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New Book Offers Glimpse Into Patton’s Rise

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AUSA
Friday, November 15, 2019

Author Jon Mikolashek recently presented a glimpse into his most recent book—Blood, Guts, and Grease: George S. Patton in World War I—and one of the Army’s most notable historical leaders. 

“He’s provided a real service to us through this book,” retired Lt. Gen. Guy Swan, vice president of Education for the Association of the U.S. Army, said of the author during the Institute of Land Warfare’s Lemnitzer Lecture on Nov. 13. 

Blood, Guts, and Grease dives into Patton’s exploits as a relatively junior but ambitious Army officer. Because of his family’s wealth and influence, Patton was able to join Gen. John Pershing’s American Expeditionary Forces—an assignment that would not only make Pershing his mentor, but also catapult his military career as the first tanker in the Army.

“It’s an interesting glimpse into life as a junior officer in the days leading up to the First World War and during the First World War,” Swan said.

Mikolashek wrote Blood, Guts, and Grease as Patton’s early career biography. The author shared insights into the people, experiences and characteristics—good and bad—that shaped Patton’s career as he rose in rank and command during World War I. 

“To him, the war was all about getting that Medal of Honor,” said Mikolashek, a history professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and American Military University.

“When the war ends, Patton’s upset, and this is one of the darker sides of him,” he said. “He wanted the war to continue. He wanted that medal.”

Mikolashek previously worked as a historian in the Contemporary Studies Branch of the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.