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General George S. PattonDownload nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: General George S. Patton

Description: U.S. Army Lieutenant- General George S. Patton (George Smith Patton, Jr.; George Smith Patton III; AKA: Old Blood and Guts; 1885-1945), shown in France, November 1944; Patton was one of the most brilliant, brash and controversial military leaders of World War II in North Africa, Sicily and mainland Europe; a mystic and self-admitted seer, Patton's ancestors served as military officers dating back to the American Revolution and many served in the Confederate armies during the American Civil War, including his father; he dreamed as a boy of becoming a heroic general, graduating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1909; he first saw action in 1916 in Mexico as a U.S. Army officer while unsuccessfully chasing the elusive bandit and revolutionist Pancho Villa (Dorotea Arango; Francisco Villa; AKA: Pancho; 1878-1923), but, using three armored cars, did track down and kill two of Villa's top commanders, strapping their bodies to the hoods of the armored cars as would a hunter treating game animals to show them to his commander, General John J. Pershing (John Joseph Pershing; AKA: Black Jack; 1860-1948); fascinated by mechanized warfare, Patton was assigned to the first U.S. Tank Corps during World War I, leading the first tanks into Battle of Cambrai in 1917; on September 18, 1918, Patton, who had been promoted to the rank of colonel, led six men in an attack on a German machine-gun nest; all but Patton and his orderly, Joseph Angelo (1889-1967), were killed, with Patton wounded and Angelo dragging him to safety; in 1932, a down-and-out Angelo, as a member of the Bonus Army that marched on Washington, D.C. in spring and summer of 1932 to seek government promised reparations for services in World War I, saw Patton standing with some officers and approached him, Patton telling some of his soldiers: "I do not know this man. Take him away and under no circumstances permit him to return" after Angelo was driven off at gunpoint, Patton turned to some officers and said: "He dragged me from a shell hole under fire [during the war]. I got him a decoration for it [Distinguished Service Cross]. Since the war, my mother and I have more than supported him. We have given him money. We have set him up in business several times. Can you imagine the headlines if the paper got word of our meeting here this morning? Of course, we'll take care of him anyway" he did; at that time Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower (Dwight David Eisenhower; AKA: Ike; 1890-1969), were serving as aides under General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), who reluctantly suppressed and drove the Bonus Army marchers from Washington at the insistence of President Herbert Hoover (Herbert Clark Hoover; 1874-1964); Patton himself was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and other citations for his bravery during World War I; during the 1920s, Patton served at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he befriended another officer, Eisenhower, who would later advance Patton's military career and where both of them attempted to promote the use of tanks in the U.S. Army; Patton was given command of the newly developed 2nd Armored Brigade in 1940, and then the 2nd Armored Division; Patton was part of the Allied forces fighting in North Africa where he first successfully employed tanks against elements of the Africa Corps under German General Erwin Rommel (Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel; AKA: The Desert Fox; 1891-1944), and where Eisenhower quickly promoted him to the rank of major-general and then to the rank of lieutenant-general; as commander of the U.S. Seventh Army in Sicily in 1943, Patton proved to be a master tactician and strategist, outflanking and driving back German and Italian units and capturing Palermo and then Messina to the surprise of British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (Bernard Law Montgomery; 1st Viscount Montgomery of El Alamein; 1887-1976), Supreme British commander and with whom Patton would vie for military achievements and honors throughout the war in the European theater; a brusque and no-nonsense commander, Patton, when visiting a military hospital in Sicily, slapped a 24-year-old soldier, Charles H. Kuhl (1915-1971) he found weeping and complaining that he could no longer "take the shelling" at the front lines; Patton called him a coward and had to be restrained from further attacking the soldier, an act that was reported widely in the press and caused Eisenhower to reprimand him, ordering Patton to apologize, and removing him from command; Patton did apologize and was later used as a decoy in England where he commanded a fake army (First U.S. Army Group under the codename Operation Fortitude) that would ostensibly attack Calais, France, and was so convincing in his performance that German intelligence moved whole divisions to that locale away from the real intended landing area, Normandy (Operation Overlord); following the Normandy invasion, Patton headed the Third Army, where his tanks broke through German lines and advanced deeply into enemy terrain, ignoring available supply lines to accomplish large envelopments of enemy forces, a tactic German General Erwin Rommel employed during the German 1940 invasion of France (Patton was an admirer of Rommel's tactics); running out of supplies and gas, Patton's tanks were mired outside of Metz by December 1944 when he learned that U.S. Army elements had been surrounded at Bastogne; he immediately, without consulting his superiors, disengaged one of his mechanized corps and sent it north to stem the tide of the last significant German advance through the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), relieving Bastogne on Christmas Day, his actions considered to be one of the most significant tactical and logistical achievements during World War II; by March 1945, Patton's Third Army crossed the Rhine and was deep into Germany as well as into Czechoslovakia by war's end; Patton was profiled by John Larch in the 1963 film Miracle of the White Stallions; by Kirk Douglas in the 1966 film Is Paris Burning?; most notably by George C. Scott (Academy Award as Best Actor) in the 1970 film Patton; by Robert Spafford (not credited) in the 1978 Italian film Il grande attacco; by George Kennedy in the 1978 film The Brass Target (which advances the theory that Patton was assassinated when all credible evidence supports the fact that he died on December 21, 1945 from injuries received in a road accident); by Darren McGavin in the 1979 TV series Ike; by George C. Scott in the 1986 made-for-TV film The Last Days of Patton; by Robert Prentiss in the 1988 made-for-TV film Pancho Barnes; by Lawrence Dobkin in episode 11 in the 1989 made-for-TV series War and Remembrance; by Stuart Milligan in the 1992 episode Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal for the made-for-TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; by Edward Asner in the 1997 film The Long Way Home; by Gerald McRaney in the 2004 made-for-TV film Ike: Countdown to D-Day; by James Jordan in the 2004 made-for-TV film Fooling Hitler;

Category: Military

Topic: Leaders

Keywords: Abwehr (German Intelligence in WWII), Allied Invasion of Sicily, American Expedition into Mexico (1916), American generals, Ardennes, Bastogne, Battle of the Bulge, British field marshals, First World War, The Great War, Invasion of Sicily, lieutenant-generals, Mexican Revolution, military leaders, Normandy Invasion, North African Campaign, Operation Fortitude, Operation Husky, Operation Overlord, Operation Torch, Second World War, Sicily Campaign, tanks, tank tactics, three-star generals, U.S. generals, U.S. Third Army, World War I, World War II, WWI, WWII

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 2100 x 2675 (5.62 MPixels) (1.27)

Print Size: 17.8 x 22.6 cm; 7.0 x 8.9 inches

File Size: 16.09 MB (16,874,126 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000047021

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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