Band of Brothers

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
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I am watching it again for the 3rd time. How true does it stay to what really happened?
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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PB, to my limited knowledge it is factual having been based on a work of non-fiction. I'm sure they had to cut down some scenes or dialog to make it fit, but the events depicted to the persons in the show were real.

Ambrose once took a hit for plagiarism, but never for historical accuracy.
 
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It is immeasurably better than most historical films out there, but like any other, it suffers from numerous inaccuracies. Most of these don't really detract from the experience, though.

Ambrose's biggest problem as a historian to me was less his plagiarism than his approach to historiography. He prided himself as an oral historian, interviewing the actual participants and distilling their stories into gripping accounts. The problem is, he did far too little to fact-check their recollections, which were often decades out of date. He just let their sometimes contradictory and often inanccurate recollections go unchecked. And the makers of the series did little to correct this.

The most notorious example of this was the treatment of Albert Blithe. I can understand members of his platoon having fuzzy recollections and not knowing what happened to him. I cannot excuse Ambrose's failure to make a simple records check. Even worse was what the miniseries did, since they chose to focus an entire episode, "Carentan", on his "story" without going back and fact-checking it. The result is that most viewers of Band of Brothers know Blithe as the private with hysterical blindness who behaved fairly cowardly and then got himself shot and, as a little subtitle tells us at the end of the episode, died of his wounds.

Master Sergeant Albert Blithe did not die from his wounds in Normandy, but from kidney failure in 1967 after a career in the Army. Not only did he recover from the wound in Normandy, he returned to Easy Company and jumped into Holland. He also served in Korea. He received a Silver Star, 3 Bronze Stars and 3 Purple Hearts.


Mark Bando, the author of at least six books on the 101st Airborne in World War II, has a website on the Screaming Eagles here: http://www.101airborneww2.com/index.html

Under "Band of Brothers" is a pretty good review of the series, praise for what it got right and critique where necessary for things it got wrong (like the annoying use of the same recognition signal days, even weeks, after D-Day).
 

CAL

got silk?
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From talking to some of the WWII vets in my 82nd Association chapter they echo what Zap said. Although much is pretty accurate, there are some gaping holes in how the series was portrayed.
 

Ravage

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I especially loved tha part when the German officer was adresing his men in ep.10

[youtube]DXATOvBUbsw[/youtube]
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXATOvBUbsw[/ame]
 

Cabbage Head

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I am proud to say that I knew one of the 101st Vets. I lived in a town where I saw a garage with a Screaming Eagle patch and a parachute oval on both garage doors. There was a DI on the small door over the garage. Me being not the most smartest of the lot, took all into consideration to include that a parachute oval that was on the garage was only worn on a cunt cap in WWII.

Saw him mowing the lawn one day. Had to ask him about his artwork. He was a great guy! I asked him about his garage artwork and told him that I was a history buff as well as a WWII re-enactor(stop laughing, I did the First Special Service Force). I asked him if he was OK talking about it. He was in the 101st from the beginning to Berchtesgaden.

He is past now. I am truely sorry that I did not get to talk to him more. He was in headquarters, G2. Had some great photos!!!! He even had a photo of some of the guys repainting a windshield to a jeep. He said that they had stolen the jeep form Patton and were changing it to look like one of theirs after Bastogne.

Learned how he earned his Silver Star, Bronze Stars and his jumps. He had a black spot in the middle of his upper lip. He said that as he jumped on Normandy his tommy guy slammed into his lip as he landed. He then smashed face first into France. The black spot was dirt from France. I had to believe him, I saw his discharge papers!

Hell of a man!!!! One cocky SOB! Told of the fights he and the other 101st guys had with the 82nd boys.
 
K

Kurt V

Guest
Me being not the most smartest of the lot, took all into consideration to include that a parachute oval that was on the garage was only worn on a cunt cap in WWII.

The glider badge was still worn on the cunt caps of Airborne units until the early '70's when the maroon beret was issued.
 

Marauder06

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The glider badge was still worn on the cunt caps of Airborne units until the early '70's when the maroon beret was issued.

We still had the garrison cap (most worthless piece of headgear ever invented) with the glider badge when I was in the 101st in the late '90s. I think that stuck around until the black berets came into general use.
 

EATIII

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We had to have the Parachute and Glider patch on our Cunt Cap for wall locker inspections. In fact when I reclassified to 11B (the whole osut thing,from day 3) in our Grad photo I had it on.
 

Typhoon

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He is past now. I am truely sorry that I did not get to talk to him more. He was in headquarters, G2. Had some great photos!!!!
One of the security guards at our school was in the 90th Infantry Division from 1943 to his discharge in 1947. He has an "M-1 Thumb"; and told us about his time after the war as an MP guarding German POWs in Wyoming. However he has been reticent to talk about what he went through in the ETO. I am anxious to get him to talk before it is too late: There are so few men left from this generation who witnessed what we can only read about second hand. All the men in my family who were in WWII are long gone as they were born at the turn of the century.

If you know anyone out there who participated in WWII, I hope that you can get their accounts recorded before they are gone.
 
J

JCasp

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Website

That Website link in page 1 is down, looks like bandwidth exceeded or he didn't pay his hosting bills? Anyway I checked out Wikipedia and they have a load of information on it as well, including links to most of the main character's in the series brief autobiographies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_of_Brothers
 

Titus Pullo

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It is immeasurably better than most historical films out there, but like any other, it suffers from numerous inaccuracies. Most of these don't really detract from the experience, though.

Ambrose's biggest problem as a historian to me was less his plagiarism than his approach to historiography. He prided himself as an oral historian, interviewing the actual participants and distilling their stories into gripping accounts. The problem is, he did far too little to fact-check their recollections, which were often decades out of date. He just let their sometimes contradictory and often inanccurate recollections go unchecked. And the makers of the series did little to correct this.

The most notorious example of this was the treatment of Albert Blithe. I can understand members of his platoon having fuzzy recollections and not knowing what happened to him. I cannot excuse Ambrose's failure to make a simple records check. Even worse was what the miniseries did, since they chose to focus an entire episode, "Carentan", on his "story" without going back and fact-checking it. The result is that most viewers of Band of Brothers know Blithe as the private with hysterical blindness who behaved fairly cowardly and then got himself shot and, as a little subtitle tells us at the end of the episode, died of his wounds.

Master Sergeant Albert Blithe did not die from his wounds in Normandy, but from kidney failure in 1967 after a career in the Army. Not only did he recover from the wound in Normandy, he returned to Easy Company and jumped into Holland. He also served in Korea. He received a Silver Star, 3 Bronze Stars and 3 Purple Hearts.


Mark Bando, the author of at least six books on the 101st Airborne in World War II, has a website on the Screaming Eagles here: http://www.101airborneww2.com/index.html

Under "Band of Brothers" is a pretty good review of the series, praise for what it got right and critique where necessary for things it got wrong (like the annoying use of the same recognition signal days, even weeks, after D-Day).

While Blithe did recover from his wound (shot in the shoulder and not the neck as told in the movie) as well attained the rank of MSG and continued to serve, he never returned to Easy Co. as he was not released from the hospital until October 1945, well after VE & VJ day, and that is where the inaccuracies come in because the story was told from the memories of the men in the unit. It was only after the show was shown on HBO that his family came forward and corrected the mistakes made in the film.

If you watch closely you will also see errors such as German units using American hand & arm signals, specifically "cease fire."
 

Titus Pullo

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The glider badge was still worn on the cunt caps of Airborne units until the early '70's when the maroon beret was issued.

It was still being worn as late as '88 as far as I know as we had several guys show up wearing them on the cunt cap coming from the 101st.
 
K

Kurt V

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It was still being worn as late as '88 as far as I know as we had several guys show up wearing them on the cunt cap coming from the 101st.

That's because the 101 went off jump status in the early '70's and were not authorized wear of the beret, except for the few that were kept on jump status.
 
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