General George Smith Patton Jr. was born in California in 1885. From an early age he heard stories about his war-hero ancestors who fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War. Intent on following in their footsteps, Patton attended Virginia Military Institute and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
George Patton fought in his first battle in 1915 at Fort Bliss along the Mexican border during the Border War. He also served in France during WWI, where he became one of the leading experts in tank warfare. During WWII Patton served as a general, commanding the 7th U.S. Army in the invasion of Sicily and the 3rd U.S. Army during the French invasion.
Patton was considered one of the most successful combat generals in U.S. history, and his apparent battle-lust earned him the nickname “Old Blood and Guts.” A harsh commander, he was once almost discharged for slapping a soldier whom he thought was behaving cowardly. He was known for making quick decisions, and once famously said “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”