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Lot #333
George S. Patton Typed Manuscript Signed with Accompanying Typed Letter Signed

Pray for peace, prepare for war—General Patton on combat, its history and cause, and how a powerful America remains “the one hope for a peaceful world”

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Pray for peace, prepare for war—General Patton on combat, its history and cause, and how a powerful America remains “the one hope for a peaceful world”

Significant typed manuscript by George S. Patton, signed “G. S. Patton, Jr.,” two pages, 8 x 10.5, sent by General Patton to Colonel F. D. Fitzgerald, chief of the Public Relations Division at the United States Forces headquarters, on October 12, 1945, six weeks after the unconditional surrender of Japan aboard the USS Missouri, an event that officially ended World War II. The compelling two-page statement consists of Patton’s opinion of warfare, why it occurs, why it's necessary, and how future bloodshed can be prevented. The manuscript is accompanied by a typed cover letter, also signed by Patton, written on his personal Headquarters Fifteenth US Army letterhead. It reads: “In order to obviate the necessity of being constantly called up by correspondents to ascertain my feelings toward future wars, and of being misquoted when such feelings have been ascertained, I am herewith sending you a statement which you can give out as you see fit.”

Patton’s statement, in full: “My opinion that there will be more wars is based on the following considerations:

Wars are not the result of a set of logical circumstances. Almost invariably wars are produced through the efforts of a few unbalanced people who play on the many by exploiting thwarted ambitions and the emotions of avarice or revenge.

Since one cannot determine when or where such unbalanced individuals will appear it is impossible to prophesy when or whom we shall next fight.

Since the War of 1812, that is in the past 133 years, the United States has engaged in the following major military operations:

The War of 1812
The Mexican War
The Civil War
The Spanish War
The Philippine Insurrection
The Boxer Operation
The Mexican Punitive Expedition
World War I
World War II

Nine wars in all. In eight of these American soldiers have fought outside the geographical limits of the United States.

After each previous war and apparently at the present moment we have been induced as a nation to subscribe to the doctrine that ‘In weakness there is strength,’ that you prevent wars by disarming—just as you prevent fires by abolishing the Fire Department?

As a result of this policy of unpreparedness we have always had to improve armies and, as Field Marshall Lord Haig said in his final report after World War I, ‘Improvisation is always expensive.’ It is expensive not only in treasure but in blood.

In the two World Wars America has come from behind to insure victory. Everyone knows this and the next time a war is thrust upon us our opponents, whoever they may be, will see to the best of their ability that the arsenal of democracy is destroyed or critically damaged before it can become effective.

As the Chief of Staff, General Marshall, has so eloquently pointed out in his Biennial Report which was released for publication on 9 October, 1945, some of the means for such an attack already exist. Others will surely be developed. Against such an attack the only protection is an instantaneous counter-attack which can only be produced by pre-war preparation.

My thesis is that had we been prepared, several of the wars we have engaged in would not have happened and all of them would have been much shorter and less bloody.

I have studied and practised war all my life. Therefore I am utterly opposed to it but I am not an ostrich. I do not bury my head in the sands of wishful thinking.

I am firmly convinced that we must have universal training because the one hope for a peaceful world is a powerful America and the only means of producing a powerful America is to initiate and maintain adequate means to instantly check aggressors.

Unless we are so armed and prepared the next war will probably destroy us. No one who has lived in a destroyed country can view such a possibility with anything but horror.” In fine condition.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Animation
  • Dates: #637 - Ended June 15, 2022