Patton Pissing in the Rhine?

George S. Patton crossed the Rhine in March 1945 at Oppenheim, south of Frankfurt. While still on the pontoon bridge, the irrepressible American general heard the call of nature – and answered it.

And he was supposedly photographed doing so.

“Time out for a short halt to take a piss in the Rhine” was how Patton proclaimed his intentions, according to military historian and biographer Carlo D’Este. And the general then did what he said he would do.

D’Este notes that only “a single (unpublished) photograph exists of Patton urinating in the Rhine.”

This photograph, with Patton, left, apparently in classical army-approved urinating position, is often reproduced in contexts suggesting that the supposedly unpublished photograph (D’Este’s biography of Patton was published in 1995) has since been published. But it leaves open the question, as the British would say, ‘Where’s Willie?’

Better than a fire hydrant

Willie with some of his master’s belongings after Patton was killed in a road accident in December, 1945.

Willie is, of course, Patton’s beloved terrier whom the General described as his “second in command.”

And this Willie’s willie also used urination to make a personal statement. Patton had given Willie a bust of Hitler expressly for the dog to pee on.

As for Patton on the pontoon bridge, maybe my eyesight is declining, but if the dog has been there on the pontoon, I think I would be seeing only one Willie.

And why is the soldier with the camera turned away from the main event? Did Patton do a Churchill and give a no-pictures order?

5 thoughts on “Patton Pis

  1. G. E. A.

    My understanding is the ones with the stamp on the back are more valuable to collectors. Mine does not have the stamp.
    GEA

    Reply
  2. George Alexandre

    I ACTUALLY HAVE THIS PHOTO, THOUGH IT IS BLACK & WHITE, NOT COLOR. THERE MUST HAVE BEEN MULTIPLES DISTRIBUTED, MY ONLY GUESS IS THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SOME TYPE OF MORALE THING FOR THE TROOPS. MY DAD, WHO WAS IN THE NAVY DURING WWII, SAID HE WAS GIVEN A COPY BY A SAILOR OR SOLDIER. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY INFO ON THIS??

    Reply
    1. Ron

      Regarding Patton pissing in the Rhein.
      I had a friend who was in the Heavy Bridge Engineer outfit (Michigan & Indiana guys, if I recall correctly) that put up that bridge.
      He kept an original photo in his vehicle, and loved to show it off.
      Always said he was right there at the time. He also said the next day the publicity guys came by with
      thousands of copies (Actually he said 10,000) all red rubber stamped on the back (Not for Distribution)
      and passed them out to the soldiers. Ha!
      I was stationed right near there in the Combat Engineers 21 years later, and know the place.

      Reply
  3. Ken Brenner

    My Uncle Arthur Cottrell is the man standing behind Gen. Patton.
    His hand is on his right hip.
    Before he died, Uncle Art confirmed this happened.
    He also told me the photographer looked him up after the war and gave him a copy of the picture.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.