11 Memorable Quotes from General George S. Patton

Detail of a statue at the General Patton Museum, California.

11 Memorable Quotes from General George S. Patton

One of the most popular military minds in U.S. history, General George S. Patton commanded both the Seventh and Third Armies throughout World War 2. A graduate of West Point, Patton led troops in the Mediterranean theater and was later moved to the Third Army, which drove across France. 

Patton was well-known for his complex personality and often questionable public comments filled with vulgarity. With this in mind, let’s look at some of “Old Blood and Guts” General George S. Patton’s most memorable quotes. 

Training Matters

General Patton never once minced words.

“A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.” Patton knew that training was crucial for soldiers ahead of the battlefield and extra hard training would save lives.

Leadership Style

George Patton
While not always popular, George S. Patton had a unique leadership style.

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” Few quotes from General Patton summarize his leadership style more than this one.

The Greater Good

General Patton received a promotion from President Roosevelt.

“Do more than is required of you.” With this quote, Patton knew that individuals needed to think as a team and believe the unit was bigger than any one person.

Swift Action

George Patton
General Patton was never afraid to be on the battlefield near his troops.

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” This is yet another quote that sums up the leadership style of George S. Patton. He regularly exercised decisive action during a time in the world when urgency mattered above all else.

Telling People What to Do

George Patton
General Patton didn’t believe in micromanaging his military.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Another quote from General Patton indicated his leadership style of believing his men would accomplish a goal through any means and that micromanaging wasn’t necessary.

Thinking Alike

George Patton
There was a real appreciation for people who thought outside the box.

“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” Patton never wanted the people around him, his support staff included, to be “yes” men. He wanted ideas, and he wanted people to point out something that wasn’t correct in a plan.

Be a Leader

George Patton
General Patton appreciated leaders who went into battle with their troops.

“Do everything you ask of those you command.” Patton was never a leader who was questioned about being able and willing to do what he commanded of his troops. This was proven in World War I when he was shot in the leg while commanding tank movements on the battlefield.

Give Everything

George Patton
Patton firmly believed you couldn’t do anything else if you fought as hard as possible.

“If a man does his best, what else is there?” Patton believed he and the men under his command should give every battle their all. If they did this and still lost the day, they could hold their heads high, knowing they gave everything.

Career Soldier

George Patton
Patton’s military career started in World War I.

“I am a soldier, I fight where I am told and I win where I fight.” Serving for 36 years, Patton believed in his mission, his country, and winning every battle he was assigned.

Courage Versus Fear

George Patton
There was never a doubt about what Patton thought of courage versus fear.

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” Patton knew that courage doesn’t mean that fear is absent; it just means that you will keep going regardless of the fear.

Men Win Wars

George Patton
Patton understood what was most important on the battlefield.

“Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.” Patton famously said this with the understanding that courage and determination were the most important weapons available to a soldier on the battlefield.

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