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General Patton's letter to the 5th Infantry Division

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by JCM6395, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. JCM6395

    JCM6395 New Member

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    Reading my dad's book: The Fifth Infantry Division in the ETO. I came across this letter from General Patton to the troops of the 5th Division.


    HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH U. S. ARMY
    Office of the Commanding General
    APO 408

    17 November, 1945

    To the Officers and Men of the Fifth Infantry Division:
    Nothing I can say can add to the glory which you have achieved.

    Throughout the whole advance across France you spearheaded the attack of your Corps. You crossed so many rivers that I am persuaded many of you have web feet and I know that all of you have dauntless spirit. To my mind history does not record incidents of greater valor than your assault crossings of the Sauer and the Rhine.

    Concerning the former operation, I showed the scene of your glorious exploit to a civilian for whom I have the highest esteem. After looking at it for some time he said, “I did not believe there was enough courage in the world to achieve such a victory.” Knowing the Fifth Infantry Division, I was sure you would achieve it and you did.

    Now that peace has been re-established I am sure all of you will continue through the remainder of your lives to stand for those great qualities of America which in war you so magnificently demonstrated.

    With affectionate regards and sincere congratulations, I am, as ever,
    Your devoted commander,
    (Signed)
    G. S. PATTON, JR.
    General
     
    lwd likes this.
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I don't recall the source, but I've read of an evaluation done by the army after VE-Day which rated the 5th the best division in Europe.

    One interesting point, shortly after we entered the war, the 5th was sent to garrison Iceland. This prevented it being raided to provide cadres for newly forming divisions as happened to Regular Army units stateside.
     
  3. JCM6395

    JCM6395 New Member

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    That is pretty cool that my dad's division was rated the best! He enlisted in October 1939 and was assigned to the division. I remember him saying there were very few of the original guys left by war's end. He was wounded in the neck, leg, and had his back shredded by a grenade once. He said by the end of the war the replacements were the type that wouldn't have been accepted into the Army back when he enlisted.

    He talked about Iceland some. I got the impression he didn't like it there. It was very cold with strong winds. He did get to see the Northern Lights though while on guard duty there. While they were there, they were sitting around a table playing cards when their radio announced the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were shocked and angry.
     

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