The following was kindly provided by Captain T.W. Forrest of the D.C. Army National Guard.
Professional Officer Development Readings
Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
As soldiers it is our duty to continue are professional development by reading. General George S. Patton, Jr. (1885-1945), was known for his study and reading of military history. In 1952, his widow, Beatrice Patton, provided a list of his favorite books for an issue of Armor magazine (Patton, Beatrice Ayer, "A Soldier's Reading," Armor 61 (November-December 1952, pp. 10-11). I provide it to you for your professional development:
- Maxims of Frederick the Great
- Maxims of Napoleon, and all the authoritative military biographies of Napoleon
- Commentaries, Julius Caesar
- Treatises by von Treitchke, and von Clausewitz
- Memoirs of General the Baron de Marbot, and de Fezansec, a colonel under Napoleon
- Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, Creasy
- Charles XII of Sweden, Klingspor
- The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Vols 1, 2, 3) (Vols 4, 5, 6), Gibbon
- Strategicon, Marcus and Spaulding
- The Prince, Machiavelli
- The Crowd, Le Bon
- A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages, Oman
- The Influence of Sea Power Upon History,, Mahan
- Stonewall Jackson, Henderson
- Memoirs of U. S. Grant, and those of McClellan
- Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, R. E. Lee, and Lee's Lieutenants, Freeman
- Years of Victory and Years of Endurance, Bryant
- Gallipoli, Hamilton
- Thucydides' Military History of Greece
- Memoirs of Ludendorff, von Hindenburg and Foch
- Genghis Khan, Alexander, Lamb
- Alexander, Weigall
- The Home Book of Verse
- Anything by Winston Churchill
- Kipling, complete
- Anything by Liddle Hart
- Anything by J. F. C. Fuller, especially 'Generalship: Its Diseases and Their Cure'
She also explained that during WW II, Patton read about the areas in which he fought and for an understanding of tactics. For example:
- The Normans in Sicily, Knight
- The Greatest Norman Conquest, Osborne
- The History of the Norman Conquest of England, five volumes by Freeman
- Caesar's Gallic War
- Infantry Attacks, Rommel
For further study in the importance of professional reading and how it can shape a soldier I recommend the following:
- Dietrich, Steve E. "The Professional Reading of General George S. Patton, Jr." Journal of Military History 53 (October 1989)
- Nye, Roger H., The Patton Mind: The Professional Development of an Extraordinary Leader. Garden City, N.Y.: Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 1993.
- _____, "Whence Patton's Military Genius?" Parameters 21 (Winter 1991-92), pp. 60-73.