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A Story From Walter Cronkite

I ran across this gem of a story related by Walter Cronkite in an interview in this month's Esquire (no link available):

Cronkite: I became friendly with Dwight Eisenhower. He told me a delightful story about General Patton that showed a lot about the character of both men. At one point before D-day, Patton made a statement in England that it was the destiny of America and Britain to rule the world. It wasn't the first time the bellicose Patton had gotten into trouble. He was very egotistical, and he assumed that he knew how to win any war in any place. This time, there were demands in Washington that Patton be sent home. So Eisenhower called for him. Eisenhower told me he thought he had no choice but to fire Patton. When Patton came in, he was wearing that helmet liner of his with big stars on it. He knew what was coming. He stood at attention at Eisenhower's desk. Eisenhower asked him to sit down. Patton said he preferred to stand. Eisenhower told him to at least stand at ease, and he proceeded to tell him all the reasons he was in trouble. Tears began to well in Patton's eyes. But just as Eisenhower was getting to the point of ordering him back home, he realized that he simply couldn't do it. He needed him too much. So Eisenhower told himself, Dammit, I'll just take the licks if I have to on this one. He got up, walked over to George, and said, "Despite all that, I'm going to give you another chance. Patton let out a sob and threw his head on Eisenhower's shoulder, and the helmet liner came off and clattered across the floor. It was so ridiculous that Eisenhower laughed. When he did, Patton pushed him away and said, "Thank you for that, and I'll stay, you son of a bitch." Then he stamped out.