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Fighting Patton: George S. Patton Jr. Through the Eyes of His Enemies    by Harry Yeide order for
Fighting Patton
by Harry Yeide
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

In the preface of Fighting Patton: George S. Patton Jr. Through the Eyes of His Enemies Harry Yeide declares that, 'Many books have been written about Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. This is the book that hasn't.'

What the author means is that he has 'exploited vast and entirely new resources' to show a different picture of this much written about war hero. Yeide tracked down the documents created by Patton's German adversaries, thus giving the reader a look at the World War II battles the general engaged in from a totally different vantage point.

Besides the usual material you would expect to find in a book like this that charts the subject's early years, the narrative becomes really interesting when the focus switches to the German perspective.

As you delve into this story you'll meet the men who engaged war against Patton and how they interpreted the quality of his actions on the battlefield. The author begins from the American perspective before he makes the switch to the other side.

Some of the key chapters in this lengthy volume, which is augmented by 50 photos and 40 maps, include accounts of battles in Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy and Lorraine plus the Battle of the Bulge, which may military historians called Patton's greatest moment.

This fascinating look at the iconic general and new assessment of his success during the Second World War will delight anyone interested in U.S. military history.

But, as one might expect with a study of this nature, there are a few precautionary notes. At the outset Yeide tells the reader that 'it is darn hard to tell exactly what happened these many years ago'.

He then goes on to write, 'Contemporary reports written by separate participants in any given incident are likely to differ, sometimes substantially. Later accounts introduce additional flaws of memory and self-justification.'

This being said, Yeide closes by candidly saying, 'The reader should be aware that the tale offered here is merely as close as I can get.' One has to appreciate and laud this frankness, but that doesn't in any way lessen the research and effort that went into creating this unique portrait of General George S. Patton.

For those who thought they knew a lot about this man, this book will flesh out that knowledge and provide a different and important perspective of the general's accomplishments and shortcomings.

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