GENERAL PATTON: BRITISH AND AMERICANS SHOULD RULE THE WORLD
>Even after the publication of the private diaries of the leaders, Patton's actions and reaction to him during this period are somewhat confusing. Patton's command of the FUSAG required a failed attempt at secrecy. One of Patton's major career crises occurred during this period. Called the "Knutsford Incident," Patton, at least, thought his career was at an end. Third Army Headquarters was located at Peover near Knutsford, England. Patton was asked to attend an opening of a Welcome Club for soldiers. He had declined to speak. However, once on the dais, he was introduced as a speaker. He made a few brief remarks and happened to say,
". . . it is the evident destiny of the British and Americans, and, of course, the Russians, to rule the world . . . "
The remarks hit the
newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic omitting the Russians thereby slighting
one of our allies. All witnesses to the event said he included the Russians.
Anthony Cave Brown, in Bodyguard of Lies, states that a
British Government representative named Mould "almost certainly" released
Patton's remarks to the media as part of the FUSAG deception. Eisenhower,
concentrating on invasion plans, seemed to be on the verge of relieving Patton.
What did Eisenhower know about details of the deception plan? There is some
indication that Patton had more detailed instructions from the British. Did
Patton's Third Army staff even know he was in command of FUSAG? Knowing his
antipathy to Montgomery, they blamed the British for the incident. The effect of
this was a break in what Patton considered one of his most important duties as
commander, being seen and speaking to all soldiers. Beginning in February, in
spite of a break from April 25 to May 17 because of the "Knutsford Incident,"
Patton managed to speak to and be seen by everyone in Third Army before landing
in Normandy in July.
Patton's speech to units within Third Army were directed to the private. It was directed in a language he thought would appeal to them. Appearing to be extemporaneous, the speech was actually a well rehearsed performance. The Patton Museum has several copies of the speech dating from March to May. Patton kept no record of the speech. Each was copied by someone in the audience. The variations in the text may have come from the recorder or Patton's variation in the presentation. With minor variations such as "toughest boxer" for "All American football teams" and cowards should die like "rats" or like "flies," each version of the speech is remarkably consistent.>