& # 39; I can never look at one of our wounded soldiers or the corpses of one of our men without my eyes filling with tears and suffocating my throat, but we should not, as I often say, regret such Men have died, but rather we must thank God that such people have lived. & # 39;
These are the incredibly moving words of General George S. Patton, the famous tough leader who played a crucial role in American operations during the Second World War, in a newly discovered letter to the grieving mother of a young soldier who died in battle.
The rare piece of correspondence is part of a remarkable collection of war artifacts, first published by DailyMail.com and sold by memorabilia site, Momentsintime.com.
General Patton wrote the letter to Viola Reichstein in January 1944 after her desperate attempts to discover the fate of her son, soldier Sam Reichstein, who died at the age of 25 on September 21, 1943, after being on a land mine near Salerno , Italy had stepped.
In a newly discovered letter, first seen on DailyMail.com, US General George S Patton expresses his sincere condolences to Viola Reichstein months after her son died in the fight, saying that she should & # 39; are on the mother of one of our heroes & # 39;
The gripping letter from American General George S Patton to the grieving mother of WWII soldier, Private Sam Reichstein (right) was first published on DailyMail.com. Reichstein was 25 when he was killed after he stepped on a land mine near Salerno, Italy in September 1943 weeks after the Allied invasion of Italy
In a previous letter of December 5, 1943, General Patton responded to Mrs. Reichstein, who desperately tried to find out whether her son was still alive at this point
General Patton was known as a productive letter writer and kept diaries of his time in the front lines. His letter to Mrs. Reichstein was written from the headquarters of the Seventh Army, weeks before he became commander of the Third Army
Reichstein's death came just a few weeks after the Allied invasion of Italy, where joint operations pushed down the Nazi forces and secured the south of the country.
Patton, remembered as one of the greatest generals in military history, bared his emotions as he tried to comfort a grieving mother, thousands of miles away in the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania.
& # 39; It is completely useless to try to comfort someone for the loss of a son, but I think you should be proud to be the mother of one of our heroes who gave his life in defense of his country & # 39 ;, he wrote.
He signed: & # 39; With renewed expressions of sympathy & # 39 ;.
Private Reichstein, the son of Viola and Ulysses S. Reichstein, entered service on March 21, 1941.
Patton & # 39; s letter was written to Mrs. Reichstein from the headquarters of the seventh army on January 12, 1944, shortly before taking command of the third army.
The Third Army played an important role in battles in France and Germany in the months following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.
Patton was a fruitful letter writer and keeper of diaries during his four decades at the front, and his colorful speeches, often peppered with blasphemy, inspired great loyalty among his troops.
He was born in San Gabriel, California, in 1885, into a military family whose members had served in both the US and US Army.
He went to the American Military Academy in West Point, where he was known as a poor student but an outstanding athlete who would represent the US in the pentathlon during the 1912 Olympic Games in Sweden.
His first combat tour was during the Pancho Villa expedition in 1916 and shortly thereafter he joined the US tank corps in the First World War. He was wounded in France while leading tanks in battle.
Between the war years he climbed steadily through the ranks and when America joined the Allied effort in World War II, Patton was given command of the 2nd armored division.
Included in the archive, which is now for sale, is Private Reichstein & # 39; s Purple Heart, awarded to those who were killed or wounded in combat
Shown above is the silver label attached to Private Reichstein's body bag when shipped to the US
The rare collection, including Pvt Reichstein's dog tags (photo), is sold based on & # 39; first come, first served & # 39 ;, priced at $ 75,000 on the memorabilia website Momentsintime.com
He led troops during the invasion of Casablanca, Morocco in 1942 and then commanded the Seventh Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily.
With nicknames like & # 39; Bandito & # 39; and & # 39; Old Blood and Guts & # 39; he was known for his gray war dog person who did not own a truck with cowardice. He was temporarily removed from command after beating two grenade-shaking soldiers, but later returned to lead the Third Army in his push over France and Nazi Germany after the Normandy invasion in June 1944.
The following year, Patton died at the age of 60 after breaking his neck in a car accident in Germany.
He remains one of the best-known American war heroes after the release of the biographical war film, Patton, in 1970, which won seven Oscars.
Many of his letters and journal entries were published two years later as The Patton Papers and his portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery in DC.
The newly discovered letters from Patton are part of a wartime archive of the letters, telegrams and personal belongings of soldier Sam Reichstein, including his Purple Heart medal, WWII victory and defense medals, along with the dog tags that his body when it was shipped home to the US
The collection also includes Reichstein's two garrison caps, two small photographs, five war letters to his sister, and the personal address book that accompanied his personal belongings.
The archive is for sale based on & # 39; first come, first served & # 39 ;, priced at $ 75,000 at Momentsintime.com.
General Patton leads the American troops in 1944. He played an important role in early 1944 of American troops from Normandy through Brittany and northern France and released the troops in Bastogne in December of that year.
Patton played an important role in the push of the Third Army over France and Nazi Germany after the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Above he can be seen in Paris in 1945
Gary Zimet owns the site and has been trading in rare and sometimes bizarre memorabilia for four decades, including the vehicles in which rappers Tupac and Biggie Smalls were fatally shot, luring Marilyn Monroe & # 39; s hair and an original copy of Schindler & # 39; s List.
Zimet bought the Reichstein archive from a colleague who bought it from a military historian.
& # 39; This is the most remarkable war service military archive I have ever seen & # 39 ;, he told DailyMail.com.
Zimet said he could authenticate the items by using comparisons of Patton's signature and the envelope, part of the war department, with the stamp of the US Army.
The rare collection also contains the original envelope in which the letter was sent and signed: & # 39; Censored G. S. Patton Jr. Lt. Gen. & # 39;
An earlier letter from Patton, sent from the seventh army headquarters on December 5, 1943, tries to reassure Mrs. Reichstein while efforts are still being made to find her son.
At that time, Patton wrote: & # 39; Right now the 180th infantry is not under my command (Patton was taken over for the role), but I am attaching a copy of a letter that I have written and to which you will undoubtedly receive a answer.
Adjutant and Major General J. A. Ulio confirms the death of Sam Reichstein as a & # 39; consequence of injuries & # 39; in this letter to his mother in November 1943
Reichstein, who entered service in March 1941, had also won World War II medals
& # 39; However, to reassure you, I will declare that the War Department is very quick and accurate in reporting fatal wounds; I am therefore convinced that it is a good sign and that your son is probably well on the way to recovery, since you have not heard for three weeks.
& # 39; Trusting that I am right and with all good wishes to you as the Mother of an American soldier … & # 39;
Another letter from November 7, 1944 from Reichstein's staff sergeant to his mother is also part of the collection.
& # 39; I am writing to you this letter … because of a promise that I have made your son Smart, I was his platoon Sgt and finally was with him … So I keep my promise by writing you … he was the only man who followed me when taking a hill … & it is.
In a letter dated December 14, 1943 from his first sergeant, he wrote: & # 39; Sam was injured and sent to a hospital. I haven't heard from him since … & # 39;
There is also a copy of a letter dated December 5, 1943, sent through General Mark Clark with information about Reichstein, and a letter to Mrs. Reichstein from a General about White House letterhead stating that the war department had been notified to request to go.
A letter on November 26, 1943 from adjutant and major Gen. J. A. Ulio confirms Pvt. Reichstein's death to his mother.
Reichstein's draft message of March 1941 is also part of the archive, along with dozens of letters, documents and telegrams about localizing private life, notes from Jewish and other support groups, his insurance policies, his resting place in Italy, repatriation of his body and pensions.
An apology letter, for insulting Reichstein & # 39; s exclusion from the 180th yearbook of the 1945 Infantry, completes the collection.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news (t) Italy