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Old 27 December 2010, 05:12 PM
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Icon215 A 1944 Christmas miracle for Gen. Patton

The World War II general's holiday greeting to troops in Europe that winter included a prayer entreating God to end the rains that were bogging down the United States' 3rd Army.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6693557.story
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Old 27 December 2010, 05:17 PM
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If an omnipotent G*d were disposed to intervene directly in the events of and surrounding WWII, would giving Patton better weather for his invasion really be the best s/he could do?
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Old 27 December 2010, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
The weather miraculously cleared
I thought miracles were things that wouldn't happen except for the intervention of God. IE, a child with incurable cancer suddenly has no cancer. No storm lasts forever, so the rain was bound to stop eventually.

Also, the prayer was written on the 8th. According to one site, the printed cards got to the soldiers on December 12-14. On the 16th, the Germans attacked in what would be called the Battle of the Bulge. The weather was quite cooperative for the German attack for three more days. It wasn't until the 19th that the weather cleared.

So did God not get around to fixing the weather for over 7 days after the soldiers began praying (over 10 days after the prayer was first written)? Or did He want the German attack to succeed at first, killing large numbers of Allied troops?
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Old 27 December 2010, 06:44 PM
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Patton used to pray nightly to a painting of two men he thought were God and Jesus but were really Civil War heroes Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, Hymel said.
This reminds me of something that Shelby Foote said about Patton in Ken Burns' The Civil War. In the movie Patton, there is a speech where the general says that no American army had ever lost a war. Foote pointed out that Georgie's grandfather had fought in the Army of Northern Virginia, an American army that had lost a war. Perhaps Foote was wrong, if Patton could not get the pictures of deities right, he might have missed a couple of other points in history too.

And this is forgetting the belief of the 101st Airborne that they were doing fine at Bastogne and in no need of relief.

I appreciate the article's contention about George S. Patton's sense of entitlement. As viceroy of Sicily, he lived like a potentate while Sicilians were without sufficient food and supplies. He took daily swims in the Mediterrean.
Taking him down a notch or two is a worthwhile endeavor. He had his accomplishments, but what a piece of work too.

Ali "glad he didn't end up on the Supreme Court" Infree
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Old 27 December 2010, 07:09 PM
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Depends on Patton's definition of "American". If he meant an army of the United States of America, then the South wouldn't count as they were an army of the Confederate Stats of America. Or he might not have counted the Civil War as a war at he meant "war against foreigners". Or he was just using poetic license.
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Old 27 December 2010, 09:00 PM
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Well, Patton did grow up in California, not the "Old South," so the idea that he considered America to have never lost a war might have been correct.
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Old 28 December 2010, 12:13 PM
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Throughout history, soldiers have called upon their gods for protection and victory over their enemies.
Indeed. For example, the German Wehrmacht had "Gott mit uns" (God's on our side) engraved on their belt buckles.

The Americans, or the Germans?... decisions, decisions...

Yet:

Quote:
In December 1944, his prayer was answered. The weather miraculously cleared (it did eventually snow, but the prayer hadn't mentioned snow), and Patton was able to get his army moving again.
Simple explanation: God was afraid to pi$$ off Patton.

Last edited by Cyrano; 28 December 2010 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 29 January 2011, 02:29 AM
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My father was in the troops that followed Patton into the Battle of the Bulge. He remembers painting his truck white for camouflage just as the snow was melting.
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