Monday, October 4, 2010

Veteran's Chapter

WWII was definitely portrayed to the American public in a different way than Viet Nam or Afghanistan.

What happened? Ernie Pyle writes of brave men. Men wearing a soldier's uniform doing a soldiers job. Every man he writes about is a hero, even the other war correspondants.

The other interesting thing is that there isn't anything about the politics of WWII in his book. It's just about men who go to war to do a job. They itch to get to the front to see action and then as soon as they see what war is all about they itch to get home.

The men of WWII are as civilized as soldiers can be. The worst off, the infantry who sleep on the ground and just keep plodding forward for months that turn quickly into years.

Ernie Pyle's writing is simple and pure. It gets the point across vividly. You feel as if you are eating k rations, living in a foxhole and burying the dead. The chapter on taking Omaha Beach is just as explicit in his style of writing as Steven Speilberg showed in his masterpice, Saving Privat Ryan.