George Patton next to a M3 light tank, possibly in California, United States, 1942

Caption   George Patton next to a M3 light tank, possibly in California, United States, 1942 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
More on...   
M3 Stuart   Main article  Photos  
George Patton   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 7 Jun 2007

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
29 Sep 2007 02:21:17 AM

I wasnt aware that the M2 Light tank had been employed in Tunisia (Although I recall a few seeing action on Guadacanal). Can you provide more information.
2. Bob Kunkel says:
19 Aug 2011 11:52:30 AM

The tank is an early model M3. The M2 did not have the trailing idler wheel, the M3 did have it, and a much better cross country ride because of it.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Apr 2015 07:12:54 PM


During 1942 California desert training Major General Patton (two stars) used a Stuart Light Tank, (this name was given by the British) as his personal command vehicle, as seen in the background. The Stuart was armed w/ 1 x 37mm gun,
1 x .50 caliber machine gun w/1800 rounds and as
many as 5 x .30 caliber M1919 machine guns w/8470 rounds of ammo.


The General is using the M1938 Field Compass this was used in measuring direction & land navigation


Check out the leather tanker helmet and goggles,
field jacket, field trousers, field glasses, compass holster, side arm is a revolver unable to identify and lace up leather boots.

Patton perfected lightning fast armored warfare
continued advances. His message to the troops
"Shoot and keep on shooting" Always advance take the offensive, never dig in his fast type of mobile operations, gave enemy forces little time to regroup "Hit him and keep hitting him" never let up.


Carlo D' Este
ISBN: 0-06-016455-7
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
26 Apr 2015 01:41:57 PM


Continued from Comment #3, 25 Apr 2015 looking at file photo General Patton could be packing a .22
Caliber Pistol. What other side arms did the General carry let's check it out.


Colt Woodsmen Semi-Automatic .22 Cal. Pistol
Colt Pocket Semi-Automatic Pistol .32 Cal.
Colt Hammerless Semi-Automatic .380 Cal.
Colt Detective Special Revolver .38 Cal.
Colt M1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol .45 Cal. ACP
Remington Model 51 Semi-Automatic Pistol .380

Carried Government M1911 .45 Automatic during his Mexico Adventure, and a .45 M1911 during WWI


Colt Single-Action Army Model 1873 .45 Cal. with those ivory grips. Did you know, he had two .45s
but gave one away to a Hollywood star because he admired the courage to entertain front-troops.
It was replaced with a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum
revolver. The .45 holstered on his right, the
.357 holstered on his left.
Did you know being a General Officer, Patton was able to design his own uniform along with wearing his revolvers and pistols as he so desired.
President Truman met General Patton and made a comment that he never saw so many stars, and counted "Twenty-eight" of them!


I thank the editor/ww2db for his generous support
in bringing as much information as I can to this data base...

Its been a great day I'm going to watch "PATTON"
and the "LAST DAYS OF PATTON" on DVD...until next time
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 May 2015 06:55:05 PM


After WWII George Patton returned to the rank of Captain from his wartime rank of Lt. Col., However
he was promoted to Major the following day he had to endure the peace time US Army.


Patton served at different military posts and continued to develop armored tactics reading foreign military Journals and the development of the tank.
Patton tested experiments with radios, tactics,
co-invented the co-axial machine guns and turret mounted guns, trained crews to service and repair vehicles in the field.


Patton's MIA1 Light Tank, had Red, White, Blue and Yellow stripes on the turret during the Tennessee Maneuvers of 1941. Patton was always in view of his troops leading his tanks. During WWII
his troops never held ground and advanced on the enemy
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 May 2015 07:00:10 PM


Patton returned from WWI not WWII a Captain. His wartime rank was Lt. Col. but was promoted to Major the following day. have to start proof reading again. Sometimes I type way too fast
7. Robert Kunkel says:
15 Apr 2021 06:37:30 AM

The tank in the photo is an M3 light tank. The give away is the rear trailing idler giving the track greater ground contact than the M2. This made for a better ride cross country.
8. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
15 Apr 2021 01:18:15 PM

Robert Kunkel (above):
After a little more comparison of photos & specs, I concur that this is an M3. The caption and links have been amended accordingly. Thank you for pointing this out.

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