- Paperback: 108 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1540373835
- ISBN-13: 978-1540373830
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 233 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ernie Pyle in England Paperback – November 13, 2016
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He wrote from the trenches; Papa Hemingway wrote from a Parisian street cafe.
This is the writings he posted from England during the Blitz.
It is not a list of dates or battles. It is a journal of his impressions of the mood of those dealing with life.....and death "by the lottery of bomb fall". This is real history!
Ernie Pyle was sent to London in December 1940, after the Germans started bombing England and specifically London. He entered from a ship that had sailed from Lisbon. He writes his observations down in diary format, but there are no dates for his entries. Perhaps that was removed by censors.
Most of his reporting is about his time spent in London at the Savoy Hotel. He manages to stay in a hotel that was spared severe damage (although his hotel window had been blown out and quickly repaired a few days before he moved in). He writes about the rationing, the peoples' reactions to the bombings and praises the civilian army for quickly removing rubble and for repairing damaged buildings. It's a city whose citizens are used to the daily blackouts, surprise bombings and carnage. Pyle doesn't paint the city as if it were suffering much. Food is available and the English always have time for tea, but then he gets a tour of the outlying area. The town of Wapping is destroyed, and London's East Side, where the poorer people live, is suffering much more than the wealthier West Side where he stayed. His reporting gets more serious 38% into the script when he joins an antiaircraft gun crew outside of London and describes witnessing his first gun volley from the vantage of a gun pit, and later spends time at a Royal Air Force bombing station. His tone gets more tragic when he moves entirely from London and visits the rest of England. In Liverpool he meets people sleeping in the tube (subway), shivering in the coId.
It's a nice view of England during the war, and how there was unity among the people and friendship between the US and England. He sees fighters of the resistance from Poland, Czechoslovia and Belgium walking London streets in uniform. Buckinham Palace is hit but the spirit remains. Life goes on. People drink, see movies, visit the theatre. There's the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Aircraft Production under the direction of Canadian-born Lord Beaverbrook, whom Pyle writes almost too sugary about. If there is one thing that Pyle does well is report on the determined vigilance of the English people to fight the war and survive. His tone is more optimistic than macabre, that is for sure.