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Paperback Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest Book

ISBN: 074322454X

ISBN13: 9780743224543

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

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Book Overview

Stephen E. Ambrose's iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II's most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak--in Holland and the Ardennes--Easy Company was as good a rifle company...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

A great companion to the miniseries

Read this AND watch the miniseries. You can't substitute one for the other, in my opinion. Each gives you something the other can't. Also, do yourself a favor and read the notes at the end. (Sometimes Ambrose likes to hide some of the most interesting/fun details about his process in the notes.) When you're done with Band of Bros, read Undaunted Courage about the Lewis and Clark voyage. And if you like that, check out The Fate of the Corps, and The Men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Those aren't by Ambrose.)

A vivid, personal picture of warfare

Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose, is the story of E (Easy) Company of the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. It's a very personal account, as Ambrose conducted numerous interviews with the surviving members of the company and uses those interviews to imbue a sense of closeness to the action and the men who went into that action. It's a very effective book, though it does seem to be "history lite." I'm not really sure why, because Ambrose has obviously done a lot of research in producing this story. Perhaps it is because it's not a typical history book with documentation from all over the place. Instead, he seems to have used only a couple of sources besides the men of Easy themselves. Then again, is that a bad thing? Personally, I don't think so, at least not in this case. Ambrose is not attempting to write a history of World War II. He's writing the story of a group of men who formed relationships and bonds that would carry them through the rest of their lives. I found this book fascinating. Most of the history books I have read have been very abstract, telling about the moving of units and what they did and how successful they were in battle. They always have some personal angles involved, either talking about letters written home, or some personal stories of valor. Ultimately, though, they are about the battles themselves. These books can be very interesting.Band of Brothers tells us everything about a group of men and how they fought. We get to laugh with them, we get to see the horrors that they have seen. We also get to see the incompetence that sometimes becomes prevalent in wartime. Ambrose doesn't pull any punches, and neither do the men of Easy to whom he spoke. They are very outspoken about the people they didn't like. Not just people, but also nationalities. One thing to keep in mind when reading this book is that the only impression of nationalities that these men had were when they were going through territory, wondering whether or not they would be running into enemy fire at any time. Some people of these nationalities may take offense at some of the statements in this book. One fault with it is that Ambrose doesn't really make clear whether or not these feelings are just the feelings of the men at the time, or if these feelings have stayed with the men ever since.The descriptions of the action are just incredible. Never before have I seen war from this perspective. While I have seen graphic descriptions of combat before, this story takes the reader to a much deeper level. We get to see the fear and the determination of these soldiers, the comradeship that forms among them. We get to see individual episodes of action in each battle, we see friends die, we see true heroism, and how situations can get messed up in an instant. We also get to see the foibles of the men, how some of them got drunk at every opportunity, how they dealt with war and what it did to them. It truly is remarkable.One other

A Personal History

As you would expect from the title, this book is focused on the stories of the individuals who made up this "band of brothers". Stephen Ambrose based his account on personal interviews and diaries and letters written at the time, occasionally moving back to a larger view when he quotes from an official history or other text.This is the story of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101 Airborne Division. A famous group in a famous unit, fighting from Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, through Holland in the spectacular failure of Operation Market-Garden and Belgium in a gallant stand at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge, all the way to Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" in the Austrian mountains, where the victors had a well-deserved feast of wine, women and song.This is an incredible story, told mainly in the words of those who were there, and you can feel the fear, exhilaration, killing fury, bitter cold and biting hunger along the way. But ost of all you can feel the camaraderie of soldiers thrown together in a remote training camp in 1942, who trained and fought as a band of brothers and now, sixty years on, still maintain their closest friendships with each other.In another sense it is a story of an amazing soldier - Second Lieutenant Winters, one of the founding officers of Easy Company, who ended up a Major commanding the battalion. He led his troops with coolness and courage, intelligence and humanity. He gained more than respect, he gained the love of these warriors, and he earnt it through common sense decisions in training and in combat. His decisions saved the lives of his men and cost the enemy dearly, and his small unit actions are still cited as textbook examples.This book is chockablock full of infantry minor actions. Advance, assault, defence, withdrawal, patrolling and raiding - all told from multiple viewpoints in stark detail - the war in microcosm as seen by airborne infantrymen.There are maps and pictures, an index and an epilogue describing the postwar careers of the men of Easy. This book stands alone as totally engrossing war story, but is also an essential companion to the magnificent HBO miniseries.As a brutally, touchingly honest story of men at war, I cannot recommend this book too highly. It is an instant classic.

Indispensible companion to the miniseries.

Notwithstanding the wonderful HBO miniseries based on this book, "Band of Brothers" is an entertaining and worthwhile read in its own right. Ambrose skilly fully weaves personal accounts from the paratroopers of E Company into a compelling story of the war in the European theater. Ambrose has earned his stripes as one of the premier historians of World War II, and with good reason. His writing style is easy to read, he does a great job of individualizing the large cast of characters and he masterfully sets his story within the context of the greater conflict without distracting the reader. All this makes the book essential reading for those watching the HBO miniseries. The miniseries is great cinema, but the medium is necessarily limited in how much background it can bring to each episode. After the first few episodes I started reading the book along with the show, and it helped me in distinguish the characters and orient what was happening. Also, the book gives you a greater understanding of why certain objectives were so critical to the war effort. When I've read the part of the book that corresponds to a new episode, I get to focus on the performances and visual aspects of the show. Reading the book only enhances the experience of watching the miniseries.

Terrific, Intense Look At A Company Of American Soldiers

No one has been more prolific or entertaining in his efforts to bring the gritty, unit-level personal experiences of the Allied drive from Normandy into Germany to the public's attention than Stephen Ambrose. In his series of books including "D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War Two", "The Victors", "Citizen Soldiers", and the present book, "Band Of Brothers", he has masterfully employed a little-known treasure trove of personal interviews with thousands of Allied soldiers to marshal an absolutely absorbing, captivating, and insightful treatise on the nature of combat as experienced by the men and women in the forefront of action as it transpired all along the front. In this volume he concentrates on the exploits of a company of soldiers from their indoctrination into combat with the assault on the beaches in Normandy, following them as they fight their way, along with two million other Allied soldiers, into the heartland of Germany itself. In a book memorable for its unusual focus (for Ambrose) on a small group of men we come to know and admire for their all too human traits and character foibles, the spellbinding story of men in combat is made more vivid, vital, and personal than is possible in any other way. By concentrating on the ordinary men of E-Company as they move through a panorama of death and destruction, their personal stories, private adventures, and shared horrors in the midst of carnage, chaos, and confusion become a fascinating and compelling tale. By filling the pages with men we comes to know better than in his other books, we watch with amazement as they moved into free fire zones where anything that moves dies, and in the process Ambrose paints an indelible portrait of the unbelievable madness of war. This is a story that should be told again and again, so we never forget what it took to take back Europe from the beasts who first stole it so savagely, of the men who died on the beaches, who fell for freedom in the surrounding countryside, all to prepare for those like this company of ordinary men who relentlessly pushed deeper and deeper into the interior of France, finally pushing the battered and beaten Germans all the way back to Berlin. This was the single greatest adventure of the 20th century, an epic struggle in which millions of Brits, Canadians, Australians, Frenchmen, and Americans took back by force of arms the liberty and freedom that had been wrested away from the mainland so cruelly four years before. This, then, is the story of how that crusade to liberate Europe unfolded through the personal experiences of a small group of American soldiers. Mr. Ambrose has become a virtual cottage industry in the World War Two section of your local bookstore, while he has also published works such as his recent best seller on explorers Lewis and Clark. Meanwhile, he has become phenomenally successful because many of his books have captured the public's imaginatio

Band of Brothers is outstanding!

I rated the book Band of Brothers 5 stars. Band of Brothers is a very interesting book about E Company, part of the 101st Airborne Division of the Army back in World War II. The book begins with E Company's basic training at Camp Toccoa and all of the men's hatred of their C.O. Lt. Herbert Sobel. Band of Brothers gives detailed descriptions and first hand accounts of men from E Company telling about their experiences throughout basic training and the war. The book ends with what the men of E Company did after the war was over and where their careers took them. Band of Brothers is a great account of what many companies in World War II went through. I enjoyed this book thoroughly because the men actually told real stories of what happened to them and their friends in the war. This was one of the main reasons I chose this book and the fact that I think Stephen Ambrose is a fantastic writer. Many of Ambrose's books are enjoyable to me because he actually does some of the things that men in war did just to get a feel of what they went through. I have also read Americans at War by Ambrose and am now currently reading What If? by Ambrose. Both of these books are excellent as well for many of the same reasons. Ambrose gets the most out of all the interviews he does with veterans, which makes his books very intriguing.
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