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They fought on Utah Beach, in Arnhem, Bastogne, the Bulge; they spearheaded the Rhine offensive and took possession of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. BAND OF BROTHERS is the account of the men of this remarkable unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers' journals and letters, Stephen Ambrose tells the stories, often in the men's own words, of these American heroes.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780743429900
ISBN-10: 0743429907
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 23mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Pocket Books
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 17-Sep-2001
Country of Publication: United States


UK Kirkus Review » The remarkable success of the TV series produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks will ensure that many readers are keen to sample this vivid and powerful picture of men at war. In the book that formed the basis for the series, Stephen Ambrose takes us on a tour of duty with the men of Easy Company, a US rifle company being trained for the bloody landings of D-Day. From the tough training scenes in Georgia (in which the raw recruits are honed into a crack team of soldiers) to the final costly assault on Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgarden, we are inextricably involved in the hopes and fears of the fighting men. Utilising first-person accounts, the verisimilitude of Band of Brothers virtually leaps off the page and makes most accounts of war seemed thin-blooded indeed. While always building the narrative towards its pulse-increasing finale, the author never forgets to characterize each member of Easy Company with maximum vividness: in each tautly orchestrated set piece, the tension is ratcheted up not so much by the bursts of action as by our knowledge of the individual personalities of the men of Easy Company. The reality is increased by the constant shoring up of the narrative with the hard facts of the encounters and a section of well-chosen photographs. Trading on the innovations of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, the TV series was more subtle and intelligent than many earlier ventures in the genre; a few pages into Stephen Ambrose's remarkable book shows us how much it owed to the source material. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » With his multivolume biographies of Eisenhower and Nixon now complete, Ambrose (History/Univ. of New Orleans) returns to military affairs (Pegasus Bridge, 1985, etc.) with this spirited account of one of the Army's crack WW II units. The 101st Airborne was "the most famous and admired of all the eighty-nine divisions the United States Army put in the Second World War," Ambrose notes. One unit in the "Screaming Eagles," Easy Company, was an elite group of paratroopers, self. confident survivors of a grueling physical regimen, adept in the use of weapons, and ready to fight for each other to the death. Ambrose traces how the group's esprit de corps was molded in boot camp under a martinet commander, then at Normandy's Utah Beach, in the disappointing Arnhem campaign in the Netherlands, in the Battle of the Bulge, and in the triumphant liberation of Hitler's Bavarian lair. Ambrose's writing style has all the elegance of a Sherman tank, but it really doesn't matter: the story of this company is riveting. The author captures many of the representative moments in a WW II soldier's career: the fear that, under some of the most intense shelling of the war, one may he approaching a breaking point; the suffering of freezing overnight in a foxhole while going hungry and without a bath in days; the elation of survival and success; disgust with commanders either inept or arbitrary; and a sense of brotherhood like that felt with nobody else in life. Hard-nosed, yet ultimately a celebration of grace under pressure in "the Good War." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose, leading World War II historian, was the author of numerous books on history including the Number 1 bestselling BAND OF BROTHERS, D-DAY (on which SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was based) PEGASUS BRIDGE and WILD BLUE. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He died in 2002.

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