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Hemingway, Naval Intelligence and Cuba

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I just read a fascinating piece on Ernest Hemingway's anti-fascist actions in Cuba during WWII and his work with Naval Intelligence.

" From February to November of 1942, the Germans sank over 400 ships worldwide, and 263 of these were in the Caribbean.

"With much of its fleet destroyed by the Japanese Pearl Harbor bombing or engaged in the aftermath in the Pacific, the United States Navy found itself outgunned and ill prepared to defend against the imminent threat of German torpedo boats in Caribbean waters, so it called for yachtsmen and small boat owners to arm themselves as auxiliaries in the fight, offering federal funds for those who joined up.

As one of the first yachtsmen to respond, Ernest received 500 dollars per month from the US Navy for his reconnaissance. The money equipped the Pilar with depth charges and machine guns (and bait and alcohol), transforming his boat into an emergency defense vessel that would patrol the Cuban coast. He named this mission “Operation Friendless,” after his favorite cat."


" Ernest considered mounting heavy machine guns to the Pilar but later recognized this idea as impractical. Instead, his crew would have to lure the “Krauts” to the surface, direct fire at the U-boat’s steel hull (to suppress use of their 88 mm deck guns), and move in just close enough for one of his jai alai players to lob a grenade in the conning tower with his special skills. "


Hoover was not impressed.



Steve Thomas



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The latest Hemingway film ( Papa Hemingway In Cuba - 2015 ) clearly showed Hemingway's disdain for Hoover and the FBI and vice versa.

Hemingway was anti-Batista as well.

The script also depicted what a fine and risky line Hemingway had to navigate at times between Hoover, the mob and Batista forces.

I highly recommend the film.

Would like to read Joe McBride's take on it.

By the way , the role of the brooding Hemingway in Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris" was hilariously over-played by Corey Stoll.


Edited by Joe Bauer
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