Message from George Patton to US 5th Infantry Division

17 Nov 1945


Office of the Commanding General
A P O 408

17 November, 1945

To the Officers and Men of the Fifth Infantry Division:

Nothing I can say can add to the glory which you have achieved.

Throughout the whole advance across France you spearheaded the attack of your Corps. You crossed so many rivers that I am persuaded many of you have web feet and I know that all of you have dauntless spirit. To my mind history does not record incidents of greater valor than your assault crossings of the Sauer and the Rhine.

Concerning the former operation, I showed the scene of your glorious exploit to a civilian for whom I have the highest esteem. After looking at it for some time he said, "I did not believe there was enough courage in the world to achieve such a victory." Knowing the Fifth Infantry Division, I was sure you would achieve it and you did.

Now that peace has been re-established I am sure all of you will continue through the remainder of your lives to stand for those great qualities of America which in war you so magnificently demonstrated.

with affectionate regards and sincere congratulations, I am, as ever,

Your devoted commander,


Source: Michael Bilder, A Foot Soldier for Patton
Added By: C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
12 Aug 2020 08:23:18 PM

My father was a leutenant in the 5th division. He received silver and bronze star and 2 purple hearts. He is 99 years old. Still mentally sharp getting around on a walker.
Did not speak of the war for 40 years but opened up some since then.

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Associated Figure(s):
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Associated Event(s):
» Crossing the Rhine

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"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935