Here Is Your War: Story of G.I. Joe

Here Is Your War: Story of G.I. Joe

Here Is Your War: Story of G.I. Joe

Here Is Your War: Story of G.I. Joe


A wonderful and enduring tribute to American troops in the Second World War, Here Is Your War is Ernie Pyle's story of the soldiers' first campaign against the enemy in North Africa. With unequaled humanity and insight, Pyle tells how people from a cross-section of America-ranches, inner cities, small mountain farms, and college towns-learned to fight a war. The Allied campaign and ultimate victory in North Africa was built on blood, brave deeds, sacrifice and needless loss, exotic vistas, endurance, homesickness, and an unmistakable American sense of humor. It's all here-the suspenseful landing at Oran; the risks taken daily by fighter and bomber pilots; grim, unrelenting combat in the desert and mountains of Tunisia; a ferocious tank battle that ended in defeat for the inexperienced Americans; and the final victory at Tunis. Pyle's keen observations relate the full story of ordinary G.I.s caught up in extraordinary times.


Orr Kelly

Ernie Pyle has long been famous as the reporter who gave the American public a foxhole-eye view of World War II. His columns—larded with the names and hometowns of soldiers who were more often privates and corporals than colonels and generals—were all told in short sentences and short paragraphs with plenty of quotes.

But wait a minute. Couldn’t the same be said of every wire service reporter who ever hurried out to cover a story, copy paper and thick-leaded pencil in hand, hard-wired to produce punchy copy filled with names (first, middle initial, and last, always spelled correctly)?

Here Is Your War, based on columns written some sixty years ago, covers the war’s first ground combat, in North Africa, between American and German troops. What separates Ernie Pyle from the countless other reporters who covered the war? One obvious difference was that Pyle was a columnist. His columns, distributed by the United Features syndicate, appeared in newspapers all across the United States. So, unlike newspaper and wire service reporters whose copy might appear every day for a week and then not again for a month, Ernie Pyle’s words were seen six days a week, usually in a familiar place in the newspaper. in that pre-television era Americans got almost all of their news from their daily newspapers.

As a columnist Pyle was free from the rigid printing strictures that shackled newspaper and wire service reporters. in those days metal type was cast, one line at a time, on Linotype machines and then fitted into a page by compositors. the story had to be written with the most important news appearing at the beginning and the less important coming after, so the compositor was free to simply throw away the concluding paragraphs to fit the story in the available space. Pyle, on the other hand, was expected to deliver a column of a certain length each day. But neither he nor his syndicate could control what was done with the column by individual editors, some of whom, to his dismay, hacked away with a too-heavy pencil.

In addition to the built-in advantages he had as a syndicated columnist . . .

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