Frederick Henry is an American serving as an ambulance driver for the Italian Army during World War I. While recovering from a wound in a British base hospital in northern Italy, he meets Catherine Barkley, a Red Cross nurse, and the two engage in an affair resulting in her pregnancy. The couple are separated before the birth of their child, and Catherine comes to believe Frederick has abandoned her. Following the Battle of Caporetto, in which his close friend Alessandro Rinaldi dies, he makes his way to Switzerland, where Catherine is hospitalized. Their child is stillborn, and Catherine dies shortly afterward.