Men, this stuff some
sources sling around about America wanting to stay out of the
war and not wanting to fight is a lot of baloney! Americans love
to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and
clash of battle. America loves a winner. America will not
tolerate a loser. Americans despise a coward; Americans play to
win. That's why America has never lost and never will lose a
You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you, right
here today, would be killed in a major battle.
Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all of us.
And every man is scared in his first action. If he says he's
not, he's a goddamn liar. Some men are cowards, yes, but they
fight just the same, or get the hell slammed out of them.
The real hero is the man who fights even though he's scared.
Some get over their fright in a minute, under fire; others take
an hour; for some it takes days; but a real man will never let
the fear of death overpower his honour, his sense of duty, to
his country and to his manhood.
All through your Army careers, you've been bitching about what
you call "chicken-shit drills." That, like everything else in
the Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is instant
obedience to orders and to create and maintain constant
alertness! This must be bred into every soldier. A man must be
alert all the time if he expects to stay alive. If not, some
German son-of-a-bitch will sneak up behind him with a sock full
of shit! There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere
in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on his job - but
they are German graves, because we caught the bastards asleep!
An Army is a team, lives, sleeps, fights, and eats as a team.
This individual hero stuff is a lot of horse shit! The bilious
bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening
Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than
they know about fucking! Every single man in the Army plays a
vital role. Every man has his job to do and must do it. What if
every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of a
shell overhead, turned yellow and jumped headlong into a ditch?
What if every man thought, "They won't miss me, just one in
millions?" Where in Hell would we be now? Where would our
country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be?
No, thank God, Americans don't think like that. Every man does
his job, serves the whole. Ordnance men supply and maintain the
guns and vast machinery of this war, to keep us rolling.
Quartermasters bring up clothes and food, for where we're going,
there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has
a job to do, even the guy who boils the water to keep us from
getting the G.I. shits!
Remember, men, you don't know I'm here. No mention of that is to
be made in any letters. The USA is supposed to be wondering what
the hell has happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding
this Army, I'm not supposed even to be in England. Let the first
bastards to find out be the goddamn Germans. I want them to look
up and howl, "Ach, it's the goddamn Third Army and that
son-of-a-bitch Patton again!"
We want to get this thing over and get the hell out of here, and
get at those purple-pissin' Japs!!! The shortest road home is
through Berlin and Tokyo! We'll win this war, but we'll win it
only by showing the enemy we have more guts than they have or
ever will have!
There's one great thing you men can say when it's all over and
you're home once more. You can thank God that twenty years from
now, when you're sitting around the fireside with your grandson
on your knee and he asks you what you did in the war, you won't
have to shift him to the other knee, cough, and say, "I
shovelled shit in Louisiana."