Patton celebrates victory
22nd August 1943: Patton congratulates his troops for their success in Sicily in his inimitable robust style
The invasion of Sicily had been successfully concluded with Germans and Italians driven off the island. It should have been an auspicious moment for George S. Patton who had demonstrated his flair for driving forward rapid advances. Not only had the US Seventh Army unexpectedly taken Palermo, cutting off and capturing large numbers of Italian troops, he had then moved quickly east to take the final objective of Messina, just ahead of the British.
As a result of this combined effort, you have killed or captured 113,350 enemy troops. You have destroyed 265 of his tanks, 2324 vehicles, and 1162 large guns, and, in addition, have collected a mass of military booty running into hundreds of tons.
Unfortunately the "slapping incidents" now cast a shadow over Patton's achievements.