Patton the Horse Lover
General Patton was an accomplished equestrian. He simply loved horses. An example of this comes at the end of WWII, when he famously rescued the Lipizzan, a rare Spanish breed of horse, from being devoured by the Russians who were about to converge on Czechoslovakia. Code-named “Operation Cowboy,” Patton sent his 3rd Army on a rescue mission as a last-minute effort to save the horses before the massive advance of the Red Army arrived.
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna was placed under special protection of the United States Army. Thus, Patton’s rescue of approximately 250 Lipizzan is the reason why this rare breed of horses still exists today. This story inspired the Disney Movie “Miracle of the White Stallion” and the book titled “The Perfect Horse” by Elizabeth Letts.