"Poignant . . . Well worth the read." —Wall Street Journal
In December 1944, Frank Sisson deployed to Europe as part of General George S. Patton’s famed Third Army. Over the next six months, as the war in Europe raged, Sisson would participate in many of World War II’s most consequential events, from the Battle of the Bulge to the liberation of Dachau. Now 95 years old, Frank shares his remarkable story of life under General Patton for the first time.
Frank Sisson grew up in rural Oklahoma during the Great Depression. His father died when Frank was young, and so in 1944, at age eighteen, Frank, like so many other young men across America, enlisted in the Army and was deployed to France. At a traffic intersection one day, Frank caught his first glimpse of the man who would control the next six months of Frank’s deployment, and whose lessons, and spirit, would shape the rest of Frank’s life. General Patton could be erratic and short-tempered—but he was also a brilliant military tactician and cared deeply for the men who served under him, a credo that gave Frank and his fellow soldiers solace as they faced death every day. In this gritty, intimate account, Frank reveals what life on the ground was really like in the closing days of World War II.
After the war, Frank continued to serve in the army as a military police inspector in Berlin. When he finally returned home, he attended college and built a career in business. Like many members of the Greatest Generation, he was often reluctant to share his stories of the war, in all their glory, and terror. He was content to live and work in the nation he had fought to protect, an embodiment of the American Dream.
Patton, on the other hand, would not live to see the postwar world he helped create. In December 1945, less than a year after the conclusion of the war, he tragically died following a car accident. Now, seventy-five years later, Frank Sisson’s remarkable reminiscences provide a fresh, unique look at Patton’s leadership, the final days of World War II and its direct aftermath, and the experience of combat on the front lines.
WWII veteran Sisson recounts his wartime experiences in this spirited yet familiar memoir. A farm boy from Weleetka, Okla., Sisson dropped out of high school to help support his family after his father's death. Drafted when he turned 18, Sisson shipped off to Europe in 1944 as a member of the Tenth Armored Division in Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army. His job was to string communication wires between observation points and the artillery, and to repair the wires when they were cut by German soldiers. Most of the book's anecdotes about Patton are well-worn and add little to his legend. Still, Sisson narrates his battlefield observations and close scrapes with death in aerial assaults and artillery shelling with verve, and renders his dialogues with fellow soldiers in charmingly folksy vernacular ("When Patton took the command," a Texan soldier tells Sisson, "he started the Third Army kicking them German's asses like slapping fleas on a dog. Them Nazis didn't know what hit 'em"). In the book's most intriguing sections, Sisson details his experiences as a military police investigator in Berlin after the war and his return home to the U.S. WWII buffs will welcome this comforting snapshot of the Greatest Generation in action.
I marched with Patton
Read first half, then got boring and repetitive. Same crap, different place/day. Gave up. Save your money.