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The Remarkable correspondence between Patton and Krieger

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Remembered as the hard-driving, unrelenting military hero who led the US head-first through World War II’s most important operations—the Invasion of Sicily, the rapid drive across France following the Invasion of Normandy, the relief of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge—General Patton’s steady correspondence with a young Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, woman by the name of Mary Jane Krieger reveals a much softer side, necessarily concealed from his ‘real-life’ wartime acquaintances. Far cries from the tone of his famous address to the Third Army—‘No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country’—these letters, affectionately addressed to “My dear Mary Jane,” offer kind remarks of appreciation for packages sent, apologies for delayed correspondence “owing to the fact that we are having a battle,” and thoughtful opinions of shared poetry—all casually interspersed with commentary on the war. Staying in touch through even his busiest times in the war, Patton wrote to her until his final days—one of the last four letters he ever wrote was to thank her for a book of poems she sent as a Christmas gift. An exceptional collection of letters revealing a rarely seen side of the legendary general whose name alone, according to Eisenhower, ‘struck terror at the hearts of the enemy.’