In December 1940 American war correspondent Ernie Pyle entered England for the first time.
With the German Luftwaffe flying overhead, he had entered it in the midst of the Blitz.
He would stay in Britain for the next four months.
With his distinctive writing style, that would later earn him a Pulitzer Prize, he vividly depicts Great Britain in her darkest hour.
With France defeated and America not yet in the war, the future did not look bright for Churchill’s country.
Yet, as Pyle finds out, this was not a country resigned to defeat, instead it was carrying on as best it could, determined that it would not buckle under the pressure of Hitler’s aerial raids.
He spends much time in London where he sees the city, “ringed and stabbed with fire,” but also travels the length and breadth of the country, from some areas that have hardly been affected like Edinburgh, to others like Coventry that suffered greatly under the bombardment.
Pyle’s inquisitive nature leads him to spend time with dockworkers of Glasgow, R.A.F. pilots in a bomber station, miners of Wales, policemen of London and families across the nation to uncover how the ordinary men and women were coping under the pressure.
Ernie Pyle in England is a fascinating account of Britain during one of its darkest periods, and how with amazing resilience the British people survived.
Ernest Taylor Pyle was a Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist. As a roaming correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain he earned wide acclaim for his accounts of ordinary people, including the likes of Harry Truman. He was killed on Iejima in the Pacific theater of war during the Battle of Okinawa on April 18, 1945. This book was first published in 1941.