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

Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
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's review
Feb 14, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, history
Read from February 10 to 14, 2012

Written in the 90s, Stephen Ambrose's book would later give birth to the great television series of the same name. Ambrose's book is much more rounded than the cinematic version and is all the richer for it. Captain Sobel is shown as a picky, unfair leader, as in the series, but also the man who prepared Easy Company and made it what it was, something which is left out of Steven Spielberg's production. It is this excellence and ability that leads the characters to occasionally come across as impatient with their inferiors. Taking over from a British regiment which had kept its head down at Mourmelon in order to preserve itself rather than hassle the Germans, for example, it must have been easy to forget that the 506th airborne paratroopers were amongst the best trained soldiers in several centuries. It also goes unmentioned that they were exhausted having been in the war less than six months, whereas the British had already been fighting for five years.

Band of Brothers is well written, engaging and enjoyable. If I have a criticism it is that the book is far too short. Nobody wants the minutiae of what men did in their foxholes when shells were raining down, but the reader really has to turn to the TV series to get to know the men featured.
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