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Brave Men

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Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle’s on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle’s on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier’s experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote in Time magazine: one of maps and logistics, campaigns, ballistics, divisions, and regiments and the other a "war of the homesick, weary, funny, violent, common men who wash their socks in their helmets, complain about the food, whistle at Arab girls, or any girls for that matter, and bring themselves through as dirty a business as the world has ever seen and do it with humor and dignity and courage—and that is Ernie Pyle’s war." This collection of Pyle’s columns detailing the fighting in Europe in 1943–44 brings that war—and the living, and dying, moments of history—home to us once again.


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Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle’s on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle’s on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier’s experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote in Time magazine: one of maps and logistics, campaigns, ballistics, divisions, and regiments and the other a "war of the homesick, weary, funny, violent, common men who wash their socks in their helmets, complain about the food, whistle at Arab girls, or any girls for that matter, and bring themselves through as dirty a business as the world has ever seen and do it with humor and dignity and courage—and that is Ernie Pyle’s war." This collection of Pyle’s columns detailing the fighting in Europe in 1943–44 brings that war—and the living, and dying, moments of history—home to us once again.

30 review for Brave Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mikey B.

    Page 99 (my book) Italy 1944 Then the nearer guns would fire and the ground under our bedrolls would tremble and we could feel the awful breath of the blast push the tent walls and nudge our bodies ever so slightly. And through the darkened hodgepodge of noise we could occasionally pick out the slightly different tone of German shells bursting in our valley. It didn’t really seem true. Three weeks before I had been in Miami eating fried chicken, sleeping in deep beds with white sheets, taking hot Page 99 (my book) Italy 1944 Then the nearer guns would fire and the ground under our bedrolls would tremble and we could feel the awful breath of the blast push the tent walls and nudge our bodies ever so slightly. And through the darkened hodgepodge of noise we could occasionally pick out the slightly different tone of German shells bursting in our valley. It didn’t really seem true. Three weeks before I had been in Miami eating fried chicken, sleeping in deep beds with white sheets, taking hot baths and having no sound more vicious than the ocean waves and the laughter of friends. One world was a beautiful dream and the other a horrible nightmare, and I was a little bit in each of them. As I lay on the straw in the darkness they became mixed up, and I was confused and not quite sure which was which. Ernie Pyle is an exquisite writer. He captures so many details and nuances of life in the American Army, Navy and Air Force during World War II. This book takes us through the campaigns in Sicily, Italy, a brief stay in England prior to the D-Day invasion, and finally the Normandy battlefield. Ernie Pyle primarily focuses on the normal “little guy”. There is a brief interview with Omar Bradley. The chapter “Mountain Fighting” in Italy was very poignant and so emotional. There is always a strong feel of the human element in Ernie Pyle’s writing – and in this chapter more so, with the soldiers trekking supplies up steep mountains with mules – and then the death of a Captain. The compassion always shines through in his writing. The chapter on the Anzio-Nettuno beachhead brought to life the deadly predicament of those trapped there. Ernie Pyle also shows us aspects of the military we don’t often think of. Page 417-18 One of the things the laymen doesn’t hear much about is the Ordnance Department. In fact, it is one of the branches that even the average soldier is little aware of… And yet the war couldn’t keep going without it. For Ordnance repairs all vehicles of an army and furnishes all ammunition for its guns. There were more vehicles in the American sector of our beachhead then in the average sized American city. And our big guns on an average day were shooting up more than $10,000,000 worth of ammunition… Ordnance personnel is usually about six or seven per cent of the total men of an army. That means we had many thousands of ordnancemen in Normandy… Ordnance had millions of items in its catalogue of parts… We had scores and scores of separate ordnance companies at work there – each of them a complete firm within itself, able to repair anything the Army used. Ordnance could lift a 30-ton tank as easily as it could a bicycle. This brings to mind the endless supplies flowing to the battlefront from the enormous industrial output of the United States. It is often said that the German soldiers were the best – but they never came close to matching the constant supplies and war materiel on the Allied front. The other aspect I found interesting was the adaptability of all levels of American society to the differing requirements of war. Remember that this, unlike today, was not a volunteer army, but one chosen from all ranks of society. For example, there were men recruited from the mid-west who successfully went into the navy and were piloting small boats. This book is essential and provides a real human feel to the American front in Europe during World War II. So many different aspects of war are so well depicted. Page 226-28 in Naples 1944 All day long the dock was a riot of Italians grouped below to catch cookies and chocolates and knickknacks the sailors and soldiers threw down to them. There must have been two hundred people on the dock, either participating in the long-shot chance of actually catching something or just looking on… It was the old woman in the crowd that I could hardly bear to look at. Throughout the day there must have been a couple of dozen who came, tried for half an hour to catch something, and finally went dejectedly away. They were horrible specimens of poverty and uncleanliness. They were old and pitiful and repulsive. But their hunger most surely was genuine. One elderly woman, dressed in tattered black and carrying a thin old shopping bag on her arms, stood at the far edge of the crowd, vainly beseeching a toss in her direction. Finally one sailor, who had just started on a box of Nabiscos, piece by piece, changed his mind and threw the entire box toward the old woman. It was a good throw and a good catch. She caught it like an outfielder. But no sooner did she have it in her arms than the crowd was upon her. Kids and adults both tore at the box, scratched and yelled and grabbed, and in five seconds the box was empty and torn. The poor old women never let go. She clung to it as though it were something alive and precious. And when the last cracker was gone she walked sort of blindly away, her head back and her eyes toward the sky, weeping, her face stricken just like that of a heartbroken child, and still gripping the empty box.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    A frank and honest depiction of the reality of front-line warfare in the second World War and the soldiers that fought it through the eyes of celebrated journalist Ernie Pyle. A legend even at the time for his camaraderie with the average enlisted men in the infantry, navy, air force, artillery, and others with whom he slogged through mud, huddled in foxholes, and chatted through countless sleepless nights, his descriptions are vivid, real, and poignant more than fifty years later. Building thro A frank and honest depiction of the reality of front-line warfare in the second World War and the soldiers that fought it through the eyes of celebrated journalist Ernie Pyle. A legend even at the time for his camaraderie with the average enlisted men in the infantry, navy, air force, artillery, and others with whom he slogged through mud, huddled in foxholes, and chatted through countless sleepless nights, his descriptions are vivid, real, and poignant more than fifty years later. Building throughout the book from the invasion of Sicily, the grueling mountainous fighting in Italy, preparation for and landing on D-Day in Normandy, and the triumphant push and march through Paris, Pyle's words portray the increasing wear and tear of war on the humanity involved, both as combatants and civilians, coming to its peak in the final brief and beautiful chapter, "The Last Word". Simple, straightforward, and immortally relevant, he credits thousands of soldiers with a sentiment that echoes through the decades: "If only we could have created all this energy for something good."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Although Pyle, one of the first "embedded" journalists in wartime, could get a bit repetitive, his account of the American GIs in the European theater during WWII will rightly stand as one of the best portrayals of the common soldier in these epic times. Written shortly after the fall of Paris as the western allies began to chase the German army back over the Rhine and the war's end seemed inevitable, I especially found his last words in this book rather poignant and perhaps reflective of the cha Although Pyle, one of the first "embedded" journalists in wartime, could get a bit repetitive, his account of the American GIs in the European theater during WWII will rightly stand as one of the best portrayals of the common soldier in these epic times. Written shortly after the fall of Paris as the western allies began to chase the German army back over the Rhine and the war's end seemed inevitable, I especially found his last words in this book rather poignant and perhaps reflective of the challenges of our own times. In the emergency of war our nation's powers are unbelievable. The strength we have spread around the world is appalling even to those who make up the individual cells of that strength. I am sure that in the past two years I have heard soldiers say a thousand times, "If only we could have created all this energy for something good." But we rise above our normal powers only in times of destruction. Were it only so that western society, and especially the US, could muster its energy to create something good without the need of coming face-to-face with obvious self-destruction. The world really needs that creative foresight and action now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is the third book we've read (car book - read out loud) of Ernie Pyle's WWII dispatches, this time from Sicily, Anzio and into Italy, and Normandy (as part of the first wave of D-Day invasion forces). It blew me away (sorry for the cliche but it was the only thing I could think of to describe my amazement at what the WWII news correspondents did) that he was part of the first wave at Sicily, Anzio, and Normandy (as were other news correspondents) and he stuck with individual units, document This is the third book we've read (car book - read out loud) of Ernie Pyle's WWII dispatches, this time from Sicily, Anzio and into Italy, and Normandy (as part of the first wave of D-Day invasion forces). It blew me away (sorry for the cliche but it was the only thing I could think of to describe my amazement at what the WWII news correspondents did) that he was part of the first wave at Sicily, Anzio, and Normandy (as were other news correspondents) and he stuck with individual units, documenting what their experiences were. He was a strong and engaging writer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Zygmont

    This collection of dispatches from renowned WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle can grow almost tedious and repetitive at times, because it deals solely with the experiences of U.S. soldiers fighting the Germans, first in north Africa, then in Sicily and Italy, and finally in Normandy, France. But the book faithfully redeems itself and steps back from the brink of tedium, first by its organizational structure, which changes focus to different branches of the Service and different military occupations, This collection of dispatches from renowned WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle can grow almost tedious and repetitive at times, because it deals solely with the experiences of U.S. soldiers fighting the Germans, first in north Africa, then in Sicily and Italy, and finally in Normandy, France. But the book faithfully redeems itself and steps back from the brink of tedium, first by its organizational structure, which changes focus to different branches of the Service and different military occupations, and secondly by the respect, deep reverence and sympathy expressed by Pyle for his subjects, ordinary U.S. soldiers. And let's face it, those are darn compelling subjects. Pyle relates their experiences using plain language and straightforward prose. But there is nothing simplistic about his understanding and empathy for the fighters, and I found that the spareness of his prose very often elevated the writing to the level of some of the master stylists, especially Ernest Hemingway. Consider this excerpt, near the end of the book, which describes Pyle and a group of soldiers sent to the front line to retrieve two disabled tanks. They arrive as darkness falls. They're very near the fighting, but they can't tell for certain how near. Pyle writes: One officer went into an orchard to try to find where the tanks were. In wartime nobody ever knows where anything is. The rest of us waited along the road beside an old stone barn. Three jeeps were parked beside it. The dusk was deeper now. Out of the orchards around us roared and thundered our own artillery. An officer lit a cigarette. A sergeant with a rifle slung on his shoulder walked up and said, "You better put that out, sir. There's snipers all around and they'll shoot at a cigarette." The officer crushed the cigarette in his fingers, not waiting to drop it to the ground, and said, "Thanks." The book made me feel closer to my father (requiescat in pace), who flew as a crew member over Europe in the Army Air Corps (pre U.S. Air Force) during the war. My dad had a dog, Roscoe. In sections on the Air Corps, Pyle mentions how so many fliers kept dogs. But beyond the personal, I recommend Brave Men wholeheartedly for at least a couple of reasons. It illustrates total war. Also, it is unambiguous in identifying the good guys (us), and the bad guys (them). There are some lessons there, when you compare how we approach such concepts today, versus Pyle's celebration of American men at arms only about 65 years ago.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joe Rodeck

    Wish I could rate this higher though it's not Ernie Pyle's fault. This compendium of all Pyle's WWII columns from the front cries for a "best of" treatment. By the time I had to go through trench foot for the fourth time, I was ready to quit. Get's too redundant. Pyle's writing is great. Good sense of humor and irony. OTOH, you can tell he was under very strict 1940's editorial control.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Land Murphy

    Fantastic. To read this book is to understand why soldiers love Pyle. He understood them, and he told it like it was. Pyle does not describe the big picture of the war in Europe. He describes the day-to-day experiences of the GI. The infantry. The artillery. The air corps. The tankers. They are all here. Anyone with an interest in World War II must read this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sonny

    One of the first and one of the all-time best of the "embedded reporters." Pyle became at one with the front lines and the units around him. The man traveled everywhere and even began to become a victim of the conflicts. Ernie's prose is magnificent and an inspiration to any would-be journalist. It is a shame that it is not required reading, these days...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Pyle was what all journalists aspire to be, or should. He was succinct, funny, gritty, spared no details, honest, and kind. His writings were above all else poignant about what was happening in World War II and to whom it was happening. This book is a collection of his writings that he sent back from the front. For all intense and purposes, he was a soldier who wrote.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pippa

    "Tell me, Mr. Pyle, how does it feel to be an assault correspondent?" Being a man of few words, I said, "It feels awful." Here's the problem I had, and the reason why I needed to alternate with other books to make finishing this book more enjoyable: this is a read that is packed to the brim with step-by-step detail. For some reason Pyle uses a ridiculous level of jargon-y detail that didn't plague the previous set of articles I read by him. He goes on and on detailing layouts and processes of very "Tell me, Mr. Pyle, how does it feel to be an assault correspondent?" Being a man of few words, I said, "It feels awful." Here's the problem I had, and the reason why I needed to alternate with other books to make finishing this book more enjoyable: this is a read that is packed to the brim with step-by-step detail. For some reason Pyle uses a ridiculous level of jargon-y detail that didn't plague the previous set of articles I read by him. He goes on and on detailing layouts and processes of very specific aspects of war, and the read often becomes unbelievably laborious. He also, bless him, wants to ensure that every single soldier he meets gets described and recognized for the sake of their families and friends at home. As someone living three generations after the war, this drives me nuts. We get longer introductions to people we will never interact with in the book again than one would to the main character in most narrative fiction Here's what saved it: I have no quotations that demonstrate these two issues by virtue of the fact that I had more than enough quotes I loved to save. In the second half of the book in particular (so hold on if you're having trouble with the over-detailed description), the war gets more extreme in its highs and lows - and Pyle finds the emotional, narrative balance. This is Pyle at his strongest. You think of attackers as being savage and bold. These men were hesitant and cautious. They were really the hunters, but they looked like the hunted. There was a confused excitement and a grim anxiety on their faces. Pyle was an incredibly intelligent and thoughtful man, and this comes ultimately comes across quite strongly. The former just holds the weight in an irritating way in the first half of the book. But when he gets it right, he loops the aspects of the human condition that are universal through time into his descriptions of war seamlessly, and it's poignant to our time, most so in his final words: And all of us together will have to learn how to reassemble our broken world into a pattern so firm and so fair that another great war cannot soon be possible. To tell the simple truth, most of us over in France don't pretend to know the right answer. Submersion in war does not necessarily qualify a man to be the master of peace. All we can do is fumble and try once more - try out of the memory of our anguish - and be as tolerant with each other as we can.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    A solid account of World War II from a veteran war correspondent. Broken into chapters composed of bits and entries, many touching segments, a great sense for what it was like, Pyle captures faces, records names, depicts the harrowing moments with fitting sentences, offers wise lines and some gems of truth. It’s a long book though, 466 pages, I didn’t want to wallow through it and felt guilty for plowing through it; since the book is not really a novel or does not aim to construct a point or arg A solid account of World War II from a veteran war correspondent. Broken into chapters composed of bits and entries, many touching segments, a great sense for what it was like, Pyle captures faces, records names, depicts the harrowing moments with fitting sentences, offers wise lines and some gems of truth. It’s a long book though, 466 pages, I didn’t want to wallow through it and felt guilty for plowing through it; since the book is not really a novel or does not aim to construct a point or argument but rather is a collection of first-hand observations. The reader is brought alongside to experience the war in Tunisia, parts of Italy, France and England. Pyle accrues so much clout. There are scenes with generals (such as General Bradley) that inspire, moments with soldiers that humble, acts of engineers that awe, and on it goes, the times at sea, the life alongside gunners and tank crews and chefs, the many men who were in civilian life ordinary workers. There isn’t any talk of the Pacific theater of war and Pyle doesn’t seek to teach or instruct much on the reason of the war, his is not the work of a war historian or a philosopher. There were parts I’d have liked to hear more about, e.g. the Negro troops (Pyle uses the old-fashioned noun), civil rights and human rights, and equality within the military machine, or sexuality in the lives of the troops (masturbation, homosexuality, identity, paternal relationships). Pyle, at times, or I should say, the author, at times, is a man of his time and background, whose dialogue is plain American, which we appreciate for its plain-speak and sincerity. Many sweet literary breaths in this book, I’d recommend this if you’re up for war books, or specifically interested in the campaigns in Normandy or Sicily or whichever place Ernie served at. I actually turned to it after reading Essential Captain America Vol. 8 wherein one of the writers mentioned in the afterword his research for the material on the superhero.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andy Horton

    Great war reporting from Ernie Pyle, a journalist who gave voice to the experiences of the US serviceman during WWII. Not a fluent read, being a collection of columns without a structure as a book. His name-checking the men he meets takes up a lot of space, but it doubtless mattered to many of them at the time, and clearly to Pyle himself. Their friends and families would read about them back home, and that helped validate their experiences. He himself was wryly aware of his celebrity status. I Great war reporting from Ernie Pyle, a journalist who gave voice to the experiences of the US serviceman during WWII. Not a fluent read, being a collection of columns without a structure as a book. His name-checking the men he meets takes up a lot of space, but it doubtless mattered to many of them at the time, and clearly to Pyle himself. Their friends and families would read about them back home, and that helped validate their experiences. He himself was wryly aware of his celebrity status. I was reminded by the soldiers eager to meet him, have hims sign their letters home, of the British squaddies in the Gulf War and Iraq eager for selfies with war correspondent Kate Adie. You can see an element of propaganda in Pyle's writing - everybody is great at their job, and respectful of the other arms and units. But he doesn't deny the hardship, the grim conditions that especially his beloved infantrymen undergo. Wartime propaganda needs a certain honesty. That honesty comes out especially in his last reports, those from Normandy following D Day. His description of the lost belongings at the shore - a metaphor for lost lives - id powerful as an account of the cost of the operation. In these reports there is less of the corny humour with which Pyle leavened his earlier writings. The description of coming under "friendly fire" bombing is chillingly vivid. We will never know how Pyle might have developed as a journalist and author, as he sadly died in Normandy, another victim of war as were so many of the footsoldiers with whom he lived and wrote.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII and/or had family members that served. You can't get much better than this first person account, primary source of the war. Ernie Pyle details the lives of everyday men, and the occasional woman, who served overseas in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns, in England, and in the beginnings of the Normandy battles. He writes in plain language, and sometimes his stories and observations took my breath away they were so vivid. He is also very I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII and/or had family members that served. You can't get much better than this first person account, primary source of the war. Ernie Pyle details the lives of everyday men, and the occasional woman, who served overseas in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns, in England, and in the beginnings of the Normandy battles. He writes in plain language, and sometimes his stories and observations took my breath away they were so vivid. He is also very humble, which was gratifying considering that he was a very famous and beloved correspondent. Some people didn't like that he took the time to name hundreds of individuals soldiers, including their hometown addresses many times. I personally enjoyed each name and hometown, because it shows the wide range of Americans who served over there. I also got excited when he mentioned someone from my state, Mississippi. This book is a classic. The modern, flashy books written by historians today are well-written and well-researched, but there is no good substitute for the real thing-- and this book is it. I wish Ernie Pyle had survived the war, but he left behind a wonderful collection of stories that people like me can enjoy today. I wish I had read this sooner; it is now one of my favorite books.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    My Dad gave my 2 sisters & I each a copy of this book and he wrote in the cover that this book brings back many memories and the many hardships they endured during the Italian fighting during WW2. My Dad served in the US Army during WW 2, in the 34th Infantry Division and spent approximately 600 days in combat in the Italian Campaign. One of Ernie Pyle's assignment was the 34th Infantry Division while in Italy. So these writings of war time happenings & hardships were a window in what my My Dad gave my 2 sisters & I each a copy of this book and he wrote in the cover that this book brings back many memories and the many hardships they endured during the Italian fighting during WW2. My Dad served in the US Army during WW 2, in the 34th Infantry Division and spent approximately 600 days in combat in the Italian Campaign. One of Ernie Pyle's assignment was the 34th Infantry Division while in Italy. So these writings of war time happenings & hardships were a window in what my Dad endured during WW2. He did not really talk about his time during the war. I started the book several years ago & restarted it again from the beginning. So glad that I finished it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wes Bartlett

    This was a slow read for me. It is told through the stories of the everyday soldier in battle. It gave me a glimpse of what my Dad and Uncle may have gone through as very young men who went to fight in Europe and Africa and Italy. I never heard much about their experiences during their war, only some of the humorous tidbits that happened to them while they were over there. Now I wonder what they really had to endure so far from home. Since they are gone now, I guess I will never know.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lori P. Arnold-Mann

    Excellent book by Pulitzer prize-winning author about the greatest generation as they fought WWII. Ambrose is a historical author, but Pyle lived with the soldiers and died with them on a Pacific island. He walked with them, wrote about them as the fought. It's an outstanding bunch of books he wrote, mine's a family copy. My Dad's now mine. I've read and re-read it and a couple more of his books. You'll enjoy reading about the men who fought the war.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Parsons

    Really unlike any book I've read. Pyle was a war correspondent in WWII. He lived with the infantry and other branches, exposing himself to death and worse for several years before being killed by a sniper's bullet. His writings are about his experiences. His respect for the American fighting man is refreshing. The writing by today's standards is a bit juvenile, but this does not distract from its effect.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Talmadge Walker

    Ernie Pyle's reminiscences of the war in Europe, from the landings in Sicily to the Liberation of Paris. Pyle covered the war with simple & unpretentious prose, focusing on the little guy, mostly the privates & NCOs & lieutenants, though he does write briefly about Omar Bradley, Jimmy Doolittle & photographer Robert Capa as well. Often full of humor and pathos.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erick

    Really awesome book, written in the midst of the action in WWII. Interesting because the author spends time in many different parts of the war effort, he offers a unique almost soldier's perspective. Authentic, cognisant of honor and sacrifice, but aware of the dehuminizing a life shattering reality that war is. It's really a great book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Brigman

    One of the all time classics Written with a penchant for naming the men he knew during the war. This is one of the classic, first person accounts written during the war.

  21. 5 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    This is a great look inside the true story of what it was like to be entrenched in the war during WWII. The author takes readers into a behind the scenes look of war and everything that entails.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Wonderful book. What a shame the author was killing in the Pacific. He was one heck of a writer.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anton Fourie

    Repetitive at times, but excellent reading

  24. 5 out of 5

    Frederick W Draxton

    My dad was an infantryman in the Battle of the Buldge. This book told the conditions these men endured for our freedom. A Book every American should read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    What a wonderful book. Different to read - instead of history of battles, Mr. Pyle focuses on telling about the war through telling us about the soldiers. Honest, straightforward and inspiring.

  26. 4 out of 5

    richard aud

    The real story of WWII. Outstanding insight with very readable narrat ive of all contributors to WWII. Grabs and holds your attention from the first chapter.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Noah Miller

    Brave Men, by Ernie Pyle, is a collection of articles written by the author who was a famous war correspondent, in the European Theater of War, during World War Two. Ernie spent time on the front lines with the average, everyday soldiers who were fighting the war so he could share with the American people what things were really like for their loved ones so far away. He wanted the people back home to understand what soldiers went through every day and the sacrifices they made. In Brave Men, Ern Brave Men, by Ernie Pyle, is a collection of articles written by the author who was a famous war correspondent, in the European Theater of War, during World War Two. Ernie spent time on the front lines with the average, everyday soldiers who were fighting the war so he could share with the American people what things were really like for their loved ones so far away. He wanted the people back home to understand what soldiers went through every day and the sacrifices they made. In Brave Men, Ernie doesn’t talk about battles and campaigns or to high ranking generals for his articles. He goes to the front lines and lives with the soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air Force from North Africa to France. Ernie talks to the average soldier and gets their opinion of what fighting the war was like for them. His writing gave an inside personal view on these brave men who fought and died to keep our country free. Brave Men was a narration by Ernie Pyle that described the lives of the young soldiers he met in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France during World War Two. Ernie learned of these men’s lives by interviewing them and then wrote a series of articles that where published in newspapers and magazines back in America during the war. Erie travelled to the Pacific Theater in 1945 and was killed during the Battle of Okinawa. His articles were later brought together and published in this book. I really enjoyed this book because the author gave me an inside look at what it was like for soldiers on the front lines during World War II. Looking at the war from the perspective of an average soldier gave me an a better understanding of the hardships and sacrifices they faced to protect our country.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vina

    This book is a gathering of the columns of war correspondent Ernie Pyle. It's an up close and personal look at World War II from a fellow who took his typewriter and went right to the front with the soldiers. The sections have headings such as Personalities and Asides, Light Bombers, Beachhead Fighters and Stand By. A bit from Beachhead Fighters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    J.S.

    An excellent compilation of newspaper columns written by WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle from the fighting in Europe and published in 1944. Pyle was killed the following year on Iwo Jima, but he was especially popular for his intimate style of reporting that focused on the perspective of soldiers instead of the generals. He says about D-Day: "I want to tell you what the [invasion] entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did An excellent compilation of newspaper columns written by WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle from the fighting in Europe and published in 1944. Pyle was killed the following year on Iwo Jima, but he was especially popular for his intimate style of reporting that focused on the perspective of soldiers instead of the generals. He says about D-Day: "I want to tell you what the [invasion] entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you" (pg. 360). And reading this book really gives you a feeling for what they went through, both the grueling horror and the intense boredom. He covers not only the infantrymen on the front lines but the artillerymen behind them and the fighter and bomber pilots above. He tells what their days were like, what they ate, what kind of reception the locals gave. He shares his experiences at sea with the Italian invasion, how the supply chain worked, and how difficult it was to rebuild bridges that were blown up by retreating Germans. He tells not only of "GI Joe" but of "Sad Sack" and all the others who served, no matter how gloriously or not. It was surprising at first to see soldier's names and home addresses, and I can imagine people watching his columns, hoping to see a familiar name or even writing to strangers. It's all done in his folksy way that must have forged a stronger connection between home and the front.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Ernie Pyle, the noted WWII correspondent, wrote about Brave Men and proved he was one of them. It is sad to realize that after he finished this book and returned to the US, he subsequently was killed in the war in the Pacific the following year. Part memoir of his travels with the US Army from North Africa, through Italy, and then onto the D-Day invasion of France, this book also served as an excellent instructional guide about how the army functioned, including the various aspects of a fighting Ernie Pyle, the noted WWII correspondent, wrote about Brave Men and proved he was one of them. It is sad to realize that after he finished this book and returned to the US, he subsequently was killed in the war in the Pacific the following year. Part memoir of his travels with the US Army from North Africa, through Italy, and then onto the D-Day invasion of France, this book also served as an excellent instructional guide about how the army functioned, including the various aspects of a fighting force - the engineers, the ordinance, the dive bombers, the medics, and all the others. This will serve as a useful start to my year long quest to learn more about WWII through both fiction and non-fiction. I really loved this book and the way Pyle took the time to identify and explain the stories of the many soldiers he served with, including their home addresses and their former lives. At the back of the book he provided an index of the soldiers and their addresses. Very kind - no wonder he was so beloved by the troops. I highly recommend this book. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because I want to leave room for a higher score for any truly exceptional volume I encounter this year. Reaching the chapter about the liberation of Paris was worth every page it took to get there! Wonderfully joyous!

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