God of Our Fathers

From Patton’s speech to  he Second Armored Division, December 1941:


I shall be delighted to lead you against any enemy, confident in the fact that your disciplined valor and high training will bring vic-tory.

Put your heart and soul into being expert killers with your weap-ons. The only good enemy is a dead enemy. Misses do not kill, but a bullet in the heart or a bayonet in the guts do. Let every bullet find its billet—it is the body of your foes. . . . Battle is not a terrifying ordeal to be endured. It is a magnificent experience wherein all the elements that have made man superior to the beasts are present: courage, self-sacrifice, loyalty, help to others, devotion to duty.

Remember that these enemies, whom we shall have the honor to destroy, are good soldiers and stark fighters. To beat such men, you must not despise their ability, but you must be confident in your own superiority. . . . Remember too that your God is with you.

God of our Fathers, known of old,

Lord of our far-flung battle-line,

Beneath whose awful Hand we hold

Dominion over palm and pine 

The earth is full of anger,

The seas are dark with wrath,

The Nations in their harness

Go up against our path:

Ere yet we loose the legions—

Ere yet we draw the blade,

Jehovah of the Thunders,

Lord God of Battles, aid!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

E’en now their vanguard gathers,

E’en now we face the fray—

As Thou didst help our fathers,

Help Thou our host today!

Fulfilled of signs and wonders,

In life, in death made clear—

Jehovah of the Thunders,

Lord God of Battles, hear!

This article is part of our larger selection of posts about the George S. Patton. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to General Patton. 

This article is from the book Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer © 2012 by Michael Keane. Please use this data for any reference citations. To order this book, please visit its online sales page at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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