Brilliant but controversial World War II general. No U. S. General was more controversial during World War II than George S. Patton. He served in the cavalry in the early part of the 20th century and was an early convert to tank warfare, and served as a tank brigade commander in World War I. He commanded a Corps in North Africa and planned the invasion of Sicily in 1943. He was known as a harsh commander (his nickname was "old blood and guts"), even slapping a soldier whom he thought exhibited cowardice, an incident that nearly got him fired. In 1944, Patton was the commander of a fake U. S. Army group used to trick the Germans into believing he would be leading the invasion of Europe at the Pas-de-Calais. The trick worked, and Allied forces successfully landed at Normandy on June 6, 1944. After the Normandy Invasion, Patton led the U. S. Third Army in France advancing rapidly and keeping the pressure on the Germans. At the Battle of the Bulge, he disengaged his entire army, turned them, and marched to the relief of the besieged Americans at Bastogne---a feat that is still considered one of the greatest in military history. His Army crossed the Rhine in March 1945, and would be in Czechoslovakia when the war concluded. He died in December 1945 from injuries sustained in a car accident.