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Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy… (1992)

by Stephen E. Ambrose

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,590981,410 (4.21)69
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 as any in the world. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal--it was a badge of office.… (more)
  1. 70
    Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany by Stephen E. Ambrose (fmorondo)
  2. 50
    With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E. B. Sledge (mjmorrison1971)
    mjmorrison1971: The second piece of work used by Hanks and Speilberg for the Pacific covering the War pretty much from where Helmet for my pillow ended. Again a first hand account that does help one understand the horrors these men endured.
  3. 50
    Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie (mjmorrison1971)
    mjmorrison1971: Like Band of Brothers used as the basis of Tom Hanks & Steven Speilberg's work - this time the Pacific. A first hand account of some of the US Marine Corps early campaigns in the Pacific.
  4. 30
    D-Day June 6 1944: the Climatic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose (tarheel)
  5. 20
    Hell's Highway: A Chronicle of the 101st Airborne in the Holland Campaign, September-November 1944 by George Koskimaki (TomCat14)
  6. 10
    The Battered Bastards of Bastogne: The 101st Airborne and the Battle of the Bulge, December 19,1944-January 17,1945 by George Koskimaki (TomCat14)
  7. 10
    Band of Brothers [2001 TV mini series] by Steven Spielberg (TheLittlePhrase)
  8. 21
    Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides (IslandDave)
  9. 10
    Rendezvous With Destiny History of the 101st Airborne Division by Leonard Rapport (TomCat14)
  10. 00
    Saving Private Ryan [1998 film] by Steven Spielberg (TheLittlePhrase)
  11. 00
    D-Day: The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor (tarheel)
  12. 00
    Night Drop: The American Airborne Invasion of Normandy by S. L. A. Marshall (TomCat14)
  13. 00
    D-Day with the Screaming Eagles by George Koskimaki (TomCat14)
  14. 00
    Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends by William Guarnere (cmbohn)
  15. 01
    Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood by Donovan Campbell (NickBlasta)
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» See also 69 mentions

English (95)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
First of all, I have to say that Americans in World War II did accomplish a lot and I don't mean to take anything away from what they did. Second, I have to say I admire Ambrose for collecting both oral and written histories of these men, and giving them this book as their voice. Third, I have to say that he does a fine job of emphasizing and illustrating the fact that this particular company created especially strong interpersonal bonds during their service. Those are the pluses.

But really, this is akin to a high school yearbook. This is people saying, gosh, remember when ___? And the constant reiteration of the interpersonal bonds can get tedious very quickly. This book is not a balanced look at this particular company. I'm especially dismayed by the glossing over of some of the more disreputable aspects...rape, theft, summary executions, property destruction. While Ambrose does mention these facts, he never takes an outraged tone in his writing, leaving the reader to conclude that it probably wasn't that bad. But he's quick to write things like "Despite the collapsing left flank, the gallant men of Easy company held their ground in the defense and had the honor to lead the counter attack."

I read this years ago and read it again after having watched the HBO series. I do believe the series does a better job of telling the story...maybe because we can associate faces with the stories? So if this topic interests you, be aware ahead of time of the limitations of this book. ( )
  Jeff.Rosendahl | Sep 21, 2021 |
Like many people, I sought out Band of Brothers after watching the television adaptation. The book is so much better. Ambrose had extensive access to the survivors of E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne, plus the letters and writing of many members who had passed away. Ambrose uses his raw material to craft an engaging and insightful story that makes the reader feel like he is right at the heart of the events. Like the TV series, the Company is presented as a collective unit with stories and anecdotes shared between the men. Unlike the series, there is a lot of welcome military background, locating E Company's activity within the broader plan of the war. Ambrose is not a mocker of the military or a revisionist, but he does not shy away from presenting the less pallettable side of the conflict. Wholeheartedly recommended, particularly in this attractively-designed Simon & Schuster 'Classic Edition'. ( )
  Lirmac | Sep 2, 2021 |
“Band of Brothers” as we all know is an epic historical piece. The story of the men of Easy Company comes to life on these pages. In their training we get to know the men and their leaders, we see the company form into a cohesive unit ready to enter the war. We are alongside them as they fight with and for each other in Normandy following their jump into France on D-Day and again in Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. Their involvement in the holding of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge gives us a great insight into the difficulties, deprivations and horrors faced by these men and many others in the ETO. This book is amazing and a must read. ( )
  theww2library | Aug 7, 2021 |
Enjoyed the book. Loved captain Winters. Great historical account of a bad ass group of men. Would rate it higher if there was a deeper dive in a character. Guess I want to be able to connect/see myself through one of them more. ( )
  Zach-Rigo | Jul 7, 2021 |
nonfiction. WWII stories. Adventures and tragedies. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen E. Ambroseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jerome, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"From this day to the ending of the World, ...we in it shall be remembered ...we band of brothers." –Henry V (William Shakespeare)
Dedication
To all those members of the Parachute Infantry, United States Army, 1941–1945, who wear the Purple Heart not as a decoration but as a badge of office.
First words
The men of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, came from different backgrounds.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is for the book by Stephen E. Ambrose. It is not the 2001 miniseries by Spielberg. The "Original Publication Date" is 1992, not 2001 as some users are incorrectly setting.
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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 as any in the world. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal--it was a badge of office.

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