During the Christmas season in 1944, George Patton and his command of the Third Army was racing to Bastogne, Belgium in order to free 15,000 American troops surrounded by 50,000 Germans. Patton had volunteered for the mission and promised that he could relieve the forces there in just three days. No one in the staff meeting would believe him but he was allowed to proceed anyway.
After two days, Patton was trying to go the distance to Bastogne but a heavy downpour hindered his tanks and prevented air cover to protect the besieged troops. So, what did Patton do? He ordered a chaplain, Fr. James O’Neill to compose a prayer asking for good weather. Unbelievably, the rain unexpectedly stopped and Patton liberated the troops on Dec 26th, 1944.
Patton had O’Neill make up cards for all 250,000 under his command and added his own Christmas wish for them.
Patton cursed like a sailor but was a devout Christian who prayed everyday as well as reading from the Bible. He was an enigma, but he was also a true American hero.