Newly digitised diaries from General Patton and Pershing details their personal thoughts

Patton journal
One of George S. Patton’s entries. Library of Congress

In honour of the upcoming centennial of the US’s entry into the first World War, the Library of Congress has made available online several personal notes of two of America’s greatest generals.

The diaries belonging to John J. Pershing, the commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, and George S. Patton, a WWI tank commander and famous World War II general.

The now digitised journals offer a public view into the inner thoughts of the two men.

Pershing’s diaries describes his command of the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I and onwards, while Patton’s diaries ranges from the Mexican Punitive Expedition all the way to WWII.

Also contained within their notes — which span the late-1800s to the late-1900s — are speeches, maps, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photos, and other noteworthy memorabilia.

Their respective entries also yield humorous insight into the men’s natures, as in the case of Patton’s entry on September 7, 1918:

“Went to 42 Maj Murphy G3. Found that they had adopted my plan in total. Thought Col Hughes less of an arse.”

Pershing was instrumental in leading the fight towards the eventual armistice with Germany during WWI, after having driller the US’s nascent military into a capable fighting force.

Patton, who was one of Pershing’s aide-de-camps, is probably best known for his relentless and strict military bearing that made him the WWII legend he is today.

Check out Pershing’s and Patton’s collection from the Library of Congress.

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