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You want to learn something new today?

Updated on October 12, 2015

Recently I learned a little something new and special that I wasn't aware of before in my life. Everything has to start somewhere, and war heroes are no different than anyone else. No one would have ever thought that the great legendary Major General George S. Patton Jr. would have gotten his start outside of Needles, California in the Mojave desert, but he in fact did.

At first I thought that this was a rather strange thing, but after hearing all of the facts it made all of the sense in the world to me. Ten divisional camps were established on approximately 18,000 square miles, which encompassed three states making this the largest military training area in the entire world. This was a perfect area, which was suitable for training soldiers for combat against the German Afrika Korps in the North African desert.

General Patton commanded large scale training maneuvers in the Mojave desert for six months in 1942, before he was dispatched to North Africa in World War Two. The high temperatures, and the sandy terrain of the Mojave desert made this area perfect for the conditions necessary to properly prepare General Patton's troops.

General Patton became the very first commanding General of this massive desert training area. He declined executive housing, and he stayed in a tent on post, and he also provided radios for the troops with money out of his own pocket. He flew in a small plane to over see the training operations of his troops.

Close to one million troops were trained here until when the direction of World War Two changed in favor of the Allies. Finally in 1944 these desert training centers, and maneuver areas were closed.

Today people still have to be careful, because military explosives can still be found in areas of the Mojave desert. There still remains some areas of the Mojave desert that are used for maneuvers, and bombing by the military services. It's really amazing how even war heroes like the famous General George S. Patton had to first start out somewhere like in the heat of the Mojave desert.

It's hot out here

I also learned a little something else new and special that I wasn't aware of before in my life, while I was in this very hot area of the world. It seemed that everywhere we went in the town of Needles, California we saw Snoopy. His photo was on signs around town. Stuffed animals of his likeness were sitting on counter tops at area motels, and even in display cases under the counters of local restaurants. It really didn't make a whole lot of sense at the time. It wasn't until after I returned home that a friend explained to me that Spike, who was Snoopy's older brother lived in the hot town of Needles, California. All of those Snoopy sightings suddenly make sense to me now! Needles, California was home to Snoopy's mustached older brother Spike, as well as to some other rough and tumble folks out there in the middle of the hot Mojave desert. You see you can learn something new everyday.

 Snoopy's older brother Spike
Snoopy's older brother Spike

Did you know that Snoopy's older brother Spike was from Needles, California?

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Did you know that Major General George S. Patton Jr. got his start outside of Needles, California in the Mojave desert?

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      "War hero" is an oxymoron (contradiction). If one trains themselves to kill people he should not be called a hero. Shouldn't a hero participate in constructive activities rather than destructive activities? Learn to walk away from a fight. Learn alternatives to fighting.

      What war was really justified? WWI?, Korea, Vietnam? Civil War, any Revolutionary War?

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Interesting never knew any of this stuff. Like the part about snoopy's brother. Stella

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 

      3 years ago from In my Dream

      In fact, I learned a lot today. Information I did not know previously, for training and military means and this great Gen. Patton .tdreb more than one million troops is difficult and certainly does not do, but those great. Thank you

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 

      3 years ago from In my Dream

      very intersting hub happy to read it thank you a lot

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 

      3 years ago from Shimla, India

      Indeed, i did learn two important things today. Thank you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for expanding my knowledge, especially about Snoopy's brother Spike living in Needles, I needed to know that.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 

      3 years ago from Alberta

      This is very interesting. I've never heard of Major General George S. Patton Jr. This is very good.

    • itsmesudiksha profile image


      3 years ago from Nepal

      i am shocked :) thank u for the information

      its quite surprising that snoopy has a brother

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I didn't even know Snoopy had a brother - now I do though, thanks! lol : )

    • Rakim Cheeks profile image

      Rakim Cheeks 

      3 years ago

      Very interesting hub. When I read this, the only thing I could say was wow. This is the best hub ever. You're a great writer. Excellent job

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      What a bonus, ths. I learned about Patton's Mojave military maneuvers and Snoopy's brother, Spike's birthplace all in the same article.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      3 years ago from Jamaica

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting facts mentioned by you. So, I also learnt something new today from you. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Ana Kolomeka profile image

      Ana Kolomeka 

      3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I drove through Needles a couple times. It's extremely desolate. As deserts go though, it's quite pretty.

    • amine-sehibi profile image

      amine sehibi 

      3 years ago

      A very interesting hub, good work.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Cool obscure facts.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Two important facts I didn't know about before. Or maybe it's just that my memory has gone all to heck. A fun travel writing hub for sure.

    • vhayward profile image

      Valerie Hayward 

      3 years ago from Michigan

      I enjoyed reading this hub. It was very interesting to hear about the training tactics in WWII and that they just left some explosives in the ground! Good hub :)

    • srsddn profile image


      3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting hub, I will never view needles quite the same again.


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