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    General Patton signs an "Efficiency Report" on Omar Bradley

    George S. Patton Typed Report Signed "G. S. Patton, Jr." as "Lieutenant General, U.S.A., Commanding." Two pages, 8" x 10.5", separate sheets. Headquarters Seventh Army, September 12, 1943. To the Adjutant General, War Department, Washington, D.C., "Subject: Efficiency Report." The first page is a photocopy; the second, the signature page, is the original. In full:

    "1. Name and Grade of General Officer reported on: Omar N. Bradley, 03807, Lieutenant General Inf. 2. Period covered by report: 1 July 1943 to 8 September 1943 - 2 Months, 8 days. 3. a. Duties performed during period: Commanding General, II Corps, 1 July 1943 to 8 September 1943. b. Manner of performance: Superior. 4. Physical activity: Superior. 5. Physical endurance: Superior. 6. Knowledge of his profession: Superior. 7. For what command or duty would you specially recommend him? An Army. 8. What opportunities have you had for observing him during period covered? Intimate daily contact. [on second page] 9. Does he render willing and generous support to plans of superiors regardless of personal views in the matter? Yes. 10. Of all general officers of his grade personally known to you, what number would you give him on this list and how many comprise your list? Number 2. I know 12. 11. Further remarks deemed necessary: I consider him not only a great soldier, but an utterly loyal friend."

    Serving under General Patton in North Africa, Major General Omar N. Bradley became head of II Corps in April 1943 and directed them in the final battles in April and May. On June 9, 1943, he was promoted to lieutenant general. One month later, Lieutenant General Patton led the U.S. 7th Army, and Bradley and his II Corps, in the invasion of Sicily. By July 22nd, the Americans had captured Palermo and reached Messina on August 17th after the Germans had evacuated the island. On September 8, 1943, Italy surrendered. The period covered in Patton's report on Bradley covers Bradley military efficiency during this period.

    George S. Patton Jr. died in Germany on December 21, 1945, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. In 1947, Patton's family gathered his diary and other notes and published them as War As I Knew It. No doubt, Patton never expected his diary would be seen by eyes other than his own. Privately, what did he think about his colleague, Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley? From his diary: "His success is due to his lack of backbone and subservience to those above him. I will manage without him. In fact, I always have; even in Sicily he had to be carried." What did Bradley later write about Patton in his 1983 autobiography? From A General's Life: "It may be a harsh thing to say, but I believe it was better for George Patton and his professional reputation that he died when he did. . . . In time he would have become a boring parody of himself - a decrepit, bitter, pitiful figure, unwittingly debasing the legend."

    In this report, when asked "For what command or duty would you specially recommend him?", Patton simply replied, "An Army." Shortly thereafter, Bradley was selected to command the 1st U.S. Army in the Normandy invasion and was designated Commanding General, 1st U.S. Army Group. He later took command of the 12th U.S. Army Group, the largest single command ever held by an American general officer. Patton was also asked to rank "all general officers of his grade," lieutenant general. Patton ranks Bradley "2" out of "12." This answer is worthy of further research. Patton's close friend since 1920, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had received his fourth star in February, so he was no longer a lieutenant general. Who was Patton's number 1?

    On September 24, 1943, Major General E. S. Hughes signed on the second page attesting that "This report has been read by the Theater Commander who concurs." The second original page has two file holes near the upper edge and is in fine condition. Rarely does a collector get to read, much less own, a general's opinion, during wartime, of the military ability and competence of a fellow general, each of whom greatly contributed to the military history of the United States.


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    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
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