Oliver Kamm: Was Patton assassinated on government orders?

Roundup: Talking About History

For a few years I played a minuscule supporting role in Martin Bell's parliamentary representation for the Tatton constituency in Cheshire, where the MP is now George Osborne. One point I recall well is the prominence in local history of General George Patton. Patton and the American Third Army were based in and around the town of Knutsford in 1944. Patton is still referred to by the residents - after the beautiful nearby house of Tatton Park - as Patton of Tatton.

Well, the Telegraph reported yesterday:"George S. Patton, America's greatest combat general of the Second World War, was assassinated after the conflict with the connivance of US leaders, according to a new book."

The author of the story at least has the grace, or perhaps the defensiveness, to add that"the scenario sounds far fetched but...". But there are no buts. This madcap conspiracy theory will doubtless even now be making the rounds of 9/11 Truth sites, and as it's unfalsifiable - and the principal supposed witness is dead and can't be questioned - you may expect it to come round and round again. I'm fortunate to number among my correspondents several leading historians of the American campaign in WWII. They wish you to know that this story is baloney.

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