After the end of the Second World War, general George S. Patton said that America defeated the wrong enemy.

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I've heard that he wanted America to ally National Socialist Germany in order to destroy the U.S.S.R.

Is this true? If so, what do you think of his opinion?


From General Patton by Hirshson, it's fairly evident that Patton distrusted the Soviets and thought the US should shift its attention to them - militarily, not just diplomatically/strategically.

His infamous quote re: the Russians/Soviets was:

The difficulty in understanding the Russian is that we do not take cognisance of the fact that he is not a European, but an Asiatic, and therefore thinks deviously.

From C. Province's The Unknown Patton, he also was quoted as saying the following, when speaking about the Allied forces liberating Europe:

I'll say this; the Third Army alone with very little help and with damned few casualties, could lick what is left of the Russians in six weeks. You mark my words. Don't ever forget them... Someday we will have to fight them and it will take six years and cost us six million lives.

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Some more of the relevant diary entry:

August 8

According to the Bishop, more than two million Poles have been taken to Russia for slave labor.


The difficulty in understanding the Russian is that we do not take cognizance of the fact that he is not a European but an Asiatic and therefore thinks deviously. We can no more understand a Russian than a Chinaman or a Japanese and, from what I have seen of them, I have no particular desire to understand them except to ascertain how much lead or iron it takes to kill them. In addition to his other amiable characteristics, the Russian has no regard for human life and is an all out son of a bitch, a barbarian, and a chronic drunk.

Another pair of earlier diary entries, written only days after Germany's unconditional surrender:

14 May

I have never seen in any army at any time, including the German Imperial Army of 1912, as severe discipline as exists in the Russian army. The officers with few exceptions give the appearance of recently civilized Mongolian bandits. The men passed in review with a very good imitation of the goose step. They give me the impression of something that is to be feared in future world political reorganization.

18 May

In my opinion, the American Army as it now exists could beat the Russians with the greatest of ease, because while the Russians have good infantry, they are lacking in artillery, air, tanks, and in the knowledge of the use of the combined arms’ whereas we excel in all three of these. If it should be necessary to fight the Russians, the sooner we do it the better.

Eisenhower and Bradley were somewhat worried about the attitude of the soldiers. Personally, I don’t think the soldier cares... so well disciplined and so patriotic he will fight anywhere he is told to fight, and do a good job. I believe that by taking a strong attitude, the Russians will back down. So far we have yielded too much to their Mongolian nature.

Also, some extracts from letters to his wife, Beatrice:

21 July 1945

I left here at 0630 and got there in two hours and a half. We could have gone faster but for the fact that if one flies over Russian occupied territory, they shoot at you – nice friends.


The Mongols are a bad lot, even the U.S. sector has their guards in it , and I had to have a pass. However, I did not need it. I just pointed to my medal and the world was mine…

Berlin gave me the blues. We have destroyed what could have been a good race and we about to replace them with Mongolian savages. And all Europe will be communist.

It’s said that for the first week after they took it, all women who ran were shot and those who did not were raped. I could have taken it had I been allowed.

31 August 1945

The stuff in the papers about fraternization is all wet... All that sort of writing is done by Jews to get revenge. Actually the Germans are the only decent people left in Europe. It’s a choice between them and the Russians. I prefer the Germans.

cf. a diary entry of the same date:

I also wrote a letter to the Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson, on the question of the pro-Jewish influence in the Military Government of Germany. I dared do this because when I was in Washington, he showed me a great deal of correspondence he had had with the Secretary of State and Mr. Morgenthau prior to the Quebec Conference.

2 September 1945

I had never heard that we fought to de-natzify Germany – live and learn. What we are doing is to utterly destroy the only semi-modern state in Europe so that Russia can swallow the whole.

14 September 1945

I was going to Nancy in the morning to become a citizen but Ike phoned he is coming here so I had best stay and see him. Perhaps I can make him see the menace of the M’s. They have 300,000 troops in Checo. now and are running 200,000 more in, and we are pulling out – getting the boys home by Xmas. It may well result in getting them back in the trenches by spring…

I am frankly opposed to this war criminal stuff. It is not cricket and is Semitic. I am also opposed to sending PW’s to work as slaves in foreign lands where many will be starved to death

All extracts taken from The Patton Papers, 1940–1945, edited by Martin Blumenson; emphasis mine.

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In short, he came in hindsight to regret that "Americans have destroyed in Europe the only sound country", thereby clearing the way "for the advent of Russian Communism" (Diary entry, 18 August).