I traveled the field hospitals today. I always try to find enough time to visit them. They need to see that their commanders still care for them, even though they aren't actively fighting anymore. I listened very intently to most, but I realised that most were injured because of their own lack of care. One man I talked to was injured because he tied his grenade on his bag incorrectly and the pin was yanked out while he was running. I also talked to the biggest nitwit I’ve ever seen! He was hospitalized for having war neurosis. He was in the tent because he was “too nervous” to fight! When he started going on about how bad it affected him, I slapped him. Cowards make me sick. The only cure for cowardice is tough love. Lieutenant General George S. Patton I set down my pen, hard. I know that after my bit of down time, I will have to go confer with Bradley about how to prevent the British gaining the Vizzini-Caltagirone road that was promised to us, but for right now, I really want to go and find that nervous soldier, and put him on the front line charge tomorrow. That changes my thoughts over to tomorrow’s invasion of Messina. Most of the Axis have been pushed away so we should not encounter a lot of resistance, but I’m still worried that they might have a trap set for us somehow.
I’m still contemplating different tricks and how to counter them when a soldier bursts into my tent, panting and sweating, and yells, “Fights broken out, sir! In the Food Court, sir!” I make all reporting officer's report in this manner in order to reduce the chance of miscommunication. I jump up, knocking my chair over in the process and run out of the tent after the soldier. On the way there, many soldiers look up in shock, for I rarely hurry anywhere, and some even join us on our trip across camp.
By the time I reach the Food Court, I have a small group of about 15 men behind me. There, at the Food Court is a large group of men, probably twenty or thirty of them, all in a free-for-all fist-fight. The cooks are standing in the back fighting with large spoons as if they are swords, and there are many men unconscious on the floor and tables. None of them have actual weapons, except for the cook’s spoon-swords, so I decide to use my small group to capture the fighters one by one. “Capture them!” I yell at the men behind me as they all enter the tent. I watch in dismay as one of the Cook’s apprentices runs, yelling and screaming, out of the walk-in pantry with a skillet and knocks two men out cold before becoming occupied fighting a man wielding a very long loaf of bread.
I shift my view back to my group of men just in time, as one of my men throws a rolling pin at me. I deftly catch the rolling pin and turn around to meet the eyes of my British rival, General Bernard Montgomery. He raises a meat tenderizer and points it at me.
We raise our “weapons” and charge. Metal hits wood in a very fierce fight in the food court. We seem evenly matched even though he is faster than me, because I’m bigger and more stocky than he is.
One of Monty’s men joins him, and he tries to yell something, but right as he opens his mouth, I smack his teeth with my rolling pin and he collapses like a sack of potatoes. Monty steps over his collapsed form and we resume our dual. Right, then left, backward and forward we go, until I finally get the opposite handle of my rolling pin stuck under the lip of his hammer. I spin my wrist and flick the tenderizer out of his hand.
“Aha!” I yell as I point the end of my rolling pin at his chest. Monty, in a brilliant move, reaches inside my rolling pin and draws my own cavalry saber, of my own make and model.
“Aha!” Monty yells as he points the saber at my chest. I realise what trouble I’m in when Monty swings the saber menacingly. Monty starts advancing on me and I am forced to back up. I trip over a chair and land on my back. Monty calmly watches me stand up. He raises the saber for a mighty swing, and gets cracked over the head by the frying pan wielding apprentice. I get a sudden wave of fear, but the apprentice sticks out his hand to pull me up.
“Looked like you could use a hand there,” he says with a smile.
“Nah, I had it under control,” I respond. I pick up my saber and resheath it. I look around at the carnage that this brawl has wrought. I turn around and look at the men that are standing there, mouths open, having just witnessed their commander fight a man with only a rolling pin, and lose to a rival commander with a meat tenderizer. I decide to reinstate my superiority by giving commands.
“Get the injured and unconscious to the field hospitals, and take the British men with you, it might teach them a lesson if they wake up in an American camp. Cooks, salvage what food you can. Straighten out these tables, they're a mess,” My men jump to action, eager to follow my commands. Before I get too full of myself, I decide to give credit where credit is due.
“Where is that cook with the frying pan?” I ask the gathered men. Everyone looks high and low, but the cook's apprentice that possibly saved my life was not found. I will always wonder who he is and where he ran off to, to the very day of my death.