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US Generals Mistresses

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War.
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US Generals Mistresses

Postby Sunbury on 08 Jan 2011 22:27

One clear distinction between the US Army and the Britsh Army in NW Europe was the habit of some senior US Generals to take their Mistresses along with them. Monty only had his dogs, Hitler and Rommel.

Eisenhower of course had his mistress Kay Summersby, they even set up home at the Hotel Trianon Palace in the Autumn of 1944. Patton had his "niece" Jean Gordon. They formed a relationship in 1935 aand carried it on, Jean was related to Patton indirectly but far enough removed to avoid any scandal.

Bradley seems to have greater needs, holidaying with Eisenhower and Summersby at a villa " Sous le Vent" on the French Riveria, Bradley arrived with two WAC girls and no other staff. Goodness knows how many girls General "Jesus Christ Himself" Lee had but its worth noting the French drily renamed SHAEF to "Societe des Hoteliers Americains en France".

Eisenhower of course dumped Kay Summersby like hot mustard after the war, she however kept her silence until after his death. She could have destroyed his political ambitions if she had spoken out, something Gen. Marshall was very concerned about. She wrote a book of their relationship. She mentioned that often Ike was incapable of making love. That is not a slur or a snigger or a sign of weakness, just a very human side of the incredible pressures he was under.

Jean Gordon committed suicide a week or so after Patton's death, she obviously loved him deeply.

Yes the Russian generals had field wives, the Germans also had their fair share of Mistresses and scandals, the Brits seemingly none. Perhaps that is why the common claim that Monty lacked dash arose, he wasn't getting any.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Sunbury on 09 Jan 2011 03:54

I forgot of course General Bedell Smith's Mistress, Nurse Wilbur.

Stephen Ambrose struggled with Kay Summerby's book questioning if it was a real love affair or the sad fantasy of a dying woman. IMHO Ambrose always struggled with any facts that discoloured his vision of the purity and nobility of the Americans in WW2. When faced with details of what was almost institutionalised adultry in the uppper ranks of the US military, he floundered.

Of course British did have their Mistresses (they did know what sex was) but seemingly their upper ranks kept stiff upper lips and cold showers rather than dally.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Sunbury on 10 Jan 2011 05:23

No takers? sad really. People here go into estastics working out truck loads over distance from historical data and what tank spring was better than another but when given a chance to have a little levity and take a human look at some of the leaders, deathly silence. Sad. One fact for the day, Patton was terrified off his wife Beatrice.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby binder001 on 12 Jan 2011 17:51

Sunbury wrote:No takers? sad really. People here go into estastics working out truck loads over distance from historical data and what tank spring was better than another but when given a chance to have a little levity and take a human look at some of the leaders, deathly silence. Sad. One fact for the day, Patton was terrified off his wife Beatrice.


Didn't Bea's family actually have the money? I was under the impresion that the Patton's had a good family name, but Bea actually provided the money for the lifestyle that Patton was notorious for during the 1930's.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby hagen on 12 Jan 2011 20:59

Sunbury wrote:No takers? sad really. People here go into estastics working out truck loads over distance from historical data and what tank spring was better than another but when given a chance to have a little levity and take a human look at some of the leaders, deathly silence. Sad. One fact for the day, Patton was terrified off his wife Beatrice.


(1) Have you asked a question? What is the purpose of the thread?
(2) It is a subject on which I have close to nil information and can provide you with nothing, although others may have.
(3) It is not a subject that draws my interest but then I'm British and as has been noted we are an odd lot.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Takao on 12 Jan 2011 23:35

Quite frankly, what they did in the bedroom has no appeal to me. If I wanted tawdry details, I would be reading "Penthouse Letters" rather than "The Long and the Short and the Tall", an eyewitness account of the invasions of Guam and Iwo Jima, by Alvin M. Josephy Jr.

As an aside, it is not surprising that Montgomery had no mistresses, since many believe that he was a homosexual or a repressed homosexual(I'm not looking to start a flame war, I'm just saying...)

Bottom line, I'll go with Abraham Lincoln's quote about Grant
I can't spare this man; he fights
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Sunbury on 16 Jan 2011 04:52

Takao wrote:Quite frankly, what they did in the bedroom has no appeal to me. If I wanted tawdry details, I would be reading "Penthouse Letters" rather than "The Long and the Short and the Tall", an eyewitness account of the invasions of Guam and Iwo Jima, by Alvin M. Josephy Jr.

As an aside, it is not surprising that Montgomery had no mistresses, since many believe that he was a homosexual or a repressed homosexual(I'm not looking to start a flame war, I'm just saying...)

Bottom line, I'll go with Abraham Lincoln's quote about Grant
I can't spare this man; he fights


Hagen and Takao, neither of you have any interest in the human side of warfare? I would have thought that if someone genuinely wanted to fully understand Eisenhower in WW2, then Kay Summerby's book would be required reading, offering a intimate insight into Eisenhower thoughts at crucial parts of the war. Another piece of the jigsaw that made up the man.

Exploring the gate that opens because of the Mistresses, offers a new look at how the US High Command conducted itself. The double standard that the US Army High Command held an institutionised policy of adultry shows a clear old boys network: i.e. Marshall knew of Kay Summersby. So how did that old boys network affect decison making? Bradley and Eisenhower I believe were in the class of 1915 at West Point? A US "old boy's" network has never been discussed in here I believe. Eisenhower and Bradley at the weekend retreat on the French Riveria with their Mistresses discussed the breakup of Germany. Eisenhower protected Patton after Sicily, another sign of an old boy's network. (The British had the same, old school tie etc etc. Gen Hobart (of the funnies tank fame) was Monty's brother in law.

I originally raised the thread to bring some levity into things and also as a counter balance to some of Ambrose's starry eyed later in life prose about the nobility of the Americans cause in Europe.

Monty? His son David and others who knew him all vehemently denied that Monty was homosexual or had homosexual tendencies. Some will say he did, some will say he did not. Some enjoy in thinking the worst of others, some don't. If there is truth in it and it affected Monty during the war, then it is fair to discuss what impact . Post war it is not.

Off topic, Penthouse letters, I have 3 penthouse magazines I kept specifically for the articles and letters lol. All the same month and one each from the US, the UK and Australia. All have the exact same letters, just names and locations changed. Ted from California, Kevin from Slough and Bruce from Newcastle. It tickled my fancy thats all. I would also say Penthouse taught me to read by Braille :)

Editted once for my bad grammar. sorry twice to polish a bad sentence on US boy's club, no more i promise :)
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby UMachine on 16 Jan 2011 21:19

Was not there a book in the past few years that made some light of a relationship betwee Monty and a young male?Out of bounds maybe?
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby redcoat on 18 Jan 2011 13:06

Takao wrote:As an aside, it is not surprising that Montgomery had no mistresses, since many believe that he was a homosexual or a repressed homosexual(I'm not looking to start a flame war, I'm just saying...)

Monty had been married but his wife died in 1937 from blood poisoning after an insect bite, he was left a widow with a young son.
The claims of homosexuality are based on his friendship with a couple of young boys after the war, but the boys involved have always denied that he did anything improper with them
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Markus Becker on 18 Jan 2011 16:46

I´m just reading "Forgotten Armies" and the upper class British in the Far East were ok with having a local mistress but they made a point of keeping this as much out of the public eye as possible. So you and her did not socialize in public places, not even if you were not married -to someone else, marrying her was of course unthinkable.

Maybe the British top brass was better at hiding their affairs and helped by the good old boys from the press who kept their mouths shut.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby ChristopherPerrien on 18 Jan 2011 18:55

There is a fair amount of "dirt/this subject" in David Irving's "War of the Generals". You can find/read it free on his site.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Big Dog on 19 Jan 2011 02:22

Sounds like Bradley sure knew how to live. All this is why I call this time period, the good old days. A high achieving
feller, would be rewarded for his hard work. On the other hand, keeping one women happy is very difficult. More than one, would be almost impossible. So, I suspect trying to keep two women happy (i.e. having both a wife and mistress),
would be punishment all by itself.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Sunbury on 19 Jan 2011 03:48

Big Dog wrote:Sounds like Bradley sure knew how to live. All this is why I call this time period, the good old days. A high achieving feller, would be rewarded for his hard work. On the other hand, keeping one women happy is very difficult. More than one, would be almost impossible. So, I suspect trying to keep two women happy (i.e. having both a wife and mistress),
would be punishment all by itself.


The Chinese symbol for trouble is "two women under the same roof" so I suspect your right Big Dog :D

Just so this thread has some relevancy to the war. Hastings in his book Nemisis states the Eisenhower took a couple of days break in mid March 1945. Kay Summersby said, Eisenhower, herself, Bradley and his Mistresses were there on the French Riveria. Hastings forgot to mention that bit. Eisenhower and Bradley were able to discuss the future directions of the war and must probably it was here that Eisenhower decided on his most controversial decison - letting the Russians take Berlin.
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby hagen on 20 Jan 2011 18:32

Sunbury wrote:Hagen and Takao, neither of you have any interest in the human side of warfare? I would have thought that if someone genuinely wanted to fully understand Eisenhower in WW2, then Kay Summerby's book would be required reading, offering a intimate insight into Eisenhower thoughts at crucial parts of the war. Another piece of the jigsaw that made up the man.

I originally raised the thread to bring some levity into things and also as a counter balance to some of Ambrose's starry eyed later in life prose about the nobility of the Americans cause in Europe.

Monty? His son David and others who knew him all vehemently denied that Monty was homosexual or had homosexual tendencies. Some will say he did, some will say he did not. Some enjoy in thinking the worst of others, some don't. If there is truth in it and it affected Monty during the war, then it is fair to discuss what impact . Post war it is not.


(1) Well I would guess their views on religion would play a big part too.
(2) Levity???
(3) Monty was the son of a bishop and grew up in an era of muscular christianity which did not see the mistress as a standard attribute of success.
(4) I refer to my previous post.

End
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Re: US Generals Mistresses

Postby Delta Tank on 20 Jan 2011 20:05

Sunbury wrote:
Big Dog wrote:Sounds like Bradley sure knew how to live. All this is why I call this time period, the good old days. A high achieving feller, would be rewarded for his hard work. On the other hand, keeping one women happy is very difficult. More than one, would be almost impossible. So, I suspect trying to keep two women happy (i.e. having both a wife and mistress),
would be punishment all by itself.


The Chinese symbol for trouble is "two women under the same roof" so I suspect your right Big Dog :D

Just so this thread has some relevancy to the war. Hastings in his book Nemisis states the Eisenhower took a couple of days break in mid March 1945. Kay Summersby said, Eisenhower, herself, Bradley and his Mistresses were there on the French Riveria. Hastings forgot to mention that bit. Eisenhower and Bradley were able to discuss the future directions of the war and must probably it was here that Eisenhower decided on his most controversial decison - letting the Russians take Berlin.


Was that a military decision? Or had that decision been made by the political leadership? The Soviet zone extend well to the west of Berlin, it was not in our zone of occupation or was it in the British zone.

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