Talk:George S. Patton/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Name Change

Wikipedia should change the title of the page to "George Patton Jr." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Southconfederate (talkcontribs)

because... (John User:Jwy talk) 23:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

WWI: Cambrai


Would you please discuss before you delete my Cambrai entry. Perhaps we can reach a consensus. ty.BillMaddock (talk) 03:45, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

That was me. These are details whose significance eludes me. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Thx for getting back
Let me give some significance. The article as it stood stated that Patton may have taken part in the Battle of Cambrai. Surely it is correct for the clarification to that neither Patton nor Blumenson puts Patton closer than the town of Albert and where he was.
As for the valet reference, it gives insight into Patton’s ready appreciation of the ridiculousness of life. The whole article gives very little insight into the character, the human side of the man.
Finally, it is interesting for a man who was in France quite a few times, that his spelling of French names left something to be desired. Once again it goes to the nature of the person.
If you want, then please rewrite what I’ve written, post it here and I’m sure we can reach accord. thx.BillMaddock (talk) 05:58, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I believe that the Cambrai section fails in developing a sense of Patton the man--it doesn't make clear Patton's sense of irony that his valet is a minor blue blood and it doesn't show the misspellings of French towns to be anything other than general American Army methods. The book by Blumenson should not be called Blumenson in the article... this is indicative of chatty talk between historians over brandy and cigars, not encyclopedic precision. The part about this town was that far from this other town and the battle was at such and such time period is entirely synthesis which is described and discouraged here: WP:SYNTH. Binksternet (talk) 07:02, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Thx for your help. I like what you've done. I have added two sentences re his first tanks and tidied up the first sentence of the next para. All the best, now back to online poker for me.BillMaddock (talk) 10:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Or should I have been thanking Clarityfiend? I just can't the hang of edit comparisoning.BillMaddock (talk) 12:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Awards and decorations

I have a small problem with the "awards as they would appear today” image in the awards and decorations section. Due to changing regulations over time, this doesn't necessarily reflect the truth and requires infrequent updates by people attuned to changing military regulations.

If it is decided to be kept, I reference AR 670-1, the Army regulation governing wear and appearance of uniforms, paragraph 29-6 g, which states that the order of wear of the foreign decorations is to be the order in which they were received. Whomever made the image of the “rack” of all the ribbons must have put some thought into it and it is possible they are in date order. However, the order on the combined image differs from the order the awards are listed to the left. To eliminate confusion, I recommend placing those awards on the left in date order or at least appending the date awarded to them. I’m not personally familiar with whether any of those foreign awards are “unit” awards vs. personal awards, but if so they fall under different rules and must be worn on the opposite side of the coat, if they are even permitted under paragraph 29-6 h.

Preferably, I think it would be more historically significant to display the ribbons as they actually appeared on his uniform at the time of his death (or as in the picture at the top of the article). Not only would this be a more accurate version of how General Patton wore his uniform, but would not require updates as regulations governing wear of foreign awards are changed in the future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Self Promotion

Even though congress approved his promotion to Lt. General he prematurely added his third star before congress' vote was in stating they approved of his promotion. Even in his arrogance his self promotion helped to rally his men (Anthony Stolarski-- (talk) 19:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC))

Disproving Province and MacDonald with KIA numbers

Why do we have a section on disproving one author's performance analysis of the Third Army under Patton in WWII? This section drags attention away from Patton and gives it to Province, MacDonald vs. Wikipedia editor. Whatever is felt necessary to rebut Province should be done a) very, very briefly or b) in footnotes. This whole section looks like original research to me. Binksternet (talk) 15:18, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

...or synthesis. I agree with you. I'd recommend that you go ahead with the changes.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 18:56, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Deleted. Binksternet (talk) 11:36, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Deleted once again, after it was re-added by new user YosemiteSav. I would like to see an argument why we should have this section; otherwise I will continue to delete it. Binksternet (talk) 18:01, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


did she had family with the General ? that's a member of my family i just wonder,,,

juan hereford. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Latint81 (talkcontribs) 23:01, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Battle of the Bulge

I think that a short sentence stating the 101st "did not need" Patton's rescue should be added. I do not have a citation; however, I have heard this from very reliable sources. If you could at least look into it. Thanks.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Mrs. Patton?

Patton had a wife, but I seem to notice that she seems even more obscure than Lady Nelson. Her name isn't in the article, and truthfully, I haven't seen it anywhere. Even if they formally or informally separated, she was still an important part of his life and should mentioned. V. Joe (talk) 15:50, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Beatrice Banning Ayer. It's in there. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 15:54, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, he sent her many letters about the war in WW2.--LandonJaeger —Preceding unsigned comment added by LandonJaeger (talkcontribs) 02:54, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Hitler's comments

it says hitler called Patton "that crazy cowboy" however, there are no sources. Source or delete? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

well, i have given anyone with info enough time to step forward, im just going to delete. (talk) 21:05, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

What are you talking about

You people are all jerks! Don't be talking down to this man! You should all respect him for what he has done for this country! The reason that I say this is because I have personal relations to him. He was my Great Great Grandfather's cousin once removed. I'm not lying. Yes he was gruesome, but come on people! He somewhat saved us and we should all be proud of him.

CitCat101 Denver, Co. -[Username:CitCat101] October 1 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by CitCat101 (talkcontribs) 23:39, 1 October 2008 (UTC) CitCat101 (talk) 23:41, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia attempts to describe things and people as they are/were. I'm not exactly sure what you are reacting to, but if it is a cited item in the article, then it should remain. Inappropriate comments here on the talk page, well - ignore them. (John User:Jwy talk) 04:38, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Was Patton murdered because he refused to de-nazify fast enough? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:55, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

What?! Patton died in a automobile crash, he wasn't murdered!--Mart572 (talk) 00:59, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

What about the new book, "Target: Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton" by Robert K. Wilcox? How do you know he died in an automobile crash? How do you know he wasn't murdered?IckeDavid (talk) 19:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Seems like this would fall squarely under WP:FRINGE at this point. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 19:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh God PLEASE let us not start THAT again!!! Fred8615 (talk) 20:50, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Consider Fred seconded. See #Wilcox. (John User:Jwy talk) 21:34, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

This new book, Target Patton, is not just a rehash of old ideas, nor does it disregard reports about Patton's accident. There are no reports. That's one of the findings. At least 5 have disappeared, maybe as many as 8. Clearly that is part of a coverup. The Cadillac said to have been the one in which Patton was injured which is at Ft. Knox is a fake. The assassin who confessed to staging the accident is a highly decorated Jedburgh, which was the forerunner America's special forces. The author also found an intelligence agent with Patton who discovered the plot. There were three other highly suspicious "accidents" prior to the "accident" that led to Patton's death. The so-called accident in which Patton broke his neck and no one else was even scratched is mysterious in the extreme. A truck turns in front of his limousine without signal. The driver and his passengers disappear. It's on a remote road but all manner of persons converge on the scene. Patton isn't taken to a local hospital but one 30 miles away. He recovers and then has a mysterious downturn and dies. No autopsy even though he's the highest ranking general in Germany at the time and the most controversial. The OSS, accused to ordering the hit, was in collusion with the NKVD since 1943. There are many motives including Patton wanted to fight the Russians and was on his way home to lobby for that when injured. He also knew secrets that would derail high level careers. He was so popular at the time he might have run for president. Certainly he could have been elected senator. All of this is documented in the book and very little of it has ever been publicly written.IckeDavid (talk) 02:24, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Do you think we can discuss this like adults instead of resorting to bullying, name calling, and ad hom attacks? IckeDavid (talk) 02:26, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I know that Patton died in a automobile crash because I saw a program about his death on the history channel but if you still don't believe me think about this: maybe that book target Patton is just about a plot to kill Patton that didn't work. But I'm still going to do some research on Pattons death since that book claims that he recovered and then dies out of nowhere.--Mart572 (talk) 03:12, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

The publisher is Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (November 25, 2008) and the is ISBN-10: 1596985798. I feel that this book, "Target Patton" should be included as a primary source in the books and this article about General Patton. The book is 444 pages with sources and Charles M. Province of The George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society has written the introduction to the book. Robert K. Wilcox, the author of "Target Patton" is an author, journalist, and screenwriter who has written extensively on military subjects. He is the author of, among other books, "Scream of Eagles", "Japan's Secret War", "Wings of Fury", "Black Aces High", and "First Blue". He has appeared on the History Channel, Oliver North's "War Stories", and many other tv and radio shows.

Mr. Wilcox in "Target Patton" writes on page 201 concerning the recovery of General Patton: "It was a 'mysterious," an 'enchanting miracle," he ventured. Patton had done it again. Then he had a sudden downturn."

All that I am asking is if there are actually any historians here? Does anyone read history books? I am not a Wiki editor. Why can't a Wiki editor read this book and include it in the section. You don't have to say the book's thesis is true or false, but why not include it in the section? Read some of the reviews for this book, "Target Patton". IckeDavid (talk) 21:30, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

David M. Kinchen, a Book Critic writes, "Patton was making a remarkable recovery in a German hospital when he suddenly had a relapse and died on Dec. 21, 1945." —Preceding unsigned comment added by IckeDavid (talkcontribs) 21:37, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

As per Wikipedia standards, "Wikipedia articles[1] should rely primarily on reliable, third-party, published sources", and I feel that "Target Patton" meets those standards and that information should be incorporated into this article, as a source of information, for the reader to make up her own mind. But to close off information that meets Wikipedia's standards reeks of censorship to me. For me, I want to know what information is available, so that I can make up my own mind. IckeDavid (talk) 03:57, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:FRINGE is also a part of Wikipedia standards and I (for one) am suggesting that the Wilcox book falls into this category. I see no indication it has been accepted as anything "mainstream" and not great coverage in large publications and no scholarly support. And even as a "conspiracy theory," it has not gotten much traction. (John User:Jwy talk) 05:05, 24 June 2009 (UTC)


The section about the Patton requesting black battalion, as proof that he loved "the blacks" is woefully incomplete. If you mention Patton's regard for black troops as they approached Germany, you really should not leave out that he initially said, and I am paraphrasing; Blacks dont have the brain power to be commanders. In the interest of academic integrity, you cant white-wash (no pun intended) the facts. I propose that the early racism be mentioned, or the bit about race be taken out altogether. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC) The way its written now suggest, very much wrongly, that Patton was an enlightened, progressive white man... but he was much more average for a man of his time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:16, 20 June 2009 (UTC) Changed the section to be less effusive about his attitudes on minorities. Section is less specific but far more objective now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Patton 360

Added an entry for the upcoming History Channel series Patton 360 right after the "Patton, the film" entry. Firstlensman (talk) 13:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC) 13:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd personally like to see it removed - it's far too POV - 'Greatest General of WWII' isn't exactly NPOV. Skinny87 (talk) 13:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I removed it for its promotional slant, its POV and because it was an announcement of something in the future. If the show for some reason makes waves in the media after it is shown then we can consider it notable. Binksternet (talk) 15:18, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

It's (Patton 360) is over.--LandonJaeger (talk) 03:14, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Slapping incident/s

The article says there were two separate slapping incidents, but describes only one, the Kuhl incident. If there was a second it should be described. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 14:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Wilcox dispute summary and resolution

Short of arbitration being asked for above, there are other dispute resolution mechanism that should be tried. I started out trying to help mediate things, but do have my opinion on the matter and it might be better to find someone else. As I understand it, the issues are:

  1. Whether the Wilcox theory should be included at all.
  2. Whether the refutation of the theory should be included - and if so, in what form and with what citations.

As I mentioned before, discussing the "facts" of the case directly is original research and is not relevant here. Even if I had a time machine and could be sitting on the hood of the truck the whole time and saw it with my own eyes, it could not be used here until appropriately published. So the focus must be on the verifiable sources - which are appropriate to use and which are not.

I think you might want to choose some of the other dispute resolution processes first. In fact, the process requires that they are exhausted before arbitration. You might want to review the options and work through some of them. (John User:Jwy talk) 22:26, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Fred, Jwy and Wayne,

I suggest that I replace The Wilcox Shooting Conjecture section with the following. Please OK it or edit it on this discussion page.

The Wilcox Shooting Conjecture

In a 2008 book "Target Patton", military historian Robert Wilcox claimed that OSS head General Wild Bill Donovan ordered a highly decorated marksman Douglas Bazata, who died in 1999, to kill Patton because he was threatening to expose allied collusion with the Russians that cost American lives. [1]

Military historian Kevin Hymel disagrees strongly with the Wilcox theory: "Yes, he did have enemies. But did he have enemies that were so afraid of him, that they would kill him?”[1]

See also Wilcox in Japanese nuclear weapons program. --- BillMaddock (talk) 00:17, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I have a problem with the misuse of words in the foregoing statement. What Robert Wilcox has offered in his book with respect to the supposed shooting is not conjecture. He has revealed the claims or the allegations of a rather remarkable man who said that he did the shooting, and who further explains how he did it and under whose orders. These allegations or claims may be contrasted with what, in the absence of evidence, is the conjecture that Patton's injuries were caused by his hitting his head on something or other in the car so strongly that his neck was broken, while the other passengers were virtually uninjured. The claims with respect to the shooting, I reiterate, are not those of Wilcox; they are Bazata's. Wilcox only reveals the claims. Fox News seems to have taken some liberty with the language as well. Could anyone other than a propagandist characterize that very equivocal statement by the miltary historian Hymel as strong disagreement? FloydSmif (talk) 14:47, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I like this. Fred8615 (talk) 14:43, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Fred, possibly because of post-editing it is not clear what the “this” is that you like. Floyd I will change the word “conjecture” to claim. (Wilcox is claiming he has read the diaries, etc.) Other than that, if you are not happy and will not accept my draft as written above then the next step has to be that we go towards arbitration. Let me know. Thank you.BillMaddock (talk) 17:02, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Has anyone besides maybe Jwy read this: fringe theories? It was given as a possible reason the PH conspiracy theories are not mentioned in the FDR article. I now believe more than ever that this book can and should be ignored here. Fred8615 (talk) 18:09, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

What I have done is delete my original entry and substitute another. I have listened to the discussion here and have responded in a spirit of cooperation and compromise. If you substantially disagree with the new entry, then it would appear we cannot reach agreement. If you wish to make other than a minor edit then please submit my new entry to Wikipedia:Requests for comment. Thank you.BillMaddock (talk) 23:35, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Bill, I'd still be interested in how you see the Wilcox story in relation to the fringe theory guidelines. Your focus seems to be to refute the Wilcox theory, so why mention it at all and give it more credence? That said, if it remains, doesn't it make more sense to move it down to the George S. Patton#Controversies and criticism section? I've also asked for someone from the Military History Project to take a look at the discussion. (John User:Jwy talk) 00:19, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Jwy, I don’t know how to say this pleasantly, but I will try. I want third-party appraisal, with full arbitration if it becomes necessary. I think the talk should finish. I cannot be expected to endlessly reply to suggestions like yours that Wilcox should be included in controversies and criticism. For heaven’s sake, you do not seem to even understand that controversies and criticism relates to events in which Patton was involved whereas Wilcox is the one being controversial here; I should not have to explain this.BillMaddock (talk) 02:26, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to be so aggravating. What I am trying to do is make sure you understand that Wikipedia is not a place to "right great wrongs," which seems to be your aim as you admit above. There may be reasons consistent with WP guidelines to include it and I encourage you to try to find and articulate those. I don't expect I will argue with you to the extent that it needs to go to arbitration. If I was that contentious about this I would have edited or deleted the text already. I don't plan to unless I there is more support from third-parties for such a move. (I also think I have more faith than you do that future historians and wikipedia editors will recognize fringe as fringe.)
And we can leave the move suggestion alone for now as secondary. I was only suggesting it as a way to get this item less prominence, even if it meant slightly repurposing that section.
In any event, DO have a Happy New Year! (John User:Jwy talk) 03:00, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Binksternet, Thank you for tidying it up. However, I do not understand why you removed the See also Wilcox in Japanese nuclear weapons program. An explanation would be appreciated.BillMaddock (talk) 02:26, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Sure, that's easy. This is an article about Patton, not about Wilcox. Binksternet (talk) 02:53, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Binsternet, Thx for the reply. I think you are mistaken, and here is why:
In the Wiki Guideline]] it states: These (the see alsos) may be useful for readers looking to read as much about a topic as possible, including subjects only peripherally related to the one in question. Peripherally is the operative word here.
I believe my See also provides important background on Wilcox and on a Wilcox theory and it is Wilcox that the segment is about. Therefore I request that you reinstate my See also.BillMaddock (talk) 03:37, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I would like everybody reading this article to click on Pat Boone who was, like Patton, a member of Kappa Alpha Order. It's important background on Boone. Just kidding... but you get the point. ;^) There are a ton of links to click on when reading a wiki article like this one, and it's up to the reader to decide which ones interest him or her. I think the best way to present the reader with a link to more information about Wilcox would be to write an article about him and make his name appear as a link here. The kind of bald connection you made that I removed appears to me to serve Wilcox and not Patton or the reader who came here to learn about the general. Binksternet (talk) 03:56, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
...And if Wilcox is not explained well enough here such that adequate understanding requires a reader to go elsewhere then the solution is to buttress him here so that he stands on his own or to remove him entirely. Binksternet (talk) 03:59, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Then it is simply your opinion against mine and since your opinion seems to be ill-reasoned I therefore intend to reinstate my See also. Before doing anything more, you might wish to consider deleting the See also Eisenhower and German POWs in the main body of the Patton article, on the grounds it contravenes your reasons. If you are still unhappy then before removing mine again, please refer our difference of opinion to an independent third party. BillMaddock (talk) 04:28, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
When I click on Eisenhower and German POWs, Patton shows up prominently in the third paragraph. When I click on Japanese nuclear weapons program there's nothing about Patton. Zilch. Binksternet (talk) 05:38, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Took another look at it and I honestly don't believe my reasoning to be awry. I'm taking out this 'See also' which doesn't touch Patton at all. Binksternet (talk) 05:45, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
You were asked not to delete before referring our dispute to a third party. Since I am not sure how to do this would you please refer our dispute to a third party. I should also like you to give me a good reason why you feel your opinion gives you the right to make a second deletion without going to third-party mediation? And please do not say, just because you think you’re right. We are now at the point where an independent third-party should decide this.BillMaddock (talk) 06:18, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
The process is described here. (John User:Jwy talk) 07:17, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Thx. It took me a while to understand it. I think I got it. Our difference of opinion wil have to wait until the deletion matter with Fred is resolved.BillMaddock (talk) 21:02, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Fred, would you please stop deleting my Wilcox entry until the dispute is settled by independent person or persons. They can also rule on whether your reliance on WP:FRINGE is a misapplication of the rule in this instance.BillMaddock (talk) 21:02, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The issue is never going to be settled. I'm interpeting wp:fringe one way, you another. We've discussed this to death with no resolution. And a third party is not official, it's just more opinions. Unless someone from Wikipedia officially tells me to stop, I'm going to keep to keep removing this section. Fred8615 (talk) 21:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Just to remind everyone - there is ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of ANY of the various "FDR knew beforehand but let it happen to get us into WWII" Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories in the FDR article. This despite the fact they are older and more widely distributed than this book. And you're not going to tell me no one in the history of Wikipedia has never tried to have them in there. So, I think I have precedent on my side. Fred8615 (talk) 22:09, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Berean Hunter, If you wish to leave the article alone then please leave it alone as it originally stood. It is the subject of a third party request. That should be sufficient rather than engage in some other procedure. This should be a simple matter, not some Ben Hur production. Good God!! Is Wikipedia always like this?BillMaddock (talk) 21:14, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Berean Hunter PS. It is a simple matter: is Fred’s application of WP:FRINGE correct here or not? If the third party resolves it is not appropriate then my entry should stand. Let’s not have World War IV out of this.BillMaddock (talk) 21:21, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Why not at least link to Wilcox’s theory (its own page) and allow people to see the evidence? peepnklown

Because apparently no one thinks enough of this waste of trees and killer of brain cells to create one. I have said in the past that a link to an article on the book in a "See also" section I could tolerate. But anything beyond that I will continue to remove. Fred8615 (talk) 13:09, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree. ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 14:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Third opinion

It appears that a third opinion is desired on three issues: (1) Whether the wilcox theory should be excluded from the article as a fringe theory; (2) if it is included, should dissenting opinions from other historians be included; (3) should a link to the Japanese nuclear weapons program be included in a See Also section. I'll address each in turn:

  1. Fringe theory On the face of it, the theory seems less than fringe since Wilcox appears to be a WW2 historian of sorts. However, the key test in 'finge-ness' is whether other historians lend credence to the theory. If there are no other reliable sources for the theory other than the theorizer, I suggest either dropping the theory or keeping it down to one line (without its own heading) in the Accident and death section. Perhaps the latter since the book has received some press. If there are other WP:RS (that may only find the theory credible), then the current content is probably fine.
  2. "Dissenting opinions" Dissenting opinions from credible sources should be included while those from non-credible sources should be ignored.
  3. See Also While the WP:See also criteria are quite vague, I think that the inclusion of a pointer to Japanese nuclear weapons program is unwarranted. While I agree that material that is peripherally related to the article can be included in the see also section, the japanese nuclear weapons article is not about Patton. Neither is it about Wilcox but, even if it were, I would still hesitate to point to material that was about a source unless that source was crucial to the article.

--Regent's Park (Boating Lake) 22:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Addendum: I thought my 3O was fairly complete (look for other sources that give credence to the wilcox theory) but here goes. A google search reveals few articles about the Wilcox theory. An article in the Telegraph (UK) and a couple of other newspapers. The New York Times doesn't have a review of the book. And, there seem to be no credible historians subscribing to this theory (or, at least, none that are presented here). My opinion is that the material be excluded as a fringe theory. --Regent's Park (Boating Lake) 18:57, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Mr. Park ;). My opinion is that the news about it has been small and will be short-lived. I was only introduced to the theory here. None of my usual sources reported the story. I am not an avid, constant news junkie, but I pay attention to the news more than the average American (not saying much, I admit). Stories about Patton would perk up my ears for a variety of reasons. If it is true the news coverage is small and short lived, I would suggest that nothing of Wilcox be included (your former, not latter, suggestion). IMHO. (John User:Jwy talk) 23:13, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
After looking at this, I am wondering why this Wilcox thing is the subject of an edit war. I don't see any articles for Target Patton, Robert K. Wilcox, or Douglas Bazata in Wikipedia leading me to think that such issues as notability should be dealt with first. A brand new book with such a controversial claim will need to weather more time for academic peer review before it should be used as a credible source and Wikipedia isn't the venue for that to play out. Bill, I suggest you create the aforementioned articles if you think they meet the criteria for inclusion and continue the discussions there as this thing fleshes out with time...but the Wilcox section should not be in this article until more academic acceptance is evident and certainly not during the sales pitch time period. As for the See also for Japanese Nuclear is a tangent, delete it also.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 00:42, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
One point I was going to make today. :-) Fred8615 (talk) 15:13, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Mr Park, you do us all a service.
3 See Also -- I concede.
1 and 2. Wilcox’s is not a Fringe Theory within the WP:FRINGE guidelines (see below). The theory is prominent enough for inclusion in a particular article on a mainstream subject, because mention of the fringe theory in an independent source firmly establishes its relevance. The Fox news story and Kevin Hymel is the independent mention. Both Wilcox and Hymel are prominent; both have published in excess of 25 historical books, Hymel at least once in co-authorship with Martin Blumenson, the acknowledged authority on Patton, and you don’t come better credentialed than that.
Therefore I submit that the first two paragraphs of my entry be reinstated. A heading or not, I leave to you.
Independent sources. From WP:FRINGE.
While fringe theory proponents are excellent sources for describing what they believe, the best sources to use when determining the notability and prominence of fringe theories are independent sources. For example, when trying to decide whether a fringe idea is prominent enough for inclusion in a particular article on a mainstream subject, mention of the fringe theory in an independent source firmly establishes its relevance. It can also provide a guide for describing the relationship of the fringe idea to the mainstream viewpoint.
BillMaddock (talk) 00:55, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Hunter, thank you for your input. Do you really think I want to create another article and thereby become the object of another edit war? The person who unilaterally deleted my entry started this war. In the outside world such unilateral action in the middle of a debate on the merits of the entry would be considered the height of arrogance. My first entry was long, so I changed it to three short referenced paragraphs, then to two and then someone started the edit war.
I’ve asked for a third opinion. Park is giving one. Can we leave it at that, please? BillMaddock (talk) 01:10, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
First of all, I have no problem with an article on the book by itself nor a link to said article in the Patton article, and have said so many times. Second, reports or reviews of the book by the media are just that. If the only requirement for some crackpot theory to get into an article is for the media to mention it, that's a pretty low standard. Fred8615 (talk) 15:13, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Appeal To Reason


“If the only requirement for some crackpot theory to get into an article is for the media to mention it.” This is false and is not the case with the Wilcox claim, as you well know. The Wilcox book just highlights an assassination claim which has been around for years and is the subject of a film, and which tens, if not hundreds of thousands now know about and either believe it or believe that Wilcox, with a score of historical books written, does believe his theory.

You have relied on WP:FRINGE to strike out my entry even though WP:FRINGE supports my entry because (the eminently credentialed) military historian Hyems establishes the theory’s relevance. Except to say you disagree, you have not answered this point, which I repeat:

For example, when trying to decide whether a fringe idea is prominent enough for inclusion in a particular article on a mainstream subject, mention of the fringe theory in an independent source firmly establishes its relevance. It can also provide a guide for describing the relationship of the fringe idea to the mainstream viewpoint.

Thirdly, you don’t mind a whole article on the Wilcox claim but you do mind two short paragraphs on it elsewhere. At best this just doesn’t make sense and is a self-defeating non sequitur: at worst it is plainly disingenuous because you know that a separate whole article would itself become a matter of contention and lead to an editing dispute.

I have just seen something else you wrote:

"The issue is never going to be settled. I'm interpeting wp:fringe one way, you another. We've discussed this to death with no resolution. And a third party is not official, it's just more opinions. Unless someone from Wikipedia officially tells me to stop, I'm going to keep to keep removing this section. Fred8615 (talk) 21:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)"

So, Fred, it doesn’t matter what others say, it has to be your way. Good faith or just plain my way at all costs stubbornness?

Mr Park, notwithstanding Fred’s refusal to accept your opinion, would you please indicate when you will give your third party decision on whether my two paragraphs should stand or whether Fred should edit it out. I am sorry you have to be put to so much trouble (only partly suck up, that, lol). You have, after all, given an interim opinion. I should add that this is the second time Fred has (I don’t like the phrase) done an edit war on someone else’s Wilcox entry (see late 2008 archives).

And finally Fred, in a spirit of multiculturalism, you will no doubt want to cross to Polish Wiki ( ) and edit out: Odnaleziono dzienniki Roberta Wilcox'a zabójcy działającego na zlecenie Office of Strategic Services (OSS), poprzednika CIA. Według odnalezionych materiałów szefowie wywiadu amerykańskiego chcieli zabić Pattona, ponieważ groził on wyjawieniem porozumienia aliantów z Rosjanami. Kiedy generał dochodził do siebie po wypadku samochodowym amerykańscy oficjele mieli zezwolić radzieckim agentom NKWD na otrucie Pattona. BillMaddock (talk) 02:29, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

That can be arranged. Be careful what you ask for...I see you have asked several times on this talk page for arbitration but you really don't want that (never been there have you?). With quotes like this.."At best this just doesn’t make sense and is a self-defeating non sequitur: at worst it is plainly disingenuous because you know that a separate whole article would itself become a matter of contention and lead to an editing dispute.", I don't believe things would go over very well. I would suggest that you should really rethink creating those articles...they might not make it past WP:CSD but that would in itself be revealing. Do you not think they are notable enough for articles? If you aren't willing to try, it reflects that they might not be notable enough for mention here...what is the sales of that book so far? And let's use the opportunity to focus on the edits and not other editors...better for everyone.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 02:58, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

You are not making things any easier. I have already made my position plain about a separate article, but you insist on raising it again and again.
What does the That in your That can be arranged refer to?
I do want arbitration or a third party opinion or an official direction, which Fred has said is the only thing he will accept. Do it please. Let them decide whether Fred is correct and this is fringe or whether he is mistaken and this is not fringe: it is as simple as that.
Please explain exactly what the following refers to, otherwise it remains an innuendo: And let's use the opportunity to focus on the edits and not other editors...better for everyone.
It means *this*...(i.e. stop critiquing Fred and simply stick to discussing the subject at hand).
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 04:29, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
My previous entry on this page exceeded five hundred words. It is disputes like this that will bring Wikipedia into disrepute far more than any errors, of which the Patton article contains at least one to my knowledge. Set that major error right? What, and risk having again to write thousands of words in an edit war? Not for the moment, thank you.
My God, the Wilcox claim is already in Polish Wikipedia: I just want Kevin Hymel’s denial in Wikipedia too.
BillMaddock (talk) 03:48, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
This isn't the Polish Wiki. Inclusion there is inconsequential to the English Wiki. Other stuff exists. The That in my previous post means it might not be there much longer; the outcome here may have bearing there. I believe WP:FRINGE is properly applied by Fred.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 04:29, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Do everybody a favour, send this to arbitration. It is a simple matter: my two paragraphs are either fringe or they are not fringe. Your opinion doesn’t matter because Fred has stated he will accept only an official direction. Please send this to arbitration now. You have the expertise in arbitration that I don’t have. I have already shown I can handle it, having changed my original entry down to three paragraphs and then to two.
BillMaddock (talk) 04:47, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, when I say arbitration I in fact mean send this dispute to where we can get an official direction, which Fred has said is all he will accept. Thank you.
04:55, 9 January 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BillMaddock (talkcontribs)

<== That does help clarify things...I was just about to leave you a link to something that is being discussed by our Arbcom so that you could see just what that should probably read it anyway as they are currently discussing fringe issues (but do not enter that discussion). WP:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science and see the evidence page. Have some tea and understand that this is but one fringe case playing out. Arbcom are quite busy...and you would have a lot of typing to do if that was the venue in which you found yourself. Btw, I'm not an Admin and do not have expertise with arbitration (unless it is trying to be an expert at staying out of it...). I believe the venue that you are actually wanting would be filing at WP:RFC/BIO (see WP:RFC/HOW first). Have some more tea or something stronger and then decide if you want to proceed that way. Hope that helps..
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 05:46, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Thx. That’s more helpful.
Let me see if I’ve got this right. I have to do loads and loads of reading, loads and loads of writing and all Fred has to do is click delete, delete, delete… Yup, that seems fair, lol.BillMaddock (talk) 06:14, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Analogy: You just clamored to have your case heard by the highest court in the land as it is of utmost importance but then when someone asks you "okay, who is your attorney?", you answer "WHAT! I have to get one of those and pay real money?!"
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 06:31, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
No, I do not want the highest court in the land. I want to apply for an official direction on a dispute between Fred and me, because that is all Fred will accept. Tell me how to do that please (if you have not already done so). Until then all Fred has to do is delete, delete, delete, whereas I have to put in hours and hours, and that is both unfair and an abuse of process and, in my opinion, is grounds for holding Wikipedia in ridicule. BillMaddock (talk) 06:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
The way to prevent the delete, delete, delete is to not touch the article itself until some form of conclusion may be reached. That is why the talk page is used for discussion without touching the article...that helps everyone by maintaining a calm. What would it matter if the article does have (or doesn't have) a certain section for say 7 to 14 days while discussion is going on? It isn't lost; it's in the page history and can be retrieved again. Did you notice yesterday that when you reverted me that I never reverted back? I was content (satisfied) whether the content was there or not because I knew that the discussion here was what mattered. It certainly saves emotional need for anyone to get upset. The RfC that I mentioned above (WP:RFC/BIO) will bring more editors/admins here to comment, discuss, and lend guidance...possibly leading towards a consensus. Just have some patience after filing..they have a lot of catching up to do. :)
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 07:49, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Do you understand how ridiculous this whole thing has become? You want me to go through more hours and hours, thousands and thousands more words, just so Fred can continue to say he won’t stop deleting until officially told to. Wikipedia has a simple third-opinion resolution procedure but Fred will not go through it. His intransigence has blown out of all proportion what is in effect a minor dispute over a couple of insignificant paragraphs, one of which is essentially in Polish Wikipedia. “Magda, look what it says here in PolishWiki about Patton’s assassination.” “Well, Lech, let us see what English Wiki says.” “My goodness, Magda, it says nothing, so it must be right, the NKWD (Polish for NKVD) assassinated poor Georgie.”
However, having compromised twice already, I can see yet another compromise. How about I put my two paragraphs back, Fred deletes them, I put them back, Fred deletes them, ad infinitum. This has the merit that Fred and I get roughly equal time. Of course, Fred agreeing to a binding third party decision would put a stop to such nonsense.
“Lech, Lech, look there is an entry in English Wiki.” “Well, it wasn’t there an hour ago, Magda.” Or three hours ago, or five hours ago, but it was there two hours ago, four hours ago…BillMaddock (talk) 08:34, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I can't read Polish, so why would I try to edit it? I can read english, but should not edit just because it's in the Polish version?? Is it a Wiki law that something which is in one language version has to be in every version? If the Iranian article on the Holocaust says the whole thing is a hoax, does the english version have to say so too?

BTW, I found another precedent for leaving conspiracy theories out of a main article. In the Attack on Pearl Harbor article there is no mention of any of the various theories there. Only two links in a "See Also" section at the bottom. One goes to the article about those theories, the other to a specific book article.

Finally, I am not going to accept full blame for this "war." At least two other people have said they don't think the book should be in this article, but YOU insist it must be. So it's not just me being "intransigent." Fred8615 (talk) 14:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

No Fred, YOU are the one who insists my two paragraphs will be not be in the Patton article. I was always happy for a dialogue and, as I have done, for compromise. You are the one who has said he will put a permanent block on it. You are the one who has said you will not accept third party opinion, only an official direction. Yet you are happy to parade the opinions of at least two other people when those opinions agree with you.
But no one can have a dialogue with someone who refuses to listen to the opinion of a third party and who insists on having his way until officially instructed not to. There is no point in trying to reason with someone who takes such a unilateral stance.
YOU began this edit war, Fred, when you went from dialogue to censorship.
I won’t allow myself to be bullied, just like you bullied someone else last year over this exact same matter. His opinion doesn’t matter, of course Fred, just yours, or other peoples’ when they agree with you. Oh, have I gone too far? Have I broken some Wiki shibboleth which commands thou shalt not speak honestly of the actions of another because Wikipedia can’t handle such honesty?
You refuse to act reasonably, Fred. I cannot spend hours and hours on reading and writing in pursuit of a solution you have said you will refuse to accept unless it is an official direction. You leave me no alternative but to put my two paragraphs back, two paragraphs which you have said, time and time again, you would not object to if they were elsewhere in Wikipedia. Kindly have the good grace to leave them alone.
One book, which seems to borrow heavily from an admitted fictional movie is not worth any space here. If there is an article on this book on Wikipedia, and someone wishes to link to it in this article, I have no problem with that. But I still say as long as there is NO other evidence beyond this ONE book, it doesn't belong. Fred8615 (talk) 22:25, 23 December 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BillMaddock (talkcontribs)
One paragraph now. BillMaddock (talk) 21:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I think I may just have found a compromise solution to our problem. You gave me the idea when you wrote:
BTW, I found another precedent for leaving conspiracy theories out of a main article. In the Attack on Pearl Harbor article there is no mention of any of the various theories there. Only two links in a "See Also" section at the bottom. One goes to the article about those theories, the other to a specific book article.
How about I write a See Also which will have references to the two articles and mentions Wilcox Assignation Claim and nothing more? Since Patton does not have a separate See Also section at the end, do you mind the See Also going into the main body of the article, as was done with (See also Eisenhower and German POWs).?
You get your way, I get mine and Lech and Magda have something to look up to set the Polish record straight.BillMaddock (talk) 21:56, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with that, nor a link to any Wiki article on the book if someone ever creates it. And FTR, I did not edit the Polish article. :-) Fred8615 (talk) 16:40, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
It is a relief that it was not you who edited PolishWilcox, for I would not want to think I was the cause of you having hurriedly undertaken a forty-eight-hour crash course in Polish. (I attempted a smiley there, but without success.)BillMaddock (talk) 05:42, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


As you can see there has been a great deal of discussion on the Wilcox claim. Perhaps you could do us all the courtesy of joining in that discussion?BillMaddock (talk) 03:16, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Panic over. We no longer need to worry about Lech and Magda. Someone has removed Wilcox from PolishWiki. I think we can all feel relieved about that.BillMaddock (talk) 04:39, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Would whoever set off the editing bot please identify yourself. Not to do so would be cowardly. Well, it seems I must try the See Also compromise I suggested to Fred above. BillMaddock (talk) 07:59, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I doubt that your "See also" solution was what anybody here imagined. Typically, a "See also" is a complete article unto itself which is listed and linked at the bottom of the article text under the heading See also. Your reference to the Fixed News article I found to inappropriate where it stood at the death paragraph. It's a teaser that doesn't help the reader understand Wikipedia's position on the subject. I don't like that reference sitting there unexplained but I moved it down to "External links" as a compromise to see if other editors feel that it adds value and suits the article. Binksternet (talk) 22:58, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi everyone, I enjoyed the talk page for the most part but I wanted to know are any of you really trying for arbitration? If so I would be willing to support them in that effort (if it takes more than 1 person or something like that). I really enjoyed the article and I haven't been able to decide on this issue for myself :). Wikiiscool123 (talk) 19:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

You Tube

Dear Alex Jones,

Congratulations, the field now belongs to you and Robert Wilcox. Wikipedia is abrogating any responsibility and allowing you to win “the war for your mind”. So far only 5000 have heard you and Wilcox on YouTube, which is itself a small mercy.

Listen to Wilcox live coast to coast on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones radio show right here. I managed seventeen minutes before I just had to stop. But it's O K, it's just a fringe theory that nobody knows about. (talk) 08:55, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

External Link Solution


All I know is that the Wilcox theory is out there. It is growing. It is wrong and it needs to be strenuously refuted. I know that the generations to come will have been let down and misinformed by a Wikipedia that doesn’t tell them Wilcox is considered in error.

From what I have red, it seems to me that Fred may well be right in his interpretation and application of WP:FRINGE, even though his and others’ arguments often seemed flawed and misapplied: it often happens that you can get your arguments wrong but still be right – it is just your arguments that are wrong. (If you don’t believe me, then let me tell you that once I was winning all the arguments, all the debate and only later did I realize he was right and I was wrong. It happens.)

I think that this discussion has shown that Wikipedia may well have a systemic problem in its inability to handle something like Wilcox and offer the world a choice of views. Having said that, however, your External Link does seem at least a good workable solution. However, because people will Google Wilcox I have taken the liberty of including the name in the External Link. If you don’t like it, please take it out – I can live with it.

It remains for me to thank you for coming up with a fine solution. I feel a little more comfortable now so that perhaps I might just get around to making a correction without fearing another fight: in WWI Samuel Rockenbach commanded the Tank Corps of the AEF, Patton commanded the 304th Tank Brigade (1st Tank Brigade), part of Rockenbach’s Tank Corps.BillMaddock (talk) 00:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I notice you have removed mention of Robert Wilcox and Kevin Hymel from the External link. It is a pity because when people Google Patton/Wilcox they won’t get to us. Can you suggest an addition to the External Link which mentions Wilcox and Hymel? Once again, I leave the decision to you.BillMaddock (talk) 10:42, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I just formatted the online news reference according to standard practice. If you want the public to have access to a fair and neutral account of Wilcox and Hymel, write articles for them. Binksternet (talk) 03:08, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
A reference to Wilcox was just added. If we are uncomfortable of it as a source we should probably find another source for the quotes included. (John User:Jwy talk) 16:55, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I would greatly prefer another source too. But until it comes along, I think this one can stay. Fred8615 (talk) 18:30, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

US Sherman v Sherman Firefly

Pointed out that Patton could only advance on the absence of German heavy armour as the US M4 was incapable of engaging them at combat ranges. Pattons success in exploitation was dependent on the British drawing the German armour into attritional tank v tank battles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Albanaich (talkcontribs) 20:34, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Since the topic is an American, I've switched armour to armor. And while I'm not doubting your input, I noticed the section was completely without sources, so I've marked it as such. If you have a source for what you input, please add a reference or two? (John User:Jwy talk) 20:44, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Albanaich says

Patton was unable to use Germany's blitzkrieg tactics, because of the inferiority of his tanks, Pattons units generally took positions by frontal assault with his armour used in the infantry support role.

but then he says

Patton was forced to bypass centers of resistance and use the mobility of his units to the fullest, leaving the British to take on the German heavy armour.

which seems rather contradictory. Is Patton taking positions by frontal assault, or is he bypassing and outflanking them? And how are the British (in 21st Army Group) supposed to take on German positions left behind by Third Army (in 12th Army Group)?
—WWoods (talk) 01:17, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Tactics and strategy are two different subject' Blitzkrieg tactics involve the concentration of armour and firepower at weak point in the enemy line, then using armour to force a breech in the line. The inferiority of the M4 Sherman meant the it could never survive long enough on the battle field to make that penetration. When forced to take a position US units (and doctrine at the time) used Tanks in a infantry support role rather than as the assault force in their own right. Patton was well known (and hated for) for high infantry casualties his tactics involved.

Once the position was taken Patton would then used exploitation and maneouvre open up more ground. These tactics could only operate in a situation where there was little chance of a counter-attack, Patton's (and US forces generally) forces were 'weak everywhere' and 'strong nowhere' and would have been very vulnerable to counterattack had the Germans had larger tank reserves, however the Germans were forced to use their Armoured reserve against the British who, unlike the US Army, understood the principle of 'concentration of force' forcing the Germans into attritional tank engagements.

As for referencing the article - its self evident from the Wiki articles on the M4 Sherman and Sherman Firefly that Patton and the US Army was unable to enagage heavy German armour. Patton's 'tactics' were a product of having to avoid contact with the main body of the German armour. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:52, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I presume you are Albanaich. It helps communication if you sign in and sign your talk page edits. Please look at WP:VERIFIABILITY. You still need to put the appropriate external references in tis article. Especially if the edits are controversial. (John User:Jwy talk) 16:28, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I have deleted the paragraph about Patton being unable to advance with his tanks because of the inferiority of the M4 Shermans relative to the British Fireflies. Patton's army was doing fine, thank you very much, having just won a major victory at the Battle of Arracourt. Too bad he was OUT OF GAS! Patton had to stop because Eisenhower had given the gas to Montgomery to do the Market Garden operation. von Mellenthin even states in his memoirs that the Germans mistakenly thought that the Panther tank attack at the Battle of Arracourt had succeeded in stopping Patton because his army suddenly stopped advancing; the numbers from that battle clearly showed an American victory - the 75mm Shermans did just fine in knocking out the Panther tank attack, mainly because the German attack was poorly organized and they stumbled into ambushes in the fog. Patton stopped because Eisenhower ordered him to stop and didn't give him enough gas to continue, not because of any deficiencies in his tanks. DarthRad (talk) 09:31, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


I have deleted the sentence about Patton not being able to use "blitzkrieg" tactics because of the inferiority of his tanks. This is a patently false statement. The M4 Sherman was a fine infantry support tank. The term blitzkrieg is itself a badly misused and misunderstood term. All it is in reality is combined arms tactics with armor, infantry, artillery, and air power, all brought to bear upon an enemy at the point of attack, causing the enemy lines to completely collapse and allowing a rapid advance. Combined arms tactics is what changed modern war so that the trench warfare of WWI was not repeated in WWII. Trenches, or any kind of fixed fortifications simply don't work against highly mobile, mechanized armies with heavy artillery and air power. To actually get "lightening war" or lightening-like advances against an opponent, you have to be fighting against an opponent who is totally unprepared to defend against a combined arms assault. All of the major armies in Europe utilized combined arms assaults to varying degrees and at various times during WWII. The only time "blitzkrieg" actually occurred was when the Germans FIRST USED IT upon the Polish, British, French, and the Soviets at the start of WWII. Once everybody saw how combined arms worked, every army in Europe learned how to use it, and how to defend against it. That's why blitzkrieg never worked so well again in Europe. The Germans, of all of the armies, surely knew how to defend against a combined arms assault - their tenacious defense of Caen and other strong points in Europe, especially on the Eastern Front, certainly proved this.

People who insist on dissing the M4 Sherman tank should note that the German blitzkrieg success came with the Germans utilizing their INFERIOR Pz II, IIIs, and a few snub barreled Pz IVs. The German tanks that successfully carried out the blitzkrieg at the start of WWII were actually inferior in armor and firepower to the French, British, and Soviet tanks they defeated. Superior tactics by the Germans, their 88mm flak cannons, and grossly inferior defensive coordination by their opponents was what won for the Germans, not their tanks, which were there mainly as infantry support. Patton's rapid drive through France after the German forces were crushed at the Falaise Gap, up until the time he ran out of gas, was a brief moment of "blitzkrieg" for the Third Army - the German forces were in disarray at this time, but did quickly regroup as Patton was forced to stop.

Unlike Montgomery, who did not get along with his tactical air commanders, Patton worked well with his tactical air support - the Third Army and Ninth Air Force developed the first techniques for MEW radar and forward air controllers with radios inside tanks that could call for air support in real time. This is an unsung part of the story of Patton's success, a big reason that Monty failed so miserably at Caen and Market Garden while Patton was so successful in his armored assaults - unlike the British, the Third Army developed terrific close air support that was the beginning of how the U.S. Army fights even today; German tank commanders would often complain later that as soon as they put up a fight, they could expect the U.S. Army to back off and then the Jabos would get called in to pound them. Not fair, really, but surely the way to fight if you had total air superiority. While there are a great number of references and books about Patton and the Third Army, and about the rest of the USAAF, very little has ever been written about the Ninth Air Force. The British, Soviets, and Germans never reached similar levels of close air support during WWII.

Above all else, true "blitzkrieg" success requires that your opponent be incapable of defending against a combined arms assault. We all understand how incompetent the Iraqi Army was in Iraq War I and II - those assaults surely qualify as successful blitzkriegs - the early Soviet, French, and British forces in WWII were just as unprepared as the Iraqis were. DarthRad (talk) 12:46, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Darthrad is largely right when it comes to his discussion of Blitzkrieg tactics. He is partly wrong about his appraisal of the Sherman. It was rugged and reliable, but inferior in speed, armor protection and firepower to the German counterparts. The PzII and III were obsolescent by the time the Sherman showed up and were not as good as the Sherman, or for that matter, the Grant series. Jokem (talk) 01:12, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


Added some needed references and a brief mention and link to the Battle of Arracourt. Zaloga resurrected this tank action as a named battle, because it was here that 75mm M4 Shermans defeated a force of Panther tanks. DarthRad (talk) 04:18, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Added additional comments about Patton's use of close air support. Original paragraph had emphasized only the importance of mobility. ALL of the Allied and U.S. armies had great mobility. The key difference was Patton's aggressive use of close air support, mainly from XIX TAC. Will add some references later to this section.DarthRad (talk) 09:09, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Slapping incident/s #2

Unless someone can document a second slapping incident, I am going to remove the reference to there having been two incidents. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 03:32, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

  • While the movie only showed one incident, it's documented in numerous sources that there were two, about two weeks apart. Fred8615 (talk) 13:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Then the article must describe it from a reputable source. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 03:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
See Patton: A Genius for War, by Carlo D'Este. He gives a detailed description of both slapping incidents. I believe the chapter in the book is called "From Triumph to Disaster." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there were indeed two slapping incidents. The first involved Private Charles Kuhl on August 3, 1943. The second one took place exactly one week later, and involved Private Paul Bennett. The movie's depiction seems to have been based largely on the second incident. I don't have the resources with me to provide accurate information, but Carlo D'Este gives a good description of both incidents in his book, Patton: A Genius for War. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I have edited the article to mention Pvt. Bennett and added a cite for the incident. There's no question that both Kuhl and Bennett were slapped and Patton apologized to both. It's mentioned with varying degrees of detail in all his biographies. patsw (talk) 03:29, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Evidently someone has removed the edits again. There were TWO slapping incidents, not one. Why is the second one not mentioned? (talk) 21:07, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Slapping Incident Title

Is calling it the "Slapping Incident" really encyclopedic tone? Is there an alternative at all? wildgriffin(talk) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Current vandalism

As best I can tell, this article is currently the target of persistent vandalism regarding a deliberate attempt to start a rumour that George S. Patton invented a Kentucky Fried Chicken meal. False references have been added to try to legitimise the hoax, but have now been removed; I've considered semi-protection, but as of yet, the level of vandalism doesn't warrant it. Esteffect (talk) 04:04, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Removed to avoid an edit war

Just wanted to know what editors think about the inclusion of this material from the film Patton [2]. As one can see, it was removed by another user as "trivia" and this quite obviously was following me here from the film article. To avoid an edit war, I've gone along with the removal until we can get some 3rd opinions. It might very well be trivia, but is a very incorrect portrayal of Patton's commission as a Lieutenant General and for that reason perhaps should be mentioned. -OberRanks (talk) 02:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

It definitely doesn't belong here IMO. What does a film inaccuracy have to do with the actual man? Clarityfiend (talk) 02:39, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "very incorrect". It's either correct or not and from there it is either notable or not. If it's incorrect (and I'll assume good faith that its not), its a very minor note to the article subject's life. We could throw a multitude of trivia about the man in here from the film article, none of which would be useful for the reader. Alastairward (talk) 09:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this isn't really the home for this on the "real world" article. Better to focus on the film article. -OberRanks (talk) 13:24, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

British Knighthoods

British awards to Patton are unclear and there apparently has been no previous discussion of this subject on the talk page (or its archives). I have identified the following from the article's edit history:

  • GCB and KBE postnominals in lead were added by an IP address on 11 Oct 07 here
  • KBE postnominal in lead was changed to Order of the British Empire by User:Kumioko on 02 Mar 08 here with edit summary "clean up, Replaced: Adn → and (2) using AWB". This was probably an accidental omission of the piping as part of a wider edit.
  • Order of the British Empire in lead was changed to OBE by User:Iamwisesun on 26 Apr 08 here with no edit summary. This was probably a change based on the abbreviation of the order in ignorance of the fact that OBE is actually an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. At this stage, the Foreign and international awards section listed only "British Order of the Bath" and "Order of the British Empire".
  • In the Foreign and international awards section, "British Order of the Bath" was changed to "Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath" and "Order of the British Empire" was changed to "Officer of the Order of the British Empire" by an IP address on 03 Jun 08 here. This change was probably based on the post-nominals used in the lead.
  • Both post-nominals in lead were removed by User:Pytom on 03 Jan 09 here with edit summary "Remove postnominal per WP:MOSBIO". This was a reasonable application of the policy to a US military officer (although many articles on US military figures still use the post-nominals).
  • GCB and OBE post-nominals in lead were restored by User:Aumnamahashiva on 21 Jul 09 here with edit summary "(post-noms)". This change was probably based on the post-nominals for the awards listed in the Foreign and international awards section.
  • GCB post-nominal in lead, Foreign and international awards and categorisation was changed to CB by User:Colombo960 on 16 Aug 09 here, here and here with edit summary "Patton was a CB (Commander of the Bath) not a GCB (Knight Grand Cross of the Bath)".
  • Both post-nominals in lead were again removed by User:Pytom on 17 Aug 09 here with edit summary "He's also a US Citizen, which means that postnominals should be omitted, per WP:MOSBIO".
  • List of honorary British knights and dames lists Patton as a GCB and has done so for some time.

At this stage, I believe it likely that the original information on the KBE is likely to be accurate (it makes more sense for Patton to have been created a KBE than appointed an OBE given his rank). However until information to the contrary is presented, I will leave him as a CB rather than GCB. Having said that, I haven't found any authoritative sources - if someone can find and add references for both awards here and, if a knighthood, at List of honorary British knights and dames that would be greatly appreciated. Please note that British knighthoods now have categories for honorary knighthoods in the form 'Honorary Knight...' Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 19:11, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I have found a citation for his honorary CB in September 1944 London Times but so far nothing in the London Gazette or Times about any other awards. I have added the CB citation to the article. He was presented with his CB (along with Major-General Manton S. Eddy) for services in the North African campaign by Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke on 27 March. MilborneOne (talk) 20:10, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

He did not "transfer" to West Point

Patton did not "transfer" to the United States Military Academy after his one year at VMI, nor was he required to repeat his plebe year because of poor mathematics grades. While he may or may not have been arithmatically challenged, you cannot "transfer" into West Point. All incoming cadets must start as "plebes" and complete the entire four-year course of instruction. I'll give someone who regularly edits & maintains this page should a chance to make the change or I will do so. I'm not a student of Patton's history so I'll offer the opportunity to defer on this edit.  Ahodges7   talk 11:30, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

is this necessary?

"'His seventh great-grandfather was Louis Dubois, a French Huguenot immigrant, who with 11 others founded the town of New Paltz, New York. Another of Patton's ancestors was Francis Gregory, a first cousin of George Washington. Gregory married Francis Thornton III, a first cousin twice removed from James Madison and three times removed from Zachary Taylor.'" It just seems to be trying to prove some special lineage, and I fail to see the importance.&#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 18:32, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, that's a bit silly. It's gone. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:23, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 06:07, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Where is his opinion of the Germans in here?

You know, there used to be a whole section in here on the opinions of Patton on the Germans. He didn't just dislike the Soviets. That really is a total white-washing of his position. I mean I understand that nobody wants to desecrate an American hero by thinking of him as a German sympathist, and most of all nobody wants to say anything positive about the Germans, god forbid, but I think there is a sheer glossing over of the reality of Patton's thinking here. I think that this is a disservice to his legacy. I think he would want to be represented by who and what he really was. Patton had a high opinion of the Germans. In fact, his high opinion of the Germans and his provocations of the Soviets distressed the powers that be, at home, to not an inconsiderable extent, as I understand. His opposition the Morgenthau's "destroy German productive capacity" policy made him likewise unpopular to many of the leading men in power. Look, long story short, this man thought of Germany as the heart of Western civilization even if he acknowledged that they did many evil things during the war. He saw Russians occupying the heart of Europe as a threat to Western civilization itself. He said that we fought the wrong enemy and that we should give the Russians an ultimatum to get back across their prior national boundaries. Now I know this is not a comfortable opinion for Americans to accept, but this is a man who lived in Germany and experienced the culture and the people. I think these facts are facts of note.

source, many, but this is one: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

It should be added. And, by the way, I generally agree with his opinion. Aside from the extreme racial shit, brought upon by one maniacal man and some henchman, and not the german people, germany was alot more our friend than the soviets. Without German assistance, the American space program wouldn't have been shit compared to what we have today. (talk) 04:56, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

While not every German was a Nazi, millions of them supported Hitler and the Nazi war aims. It's dangerous to soft-pedal the participation of many Germans in the National Socialist cause-otherwise, the Nazi's wouldn't have gotten very far. This was a terrible period in the history of a nation so rich in culture, and is a stain on that generation, that they should have sunk so far into barbarism. Thankfully, today Germany is back on the right path of being a healthy contributor to civilization.HammerFilmFan (talk) 05:51, 28 December 2010 (UTC) HammerFilmFan

I don't think there's any reason to leave it out. If it can be sourced, it should be included. Fred8615 (talk) 13:15, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

III or Jr? =

I see that the heading to the Panel is Patton III while his signature is clearly Jr. I understand that he is technically III but he was always called Jr by his family and himself. I propose to change this to Jr. unless there are reasonable objections based on some Wiki policy I am not aware of. Cross Reference (talk) 12:41, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

A agree that George S. Patton JR is and was the famous WWII general and that George S. Patton III was my Commanding Officer (Colonel) in Vietnam, specifically the 39th Colonel of the Regiment.

The reference to his father as III has spawned a whole lot of inaccurate references. I personally know of, nor have I read that George S. Patton, JR, famous Battle of the Bulge General, was ever referred to in his military life and George S. Patton III. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Photo of Pancho Villa and Gen. Pershing does not show George Patton

The famous photo of Pancho Villa and Pershing at Ft. Bliss needs a correction. Recent research into those who participated in the Punitive Expedition has shown that the person in the background is not George S. Patton but is, instead James Lawton Collins, an aide to Pershing. Here is the citation: {{Edit semi-protected}} Drewonimo (talk) 00:51, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

The page is not currently protected; however, before you make the change, please note that you will need a reliable source to verify that claim, as the website you provided does not qualify. Qwyrxian (talk) 12:07, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Understood. The credentials of the researcher who uncovered this discrepancy in the record are considerably more trustworthy than it might appear from the citation alone. The author is a trained cultural archeologist and historian who, as a resident of Columbus, NM has, in his retirement, conducted considerable historical research over the last several years on behalf of the Columbia Historical Association and the First Aero Squadron Foundation, of which he is a board member. ( Consequently, he has been conducting extensive biographical research on each of the First Aero Squadron's flyers from the Punitive Expedition, including James Lawton Collins, cited in the photo. The question I would have, is other than the repetition of anecdote, what is the reliable information that this is George Patton? Obviously, given his notoriety, there is considerable desire to have that be George Patton but no evidence that it is. Reliable information on Patton indicates that he didn't meet Pershing nor was he stationed at Ft. Bliss until after the photo was taken. Reliable information on James Lawton Collins is that he was Pershing's personal aide, stationed at Ft. Bliss, present at this meeting and generally inseparable from his commander. Drewonimo (talk) 17:52, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the burden of "proof" is on the one wanting to KEEP the information. I've placed a citation needed on the caption rather than remove it. I suspect there are reasonable sources for it but that they might be wrong. A good published source of the new information above would be ideal. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 18:54, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm working on it. Thank you. Drewonimo (talk) 19:03, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Patton and the Battle of Cambrai

We have a problem with Patton's supposed involvement in the Battle of Cambrai (1917). Various claims can be found on websites. They range from Patton having been an observer at the battle to his having led the American tanks to victory. Now, none of this is true.

This inaccuracy has been discussed in the article. The paragraph begins: "Depending on the source, he either led the U.S. tanks or was an observer at the 1917 Battle of Cambrai". No source is cited. The paragraph then says, "the U.S. Tank Corps did not take part in this battle", again uncited, which is true. It goes on to say:"the role of observer is the more likely. However, in The Patton Papers: 1885–1940, author Martin Blumenson makes no mention of Patton being at Cambrai, stating only that on December 1, Patton went to Albert, not too far from Cambrai, to discuss the ongoing battle with the chief of staff of the British Tank Corps, Colonel J. F. C. Fuller." Martin Blumenson is cited, but there is no attempt to substantiate the claim that "the role of observer is the more likely."

There is no literature and there are no official U.K. or U.S.A. records to establish that Patton was in any way involved in Cambrai. All we have is a collection of unsupported and obviously cloned assertions. Why do we need to go to the trouble of drawing attention to these claims and then use an authoritative source to refute them? Patton's biographer says he wasn't there, and Dale E. Wilson (Treat 'Em Rough! The Birth of American Armor, 1917-20) also cites Blumenson: "On 20 November, while Patton was at Chamlieu (sic), the British launched a major offensive at Cambrai . . . Patton left Chamlieu on 1 December bound for Paris and the Renault Tank Works at Billancourt. While en route, he stopped at Albert with Col. Frank Parker to meet with (Lt. Col. J.F.C.) Fuller. The trio discussed the attack on Cambrai, tank doctrine, and tactics."

The Cambrai Offensive began on November 20th, 1917, and had stalled completely by the 27th. The main German counter-attack began on November 30th. And Albert is roughly 50 Km from Cambrai.

I suggest that rather than draw attention to these spurious claims about Patton's (and U.S.) involvement, and run the risk of encouraging interest in them, we simply ignore them and omit any reference altogether.

Unfortunately, another contributor has chosen to use clumsy sarcasm rather than debate this matter sensibly and courteously. I wasn't there. You weren't there. That makes three of us, because George Patton wasn't either.

Hengistmate (talk) 02:08, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Ah, because you're so courteous... *not*. Bad start for Wikipedia, unless you're really someone's sockpuppet. Have a read at WP:CIVIL. I undid you because you gave no cites and left nothing on the talkpage until I reverted you.--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 02:49, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I see we have differing understandings of the word "courteous". Your comments speak for themselves.

I have stated my case. If you can offer anything constructive, please do so. Hengistmate (talk) 03:11, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Here's a few published sources which state he was at the Battle of Cambrai:
  • Warrior; the story of General George S. Patton, Army Times p. 44.
  • Jimmy Lee Beasley, I Was There When It Happened p. 390.
Lots more where those came from...
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 04:24, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your interest. I note the sources you provide, but I cannot see that any of them establishes that Patton was present even as an observer at Cambrai.

None of them offers any citation. More to the point, some contain assertions that cannot be true.

Jimmy Lee Beasley says that Patton "took full command of the Corps", which we have established he didn't.

More seriously, Beasley and Diana Dretske say, "he and his men achieved victory at Cambrai, the world's first major tank battle in 1917". That is the quote that is reproduced many times on the Internet. The U.S. Tank Corps was not formed until December 1917 (or arguably January 1918), 5 or 6 weeks after Cambrai. The Corps in France didn't receive any Renault tanks until June 1918 (as stated in the article itself). The U.S. troops training in England received their British heavy tanks in May 1918 and transferred to France in August. The Corps cannot, therefore, have participated at Cambrai, and, in my view, the claims about Patton's personal presence do not amount to facts. I suggest that Mr. Beasley was not in fact there when it happened.

The account of U.S. armour in Camp Colt to Desert Storm is largely a rehash of parts of Treat 'Em Rough!. One of the problems with the original Treat 'Em Rough! is that it contains misspellings of a number of important locations (Champlieu, Bermicourt, and even of the French St. Chamond tank). Whilst not necessarily indicating that other information is wrong, such things tend to undermine one's confidence.

It is even possible to argue that Cambrai was not the first major tank battle of the War. In April 1917, ten days after America entered the War, the French used 132 tanks at Berry-au-Bac.

It seems to me that Mr. Blumenson's account still holds sway.

Hengistmate (talk) 11:58, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

You will have to convince editors here and form a consensus to effectuate the changes you seek. You're attempting to brush aside several sources for one account. Maybe it's Blumenson that is wrong. Nonetheless, the wording in the article is consistent with the sources and that is what we use. Several of them clearly say he was there, either as an observer or a participant, which shows substantial support for that view.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 14:44, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Note: Hengistmate has now made a series of edits which constitute vandalism on the battle of Cambrai beginning with this edit. Also, this and this. So much for his credibilty.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 15:54, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, well, well, Mr. B-H. I do apologise for accidentally posting my tinkerings with the Cambrai page on the site. It was an accident. I'm new to Wikipedia, but I've learnt a lot in the last few days. I just wanted to share my hilarity at the description of Gen. Patton's involvement at Cambrai with people who know what they're talking about: the Great War Society, the Western Front Association, those kind of people. They enjoyed it immensely, but I'm sorry for any embarrassment it caused you. It was good of you to make mention of it on this quite separate page. However, I notice that the recent amendments to the Cambrai article are broadly in line with those I suggested. The U.S.A. has disappeared from the list of belligerents and the reference to the American rail workers who accidentally got caught up in the fighting has also gone. The latter is a pity. I think they deserve a mention. I have made a little entry on the Cambrai page to that effect.

Now, to the subject of your own credibility.

I have had the opportunity to examine the references you were kind enough to bring to my attention. I have taken the liberty of commenting on the relevant passages.

Rice: (Pershing) "posted Patton to organize, train, and command the troops at the American Tank Training Center at Langres . . . he spent two weeks at the French tank training center near Compiègne and another week visiting with British tank units at Cambrai. While he was at Cambrai the British launched a massive tank attack." There were no troops and the training centre did not exist. It was Patton's job to set it up. The British attack was launched while Patton was at Champlieu. Patton did not visit British tank units. He went from Champlieu to Paris, visiting J.F.C. Fuller at Albert, 30 miles from Cambrai, en route. A little further on he mentions that Patton's brigade in 1918 comprised "Renault T 17 six-ton light tanks armed with . . . two 8-mm Hotchkiss machine guns." That would be the Renault FT seven-ton light tank armed with one Hotchkiss machine gun.

Essame: (Patton) "set off for the British Tank School at Bovington in Dorset and the French school at Chaplieu . . . In this battle (Cambrai) Patton had a ringside seat and what amounted to a roving commission." Patton did not go to Bovington. The French school was at Champlieu, not Chaplieu. Patton makes no mention of being at Cambrai or of his roving commission.

Army Times: "Patton had watched the opening of the battle of Cambrai." At 6am on November 20th Patton was at Champlieu.

Mayer: "Patton was sent to the newly-formed tank corps (and) involved in the first major tank battle at Cambrai. He then attended the French tank course." The Tank Corps had not been formed. He went to the French course before the attack at Cambrai. See above.

Hatch: Page not available; only imbecilic comments visible.

Singh: This might be my favourite. The book is called Global Commerce in the 21st Century. It's about marketing and Cola and Burger Wars, written in 2004 by Naunihal Singh, an Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics. Her three paragraphs on Patton are in a chapter on marketing strategies. It reads, "Patton was an observer at Cambrai in 1917 when the English launched the world's first large-scale tank attack." I hesitate to suggest it, but the author might have just picked that up off the Internet.

Beasley: (Patton) "took full command of the (U.S. Tank) Corps. Along with the British tankers he and his men achieved victory at Cambrai during the world's first major tank battle." We have established that Patton had no men and no tanks. The U.S. Tank Corps had not been created.His non-existent men weren't there. It's not really looking as if he was there. When the tank Corps was formed, Lt-Col. LeRoy Eltinge was in command. And Cambrai is not considered a victory by any commentator that I know of. It is certainly not described as such on Wikipedia.

Dretske: This is a book about the history of Fort Sheridan, about 4.500 miles from Cambrai. Patton was there from 1909 to 1911. Dretske's sole reference to Patton (apart from a photograph of him in a hammock) is word-for-word the same as Beasley's. What are the chances of that?

So, Mr. B-H, I hope you will forgive me for attempting to brush aside these sources and offer only the words of Patton and a man who spent a large part of his life researching him.

I don't think you've done terribly well on this one. We can all use Google, but the trick is reading what it comes up with, rather than just looking at the highlighted bits.

In view of the above, do you propose to make any further alterations to the article, or would you like me to? Subject to your approval, of course.

I look forward to your comments. Hengistmate (talk) 08:01, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

No, I'd still like to see others join so that a discussion/consensus could take place. You still don't seem to get that I'm presenting sources because the viewpoint exists. I've never said that he was at Cambrai...I personally don't know...but to present the balanced point of view of what has been written in our articles is the right thing to do. My credibility doesn't suffer at all. You removed all references without supplying any sources and got chippy with another editor. To get it back on track, I brought references to the table that bolster what was written to illustrate that published references do exist despite your claim above that they don't. You then thought that you could wave your hand, alone, and dismiss whatever is being brought before you because you disagree. It doesn't work that way here. You seem to have a really bad case of I didn't hear that.
Next, you decided it was okay to go vandalize the Battle of Cambrai article and lace it with trollish sarcastic remarks....and now, you claim that because you're new, you didn't realize your "accidental tinkerings" were wrong but you try to revel in them here and attempt to turn tables on someone who hasn't done anything wrong. People who realize they've done wrong are usually somewhat repentant and slightly apologetic...not snotty and sarcastic. Apologetic folk wouldn't try to attack the credibility of one who hasn't done wrong to try to make up for their errors. So, finding you disingenuous, we can add lying and trolling to your resume now which reduces your credibility further.
Whatever a consensus of editors decide to use is fine with me. I will defer to that.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 13:00, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Bull's eye! Binksternet (talk) 15:55, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Since BH wanted input, input: While I can't endorse Hengistmate's juvenile approach to this matter, his points are mainly valid. The article currently states: "Several accounts say that he either led the U.S. tanks or was an observer at the 1917 Battle of Cambrai, where tanks were used in significant numbers for the first time since the use of 132 French tanks at Berry-au-Bac in April of the same year": Yet we know that there were no U.S. tanks at Cambrai or anywhere else at this time, so "...either led the U.S. tanks..." is simply wrong whatever anecdotes may say, and should be removed. Was he an observer? That is more debatable, and I have no issue with that being left in (although I personally agree with Hengistmate's view that the best evidence does not favour it). Nor was it the first time tanks had been used since the Nivelle Offensive. Gough had 160+ heavy tanks at the opening of 3rd Ypres (although they were generally unsuccessful). Pending further input, I've refrained from editing the article, but will come back in a week or two and reword it if it has not been done in the interim.FrankDynan (talk) 16:04, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
In the absence of any further editorial input here, it seemed best to go with primary sources - Patton's letters to his wife, quoted in d'Este, which clearly place him at Champlieu, not Cambrai.FrankDynan (talk) 11:49, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it would be best to not draw any conclusion but rather present it in a way that lets the reader know that sources are conflicting and let them draw a conclusion on their own. I wouldn't go beyond the way it has been presented the greater workings of things, it isn't that significant and not worth pontificating within the article. We did so here because somebody was trying to decide which conclusion to draw and throw other sources out the window.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 14:11, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Berean, your "sources" are second hand and demonstrably wrong in other aspects - there were *no US tanks to Patton to lead* for example, and that statement must be removed. As to his presence - the *primary* sources show he was somewhere else, whatever your error-ridden secondary sources say. I've reverted it - unless you can produce decent evidence or some support for editors, you should not repeat these claims. Balance is not achieved by blending fact with fiction. If it isn't that significant, why are you so wedded to this error?FrankDynan (talk) 23:19, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not. I'm not trying to take the point of view that he was there but that numerous sources state that he was. First, it is better to leave that viewpoint or we will be forever and a day having people re-introduce it to the article (because they read it somewhere) and then there would be a round of people reverting & explaining again. By leaving it, it shows that we have addressed that there were conflicting sources and we have given that proper treatment. Unless a group of editors at an article have decided to use primary sources per consensus, we don't make conclusions. That is original research when single editors do that.
Lacking other editor input here, you should not have reverted because there is no consensus to change per Bold, Revert, Discuss. You have mistakenly assumed that lack of discussion means that some further conclusion and action must be made which is not the case. You should know that when you have been reverted and discussion is occurring on the talk page, that you should not revert per WP:BRD as it breaches the assumption of good faith. You should consider reverting yourself while the discussion is going on...the article isn't going anywhere. :) If some form of consensus occurs here then we can change it to whatever that is.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 23:52, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Just as it seemed that common sense (in the shape of Mr. Dynan's paragraph) had prevailed, Mr. B-H has attempted to propel us back to square one, if not beyond it.

I am not an expert on Wikipedia's protocol and it is not my life's ambition to become so. However, it seems to me that rational thought and historical facts based on primary evidence ought to be our lodestar.

The sources do, indeed, conflict; that is to say that those that are wrong conflict with those that are right. I am surprised to learn, if I read this correctly, that Wikipedia's role is to apportion equal value to both, on the grounds that they exist. There are published (to borrow Mr. B-H's italics) works that state, amongst other things, that the Earth is flat and that the Holocaust didn't happen. Yet I see no admonition on the relevant Wikipedia pages that such views should be considered with equal seriousness as the truth. Am I correct in interpreting certain comments here as meaning that the evaluation of sources has no place in Wikipedia's workings, even when evaluation proves that certain assertions are demonstrably incorrect? A curious principle.

We are not talking about the existence or otherwise of God, which is not proven (whatever views might be held in certain parts of the world), but about the testing of evidence by accepted methods. Most of Mr. B-H's sources manifestly fail or only partially withstand that test. Therefore the wording of any references should reflect their value and not, as is the case at present, imply that it is for the reader to decide which sources he believes and that all sources should be afforded equal consideration.

I can direct you to a published source that states amongst other things that: Benjamin Holt and the U.S. Army collaborated with Tritton and Swinton in the development of Little Willie in 1915; Albert Stern approached first the U.S. Army and then the U.S. Navy with a view to developing the first Tanks; the Mk IV Tank was a proposed joint Anglo-American project; Stern's memoirs deliberately omit mention of U.S. involvement in Tank development prior to the U.S. entry into the War; the U.S. Tank Corps Depot in France was manned by Chinese labourers. All of this is, of course, sheer fantasy and quite the most profoundly inaccurate and fantastical account of the subject that I have ever read. The author cannot tell a French Renault FT from an American M1917 or an Austrian soldier from a German one. Yet all these assertions appear in American Military Vehicles of World War I, published by a reputable company and which the author, Albert Mroz, is attempting to sell for $55. Should the reader therefore be asked to take into account Mr. Mroz's published confused imaginings in the Wikipedia article on the Tanks of World War I?

Let us pause to gather the low-hanging fruit:

Cambrai was not the first large-scale use of Tanks. It is "often erroneously noted " for being so (Source: Wikipedia). As noted, the French used 132 Schneiders and some supporting Saint-Chamonds at Berry-au-Bac. The figure I have for the British Tanks used at 3rd Ypres is 216.

The wording of the original paragraph implies that the U.S. Tank Corps was formed before Cambrai (which it wasn't) and that Patton was the first officer assigned to it (which he wasn't; it was formed in December 1917 under Col. Rockenbach and Patton was subsumed into it).

Now, at the time of writing Mr. Dynan's choice of words seems to be back in situ. All I would add is that Patton's visit to the Renault factory took place after his meeting with Fuller.

If Mr. B-H is concerned that the ignorant will try to reinsert the false information, then I should have thought that the correct course is to explain clearly to anyone so inclined why it is false. It is commonly done on Wikipedia; the Battle of Cambrai, for instance. Rather than imply by saying "depending on the source" that all sources are worthy of equal consideration, the article should draw attention to and refute these misapprehensions. I think this could loosely be described as throwing them out of the window. Otherwise the problem he describes will, indeed, arise, thanks to the large number of websites and published sources (to which latter Mr. B-H has been kind enough to draw our attention) that contain the false information. That's what happens when one cites sources without examining their credibility. I should be quite happy to draft a couple of lines that perform this function. However, since I seem to have annoyed Mr. B-H, I cannot be certain how objective he will be in his consideration of this offer.Hengistmate (talk) 17:07, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

You cannot dismiss out-of-hand Albert Mroz and his findings. His book was published by a respected imprint known for scholarly references and high-quality non-fiction. Per WP:NPOV, the man's conclusions must be given some weight, presented to the reader as they are, but they can be countered by other reliable expert opinions in contradiction. What we are not going to do is refute Mroz here in the article using primary sources—that is absolutely not allowed in Wikipedia's no original research guideline. To refute Mroz we must find his equal or better in published analysis of the battle. Binksternet (talk) 17:50, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

You cannot dismiss out-of-hand Albert Mroz and his findings. Yes, I can. They're wrong. His book was published by a respected imprint known for scholarly references and high-quality non-fiction. Precisely my point. His 'findings' border on lunacy, and yet they appear in print, demonstrating that that does not necessarily mean anything. The respected publishers studied my observations and consequently offered to give me my money back. Anyway, whatever. The main thing is that the description of Patton's involvement in Tank warfare in WWI is gradually approaching something resembling what actually happened, which is what I should have thought to be the purpose of an encyclopedia. I'm fed up with this now.Hengistmate (talk) 18:57, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Offering the money back is standard practice by a corporation when faced with unhappy customers. If the publishing house asserted that the next edition would reflect your concerns then you scored points, otherwise you got the brush off.
The best we can do within Wikipedia's guidelines is select the better sources for better representation. If you're satisfied with the progress, that's good. Binksternet (talk) 19:21, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

I didn't know that. I've never bought any shoes. Anyway, in The First World War John Keegan reports that the French first used the Renault FT at the Chemin des Dames in April 1917. He's over a year out, which you are at liberty to check. In fact, almost everything he writes about Tanks is wrong. But the errors are still in the current edition. That must mean he's right. And it's a published source. I could be happier, but am reasonably so and looking forward to becoming happier with each improvement. Thank you for your concern. "When the facts change I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?" - John Maynard Keynes. Signing off now. Hengistmate (talk) 20:57, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps if you read Wikipedia:Core content policies it may help. Wikipedia is not the forum for vetting. We don't draw the conclusions that you are attempting to draw. You're wanting to set the record straight but this is the wrong arena for that. Scholars may debate and then publish works from which we draw their conclusions by citing those viewpoints...and we try, when this happens, to do so in a neutral unbiased manner. We don't decide to then take what they publish and perform deductive logic exercises to reach other outcomes. Those outcomes may be true but that would be considered original research because we, as Wiki editors, made those conclusions. Wikipedia isn't about deriving the truth...we use what others have written. As an example, you have cited that Blumenson omitted any mention that Patton was at Cambrai and therefore you conclude that this must mean he wasn't. That may be true but the problem is that it is your conclusion, not Blumenson's. Had Blumenson clearly stated Patton wasn't at Cambrai then we could state that because that is what the published author concluded...but we still wouldn't levy more weight to Blumenson to refute all others as if he is the sole authority on the subject; that would be unbalanced. You're refuting Mrov but really as an editor here, you can't do that. You are certainly entitled to form your own opinions and they may be correct and rooted in logic but you can not force those opinions through to the article. I hope this helps,
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 00:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)