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Collection George S. Patton Papers: Diaries, 1910 to 1945

About this Collection

The diaries of U.S. army officer George S. Patton (1885-1945) are part of a larger collection of Patton papers available for research use onsite in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress. The entire collection spans the years 1807-1979, with the bulk of the papers concentrated from 1904 to 1945. The collection documents Patton's military career, including his attendance at the United States Military Academy at West Point, 1904-1909; his service on the Mexican border as a member of John J. Pershing's Mexican Punitive Expedition, 1916-1917; his service as an aide-de-camp to Pershing and later as a tank commander in World War I, 1917-1919; and his military career from 1938 to 1945. The majority of the papers chronicle Patton's World War II service and his success as one of America's most skillful combat commanders of armored troops.

The diaries, 1910-1945, digitized for this online presentation, illustrate Patton's activities during the Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War I, and World War II. The volumes, particularly from 1942 to 1945, document Patton's daily activities and observations and reveal his candor about himself, personally and professionally. They include information about American ground combat operations in the campaign for North Africa, the invasion of Sicily, the liberation of France, and the final assault on Germany. Annotated volumes covering World War II often contain additional detail expanding on the original volume entries. The original diaries are dated through 24 March 1945, while annotated transcripts continue to 3 December 1945. The Library did not receive the latter portion of the original diaries. Additional topics include Patton's honeymoon trip to Europe in 1910 and his fox hunting activities, 1932-1935.