A Grave Mistake: The Story of Patton's "Abandoned Rear"


Lieut. Col. George S. Patton, Jr., 1st Tank Battalion, and a French Renault tank, in Bourg, France, summer 1918. Public Domain

When George S. Patton decided to found a tank training school in the tiny French village of Bourg, the mayor approached him in tears. "An American soldier has died here," said the mayor, "and I would like to lead you to his grave." Patton followed the lachrymose politician to the grave site -- but he wasn't prepared for what he would find.