cadillac limousine collided with a military truck that had been parked at the side of the road.

While two others in the car were uninjured, Patton suffered a blow to the head and quickly began to experience paralysis and difficulty breathing.

He was taken to a hospital in Heidelberg where it was discovered that he had suffered from a broken neck and a spinal cord injury that had left him paralyzed from the neck down.

While he made some progress over the next 12 days, he ultimately died on December 21, 1945.
Not everyone however is convinced that he actually succumbed to his injuries.

The story goes that in 1979, an American spy named Douglas Bazata claimed that he had been sent by the Office of Strategic Services to kill Patton and make it look like an accident.

There is also an alternative version of the story indicating that the assassin had actually been sent by Stalin to stop Patton from warning the United States about the dangers of the Soviet Union.

Despite several books and a great deal of debate on the matter over the years however, questions still remain about these theories and there is no concrete evidence to support either version.

"You've got to look at what Patton's situation was," said author Carlo D'Este. "He was a quadriplegic, he was going to die anyway, he was totally immobilized, he couldn't move."

"What is the point of assassinating him and where did Stalin come from anyway? Sure, somebody could have snuck in the hospital, but why would you bother?"

"You need to verify facts. That certainly raises a red flag with me."

Comments (23)

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Comment icon #14 Posted by HollyDolly 4 years ago
Don't know if my dad  had heard anything about Patton  being assinated,He was in Italy at the time  of the famous  incident where Patton slapped a soldier. Didn't see it  happen, but i guess heard about it through the grapevine.Rommel was a war hero to the german people, so Hitler  gave him the choice of suicide by  cyanide.One of the Garmisch cousins had been an officer and in North Africa as the same time as Rommel, but he wasn;t part of the Afrika Corps, and later wound up on the eastern Front.Dad did a TDY to germany and England in 1958,59 for Security Service out at Kelly AF Base, ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Obviousman 4 years ago
What a load of nonsense. If you wanted to assassinate someone, then you have to KILL them, not leave them injured and hope that they die. If the US military wanted to kill him then it would have been easy to get a local German demobbed soldier - preferably a Nazi, SS would be perfect - and equip them with a weapon (remember that there were still lots of small arms around, both Allied and German). They'd be the sniper, with the 'public' motivation of killing Patton as revenge for the defeat of Germany. No need for elaborate plans that have a small chance of success. Sheesh - you people would be... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome 4 years ago
Yes, but how many documented cases were there of disaffected former Nazis assassinating senior Allied figures? None at all. The fanatical Nazi remaining holed up after the surrender is a figure of fiction. To have one of your highest profile senior generals suddenly bumped off by one would have looked so fishy that even Comrade Stalin wouldn't have thought he could get away with something so obviously faked,. 
Comment icon #17 Posted by Obviousman 4 years ago
Yeah, sorry about that. There have never been any instances of disaffected people murdering famous figures. Martin Luther King (killed by James Earl Ray, who hated African Americans) Abraham Lincoln (killed by John Wilkes Booth, who supported the Confederacy) Archduke Franz Ferdinand (killed by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist though admittedly he said he was aiming for GEN Potiorek) etc
Comment icon #18 Posted by Trelane 4 years ago
An old friend, a Master Sergeant with three combat tours died unexpectedly of heart failure. No foul play, no signs of heart disease. Another, had collapsed and died of walking pneumonia. Unfortunately, war sometimes is not as dangerous as everyday life back home.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Obviousman 4 years ago
Absolutely. I had a semi-girlfriend who went home on Xmas leave. Died suddenly, kinda natural causes. She did Navy physicals every year, was fit, etc. No-one saw it coming.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Robotic Jew 4 years ago
Suicide has nothing to do with cowardice...
Comment icon #21 Posted by and then 4 years ago
Bill O'Reilly wrote a good book on this topic:  KILLING PATTON There had been several close calls on his life after the combat ceased but prior to his vehicle smash up.  The other near misses were very odd in their nature.  In one, an allied pilot in a Mustang tried to shoot down the plane he was riding in.  I think the guy was a force of nature at that point and his enemies were scared spitless of what he might do, politically, post war.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Obviousman 4 years ago
Sadly, in wartime blue-on-blue incidents are far more common than we'd like. In this instance, the L-5 does bear a resemblance to the Fi156 Storch. Reports also indicate that the attacking aircraft could have been a Polish Spitfire but this is not confirmed. Apparently it crashed (CFIT) whilst the L-5 was 'hedge hopping' trying to avoid the attacking aircraft.
Comment icon #23 Posted by and then 4 years ago
You're right, my bad.  It was a Spitfire, not a Mustang.  I guess it was the total number of close calls that raised suspicion.  

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