Posted by: philipmartin | November 11, 2009

Lipizzan Horses Perform for General Patton – Backstage Photos

Lipizzan horses backstage, May 1945

Lipizzan horses backstage, May 1945, ready to perform for General Patton, at St. Martin's, Austria.

From the book, Patton’s Lucky Scout, by Frank Wayne Martin with Nancy Martin:

Lucky Forward had penetrated deep into Czechoslovakia by this time in the war. We were staying in a lovely little whitewashed house in a beautiful village. I was actually sleeping under a roof when this mission began. Very early one morning I woke up to a driver looking for me, shouting “Hey, Martin, the General wants to know if you can saddle and ride a horse?”

So begins a chapter about PFC Martin’s involvement in the operation to save the famous performing Lipizzan horses of Austria.

For the rest of the story, see the Patton’s Lucky Scout book, now available in paperback for $18.95, from fine bookstores online and in your neighborhood. (If you don’t see it on the shelves, ask for it; good bookstores will special-order a title for you.)

PFC Martin took a number of “backstage” photographs of the horses and riders coming and going. His role: to guard and protect the handlers.

The trainers were still technically prisoners of war, so my job was to guard them during the performance. Also, military protocol required that nobody else would be allowed to enter the holding area or mingle with the trainers.

Lipizzan horses backstage, May 1945, ready to perform for General Patton

Lipizzan horses backstage, May 1945, ready to perform for General Patton, at St. Martin's, Austria.

(More photos to follow in next post.)

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