General Patton in Luxembourg

General Patton, one of the most remarkable American Generals died in a car Accident after World War 2. The accident happened on December 8th. An Army Truck collided with Patton’s Staff Car at low speed while he was en route to a hunting expedition. He was taken to the hospital with a broken neck. Paralyzed from the neck down, Patton died of his injuries on December 21st 1945. He was buried on December 24th, 9:30.

Patton is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, as per his request: ‘he wanted to be buried with his men’.

 

A short History of Patton’s Career

Patton, promoted during World War I to the temporary rank of Colonel was reverted back to Captain after the war. He was a vigorous proponent of Tank Warfare, something that was not supported by many of his fellow officers. He was promoted to colonel in 1938 and temporary brigadier general in 1940. On April 4, 1941, he was promoted to temporary major general, and a week later he was made commander of the 2nd Armored Division. Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), Patton organized the Desert Training Center near Indio, California, to simulate combat and maneuvers in the harsh North African climate. Patton was commanding general of the western task force during the successful U.S. landings at Casablanca in November 1942. He was promoted to the temporary rank of lieutenant general in March 1943 and led the U.S. Seventh Army into Sicily, employing his armour in a rapid drive that captured Palermo in July and Messina in August.

Before the Normandy D-Day, he was placed in command of the First U.S Army group, a fictitious Army Group, meant to deceive German Commanders that the invasion would take place in Pas-de-Calais. After the 6th of June, his units were not active until August 1st. Patton’s life long wish to command forced in war was granted during the unbelievable sweep of his third Army across Northern France and Luxembourg, completely discarding Military rules. He was forced to halt right up to the German border due to lack of supplies.
Patton’s memory lives on in Luxembourg

What happened there?

Luxembourg was invaded by the Germans on 10 May 1940, 4:35 hours. Police resisted the Germans invaders but the capital fell by noon the same day. French Troops crossed the border in an attempt to fight the Germans off. Little later, the troops retreated behind the Maginot Line.

Luxembourg was liberated by elements of the Third Army (of which Patton was in command). The Germans retreated without a fight. On Spetember 12th, 90% of the Grand Duchy was in allied hands. There were several counter attacks by Germans but these all failed.

General Patton Memorial Museum

A very impressive collection of American and German items. The museum described World War 2 in more then 1000 photo’s. A part of the museum is dedicated to the weapons used by both parties.

Directions to the museum can be found here:

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