History Tip of the Day – April 28th

Drew Pearson reports Patton’s slapping incidents, November 21, 1943

During one week in August 1943, Patton assaulted two soldiers in field hospitals during his Italian campaign. Both victims were suffering shellshock. Patton slapped them and called them cowards.

Word of the incidents soon reaches Eisenhower, who upbraids Patton: “I must so seriously question your good judgment and your self-discipline as to raise serious doubts in my mind as to your future usefulness.” But that is to be the end of it. Eisenhower needs Patton’s tactical genius. However, despite Eisenhower’s best attempts at cover-up, the story is leaked to the press. NBC radio correspondent Drew Pearson announces the story to the nation. Public outrage leads Congress to call for Patton’s immediate dismissal.