Ernie Pyle: Brave Men

I’ve been reading a collection of Ernie Pyle columns from WWII 1943 -1944 this summer. This book is a must read if you have an interest in the regular people who were participating in that war.

The following excerpt from pages 317-318 really struck me with how much communication and communication technology have changed from then to now. Pyle is describing the environment of London just prior to D-day:

After going the rounds I decided that if the Army failed to get ashore on D-day there would be enough American correspondents to force through a beachhead on their own.

There were at least three hundred correspondents, and the report was that transmission facilities were set up to carry a maximum of half a million words a day back to America.

On a high traffic day, this little web site matches the transmission capacity (but certainly not the content generation ability) of a D-day journalist brigade. I had one of those ‘Whoa’ moments when I read that page.

If he were around today I think Pyle would be a natural blogger. His stories were really about his personal reaction to and interaction with the men and women he met in the war. Very blog-like.