The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man… Thomas Robert MALTHUS

All About Lieutenant General, Army of The United States George Smith Patton, Jr. (04)…

„The high spirit of sportsmanship and generosity manifested throughout speaks volumes for the character of the officers of the present day. There was not a single incident of a protest or any unsportsmanlike quibbling or fighting for points which I may say, marred some of the other civilian competitions at the Olympic Games. Each man did his best and took what fortune sent them like a true soldier, and at the end we all felt more like good friends and comrades than rivals in a severe competition, yet this spirit of friendship in no manner detracted from the zeal with which all strove for success.”

Patton at Virginia Military Institute

Patton attended Virginia Military Institute for one year, where he rushed VMI’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order. He then transferred to theUnited States Military Academy. The Academy compelled him to repeat his first „plebe” year because of his poor performance in mathematics. He repeated his plebe year with honors and was appointed Cadet Adjutant (the second highest position for a cadet), eventually graduating in 1909 instead of 1908 and receiving his commission as a cavalry officer.
Patton participated in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm in the first-ever modern pentathlon. He placed sixth out of 37 contestants in 300 meter freestyle swimming. Patton was third out of 29 fencers. In the equestrian cross-country steeplechase, he was among the three riders who turned in perfect performances, but he placed third because of his time. Patton „hit the wall” 50 yards (46 m) from the finish line of the four kilometer cross-country footrace, then fainted after crossing the line at a walk. He finished third out of 15 contestants. He finished fifth overall

In pistol shooting, Patton placed 20th out of 32 contestants. He used a .38 caliber pistol, while most of the other competitors chose .22 caliber firearms. He claimed that the holes in the paper from early shots were so large that some of his later bullets passed through them, but the judges decided he missed the target completely once. Modern competitions on this level frequently now employ a moving background to specifically track multiple shots through the same hole. There was much controversy, but the judges’ ruling was upheld. Patton neither complained, nor made excuses. Patton’s only comment was:

„The high spirit of sportsmanship and generosity manifested throughout speaks volumes for the character of the officers of the present day. There was not a single incident of a protest or any unsportsmanlike quibbling or fighting for points which I may say, marred some of the other civilian competitions at the Olympic Games. Each man did his best and took what fortune sent them like a true soldier, and at the end we all felt more like good friends and comrades than rivals in a severe competition, yet this spirit of friendship in no manner detracted from the zeal with which all strove for success.”

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