Spring Auction 2019 Sale 75
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2019
A very unusual typed document (unsigned), 1p. 4to., [n.p.], May 9, 1945, believed to be a typed draft of U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton's statement to his Third Army marking the end of World War II, lauding their conduct and sacrifices in their drive through Europe into Germany. The statement, dated one day after the unconditional surrender of German forces, is designated "General Orders Number 98" and addressed to "Soldiers of the Third Army, Past and Present". It reads, in small part: "During the 281 days of incessant and victorious combat, your penetrations have advanced farther in less time than any other army in history. You have fought your way across 24 major rivers and innumerable lesser streams. You have liberated or conquered more than 82,000 square miles of territory, including 1,500 cities and towns, and some 12,000 inhabited places. Prior to the termination of active hostilities, you had captured in battle 956,000 enemy soldiers and killed or wounded at least 500,000 others. France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia bear witness to your exploits... In proudly contemplating our achievements, let us never forget our heroic dead whose graves mark the course of our victorious advances, nor our wounded whose sacrifices aided so much in our success... The termination of fighting in Europe does not remove the opportunities for other outstanding and equally difficult achievements in the days which are to come. In some ways the immediate future will demand of you more fortitude than has the past because, without the inspiration of combat, you must maintain - by your dress, deportment, and efficiency - not only the prestige of the Third Army but also the honor of the United States. I have complete confidence that you will not fail." Patton's typed signature appears at the conclusion, with a second typed notation indicating the placement of his signature proper. The notation "Finished" appears in red indelible pencil at top right, with an additional red pencil notation "Co Tn E" at top left, significance unknown. This message was distributed to officers of the various regiments and divisions of the Third Army in the form of a mimeographed copy bearing Patton's facsimile signature at the conclusion, to be broadcast to the men of each unit, a photocopy of which is included with this lot. It is our belief that the draft presented here was typed by a member of Patton's immediate staff, likely as dictated by Patton himself, with his typed name at the conclusion indicating the intended placement of his facsimile signature on the mimeographed reproductions. The message shows some toning overall and small folds at the edges, else very good.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $260.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,062.50
Estimate: $500 - $700
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
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