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"Little Known Facts about Easy Company “Band of Brothers”" Topic

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Tango0101 Jan 2019 10:05 p.m. PST

"HBO's "Band of Brothers" mini-series was aired in 2001. Since that time, the series has, if anything, gained in popularity. This is partly due to later generations having greater access to the series through the internet, Amazon Video, DVD boxsets, and so on.

Many people know that the mini-series was based on the best-selling book of the same name by the popular historian, Stephen Ambrose, published in 1992….."
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Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 6:01 a.m. PST

Appears a discrepancy on Captain Sobel. Several sources state he did jump into combat, just not with Easy Company and the he did earn a CIB.


Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 10:33 a.m. PST


If you read some of the other EC members books (at least 7) Ambrose did a poor job of telling the whole story on EC.

Many of the characters in the series had almost nothing in common with the really life people and their service.

Tango0102 Jan 2019 11:08 a.m. PST


So… it was a bad movie from the real history side…?


Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 11:17 a.m. PST

Well my comments were specifically on apparent errors when it came to Sobel in the article cited, not the movie.

Richard Baber02 Jan 2019 12:34 p.m. PST

Ambrose is pretty poor and totally over hyped – the modern Charles Whiting :) His books are just whole sections of other peoples anacdotes; threaded together with his own (sometimes just made up) "facts" and opinions.

After struggling through his own re-write of his Spanish Civil War book, I marked him down as a "Do Not Read Again EVER" author :)

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 3:33 p.m. PST

Tango it was a good movie but based on a flawed book. Some of the characters received whole episodes on their experiences, but others, who apparently did more were left out or marginalized. Some of the members had personal grundes for/and against other members, Who got to much screen time.

Many of the other officers were poorly presented against the Over the top coverage of Winters(deservedly so). Ambrose liked certain characters and left out others.

It is a complicated story about a lot of men and their shard experiences. Also Most of them tries really hard to forget what happen and then they were suddenly famous.

jdginaz02 Jan 2019 5:17 p.m. PST

So… it was a bad movie from the real history side…?

It was a poor movie from a bad history written by a poor historian.

Richard Baber +1

Lee49402 Jan 2019 7:03 p.m. PST

It was a great movie based on real life events as distorted by time, distance, and probably one of the worst historians ever. Having said that I feel that other movies, such as the famous epic The Longest Day are even worse reflections of history.

The basic problem is any account primarily based on the personal experiences of the participants is subject to the perspectives and prejudices of that individual. Then along comes an author to weave those snippets into a story based on the authors perspectives, prejudices and agenda. Finally Hollywood adds its "special effects" and hooray we have history! Not.


PS. So why did I say BoB was a great movie? Because IMHO it portrayed the war well, could have been fiction like Saving Private Ryan, but still did a great job of conveying the look and feel of the war. No, I wasnt in the war but have many relatives and friends who were, including the paras, and those real heroes were impressed with the depictions of war in SPR and BoB. That's good enough for me!

Fred Cartwright03 Jan 2019 4:42 a.m. PST

The basic problem is any account primarily based on the personal experiences of the participants is subject to the perspectives and prejudices of that individual.

I don't think you can dismiss first hand accounts as a useless source of history. They are our primary resource for how the war was fought at a low level. Neither do I think that films like BoB, The Longest Day, Dunkirk etc purport to present the history of a particular event. They aim to present the human side of the story and give the audience characters that they can engage with. There purpose is primarily to entertain not educate. For the history read a book or watch a documentary.

Richard Baber03 Jan 2019 6:04 a.m. PST

Fred, except for Ambrose books – avoid at all costs :)

Oh and 99% of History Channel documentories too :)

Fred Cartwright03 Jan 2019 7:00 a.m. PST

Fred, except for Ambrose books – avoid at all costs :)

Never read any of his books. Have found good ones on all the subjects I am interested in, without having to dip into his works.

Oh and 99% of History Channel documentories too :)

I think the take home message of the History Channel is Nazis – bad! :-) TV history documentaries are pretty thin pickings. You get the odd good one – World at War for example, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Saw a good one on Yesterday recently on the last few months of the war narrated by John Erickson.

Richard Baber03 Jan 2019 9:03 a.m. PST

I keep catching half-hour bits on "Movies for Men" or some such cable channel, some truly wonderful footage – the history is a bit thin, but the film is sometimes quite impressive and very interesting :)

Tango0103 Jan 2019 4:19 p.m. PST



Legion 403 Jan 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

Like SPR, it was based on historical events … but was not 100% accurate as to what exactly happened. Even if it used actual soldiers names, memories, etc. who were there so to speak. But as others have said worth watching …

Who asked this joker04 Jan 2019 10:13 a.m. PST

Regarding Ambrose: He is accused of plagiarism (and rightfully so), not inaccuracy. I guess when one becomes a villain of any sort, it will lead to all sorts of accusations, whether true or not.

His books, especially the earlier ones are pretty good. He just should not have taken full credit for them.

Richard Baber04 Jan 2019 10:19 a.m. PST

I accuse him of making things up (lying plain and simple)

jdginaz04 Jan 2019 8:36 p.m. PST

I'll second the accusation of making things up.

Legion 405 Jan 2019 8:21 a.m. PST

Like as we see in much of the media, books, movies, etc. They use "terms" like author's, dramatic, poetic, etc., license(s) to cover much of what they do.

As it not about accuracy but what they think/hope will sell. Of course some may have an actual agenda, bias, narrative, etc. So as we often see, much of accuracy, reality, etc., goes out the window.

What is that saying, "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story." E.g. We liked the movie, "The Right Stuff". But after hearing comments from those who were involved/there. They had said much of it pure fiction.

But as I say often I was not there, so I have to decide what I think is correct or right based on more than one source, common sense, experience, etc.

E.g. I know many like the movie "Kelly's Heroes", and many of us enjoy. While other are critical of it. For a number of reasons.

But if you look at the body of work of "War" movies/shows that Hollywood has produced over the decades. "Kelly's Heroes" was about as accurate, realistic, etc. as the vast majority of war movies released. At least they made Tiger Is for the movie, from T-34/85s. Verses what we see in many movies in the past where M47s, M48s or even M4s become enemy tanks by just painting an Iron Cross, or Rising Sun on the turret … evil grin


Zinkala05 Jan 2019 9:33 a.m. PST

I got the BoB dvds for Christmas and am watching them right now. Kind of sad to hear about the inaccuracies because I've always considered it one of the best historical films. Then I think about other films that are about subjects that I know more about and realise that it's like what Legion 4 said about Kelly's Heroes. Compared to most of the rest it is pretty accurate to my knowledge.

Wish that film makers could stick closer to the facts when making historical films. The words "based on a true story" make me shudder. To me there should be a difference between films made just for entertainment and ones claiming to be actual history. History is pretty damned interesting without the embellishments people seem to need to add all the time. Guess that reality just doesn't wrap up in the perfect story format most of the time.

Tango0105 Jan 2019 12:01 p.m. PST

Searching Private Ryan was much more accurate….

Fury… well… pure Hollywood…

But I enjoyed both…


Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 12:58 p.m. PST

"Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Ransom Stoddard: You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?

Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

---Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

jdginaz05 Jan 2019 7:18 p.m. PST


Unfortunately, the book itself was not very accurate.

Zinkala05 Jan 2019 9:34 p.m. PST

Yeah, I kind of got that impression here. I actually own the book too but haven't read it in years. I don't know enough about the subject to dispute anything. Sadly Hollywood aren't the only ones that go around fudging the facts. I take any history I see with a grain of salt. Just a little sad to find out one of my choices for best film/series may not be. Not sure which ones are better though.

Keith Talent06 Jan 2019 3:54 a.m. PST

"Searching Private Ryan was much more accurate…."

You are on drugs, after all, Tango….

Richard Baber06 Jan 2019 4:14 a.m. PST

Keith :) :) :)

Legion 408 Jan 2019 4:54 p.m. PST

This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
LOL ! Yes and Hollywood is in CA. And CA is as far West as you can get in the US !!! evil grin

Tango0108 Jan 2019 8:43 p.m. PST

WHO said you….!??? (smile)


ScottS22 Jan 2019 5:58 p.m. PST

I don't think you can dismiss first hand accounts as a useless source of history.

Dismiss? No.

Check and cross-check with other sources? Absolutely.

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