Did General Patton say “We defeated the wrong enemy”? What did he mean by that?
The quote is a paraphrase from this passage here:
“We may have been fighting the wrong enemy (Germany) all along. But while we’re here (on the Soviet border), we should go after the bastards now, 'cause we’re gonna have to fight 'em eventually.”
By this he meant that he was aware of the danger of the Soviet Union and believed that upon the end of the war that the United States would have to face a conflict against the Soviet Union. The quote is often misconstrued by far-right thinkers and activists who claim that what Patton meant was that the Americans should have allied with Nazi Germany rather than the Soviet Union, but this is a reinterpretation of Patton’s meaning. Throughout the war, the Soviet Union had an unsteady alliance with the United States and Britain, and this quote reflects General Patton’s mistrust of the Russians rather than his admiration of the Nazis.