On this day in auto history - December 21st

Mon 21st Dec 2020

It was on this day in 1945 that American war hero General George S. Patton tragically passed away from injuries sustained a car accident 12 days earlier.

The 60-year-old had sustained mortal neck and spinal injuries when riding as a passenger in a car which was hit by an American army truck whilst on a pheasant hunting trip on the outskirts of the German town of Speyer.

Patton - labelled “that crazy cowboy general" by Adolf Hitler - had earned worldwide fame for his efforts in World War II which had ended just months earlier. He is best remembered for his leadership of the U.S Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

Patton’s colourful image and success as a commander were at time overshadowed by his many controversial public statements which continue to divide opinions on him to this day.

In 1970, he was the subject of an epic biographical war film, Patton, which went on to win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and a Best Actor award for George C Scott.