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Ernest Hemingway's ETO chronology.

DURING THIS YEAR'S many fiftieth anniversary commemorations of the battles which ended the Second World War, those of us interested in Ernest Hemingway should recall that Hemingway himself was a part of the epochal events of those days. As a combat correspondent for Collier's magazine he flew with the Royal Air Force, crossed the English Channel with American troops on D-Day, and accompanied Allied forces off and on from Normandy to the Rhineland. He translated these experiences into six Collier's articles, four poems, one published and six unpublished short stories, fragments of an unpublished novel, and one published novel--Across the River and into the Trees. The aim of this chronology is to provide an accounting of Hemingway's movements from his departure for England in May 1944 until his return from the war in March 1945.

About the format and background of this chronology: significant, reliably documented information is posted in daily entries beneath monthly headings. General, or poorly documented information is either summarized or posted with the nearest reliable information. The twenty-four hour military clock is used throughout for brevity. The definitive biographical reference for Hemingway (hereafter abbreviated "EH") remains Carlos Baker's Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story, to which my work owes a large debt. The interested reader is directed to Baker's book for his exhaustive listing of the source materials for the period in question. EH's time in the field is surprisingly well documented by military sources, as well as by his own letters, notes, and journal. In preparing this chronology I have employed most of the same primary sources used by Baker, including EH's July-September 1944 journal which was rediscovered among his papers at the Kennedy Library in late 1991, and some notes apparently unknown to Baker. The journal was called EH's "war diary" by Baker, and his precedent is followed here.

In the spring of 1944 EH was compelled by his wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn, to cover the the progress of the Second World War in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Martha arranged to have EH flown to England in exchange for his coverage of the RAF. He agreed to the deal, then promptly usurped her combat accreditation with Collier's magazine. They left Cuba together in March, but departed New York separately in May.

MAY 1944

13: Martha leaves for England as the sole passenger on a freighter loaded with dynamite.

17: EH departs New York aboard a Pan Am flying boat bound for Foynes, Ireland, with a connecting flight to London.

18: EH's flight lands on the River Shannon in Foynes early in the morning. He later flies to London and checks into the Dorchester Hotel, "the Dorch."

22: EH meets his next wife, Mary Welsh, who wears a notoriously flattering sweater as she lunches with Irwin Shaw at the White Tower restaurant in London.

24: EH attends a party thrown by photographer Robert Capa. Also present are EH's brother Leicester, then a private in a documentary film team ("The Hollywood Irregulars"), and Life correspondent William Walton.

25: When Capa's party breaks up around 0300, EH catches a ride back to the Dorch with Dr. and Mrs. Peter Gorer. Dr. Gorer crashes into a water tank, injuring all three. They are taken to St. George's Hospital where EH is treated for a severe concussion, deep scalp wound, and smashed knees. Martha later lands in Liverpool after almost two weeks at sea, and, after reaching London and checking into the Dorchester, pays EH an unsympathetic visit at the hospital.

29: EH is discharged from the London Clinic.

JUNE 1944

2: EH briefed about the impending Allied invasion of Normandy.

5: Invasion fleet launched late in the night with EH aboard the attack transport Dorothea M. Dix.

6(D-Day): EH, his knees still weak from the auto accident, is winched aboard a landing craft and transferred to the Empire Anvil at 0200. At 0500 he boards a landing craft with troops of US 1st Infantry Division, but is not allowed to go ashore with them when they reach Omaha Beach two hours later. He takes seven pages of notes which bear no resemblance to his bombastic Collier's article "Voyage to Victory." He returns to England later the same day.

7: Martha crosses the English Channel aboard a hospital ship and sneaks ashore after dark with a detachment of stretcher bearers.

EH fills the last three weeks of June with visits to various RAF bases and the pursuit of Mary Welsh. Martha returns to England sometime after 7 June, forbidden by the military authorities to return to France because of her unauthorized landing there, but soon slips off to Italy to continue her reporting.

15: A [V.sub.1] strikes near the airbase of the RAF's 98th Squadron at Dunsford while EH visits. Reporters race to the site and snatch missile fragments before investigators arrive. Police later recognize EH's bushy beard in the Officers' Mess bar and force him to surrender his fragments. He later accompanies Wing Commander Allen Lynn on a bombing raid on a [V.sub.1] launch site at Drancourt, Belgium.

18: A [V.sub.1] strikes nearby as EH makes breakfast in his room at the Dorchester.

28: Hemingway visits RAF Attack Wing 140 at Thorney Island, near Portsmouth.

29: Group Captain Peter Wykeham-Barnes of the 140th takes EH up in a Mosquito fighter-bomber in the afternoon. Then just before midnight they make a low-level patrol of the Channel coast, encountering several Vis bound for England. EH urges Wykeham-Barnes to attempt two unauthorized kills which are both unsuccessful. They meet in the mess tent at noon, and a haggard-looking EH claims to have been at his typewriter since they parted near dawn.

JULY 1944

Some time during the first week of July EH shaves his beard, catches a flight to Cherbourg, and finally lands in Normandy a month after D-Day. He joins several big-name journalists bunking at a house in Cherbourg. During his weeklong stay the correspondents make daily treks to cover the nearby fighting, and return home to drink in the evening. After a week EH returns to London to resume romancing Mary Welsh.

17: EH takes Mary Welsh to the White Tower, where they had first met, for a farewell lunch.

18: EH returns to Normandy officially attached to an armored division in Patton's Third Army. He takes an immediate dislike to both military armor and Gen. Patton. EH begins his "war diary."

21: EH's forty-fifth birthday, most notable for the swiping of his last glass of whiskey by his wartime bane, the Brazilian correspondent Nemo Cannabero Lucas, whom EH nicknamed "The Brazilius."

22: "Voyage to Victory," EH's eyewitness account of D-Day appears in Collier's (BL 300-13).

24: EH unofficially attaches himself to the 4th Infantry Division (First Army). At 4th Div. headquarters (HQ) he meets Gen. Raymond O. "Tubby" Barton, division commander, and Capt. Marcus "Stevie" Stevenson, a Public Relations Officer (PRO) whom Barton assigns to escort EH.

25: EH witnesses the massive aerial bombardment of German front lines by Allied heavy and medium bombers that accidentally kills hundreds of American troops at the beginning of Operation COBRA.

28: EH and correspondent Ira Wolfert visit the Command Post (CP) of the 4th Div.'s 22nd Regiment near Le Mesnil-Herman and meet the 22nd's commander, Col. C. T. "Buck" Lanham, for the first time.

31: EH commandeers a captured German motorcycle and a damaged Mercedes-Benz in Villebaudon. Pvt. Archie "Red" Pelkey is assigned to chauffeur EH.


3: EH and Pelkey ride into Villedieu-les-Poeles on a motorcycle while both Americans and Germans shell the center of town. Locals think EH an officer and warn him about SS troops hidden in a cellar behind US lines. He goes to the cellar, shouts surrender orders in French and German, and tosses in three grenades when he gets no response. Afterwards, the town's mayor thanks him with two magnums of champagne. EH later gives one of these to Col. Lanham when Lanham, driving through town and recognizing EH standing on a street corner casually watching the battle, halts his jeep to ask EH what he thinks he is doing in the middle of a firefight.

4: EH accompanies the 4th Div. as they take the town of St.-Pois.

5: Pelkey fetches Robert Capa from Granville, then chauffeurs both EH and Capa on the motorcycle to Lanham's CP outside of St.-Pois. They miss the turnoff to the CP and continue around a bend directly into the path of an German 88mm anti-tank gun. All three leap from the bike as the Germans open fire on them. EH smashes his head and back in the dive, aggravating his earlier concussion. They are pinned down until American fire drives the Germans away at dusk. EH argues with Capa all the way to Lanham's CP, accusing Capa of hiding in safety hoping to capture his death on film.

6: The 4th Div. is to be relieved by a fresh division, and Col. Lanham moves his CP to Chateau Lingeard. EH and Bill Walton go to Mont-St.-Michel for a holiday, joining other correspondents at the Hotel de la Mere Poularde. As at Cherbourg, they make daily forays to the fighting. EH writes "The G.I. and the General."

8: EH visits Col. Lanham at Chateau Lingeard. Lanham's staff plans a goose dinner for his twentieth wedding anniversary the next day, and he invites EH, who declines and returns to Mont-St.-Michel.

9: Lanham's CP at Chateau Lingeard comes under heavy artillery fire. Several officers are killed, and others, including Lanham, are wounded. Goose dinner canceled. EH watches the shelling from the roof of the monastery at Mont-St.-Michel.

10: EH visits Lanham's new CP on 10 or 11 Aug. and they discuss the incident at the Chateau. EH asks Lanham, "Do you know why I didn't accept your invitation to dinner on the 9th? ... That place stank of death" (Lanham 5-6). EH later detaches himself from the 4th Division, but is allowed to keep Pelkey and a jeep.

19: EH and Pelkey meet Tahon Marceau, a commander of Free French troops (FFI), and two truckloads of Marceau's men at an outpost of the US 2nd Infantry Reg. Two of the FFIs will become part of EH's legendary retinue: Onesime ("Onie") and Marcel. EH enters Rambouillet, abandoned by the Germans before dawn, with the FFIs and passes a tense but uneventful night there with them. "London Fights the Robots" appears in Collier's (BL 314-20). This article about the men and machines that hunt Vis and V1 launch sites is most notable for EH's application of the misnomer "Tempest" to the Typhoon fighters flown by the interceptor squadrons. This is the article which earned him a flight to Britain.

20: EH approaches the 2nd Infantry Reg. for supplies, and receives both arms and provisions for the FFIs as well as written permission for himself to obtain captured German arms. He sets himself up in two rooms at the Hotel du Grand Veneur in Rambouillet, using one as a makeshift armory. He first meets Jean Decan, a member of the French underground, at the hotel. Decan will become EH's personal driver and bodyguard. EH meets OSS Col. David Bruce near Chartres in the afternoon, and invites him to Rambouillet. Col. Bruce arrives to find EH gathering information from FFI patrols and locals, and "in nominal command of ten partisans" (Baker 410). Col. Bruce prepares to defend the town with a mixed force of American regular and French irregular troops. EH receives Bruce's written permission to bear arms and command irregulars. Correspondents, including a young Andy Rooney, swarm to Rambouillet anticipating the push to Paris and find EH already there, occupying two rooms and behaving more like a guerrilla than a journalist. EH trades punches with Bruce Grant of the Chicago Daily News at dinner when Grant accuses him of grandstanding.

23: A small French patrol is ambushed after passing through Rambouillet, and, as survivors return, Gen. Jacques Leclerc himself enters the town. Col. Bruce and EH briefly meet Leclerc and are told to give Leclerc's intelligence officer any information they may have. EH instantly dislikes Gen. Leclerc, thenceforth calling him "Leclerc the jerk."

24: EH and Pelkey attempt to bypass Leclerc's slow moving armored column en route to Paris, but rejoin it at Toussus le Noble. German shelling halts the column for a while near Le Buc, and EH meets Andy Rooney when both take cover behind a wall as the shelling begins. EH's calmness impresses Rooney (Brian 162). EH and Pelkey slip out of the column during the shelling to visit a ruined cafe where they find US Army historian Lt. Col. S.L.A. Marshall and his driver. Eventually they leave the cafe and join Col. Bruce on the road. Around 1700 they approach the Seine on a route mobbed with people who swamp their jeeps with gifts and liquor whenever the column slows. They halt at nightfall about a mile from the Pont de Sevres and find lodging in a local home.

25: Liberation of Paris. It is not at all clear what EH really does this day, but Baker's version of the "Hemingway Liberation Legend" is as follows: EH et al. come under fire just after noon near the Bois de Boulogne, flee through various side streets, and eventually end up drinking champagne atop the Arc de Triomphe. Then they race down the deserted Champs-Elysees to the Travellers Club, where they drink more champagne before dodging small arms fire en route to the Cafe de la Paix on the Place de l'Opera, which they find too crowded to navigate. When the crowd on the Place de l'Opera thins they proceed to the Hotel Ritz on the Place Vendome. The manager finds rooms for EH and the American officers, as well as nearby lodging for the FFIs and enlisted men. A round of fifty martinis begins the celebration at the Ritz. EH does not cover the German surrender that afternoon, and even loans his typewriter to another correspondent with the words "None of us will ever write a line about these last twenty-four hours in delirium. Whoever tries it is a chump" (Baker 415-17).

26: EH lunches with a group of American journalists at the Ritz. Helen Kirkpatrick and John Reinhart want to watch Leclerc's victory parade but EH says, "Daughter, sit still and drink this good brandy. You can always watch parades but you'll never again celebrate the liberation of Paris at the Ritz" (Baker 417). Mary Welsh covers Leclerc's parade and later discovers EH at the Ritz. EH also visits the Negre de Toulouse, Lipp's Brasserie, and Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Co. bookstore. he adds, "Lu et approve Paris, August 25, 1944" to his 1937 inscription of Beach's copy of Winner Take Nothing. Over the next five days EH entertains various interesting visitors at the Ritz including authors J.D. Salinger and Andre Malraux. The meeting with Malraux is supposed to have reached an ugly climax as the two authors boastfully compared their recent military exploits, prompting one of EH's FFI friends to ask, "Papa, on peut fusiller ce con?" (Baker 419-20). Fortunately, Malraux was given a drink rather than a bullet.


1: At the Ritz, EH receives a note from Col. Lanham: "Go hang yourself, brave Hemingstein. We have fought at Landrecies and you were not there" (Baker 420).

2: EH departs early in a jeep driven by Jean Decan. They eventually find the 4th Div. near Campiegne and spend the night there in a field over which five V2s pass just before dawn.

3: EH and Decan leave 4th Div. HQ at dawn with a column bound for the 22nd Reg. They catch up with Col. Lanham at Pommereuil only to discover that the 22nd has just been detached from its task force, and will pause a few days before pushing deep into Belgium. The 22nd remains in Pommereuil through 6 Sept. EH returns to Paris.

5-6: Unable to find Mary Welsh, EH bums around Paris.

7: Pelkey and a jeep are reassigned to EH by Gen. Barton. They leave for Belgium in the morning in a caravan of two cars, two jeeps, and a motorcycle. The party includes EH and Pelkey, Jean Decan, FFI guerrillas Marcel and Onie, British correspondent Peter Lawless, and the Brazilius. Late in the day they reach the 4th Div. in the French border village of Hargnies, and EH dines with Gen. Barton. They continue some distance into Belgium, halting at nightfall to pitch cots in the open air next to their vehicles. EH notes that the weather is cold and the Ardennes spooky, and that he is exhausted from Paris and feels a cold coming on (Diary 5-7).

8: EH goes to 4th Div. HQ for a morning briefing by assistant division commander Gen. Rodwell. He spends the night in Libin, at 4th Div. HQ in the hunting chateau of a Belgian collaborator.

9: EH et al. advance with the 22nd toward Houffalize, but return to St.-Hubert in the evening and spend the night in a hotel there.

10: This day's events spawned two of EH's unpublished short stories--"Indian Country and the White Army" and "The Monument." EH and company suffer a blowout en route to Bastogne and are passed up by elements of the 22nd, but a firefight at Campagne delays the 22nd long enough for them to catch up. After the fight, EH and Col. Lanham walk in the woods above the town before resuming the advance. Then, just outside Mabompre, the 22nd comes under heavy fire of every sort. EH's group leaves the besieged column and proceeds to the crossroads restaurant of "Indian Country and the White Army" where they eat lunch, meet the would-be soldiers of the armee blanche, and get involved in a minor skirmish. After lunch they strip a jeep recaptured from the Germans but, as EH ruefully notes in his journal, forget to take its spare tire (Diary 14). They rejoin Col. Lanham atop a hill overlooking Houffalize and watch the German retreat from the town. When the Brazilus wanders off toward a clearing near some US tank destroyers in order to get a better look at the action, EH shouts to him to get down. The Brazilius does not get down. EH then tackles him and threatens to kill him if he gets up again. He begins to get up. EH hurls him down again and drags him back to cover (Lanham 10). Eventually Col. Lanham gives the correspondents permission to follow him into Houffalize. A race is proposed, and EH, Col. Lanham, and Capt. Stevenson each bet that his jeep will be the first into town. EH and Stevenson take the main road, but Lanham follows a longer trail on the advice of a local. A roadblock barely slows Stevenson's jeep as EH's jeep follows. They encounter six more roadblocks, and EH's jeep somehow takes the lead and tries a short cut which leads to a dead-end. Meanwhile, Stevenson enters town with Lanham fast behind him. Then, just as Lanham reaches the main square of Houffalize, the Germans blow the heavy bridge that links the eastern and western portions of the town. Half an hour later EH finally reaches the square and finds the locals rebuilding their bridge with timber and planks. It is finished in thirty minutes and is strong enough to carry trucks and tanks. EH and Lanham watch the rebuilding of the bridge from atop a wall beside the river, talking and drinking with some locals. The Belgians think EH is a general because he is so much larger and more imposing than the colonel. EH finally convinces them that he is no general, but only a captain whose career has stalled because he can neither read nor write. Lanham nearly falls into the river laughing.

11: EH settles the bill for the previous night's food, drinks, and lodging--footing most of it himself because only he and Capt. Stevenson have any money. EH remains in Houffalize, likely suffering from the chest cold he mentioned four days earlier, while Stevenson, Lawless, and the Brazilian go to a briefing at 4th Div. HQ. EH brings his diary up to date and writes a letter to Mary Welsh in which he mentions his "war diary:" "I am keeping a note book because I am having such a good time might not remember and one day of Indian Country drives another day of Indian Country out of yr. head" (SL 567). The correspondents must give up their jeeps because of a division-wide fuel shortage. EH, Lawless, and the Brazilius travel together in Capt. Stevenson's jeep to Col. Lanham's CP in Beho where they find Col. Lanham listening to notes on that morning's briefing. EH records this Catch-22-style briefing in his journal (Diary 18-20). Later, Lawless and the Brazilius return to Div. HQ with Stevenson, leaving EH in Beho. He is troubled by bad dreams and sleeps with his flashlight and automatic pistol (Diary 21).

12: First US troops cross the German border. At breakfast EH hears about a four-man patrol from the 22nd Reg. which forded the Our River at Hemmeres, Germany during the night and returned with a helmet full of German soil. After breakfast, Capt. Stevenson returns from Div. HQ with Lawless and the Brazilius. They join some military police at a Bierstube for a celebratory drink before proceeding to Col. Lanham's morning briefing. After the briefing they join the northern column of a two-pronged push into Germany, often just minutes behind the much-harried Germans. They reach the heights above the Our and see the first US tanks ford the river into Germany at 1627, and enter Germany themselves at 1640. EH's group finds an abandoned farmhouse on the outkirts of the village and invites Col. Lanham and his officers to a chicken dinner. Lanham accepts the invitation and makes the farmhouse his CP. German paratroopers are interrogated before dinner and EH scribbles notes on the interrogations in the margins of a booklet titled A Few Facts About France. Lanham thought this evening the happiest of the war: "The food was excellent, the wine plentiful, the comradeship close and warm. All of us were as heady with the taste of victory as we were with the wine" (Baker 425).

13: EH is wakened early by the Brazilius arguing with Peter Lawless over the use of Lawless's typewriter. The Brazilian's continuous whining so irritates EH that he curses him to his face just before dinner. After dinner, EH enters a satiric account of the Brazilius' early morning tirade in his journal (Diary 25-28).

14-17: The 22nd launches its assault on the Siegfried Line in the Schnee Eifel region while EH remains back at Div. HQ suffering from the chest cold which had set in a week earlier. He follows the progress of the campaign, entering notes and questions about the 22nd's battles in his journal.

18: EH is taken on an extensive tour of the Schnee Eifel battlefields by Col. Lanham. Most of the familiar wartime photos of EH and Lanham are taken at this time. EH interviews the 22nd's Capt. Howard Blazzard about the Siegfried Line assault, filling the bulk of his "war diary" with Blazzard's description of the breaching of German bunkers on 14 September. EH and his group of journalists and guerrillas later take up residence in a farmhouse in Buchet, renaming it "Schloss Hemingstein." Lanham returns EH's hospitality of 12 Sept. by serving dinner at his own farmhouse CP that evening. Just as dinner is served, a German 88mm shell tears through the walls of the dining room without exploding. Everyone dives into a potato cellar. Lanham looks out from the cellar and sees EH calmly eating dinner. Lanham orders EH into the cellar. EH refuses. Lanham goes to retrieve EH. Another dud shell rips through the wall directly above them. EH remains unfazed and immovable. Lanham joins him at the table. A third shell whistles overhead. Lanham suggests that EH might at least put on his helmet. EH refuses. Lanham then removes his own helmet. When no more shells come through the walls, everyone else trickles back to the table amid much discussion of EH's reckless bravery. Lanham later called EH's behavior an example of "jackassery," concluding that it was a performance intended to wow the less experienced journalists present (Lanham 15-6, Brian 179). The fuel shortage strands EH and company at "Schloss Hemingstein" for two weeks while the retreating Germans catch their breath and begin harassing the Americans with ever-increasing frequency and intensity.

24: EH writes a letter to Mary Welsh, endorsing the envelope "Please deliver in case of casualty."

30: "Battle for Paris," EH's account of his adventures around Rambouillet 19-23 Aug. appears in Collier's (BL 321-29).


2: EH directed by Commander harry C. Butcher of SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) Public Relations Division to report to the Inspector General (IG) of the Third Army at Nancy, France on 4 October. Although EH had unofficially attached himself to the 4th Div. of the First Army on 24 July, he was still officially attached to, and under the jurisdiction of, the Third Army. He suspects that his activities around Rambouillet on 18-25 Aug. are to be the subject of the investigation and immediately begins calling in favors from influential military friends.

4: EH issued travel orders for Nancy. He reaches 3rd Army HQ around noon and lunches with two of Patton's staff officers who advise him simply to deny all the allegations which will be raised at the next morning's interrogation. After lunch, EH checks into a military hotel for the officers and VIP guests of the Third Army. In the evening he walks to another hotel for an informal meeting with Colonel Park, Third Army IG. They discuss the case frankly, and Col. Park concludes the discussion by reminding EH that he will have to answer the same questions under oath in the morning.

5: EH appears before the IG, who "concluded the interview by advising Hemingway to set his mind at rest" (Baker 429). EH goes to Paris in the evening and, not finding Mary at the Ritz, drinks in the Ritz bar. His unpublished short story "The day we drove from Nancy to Paris..." describes this evening.

7: "How We Came to Paris," EH's account of the events of 23-24 Aug. on the road from Rambouillet to Toussus le Noble, appears in Collier's (BL 330-37).


3: Martha writes a letter to EH suggesting they be divorced.

4: "The G.I. and the General," loosely based on the 4th Div.'s 4 August fight for St.-Pois appears in Collier's (BL 338-44).

7: Jean Decan is dispatched to Paris with a letter from Capt. Stevenson urging EH to return to the 4th Div. for the launch of the 4th's assault on the Hurtgen Forest.

8: EH seems spooked by the prospect of the coming battle. He tells Mary that he would rather not go but feels that Lanham's regiment will need his company to keep their spirits up during their coming sorrows (Fuentes 344).

10: EH returns to the 4th Division to await the launch of their campaign to take the Hurtgen Forest.

11: EH visits the 22nd and dines with Col. Lanham who is suffering from the respiratory infection which was rampant among combat troops that miserable winter.

15: Jean Decan drives EH and Bill Walton to the 22nd on the eve of the 4th Div.'s assault on the Hurtgen Forest. They reach Lanham's CP in the afternoon. Lanham's mood matches the dismal weather, a depressing combination of rain, snow, and fog, but he would later recall that EH's arrival brought an almost literal brightness to the regiment that day (Lanham 22, Brian 179-80). EH tours the 22nd's dug-in forward positions wearing his white German parka and carrying a Thompson submachine gun. Afterwards, he returns to Col. Lanham's trailer where they stay up until two or three in the morning drinking EH's liquor. Lanham cannot shake a gnawing feeling that he will not survive the battle, and confides this fear to EH who savagely chides him for being a "premonition person" and says he is "sick of all this [premonition] shit" (Baker 433, Lanham 23).

16: Hurtgen Forest assault launched at 1245. Before the attack EH writes a letter to Henry La Cossit, editor of Collier's, revoking any prior life insurance arrangements and naming Mary Welsh as the sole beneficiary of the policy taken out on him by the magazine. He also accompanies Col. Lanham on a final tour of battalion CPs before the attack. "Several of the battalion commanders had read For Whom the Bell Tolls during their ten-day voyage to England the winter before, and they joked with [EH] now about the sleeping bag scenes with Jordan and Maria. He responded with good humor, but modestly and with a trace of shyness" (Baker 436). They find the CP of the 1st Battalion to be extremely well dug-in, though Lanham fears that the acting battalion commander will have to be relieved before the end of the battle. Lanham mentions this to EH as they ride back to the regimental CP. EH replies, "Buck, you won't ever have to relieve him. ... He won't make it. He stinks of death." Upon their arrival at Lanham's CP they are met by Lt. Col. Ruggles, Lanham's executive officer, who salutes and reports, "Colonel, Drake has just been killed. Who takes the 1st Battalion?" A freak shellburst directly over the dugout had sent a single shell fragment through a chink between the logs of the roof and killed the major instantly just after their visit. EH silently walks to Lanham's trailer and pours himself a drink. When Col. Lanham reaches his trailer he asks EH, "How the hell did you know that?" and EH can only answer that he does not know (Baker 434, Lanham 23-4).

18: "War in the Siegfried Line," EH's almost-eyewitness account of the 22nd Regiment's 14 September assault on the Siegfried Line, appears in Collier's. This article follows his interview of Capt. Howard Blazzard, which fills the entire latter portion of his "war diary," nearly verbatim. It was EH's final piece for Collier's.

19: EH mentions the hallmarks of the Hurtgen Forest battle in a letter to Mary: booby-traps, double- and triple-layered mine fields, deadly accurate German artillery fire, and the reduction of the forest to a stump-filled waste by the incessant shelling of both sides (Fuentes 353-54).

20: EH writes that this shelling is the worst he has seen since his wounding in Italy in 1918 (Fuentes 354).

22: When Col. Lanham's CP is attacked by a German platoon both Jean Decan and EH fight alongside the men of the 22nd.

27: Col. Lanham receives the 18 Nov. issue of Collier's from home and shares it with EH, who discovers that "War in the Siegfried Line" has been heavily censored and published without the prologue and photographs he had intended to accompany the article. EH explodes into a cursing fit and vows to write nothing more for Collier's.

29: EH visits First Army HQ where he sends a cable to Collier's, telling Henry La Cossit that he is working on a final article for the magazine but wants to return to Cuba as soon as possible to repair the Finca Vigia's recent hurricane damage. He concludes the telegram with congratulations on the sabotage of "War in the Siegfried Line."

30: EH and Bill Walton visit the strategic hilltop village of Grosshau, which is just barely secure and under constant fire. They encounter two grisly spectacles on the road to Grosshau which later find their way into in ARIT: a dead GI flattened by the many heavy vehicles rolling toward the town, and a dead German who had been roasted by white phosphorous and was being devoured by a half starved dog.


2: A long-feared German counter-attack materializes at 0330, immediately knocking out all but one of the regiment's tanks and sending Germans deep behind the 22nd's lines. Col. Lanham activates a last-ditch reserve of cooks, drivers, and HQ staff, then calls Div. HQ to request reinforcements and to invite EH to join the action. EH arrives almost before Lanham hangs up the phone, having taken a heavily mined route to save time. The 22nd barely manages to repel the attack shortly before dawn.

3: Final day of the 4th Div.'s Hurtgen campaign.

4: The 4th Div. is relieved and sent for rest and recreation near Luxembourg city. EH and Bill Walton to pursue their own r-and-r in Paris, but decide to pay Lanham's regiment a final visit. They are nearly killed, and lose their jeep, when a German plane strafes them en route to the 22nd. They take cover in a ditch and remain there for fear of another strafing pass which would catch them in the open. EH and Walton share a canteen filled with gin while they wait shivering in the ditch.

6: EH finally reaches Paris, retiring to his bed at the Ritz with a deepening cold. Among his visitors are Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He later claimed that de Beauvoir had asked to sleep with him but that he had begged off the opportunity by claiming "battle fatigue" (Brian 167-68). He also tries to find a pre-Christmas flight to New York at this time.

16: The Battle of the Bulge begins at 0530. Part of the German attack drives through Luxembourg, ending the 4th Div.'s r-and-r. Col. Robert Chance's 12th Regiment is especially hard hit. The ailing EH manages to get a call through to Gen. Barton to find out if the attack is serious enough to warrant a trip to Luxembourg: "For security reasons, I could not give him the facts over the telephone... so I told him in substance that it was a pretty hot show and to come on up" (Baker 439).

17: EH gets a jeep and sets off for Luxembourg in the morning shivering beneath both a sheepskin flight jacket and his German parka. Upon his arrival the fight has cooled enough to see that the Allied line will not break, and Col. Lanham immediately orders him to submit to the care of the regimental doctor.

22: EH returns to the field though still ill. Near Breitweiler he watches a temporary task force under the command of Col. Jim Luckett make an attack. He later returns to 4th Div. HQ and sets about gathering information on the Battle of the Bulge.

24: Christmas Eve. Col. Lanham survives a strafing of his CP by American P-47s. Around noon Martha Gellhorn arrives at Lanham's CP in Rodenbourg, having been innocently invited by Lt. Col. Ruggles, Lanham's executive officer, as a pleasant surprise for EH. That night EH attends the 4th Div. Christmas party alone. The party is also a celebration of Gen. Barton's fifty-fourth birthday and the 12th Regiment's successful repelling of the German attack. Conspicuously absent is Col. Lanham who had been given temporary command of the 12th Reg. so that Col. Chance might attend the party. When Col. Luckett is thrown out two hours into the party, he and EH head off to a champagne party with the 70th Tank Battalion. Later, EH and Martha visit Gen. Barton at his quarters before returning to Rodenbourg to sleep in Col. Lanham's bedroom while the colonel sleeps in his command trailer.

25: Christmas Day. Lanham gives EH and Martha a tour of battalion CPs. EH repeatedly calls Martha "Mookie," his pet name for her, and they quarrel bitterly in Lanham's jeep. Martha begins speaking French for privacy, and, though he knows that Lanham also speaks French, EH waits some time before sharing this fact with his wife. The tour ends with EH assuring Martha that "she had now been as close to the real front lines as she was ever likely to be" (Baker 441).

31: New Year's Eve. Bill Walton and Martha Gellhorn meet one another for the first time at a VIP hotel in Luxembourg city. They spend the afternoon sledding together and make dinner plans. Walton then returns to his room only to find EH waiting for him. Walton tells him of his afternoon with Martha and their plans to dine together. EH promptly invites himself along, and tears into Martha over dinner. She leaves after Walton fails to keep EH even remotely civil. Walton takes EH back to his room and gives him a richly deserved chewing-out, to which EH replies, "Willie, you can't hunt an elephant with a bow and arrow" (Baker 441). Soon thereafter, EH strips down to his long johns, places a bucket on his head and a mop beneath his arm like a lance and begins battering Martha's door Quixote-fashion.


Early in January EH returns to Paris and his lodgings at the Ritz. Some time thereafter he manages to get thrown out of the George V restaurant for brawling with William Saroyan. In mid-January he learns that his son, Lt. Jack Hemingway, is safe in a German POW camp. Late in the month Mary Welsh goes back to work in London, but returns to the Ritz by Valentine's Day.


Some time in February, Col. Lanham and Col. Chance come to Paris on the first leave for either since D-Day. When they visit EH at the Ritz they find him well in his cups. He insists on toting around a fully loaded German automatic pistol given to him by Lanham. At some point he places a framed photo of Mary's ex-husband in the fireplace and must be physically restrained from firing on the photo. He then takes the photo into the bathroom, places it on the toilet, and destroys both photo and toilet with two short bursts from the pistol. Headaches plague him at the end of the month.

MARCH 1945

5: EH writes Mary a brief farewell letter in the evening.

6: EH flies from Paris to London, where he briefly visits Martha at the Dorchester, before departing for New York aboard an American bomber.

14: EH leaves New York with his son Patrick, picks up son Gregory in Florida, then proceeds to Cuba with both. Almost exactly one year after departing, EH returns home to the Finca Vigia, his Second World War at an end.


Baker, Carlos, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York: Scribner's, 1969.

_____, ed. Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917-1961. New York: Scribner's, 1981.

Brian, Denis. The True Gen. New York: Grove, 1988.

Fuentes, Norberto. Hemingway in Cuba. trans. Consuelo E. Corwin. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1984.

Hemingway, Ernest. Across the River and into the Trees. New York: Scribner's, 1950.

_____. "Black Ass at the Cross Roads." The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Scribner's, 1987. 579-589.

_____. By-Line: Ernest Hemingway. Ed. William White. New York: Scriber's, 1967.

_____. "The Day We Drove Back from Nancy to Paris...." ts. 356a. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library, Boston. Unpublished short story.

_____. "EH Notes. Pencil Notes on Easy Red, Fox Green, Overlord, and ships." ms. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library. Unpublished D-Day notes.

_____. "Indian Country and the White Army." tss. 496b., 496c. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library, Boston. Unpublished short story.

_____. "The Monument." ts. 580a. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library, Boston. Unpublished short story.

_____. "PW Interrogation, 94th Parachute Div." ms. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library, Boston. Unpublished notes, 12 September 1944.

_____. "A Room on the Garden Side." ts. 674.7. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library, Boston. Unpublished short story.

_____. War Diary. ms. Hemingway Collection. JFK Library, Boston. Unpublished journal, July-September 1944.

Hemingway, Mary Welsh. How It Was. New York: Knopf, 1976.

Lanham, Charles Trueman. "Hemingway-Lanham Chronology 1944-45." Princeton University Library. Unpublished memoir, 1962-63.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:European Theater of Operations
Author:Beistle, Donald P.
Publication:The Hemingway Review
Date:Sep 22, 1994
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