Thursday, August 9, 2012

Patton on Corsica

Commander Kelly with Corsican T-shirt
Faithful readers of this blog will remember that The liberation of France in World War II did not begin with D-Day on June 6th 1944, but rather with the liberation of Corsica in the fall of 1943 (see earlier post Corsica and World War II, 5/28/12).  Shortly after leading American forces in the successful allied invasion of Sicily General George S. Patton was dispatched to Corsica.

George S. Patton
The military historian Carlo D'Este writes, "As part of an allied cover plan, Patton and several members of his staff were sent on a highly visible trip to Corsica to create the impression that he might be making preparations to lead an allied force behind the German lines in northern Italy.  Patton inspected many French and colonial formations and was ostentatiously seen inspecting a harbor and Napoleon's birthplace." Source: Patton: A Genius for War, 1995

Commander K. in front of Napoleon's birthplace in Ajaccio
Patton visited Napoleon's home in Ajaccio just as I did this past May (see earlier posts Corsica 5/28/12 and Napoleon and Corsica 5/29/12).  "He was shown the sofa upon which the emperor was born, Patton closed his hand loosely and rubbed his fingernails over the covering then with a twinkle in his eye, blew on them, 'Just for good luck'." (Source: Grandpa Gar: The Saga of One Soldier as Told to his Children, Lt. Gen. Garrison Davidson, 1974).

Commander Kelly says, "So now we know the secret to Patton's success with 3rd Army after Normandy!"

Note the bullet holes on the t-shirt in photo above with "Corse" crossed out and "Corsica" below.  The Corsicans are a fiercely independent people and many resent their "occupation" by the French.

You can now purchase Commander Kelly's 
first book, America Invades or on

No comments: