In August 1943, the impulsive Patton slapped two shell-shocked soldiers under his command in an Italian field hospital and General Dwight Eisenhower thought Patton too undisciplined to lead the Allied invasion of Normandy. However, Nazi military leaders believed him the Allies’ best commander. They also expected Patton would lead a cross-channel invasion.
As part of the thoughtful disinformation campaign leading up to D-Day, U.S. military leaders placed Patton in charge of a phantom army, complete with inflatable rubber tanks and plywood aircraft, in southeast England. The army wanted to convince the enemy that Patton would strike at the channel’s narrowest point at Pas de Calais, France. Several weeks after D-Day, the Germans continued to accumulate troops at Pas de Calais expecting that Patton would still come ashore there.