After he slapped two soldiers, US Lieutenant General George S. Patton
was sidelined from combat command by General Dwight Eisenhower and Army
Chief of Staff George C. Marshall. On 3 August 1943, during the Sicily
Campaign of World War II, Patton struck, kicked and berated a soldier he
found at an evacuation hospital with no apparent injuries, for being
“gutless”; in fact, the soldier had malaria with a temperature of
102.2 °F (39.0 °C). Patton struck another soldier complaining of
“nerves” at another hospital seven days later and threatened him with a
pistol for being a “whimpering coward”; in fact, the soldier had been
begging to rejoin his unit. Both soldiers suffered from what is now
known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Patton’s actions were
suppressed in the news until journalist Drew Pearson publicized them.
Congress and the general public expressed both support and disdain.
Patton was removed from combat command for almost a year, but did take a
decoy command in Operation Fortitude to mislead German agents as to the
location of the planned invasion of Europe. His later successes
commanding the US Third Army largely rehabilitated his reputation.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
American Revolutionary War: South Carolina militia repelled a
British attack on Charleston.
Belgian clarinetist Adolphe Sax received a patent for the
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie,
Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo
Princip during a motorcade in Sarajevo, sparking the outbreak of World
Workers demanding better conditions held massive protests in
Poznań, Poland, but were violently repressed by the following day by
400 tanks and 10,000 soldiers of the Polish People’s Army and the
Internal Security Corps.
Seventy-three leading officials of Iran’s Islamic Republican
Party were killed when a bomb exploded at the party’s headquarters in
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
An animal, especially an insect such as a mosquito, that bites during
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I deny that villany is ever necessary. It is impossible that it
should ever be necessary for any reasonable creature to violate all the
laws of justice, mercy, and truth. No circumstances can make it
necessary for a man to burst in sunder all the ties of humanity. It can
never be necessary for a rational being to sink himself below a brute.
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