Skip to main content

Ernie Pyle - American War Correspondent

Ernie Pyle was an American war correspondent during World War II. He was very well known across a great cross-section of the American public - a real celebrity in his day - and very well liked.

In his newspaper columns and in his book Brave Men, published in 1944, he describes the minutiae of army life in wartime from the perspective of the common soldier.

He described the way the war machine works - from engineers pulling captured tanks off the line with giant earth moving machines, to bomb loaders preparing bombers for a mission, to cooks cooking up thousands of meals for the troops.

The book describes the push from North Africa and up through Italy, then the waiting period in England before D Day, and then the invasion and the battle through France.

Here’s an example of those small touches of detail that he describes. American soldiers were stationed in London in the lead up to D Day, and the US Army established rules for one-way foot traffic for soldiers when walking along the pavements.

It was done in order to minimise how often soldiers would have to meet and salute one another while approaching from opposite directions.

Apparently, there were so many soldiers that before the rule was in place soldiers were having to salute every five steps or so and getting sore arms from all that saluting.

Another scene that he describes is of captured German soldiers on D Day standing on the cliffs and staring in disbelief and resignation at the sheer number of Allied ships that stretched to the horizon.

He wrote the final chapter in August 1944, about the war being more or less over.

That was, of course, before the German counter-offensive in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes in December 1944, which was the last major offensive against the Allied forces in Europe.

It's hard to tell you exactly why or how the book is so touching and sad. Certainly the tone changes when Pyle goes with the invasion forces on D Day, and he becomes more sombre and in the end, lyrical.

One passage is particularly poignant. It is about the jeep ride that he and another journalist and the photographer Robert Capa took into a town near Cherbourg.

The Germans has only just been pushed out of the town, and there was always the risk of snipers or of Germans left behind - manning a machine gun somewhere by the roadside. So Pyle was nervous, and he talks about the fearless Capa, who would push on whatever the risk.

Robert Capa was one of the original Magnum photographers. I know his work well and I also know that Capa was killed in 1954 when he stepped on a mine in South East Asia, in what was then called Indochina.

when reading up about the background to Brave Men, I learned that Ernie Pyle was killed in 1945 by Japanese machine gun fire on an island off Okinawa.

Ernie Pyle Theater

After the war, the Takarazuka Theater in Tokyo was taken over by the US Army headquarters and renamed the Ernie Pyle Theater - and retained its name until 1955.

Popular posts from this blog

Giveaway Tools

After looking at an article on InsightScope about contest giveaways, I just read the FAQs for one of the tools, which is KingSumo Giveaway and I see that as at the time the FAQs were prepared, the tool doesn't integrate with Mailchimp. Instead you have to download a CSV and upload.Also, there is a warning that the tool may not be compatible with Facebook's terms in the future.Finally, there is a long, convoluted way you have to deal with duplicate content, which is described in the FAQs as follows: I’m concerned about duplicate pages for SEO We don’t create new pages, just add a parameter to your URLS. Google just sees the original page and URL structure. What we recommend if Google results are important is to run the tool, then once it looks like a winner I’d change the Title to the winner and the original URL. Remove the other titles. We are working on a fix to make this easier.Advanced users:Utilize the parameter tools in Google’s Webmaster Tools and set the Headline plugi…

My Blog Is Carbon Neutral

I am pleased to be able to make the statement in the title to this article and I want to explain how I have done it and how I came to hear about the scheme that enables it.

The first step along the path that brought me to this happy state is that I have joined Seeded Buzz.

The idea behind Seeded Buzz is for the members to plant seeds - which means telling other bloggers about their blog posts and inviting them to continue the conversation on their blogs with a link back to the original post on their blog.

Well I have found a blog post from one of the members that covers a subject that interests me.


Seeded Buzz points out that better the Seed conversation and the more extendable / debatable it is, the more other bloggers will Buzz about it on their blogs and link to the original post.

And as we all know, links are the engine that pumps searches - and these are the lifeblood of the internet.

The seeder profile I found was from Thomas Chasm who blogs about a lot of different categories …

New Post At Our Lonely Planet Blogger Site at Quillcards

This is a link to our most recent article at the Quillcards Blog about the Henry Moore exhibition at the Leeds Art Gallery.

Next up will be an article to be published later today about the ecards we have made to support Endangered Species Day this Friday, 20th May.

We are honored to have been asked to make these by the Endangered Species Coalition, so watch this space for the link to the article, or bookmark The Quillcards Blog and head over there later today.