Band of Brothers

Discussion in 'Books and Films' started by Nostalgair, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi All,

    I was given the boxed set of "Band of Brothers' for Christmas. I have watched the series over the last few nights and was wondering what other people thought of it. (I'll hold back my viewpoint at this stage.)

    I'm aware that Stephen Ambrose has caught criticism from certain sectors, but what did you think?


  2. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    I was moved from the moment the old fellas did the "talking heads" at the start.

    I'm no expert on authentic equipment etc like clothing but I would have to say it's the best recreation I have seen. It had the right feel and, from memory, didn't seem too Hollywoodised. More importantly, it brought the sacrifices of these men to millions of people. Very much looking forward to The Pacific.
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I actually enjoyed watching it as a good WW2 romp. Yes, it is based on historical facts but the combination of Ambrose's rather lax research and writing, the condensing of certain historical events by the production company for conveniance, and the complete lack of acknowledgement of others' contributions, makes it less than perfect as a true record of DDay and after.

    But I still enjoyed it.
  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    So Hollywoodised from the point of view that the Americans won the war!
  5. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    I thought the series was very well done. There were many "subliminal" messages if you wanted to look.

    The sets were fantastic and the action scenes most realistic.

    I do like the one scene where they were to be sent across the river for prisoners on the next night to the same place by their senior officer because the first nights infiltration was successful.

    Their platoon commander told them to get a good nights sleep and he put in a false activity report for the raid that did not happen.
  6. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    No where as bad as most Hollywood films, and the fact that it is the story of one particular unit certainly excuses most of that. Maybe my antipathy to Ambrose (whom I used to quite like until I saw him on the last episode of World at War where he was completely dismissive of the British war effort) has clouded my view.
  7. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Dismissive? LOL, his country wasn't even in it from the start!
  8. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    So true however there are those British soldiers I have read, who say, "when Britain was alone" we fought on, "the yanks did not come into the war until after Pearl Harbor".

    I ask, when was Britain alone?
  9. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Perhaps they mean the empire. Or perhaps he's referring to the fact that Aussies and Kiwis and Canucks (oh my!) tend to blend in rather well with groups of Poms......
  10. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    What I am referring to is that it is easier not to include the peripheral nations when speaking of "us" or "we".

    One chap said to me when I questioned the comment and spoke of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia etc

    "Well they were "British" and their troops were obliged to defend the "Empire".

    Sometimes it is easy for the major "partner" to forget or minimalise the contribution of the rest of the team.
  11. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    I imagine, given the strong sense of empire back then, that this was an easy "conclusion" to reach. Not a conscious thing to not include the "colonials".
  12. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    I totally agree with you, Britain was never alone. The same criticism could be made about the USA when they refer to the other Allied nations.

    As a Scot, I also get frustrated at the mention of how the word Britain is quite often substituted for England. Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland all make up the British Isles along with England and all reference to the War in that context should reflect that.

    I don't think this is done deliberately but none-the-less it can be disrespectful to those who took part and who saw many of their own killed and maimed to be told they were fighting for England.

    Regarding the original posting, I enjoyed Band of Brothers especially the real veterans speaking about their experiences - came straight from the heart and left you with a tear in the eye. Brave men all of them.

  13. Hawkeye90

    Hawkeye90 Guest

    I strongly agree with Hugh, I find it impossible not to correct peers who constantly use the term "British" when making reference to England. I find myself pointing the difference out to my instructors in school, tends to irritate them :laugh:.

    Whenever discussing heritage, I always refer to myself as Anglo-Irish, tends to boggle some of the morons I encounter though. :noidea:
  14. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    My statement was not meant at those who use the term or make the statement in ignorance, it is aimed at those who, when corrected, refuse to acknowledge the difference and continue to make similar statements.
  15. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    My thoughts on the band of brothers is that it is one of the most realistic sound wise on the bullets whistling around and hitting the ground, also the artillery shells expolding was really realistic. The story line is excellant though it may not be totally historically true. I've had a copy since it first came out and i watch it all the time. My favorite part was when they had to take out the 88 on D-Day and also had to fight their way through the trenches with all kinds of weapons being fired at them.
    Another very good film for realistic sounding effects is Saving Private Ryan.

    Sniper :peep:
    Margaret likes this.
  16. Hawkeye90

    Hawkeye90 Guest

    My guess would be that it is probably the most documented combat scene in the entire series. I believe they still use "The assault on the 88's" as a text book example in the U.S Army Officer Training.

    The After Action Report by Lt. Winters.

    Detail of Actions 6/9/44

    Second Battalion while marching through above mentioned town 0930 D-Day was fired on point blank by a battery of four 88's, from a range of 350 yards ... same battery was also firing on troops on the beach. Nine men and two Officers made the assault.

    The enemy had dug positions in a hedgerow around the perimeter of a rectangular field - about 1200 yards total in length. One corner of this position had a hedgerow that led into the entrenchment. Covering this hedgerow and the enemies flank were one 88, a M.G. and few riflemen. The other three 88's were firing out toward the beach and on the battalion they had pinned down.

    The assault team decided on attacking the position down the one hedgerow that led to this entrenchment - all other approaches were across open fields. So under fire from the 88 protecting this flank and also small arm fire, the party worked their way into position and then opened up with all the fire power they could muster to pin the enemy down, while SGT Guarnere lead a group of three men to a position where he could hand grenade them.

    The combined small arms fire and grenades drove the enemy out of the entrenchment protecting the flank, permitting the assault team to gain a fast hold. More grenades drove then gun crew of three from the first 88, who were killed before they had gone twenty-five yards. SGT Guarnere accounted for one of the three. The assault team was reorganized here again, and as in each case to follow, SGT Guarnere displayed extraordinary gallantry and disregard for his own safety in see that this job was done correctly. By his very attitude and manner and display of confidence, he inspired the whole assault team and displayed the type of leadership that wins battles. After reorganizing the team, knocked out a M.G. and crew by rifle fire that was firing at us through the entrenchment. Immediately the team rushed the second 88 and crew, leaving behind three men to protect the rear. In the second assault, SGT Guarnere was again lead man and by using the same tactics, the second position was taken and five Germans killed, with no losses to ourselves.

    At this time six Jerries decided they had enough and advanced with hands over head calling to us "No make me dead". They were immediately returned to the battalion along with all the documents and maps we could find - one map was of great value for it showed all 88 emplacements and entrenchment's of the defensive set-up of the peninsula.

    With all four guns taken and destroyed, we withdrew out of the position, and continued to harass the enemy with M.G. and 60 MM mortar fire - which had just arrived - until two tanks arrived. Then we made an assault with the tanks and cleaned out the position. In all we suffered six wounded and four killed, the enemy had 15 killed - SGT Guarnere personally accounted for five - and captured twelve. Enemy forces estimated at about forty-five.

    Mission completed, we rejoin our battalion, which had departed after the four 88's were destroyed, for their objective.

    Supporting Data:

    Battery of four 88's was destroyed which permitted troops on the beach to land without casualty, and battalion to move on to complete it's original mission.

    Welcome to the Official Web Site of Major Richard Winters
  17. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi All,

    I'm glad this thread stirred up so much debate. So, I guess I should put in my two cents worth.

    Personally, I enjoyed 'Band of Brothers'.

    I acknowledge that some facts have been held up to scrutiny and other timelines have been condensed. It is in this area that history sometimes collides with entertainment and personally I think that 'Band of Brothers' struck a highly admirable compromise.

    Listening to ABC Radio late one evening I listened to a tremendous debate about the growth of the history being written in a narrative form. Whilst held in disdain by purists, others have embraced the form.

    Personally, I believe that if we can remain true to history and still represent history in a realistic, but entertaining, fashion then it should be done. If the history is not to solely be the reserve of dusty archival records, but a living,breathing form for the next generation to cherish and learn from, then we have to present it in a suitable manner.

    Documentaries, movies such as 'Private Ryan' and mini-series such as 'Band of Brothers' spike the interest, as do historical narratives. I think it is these forms of history that are stirring up interest amongst the youth and growing crowds on ANZAC Day. From their ranks historians will grow and delve that much deeper. But for the masses to retain the history, 'Band of Brothers' and its ilk are doing in part what needs to be done.

    My two cents worth and I can guarantee that I am frequently in the wrong. :)


  18. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Well said, Owen. If people develop an interest from watching shows such as Band of Brothers etc then that's all for the better. Some will delve further and find the complete/true details of the events/time they have just watched and come to their own conclusions. The important thing is that well made programmes are brought to a wider audience.
  19. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I enjoy narrative approaches to history, especially in books, as it brings the events to life. And as I said, BoB is, overall, a good series.

    I think part of the problem is asking "anoraks" like us to comment on films/programmes which are meant for the wider audience. :)

    And none of the aforementioned programmes are anywhere near as bad as the atrocious as U-571 - now that was revisionist in the worst sense of the word.
  20. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    I wish I wasn't a Luddite and could work the quote function.

    I love the "anoraks" reference and you're right on the money.

    You've cracked me up!



Share This Page