One of the best war miniseries ever
Band Of Brothers
I have a deep love of history. The wars, the settling of America, but my biggest area of history that I love to study is the Holocaust ERA. There have been many great movies about this time period, The Hiding Place, Schindlers List, Valkyrie, Silent Night just to name a few. Also, give that my grandmother is half Dutch and half German really adds to the mystery. Had I known that the city I was stationed in is where my German ancestors hailed from, I would have spent more time learning about them.
I started watching the dvd series Band Of Brothers which follows EZ Company from beginning to end. It showed each mission they had and the personal battles each one faced. This series was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, this is very well done, but the Pacific portion of the series, I couldn't get past the third dvd before I lost interest. I don't know why but it just seems like there is less fighting and more personal recreation time to me.
EZ Company starts out with a commanding officer named Sobel, that is a perfectionist, but can't read a map. Sobel proved his incompetence again and again during training exercises. His entire company was captured because they were in the wrong place. Lt. Winters wondered privately about Sobel's ability to lead in combat as did some of the non commissioned officers in the company. Then Sobel's brings up charges on Winters who requested a court martial. The NCO's then forced the Battalion Commanders hand, which forced Sobel out as the commanding officer. Yes Sobel was a dick, but he was the type of commanding officer that made sure his troops were combat ready.
The Band of Brothers series appears to be factually accurate, and very well directed. As a veteran, I didn't see anything that was wrong with the presentation of the facts. Like I said the commander was an asshole, but if I were going into combat, then that is who I would want to be in charge of my training. Despite my dislike of him and his attitude sucked, but he wasn't there to be your friend.
The thing I liked about Band of Brothers, instead of showing it to you all at once they had it broken down according to missions and each part dealt with that specific mission. That made the series easier to follow and at the end of each series, it listed who earned what award. There was one scene that if true, that soldier should have been brought up on war crimes. There were human moments in there as well. One scene shows the Americans come upon a family hiding, one of the soldiers gives a four year old boy some chocolate. The smile on his face is huge and the father explains the boy had never tasted chocolate before. If ever there was a sweet moment in all of the killing and chaos this scene was it.
Winters seems to be the officer with the most common sense as well as highly trusted and regarded by his men. The one segment that really upset me was the treatment of the replacements by the experienced combat fighters. That segment is titled the replacements.
The one segment that is really well done is titled why we fight. I will not give away the the theme or the plot, but I do like them singing the blood upon the risers. This series does highlight that war is brutal and that it takes a lot of brave men to fight in one, even though they know not everyone will survive it. It also shows that you can only depend on the man to your right or left.
I didn't watch disc number ten as this was everyone's personal opinions and individual comments. That to me was too boring, because I did attempt to watch it. The missions were easy to follow along with the firefights. Despite this being a television series, the entire production was award winning and it highlighted the successes of EZ Company 506th Infantry during the war. The capture of the German battery by EZ Company became a text book case for assaulting a fixed position and is still taught at the military academy today.
While this series focuses on just one company and division, it does not take away from the success of other units that fought in the second world war. Also, given that airborne divisions were a new concept, it was good to get a perspective of what it was like during that time.
If you have not watched this on television or bought the box set, I highly recommend that you do and watch it. I would also recommend you watch it with your teenage children especially middle school to high school age.
About the author
I am a new author. I wrote my memoir Silent Cries and it is available on Amazon.com. I am new to writing and most of my writing has been for academia. I possess an MBA from Regis University in Denver, CO. I reside in Roanoke, VA.