Patton's Way

A Radical Theory of War
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Binding:Hardback
Published:June 15, 2017

Patton’s Way is a unique approach to the legend of General George S. Patton Jr. and his development and application of modern warfare. Rather than a biography, Patton’s Way argues that popular representations of Patton are built on misconceptions and incomplete understandings about his approach to battle.

Morningstar addresses the contradiction between the historiographical criticism of Patton’s methods and popular appreciation for his successes. Patton’s Way is a unique approach to the legend of General George S. Patton Jr. and his development and application of modern warfare. Rather than a biography, Patton’s Way argues that popular representations of Patton are built on misconceptions and incomplete understandings about his approach to battle.

The secret to Patton’s success was a radical and purposely-crafted doctrine developed over several decades. The author identifies four core principles in Patton’s creed: targeting the enemy’s morale through shock; utilizing highly practiced combined arms mechanized columns; relying on mission tactics and flexible command and control; and employing multi-layered and synthesized intelligence systems to identify enemy capabilities and weak spots. These precepts directly contradicted official U.S. Army doctrine and created misunderstandings that led commanders to truncate Patton’s operations in Tunisia, Sicily, and France.

Morningstar details how Patton developed and applied each principle and uses the breakout from Normandy as a case study to illustrate Patton’s Way in application. This book discusses the “death and resurrection” of Patton’s ideas in the U.S. Army directly following World War II to the present and comments on the status of Patton’ ideas in the Army today.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Strategy, Tactics, Operations
  • Hardback : 352 pages
  • Illustrations: 22 bw photos
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (June 15, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1612519792
  • ISBN-13: 9781612519791
  • Product Dimensions: 6.15 X 9.25 in
  • Shipping Weight: 28.48 oz
Praise
  • "[Morningstar] reminds us that command is a hands-on exercise, best conducted by well trained, free thinking professionals, whilst cautioning against thinking, as did one recently popular amateur historian, that Patton and the Third Army could settle the Middle East in a trice." —Strategy Page
  • “Morningstar has crafted a volume that is clearly a fresh and intriguing look at Patton…an extremely focused volume that is true scholarship on the man. Patton’s Way is unquestionably a welcome addition to the ever-increasing collection of books written on Patton.” —Military Review
  • “Morningstar offers a decidedly admiring examination of Patton’s generalship that will be of interest to many students of the history of the U.S. Army in the twentieth century . . . and World War II in particular.” —Journal of Military History
  • “Morningstar brilliantly puts Patton back in thought in the evolution of American strategic and tactical concepts. He is full of reflections on the war…. This book is to advise all those who are interested in strategy and tactics.” —Politique étrangère
  • “To most historians, George Patton’s legacy died with him at the end of World War II. Thankfully, James Kelly Morningstar has resurrected and brought Patton into the modern era. I’ve always suspected that Patton’s long shadow is with us still. Morningstar proves it with brilliant scholarship and an amazingly contemporaneous thesis that makes Patton’s genius relevant to today’s generation of soldiers.” —MAJ. GEN. ROBERT SCALES, USA (RET.), author of Scales on War: The Future of America’s Military at Risk
  • Patton’s Way is a compelling and thought-provoking study of Patton’s leadership and his revolutionary methods of planning and preparing for war—and how, since his untimely death in 1945, his ideas and principles have continued to have an influential impact on the Army’s post-war leaders.” —CARLO D’ESTE, author of Patton: A Genius for War
  • “Morningstar makes a comprehensive and persuasive case for Patton’s development of an approach to war-making based on ‘shock and awe’ intelligence that focuses on weaknesses; planning that targets morale; execution that emphasizes initiative. . . . Anomalous in a World War II Army based on management, inapplicable to a current emphasis on counterinsurgency, Patton’s Way is no panacea. It remains, however, a powerful instrument of conventional land war—which remains a factor in the new century.” —DENNIS SHOWALTER, professor of history and past president of the Society for Military History, and author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century
  • Patton’s Way is a must read for any U.S. or allied course that deals with leader development! West Pointer, combat veteran, and teacher, James Kelly Morningstar has done superb primary research to make this a must-have addition for any officer or leader development program, as well as for any scholar of warfare. . . . Patton had it right; if the U.S. Army had listened to him, the war in North Africa, Sicily, and Europe might have been won faster and at less cost. This book is so well written and researched that I am going to read it again!” —MAJ. DONALD E. VANDERGRIFF, USA (RET.), author of The Path to Victory: America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs

JAMES KELLY MORNINGSTAR is a twenty-year Army veteran who served in the Gulf War and in a wide range of assignments including tours in Germany, Bosnia, Washington, D.C., and at the National Training Center. He is a West Point graduate and now teaches military history at the University of Maryland. This is his first book.

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