General Patton’s Library

The following was kindly provided by Captain T.W. Forrest of the D.C. Army National Guard.

Suggestions for
Professional Officer Development Readings
Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

As soldiers it is our duty to continue are professional development by reading.  General George S. Patton, Jr. (1885-1945), was known for his study and reading of military history.

In 1952,  his widow, Beatrice Patton, provided a list of his favorite books for an issue of Armor magazine (Patton, Beatrice Ayer, “A Soldier’s Reading,” Armor 61 (November-December 1952, pp. 10-11).  I provide it to you for your professional development:

She also explained that during WW II, Patton read about the areas in which he fought and for an understanding of tactics.  For example:

  • The Normans in Sicily, Knight
  • The Greatest Norman Conquest, Osborne
  • The History of the Norman Conquest of England, five volumes by Freeman
  • Caesar’s Gallic War
  • Infantry Attacks, Rommel

For further study in the importance of professional reading and how it can shape a soldier I recommend the following:

  • Dietrich, Steve E. “The Professional Reading of General George S. Patton, Jr.”  Journal of Military History 53 (October 1989)
  •  Nye, Roger H., The Patton Mind:  The Professional Development of an Extraordinary Leader.  Garden City, N.Y.:  Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 1993.
  •  _____, “Whence Patton’s Military Genius?” Parameters 21 (Winter 1991-92),  pp. 60-73.