London, Dec 21 (ANI): The death of George S. Patton, America's greatest combat general of the Second World War, is one of the enduring mysteries of the war era. Now, a new book has claimed that the officer was assassinated after the conflict with the connivance of US leaders.
The newly unearthed diaries of a colourful assassin for the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, has revealed that the US spy chiefs wanted Patton dead as he was threatening to expose allied collusion with the Russians that cost American lives.
Although he had suffered serious injuries in a car crash in Manheim, he was thought to be recovering and was on the verge of flying home.
The controversial US officer died in December 1945.After 10 years of investigation, military historian Robert Wilcox claims that OSS head General "Wild Bill" Donovan ordered a highly decorated marksman called Douglas Bazata to silence Patton, who gloried in the nickname "Old Blood and Guts".
His book, "Target Patton", contains interviews with Bazata, who died in 1999, and extracts from his diaries, detailing how he staged the car crash by getting a troop truck to plough into Patton's Cadillac and then shot the general with a low-velocity projectile, which broke his neck while his fellow passengers escaped without a scratch.
Bazata also suggested that when Patton began to recover from his injuries, US officials turned a blind eye as agents of the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB, poisoned the general, reports the Telegraph.
Wilcox said that when he spoke to Bazata: "He was struggling with himself, all these killings he had done. He confessed to me that he had caused the accident, that he was ordered to do so by Wild Bill Donovan.
"Donovan told him: 'We've got a terrible situation with this great patriot, he's out of control and we must save him from himself and from ruining everything the allies have done.' I believe Douglas Bazata. He's a sterling guy."
Bazata led an extraordinary life. He was a member of the Jedburghs, the elite unit who parachuted into France to help organise the Resistance in the run up to D-Day in 1944.
He also earned four purple hearts, a Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre three times over for his efforts.
He was friends with Salvador Dali, who painted a portrait of Bazata as Don Quixote.
He ended his career as an aide to President Ronald Reagan's Navy Secretary John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission and adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign. (ANI)