10 Aug: The Slap Heard Around The World

Whilst visiting traumatised U.S. soldiers in an evacuation hospital on 10th August, 1943, General George S. Patton encountered a man he believed to be a coward. So he slapped him in the face with his gloves, and waved a pistol in his face.

On Eisenhower’s insistence, Patton apologised to the soldier, but never exhibited genuine remorse for his actions. He wrote in his diary, ‘It is rather a commentary on justice when an Army commander has to soft-soap a skulker to placate the timidity of those above’.

In this episode, Rebecca, Olly and Arion question the motives of ‘Old Blood and Guts’; reveal Patton’s attitude to Jews after the Holocaust; and play a round of ‘Patton Quote Bingo’… 

Further Reading:

• ‘I Won’t Have Cowards in My Army’ (‘Patton’, 1970):

• General Patton’s speech in Boston, Massachusetts (Critical Past, 1945):


• ‘10 Things You May Not Know About George Patton’ (HISTORY, 2014):


The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.