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Gen. George Patton: Six not-so-gentle father-to-son tips

In his new book, 'Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History, and Family Wisdom,' documentary filmmaker Benjamin Patton shares letters written by his grandfather, Gen. George Patton, while he was commanding the Third Army across Europe during World War II. In them, Patton counsels his son, then a young cadet at West Point. Here are six pieces of advice, excerpted from these letters.

By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer

Image

United States Army Gen. George Patton (r.) presents Huntington Library trustee Robert Milikan with a packet containing the The Nuremberg laws signed by Adolf Hitler and other Nazi official in this June 1945 photograph.

REUTERS/File

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1. On surviving school: be a lone wolf

"Your frank and manly letter was very pleasing to me, and I was glad to get it. If you can’t like the Smith boy, leave him alone, because no matter how good a fighter he is, the people at school consider him an underdog. It never pays to fight an underdog. You can fight for them, but never against him.

It is very foolish, but quite understandable, that one should run around raising h**l, but it gets one nowhere and betrays a lack of self-confidence. A man who is self-confident does not run around with a gang. It is much better to be a lone wolf than a coyote.”

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