August 3, 1943

On August 3, 1943, while visiting a military hospital tent during World War II, Lt. General George S. Patton encountered a soldier with no visible injuries. The soldier, 18-year-old Pvt. Charles H. Kuhl, had been tentatively diagnosed with psychoneurosis. When Patton asked him what was wrong with him, he told Patton that he couldn’t mentally handle the battle lines. “It’s my nerves,” he said. “I can hear the shells come over but I can’t hear them burst.” This made Patton so angry that he slapped him and called him a coward. As Patton was leaving the tent, he heard the soldier crying and rushed back and slapped him again and ordered him out of the tent. Turns out Kuhl was suffering from malaria and a high fever. Word got back to General Eisenhower and he almost removed Patton from command. Instead, he forced Patton to go back and publicly apologize to the soldier. That’s not a story you normally hear about Patton.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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