Killing Patton – a book review

For Christmas, my wife bought me a copy of Killing Patton, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. I had heard of this series of books, and had some interest. I really enjoy learning about History, and World War II is a part of History about which I know very little.

The book chronicles the events around the end of World War II in Europe. The characters in the book are some of the most influential and important men of the 20th century.

It’s always been a cliche to me to say that someone “couldn’t put a book down”, but I have to admit that it was the case with this one. I started reading it on Thursday, and ended up finishing it on Saturday. On that Saturday I probably read for about 4 or 5 hours.

My wife asked me if I “enjoyed” the book. I told her that honestly I couldn’t use the word “enjoy”. In somewhat graphic detail, events of war and the genocide that the Nazi’s perpetrated are laid out, as well as some of the atrocities committed by the advancing Russian army upon the people of Germany. I found parts of the book to be utterly disturbing. At the same time, I was riveted.

The book moves very fast. I found myself moving through that time of History with great speed, feeling the sense of urgency that the Battle of the Bulge, and other events had as they played out.

While O’Reilly and Dugard are quick to point out that they are not conspiracy theorists, the book does lead one to the conclusion that there was more than meets the eye in the circumstances of Patton’s death. His death came as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. On the one hand, the accident was just that – a tragic accident that ended up taking the life of an American hero. On the other, the accident was the result of a carefully laid out plan to assassinate Patton. I have no idea which is true, and likely no one ever will for sure.

If you have an interest in History, I would recommend this book.


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