Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Timeline
Timeline Home Page
home
Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945
World War Two
General George S. Patton, Diary Entry, March 2, 1943

General George S. Patton was one of the most successful commanders of U.S. armored troops. In March 1943 he was in charge of the United States II Corps, part of the American force fighting eastward across North Africa toward Tunisia. During the war, Patton kept a diary in which he noted nearly every day his activities and observations. The entry for March 2, 1943, is reproduced below. What picture of war does General Patton create in this diary entry? As a military commander, what types of issues did Patton have to deal with?

View a facsimile of the original document from Words and Deeds in American History. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


3-2-43

Gen. Harmon just came in and told me John Waters was missing in action at SIDI Bou-21D since Feb.16.

His battalion was cut off by a German attack of 80 tanks which came in from the N.E. and destroyed 36 of the 40 tanks holding SIDI.

John told his men and the infantry with it to cut their way out. He stayed behind on the hill with 150 men to cover the retreat.

Later, Friedendall (?) advised him to surrender as he could not be rescued. This was a mistake but I hope John complied. According to Harmon F. Is a physical and moral coward. Harmon did well. He commanded what was left of the 1st armored division, the 6th Brit. Armored division and a combat team from 1st and 34th US divs. And the artillery of the 9th and drove the Germans from the passage.

He said it was due to what I told him on a fishing trip about claiming a pass by capturing the heights. That is what he did with the infantry. F. Never went to the front at all and tried to make Harmon the goat. Harmon won the battle.

I called Ike and he wired B. I also wrote both B's and Fred about John. I fear John is dead.
top of page


View a facsimile of the original document from Words and Deeds in American History. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.