Patton famously wore an M-1 combat helmet with his rank stars sparkling on the front, which became a recognisable part of his persona, just like Monty and his beret. But the US general was also famed for his ivory-handled Colt .45 revolver, worn cowboy-style in a hip holster during the Second World War – a glitzy gun to match his flamboyant personality.
Another showy weapon with a Patton connection is being offered by Munich auction house Hermann Historica in its sale starting on April 14 and ending on May 6.
This ‘deluxe’ cavalry sword was presented to Patton, the commander of the Third Army at the invasion of Normandy, on the occasion of his promotion to four-star general on April 14, 1945.
The Model 1913 cavalry sword, referred to as the ‘Patton Saber’, has a double-edged, nickel-plated and fullered blade with the gilt inscription George S. Patton jr on both sides flanked by four general’s stars and framed by a chequered border.
This sword was designed by Patton himself, who was Second Lieutenant and Master of the Sword at the Mounted Service School at the time.
A keen runner and fencer, after taking part in the Olympic Games as a modern pentathlete in Stockholm in 1912 (where he earned fifth place), he travelled Europe with his family to meet the best swordsmen of the continent.
He studied diligently under fencing master M Cléry at the French Cavalry School in Saumur, published two fencing manuals – Saber Exercise 1914 and Diary of the Instructor in Swordmanship – and fashioned this new sword after the Napoleonic era French cuirassier sword.
It is expected to sell for around €12,500.
A Colt .45 acquired by Patton in c.1928 sold at Los Angeles saleroom Profiles in History in June 2015 for a premium-inclusive $75,000. The general was photographed carrying the weapon at least once – while dressed as Rhett Butler at a Gone with the Wind costume party which he attended with his wife, Beatrice (c.1941).
The revolver was owned by Patton’s grandson, historian and author, Robert H Patton, who was given the gun by his father, General George S Patton IV, about 30 years ago.
The saleroom stated that the gun is “often considered to be a version” of that famous ivory-handled Colt.45 from the Second World War, which currently resides on display at The General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Patton initially wore a pair of Colt .45s, but gave one of them to a Hollywood star he admired. He replaced it with a 3½in Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum.