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Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic story of 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.

Topics: World War II, Military, Courage, Veterans, Soldiers, Nazis, Exciting, Gripping, 1940s, Holland, France, Germany, England, and Austria

Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9780743218344
List price: $14.99
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I bought the book for my son because he was enjoying the series so much and then found myself reading it. Totally unable to put down, as engrossing as was the series for me. Great stuff.more
For someone who is new to reading military history and WWII this is an entertaining read. As the title implies, the author focuses around the men of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne and describes the war from their perspective. The book is full of grimy details that serve to anchor the horrific reality of war into the minds of civilians far removed from conflict.Ambrose is largely unconcerned with many of the questions historians ask. Instead, he asks the questions of a biographer. Causes for conflict, military strategy, and tactical details were mostly absent from this short book. Considering the author's apparent purpose for this brief book, this is an easily excusable absence but will likely leave more historically-minded readers eager for a less dramatic treatment of the surrounding events.I can see why this book easily became such popular film series, as Ambrose's style of writing felt like the Hollywood version of a good book, except Ambrose did the screenwriting in the actual book. I don't count this to be a fault, simply unique. I guess I'd describe it as a movie-like book. Though we constantly hear of books turning into movies, we rarely hear of movies turning to books. It was as if Ambrose turned the real-life cinema of WWII into a book.I especially appreciated Ambrose's willingness to expose many of these men's faults alongside of their heroics. His descriptions of these men and the rest of those who were a part of the WWII effort seemed to me to be particularly balanced and fair. He praised heroism, but didn't assume a man to be a hero simply because he was in uniform, or saw combat. Ambrose did not fail to appropriate honor to these men but seemed to refrain from overstatements as he reserved his highest compliments for Major Dick Winters and men like him.Perhaps my favorite portion of the book was Ambrose's reflections on what the unique camaraderie of war is like. Borrowing heavily from Glen Gray's "The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle" Ambrose effectively attaches both the 'secret attractions' and horrors of war to the historical men who made up Easy Company.I warmly recommend this entertaining read as a small part of a reader's study and consideration of WWII.more
The Band of Brothers happen during World War II. It happened when Hitler was trying to take over. The 101st Airborne parachuted into Normandy, France during opperation D-day. Easy company was involved in the Battle of the Bulge. They were the first company to arrive at the Eagles Nest. Which was one of Hitlers most famous get aways. The Easy Company lost most of their members from the beginning to the end of the war. The Band of Brothersis a really good book to read, even though it can take a little while. I like how it was about World War II and how Hitler was about to take over the world. I loved how this is true events that happened. My favorite event was when it was the end of the war and Hitler shot himself. Even though it had some gross, bloody parts in the book it will still be one of our major events in life.more
If Stephen Ambrose wrote about every event in history I would read it. I wish he had written all my textbooks in high school. No matter the subject Ambrose makes it real, he makes it come alive. It isn't some dry account that drones on like Charlie Brown's teacher. He not only makes it interesting, he makes it human. War, on the surface, is about defeating the enemy; doing whatever it takes to win each skirmish in an effort to be the final victor; to win the entire war. Human emotion, especially in the aftermath of it all, gets lost. Ambrose points out the lesser-realized aspects of war - fear, regret, sorrow, but most of all, survivor guilt. This often happens mid-war when soldiers have the opportunity to first realize with shock that they survived that grenade strike and then moments later remember those who didn't. Comrades who were standing beside them just moments ago.more
Read all 43 reviews

Reviews

I bought the book for my son because he was enjoying the series so much and then found myself reading it. Totally unable to put down, as engrossing as was the series for me. Great stuff.more
For someone who is new to reading military history and WWII this is an entertaining read. As the title implies, the author focuses around the men of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne and describes the war from their perspective. The book is full of grimy details that serve to anchor the horrific reality of war into the minds of civilians far removed from conflict.Ambrose is largely unconcerned with many of the questions historians ask. Instead, he asks the questions of a biographer. Causes for conflict, military strategy, and tactical details were mostly absent from this short book. Considering the author's apparent purpose for this brief book, this is an easily excusable absence but will likely leave more historically-minded readers eager for a less dramatic treatment of the surrounding events.I can see why this book easily became such popular film series, as Ambrose's style of writing felt like the Hollywood version of a good book, except Ambrose did the screenwriting in the actual book. I don't count this to be a fault, simply unique. I guess I'd describe it as a movie-like book. Though we constantly hear of books turning into movies, we rarely hear of movies turning to books. It was as if Ambrose turned the real-life cinema of WWII into a book.I especially appreciated Ambrose's willingness to expose many of these men's faults alongside of their heroics. His descriptions of these men and the rest of those who were a part of the WWII effort seemed to me to be particularly balanced and fair. He praised heroism, but didn't assume a man to be a hero simply because he was in uniform, or saw combat. Ambrose did not fail to appropriate honor to these men but seemed to refrain from overstatements as he reserved his highest compliments for Major Dick Winters and men like him.Perhaps my favorite portion of the book was Ambrose's reflections on what the unique camaraderie of war is like. Borrowing heavily from Glen Gray's "The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle" Ambrose effectively attaches both the 'secret attractions' and horrors of war to the historical men who made up Easy Company.I warmly recommend this entertaining read as a small part of a reader's study and consideration of WWII.more
The Band of Brothers happen during World War II. It happened when Hitler was trying to take over. The 101st Airborne parachuted into Normandy, France during opperation D-day. Easy company was involved in the Battle of the Bulge. They were the first company to arrive at the Eagles Nest. Which was one of Hitlers most famous get aways. The Easy Company lost most of their members from the beginning to the end of the war. The Band of Brothersis a really good book to read, even though it can take a little while. I like how it was about World War II and how Hitler was about to take over the world. I loved how this is true events that happened. My favorite event was when it was the end of the war and Hitler shot himself. Even though it had some gross, bloody parts in the book it will still be one of our major events in life.more
If Stephen Ambrose wrote about every event in history I would read it. I wish he had written all my textbooks in high school. No matter the subject Ambrose makes it real, he makes it come alive. It isn't some dry account that drones on like Charlie Brown's teacher. He not only makes it interesting, he makes it human. War, on the surface, is about defeating the enemy; doing whatever it takes to win each skirmish in an effort to be the final victor; to win the entire war. Human emotion, especially in the aftermath of it all, gets lost. Ambrose points out the lesser-realized aspects of war - fear, regret, sorrow, but most of all, survivor guilt. This often happens mid-war when soldiers have the opportunity to first realize with shock that they survived that grenade strike and then moments later remember those who didn't. Comrades who were standing beside them just moments ago.more
Ambrose at his best in recreating the dramatic events surrounding the 101st Airborne’s 506 PIR (parachute infantry regiment) from the Normandy landings to Hitler’s “Eagles Nest.” A story written from eyewitness accounts from those who survived to tell their story, of which there weren’t many.So concise and straightforward is Ambrose’s storytelling and prose that the book literally formed the chapter-by-chapter foundation of the HBO mini-series of the same name. More amazing still is my personal encounter with a few members of the 506 PIR and having them tell me that everything in the book is true as well as 85-90% of the series - unheard of in this day and age. Another must read and possession for all WWII buffs and serious students.more
After the recent death of Major Winters,I decided it was high time to read this book.In 1942 a group of volunteer soldiers began training into what would become one the U.S. Army's finest combat unit;the 101st Airborne Division. These men were not regular army and in fact despised anything army. However they would become legends in that same army.This is a book involving men who fought in small unit combat in some of the biggest battles of 1944-45 on the Western Front. It is strictly from their viewpoint and will not reflect the big picture. It is also a story of what life was like in a combat unit. Whether it be sheer terror of combat,guard duty,patrolling into enemy territory or dealing with jerk officers this book tells it all. War is not pretty.I would give the book 5 stars but the lack of maps is a definite letdown.more
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