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"Fleece jacket Band of Brothers." Topic


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755 hits since 7 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Fred Cartwright07 May 2018 7:06 p.m. PST

Was the fleece jacket David Schwimmer wears in the early episodes of BoB as standard item of clothing for the US Army? It looks like a flying jacket.
link

jdginaz07 May 2018 7:23 p.m. PST

It's commonly called a bomber jacket and yes they were an Air Corps bit of gear. They were highly coveted by non-Air Corps troop who would trade souvenirs for them when they could.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member07 May 2018 8:06 p.m. PST

Feasible. The "Air Force" was the "US Army Air Forces" back in the day. Schwimmer's character was a US Army airborne officer so could have had access to Air Force personnel and equipment during training.

Legion 408 May 2018 6:15 a.m. PST

I couldn't think of a less "useless" jacket for Infantrymen on field ops. Maybe when in garrison, or something … but not in the field …

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2018 6:35 a.m. PST

Flight jackets were very popular and indeed service members would trade for them. Many staff officers favored them. There are numerous pictures of Patton in the bomber jacket version.

Legion 408 May 2018 7:04 a.m. PST

Well it certainly would have looked cool at the NCO or O Clubs … evil grin

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2018 12:13 p.m. PST

He is wearing one in this picture it looks like to me anyway…

link

Fred Cartwright09 May 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

Interesting text with that photo.
"While he excelled at training, he displayed a distinct lack of judgment and competence in field problems, including his inability to read a map."
"He was negatively portrayed as inept in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" by actor David Schwimmer, a depiction which has proved controversial."
I would have said BoB got it about right. An excellent trainer, but lack of judgement in the field and unable to read a map is how David Schwimmer played him in BoB.

Legion 411 May 2018 7:31 a.m. PST

excelled at training, he displayed a distinct lack of judgment and competence in field
McClellan ? Woops ! Wrong boards !

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member11 May 2018 10:17 a.m. PST

Legion,
LOL, I always thought the same thing. Stories say that McClellan's troops loved him to death… theirs!

Mark 111 May 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

"He was negatively portrayed as inept in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" by actor David Schwimmer, a depiction which has proved controversial."
I would have said BoB got it about right. An excellent trainer, but lack of judgement in the field and unable to read a map is how David Schwimmer played him in BoB.

I did not get the impression from the BoB mini-series of an officer who was an excellent trainer. I got the impression of a weasel or a peacock, an officer who strutted and preened and abused his troops for show, for his own career advancement, and who, behind the facade, was incompetent.

Taking an officer like that out of a field command would be the right decision, but advancing his position in training would not.

My impression from the article was of an officer who was driven and competent in some domains, but not others. Who drove his men not for pointless showmanship for his own career advancement, but in order to train and condition them to a higher standard, which the men felt was harsh at the time but which they later came to recognize as contributing to their success in battle. But that he could not read maps and was not good at solving field problems.

I've known many people in my life who just did not process 2D imaging information well, and could not usefully read a map to save their lives. I've also known people who do not extemporize well, who need to have a plan they can stick to, and who are just unable to make useful decisions when confronted by changing conditions or new inputs, particularly when under pressure.

Taking such an officer out of a field command would be a good decision, but advancing his position in training might also be a good decision.

All of that said, I am somewhat mystified by the history of Sobell.

He was promoted several times after his time portrayed in BoB. He served in several roles, including staff roles in combat units, and earned a bronze star. All of that indicates to me that there could well have been more to this guy than the weasel we saw in BoB.

But then, he tried (unsuccessfully!) to commit suicide two decades later, indicating that he may well have been a troubled soul, and he eventually died of malnutrition while living in a veteran's care facility, which indicates that he may well have been very much disliked by the staff, or conversely may have deliberately starved himself to death.

I can't judge him for good or bad, but I conclude he must have been a complex man. There was much to his story we (I) just don't know.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

I would agree on the complexity. Also agree the mini-series did him a disservice. For example no mention was made that he jumped into Normandy on D-Day but rather we are left with the impression he was off to train senior officers in basic jump techniques.

The term that comes to mind, for me, of the actual officer is "martinet". He did earn a bronze star but no mention of a "V" device. Also not sure when he earned it. Certainly could have on D-Day but also the Bronze Star was retroactively awarded in 1947 to those who had earned the Combat Infantryman Badge during the war.

He strikes me, from the limited reading I have done including the article above, that within certain parameters he could function quite well in a staff job but not in the field.

Fred Cartwright11 May 2018 3:53 p.m. PST

Have just watched BoB again and that is not the impression I get from Schwimmers portrayal. He is certainly very hard on his men and has very high expectations of them. The relationship between him and Winters seems to me to be the only area where he is clearly abusing his position with the whole episode of the trumped up court martial allegations. Whose recollections that is based on hard to say, but I doubt they were Sobels.
Agree it was right to remove him from command prior to D-day.

Legion 412 May 2018 7:24 a.m. PST

LOL, I always thought the same thing. Stories say that McClellan's troops loved him to death… theirs!
Indeed !

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