Lema E.

asked • 04/16/20

PLEASE HELP ASAP!! do you agree with Patton's evaluation of the best way to resist Soviet aggression? Why or why not?

1 Expert Answer

By:

Tom M.

I agree in principle with this thorough analysis. However, I would refute the idea that Patton wanted to precipitate an all out war with Russia at the end of the war. It was an unusual situation. Russia would soon transition from a nominal ally near the end of the war to a rival. Stalin, the leader of Russia, was an irrational dangerous tyrant. It had been suggested that he caused more death in total than did Hitler. I believe Patton correctly foresaw that the Soviets would move in and occupy most of eastern Europe: Poland, East Germany, Hungary, etc... He was right. After the failed appeasement lesson from 1939, when the British learned that Hitler could not be stopped, I think Patton believed the only way to conduct any type of diplomacy with Stalin was to demonstrate this through the show of force. Cynically, it has been suggested that President Truman dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski at the end of WW II not only to end the war with the Japanese, but also to not so subtly frighten the Russians who had not yet developed the bomb. Did Patton really want to start WW III? Probably not. Was Patton tough and crude at times? Yes. Did he think Stalin would listen to reason and engage in rational diplomacy? I would guess Patton thought no to that one. I think Patton realized that Stalin responded to force and that Patton was posturing. Was Patton right? He died in a jeep accident right at the end of the war and we will never be able to ask him directly. Patton once did joke, "Do you know how smart I have to be in order to pretend to be so stupid?"
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04/17/20

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