Band of Brothers By: Stephen Ambrose
BAND OF BROTHERS is the history of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, from basic training to D-Day. It follows the jump into Holland, the Battle of the Bulge, and finally the occupation of Berchtesgaden and Austria. This is a rarity among military histories, told from the viewpoint of the front line soldier, the privates, NCOs’ and officers who carry out the grand strategy of higher ups.
In 1942 the Second Battalion of the 506th was formed and started basic training. The recruits volunteered for the thrill, the honor, the extra money, but above all the desire to be better than the ordinary draftee. A description of the physical effort required in basic training explains why a majority of the volunteers never made it as far as the door of the airplane. When the Company finally made it to Fort Benning for jump school, they were in such great physical shape that they outdid the school's physical fitness test. After five jumps in December of 1942, the company qualified as Parachutists, and nine month later they were on a ship to England to train for the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europa.
While in England easy company did training for nine months to prepare for the invasion. On the morning of June 6,1944 101st airborne jumped in the morning. The planes were moving to fast and flying to low for an ideal jump. But they had to jump anyway. Hardly anyone landed in the landing zone. The outer roads from the beach are zeroed in by German artillery, and that the job of the airborne was to eliminate the artillery and it’s defending troops. Lt. Winters would do almost anything to fulfill the mission. By this time, about 0700, E Company consisted of two light machine-guns, one bazooka with no ammunition, one 60mm mortar, nine rifleman, and two officers. Lt. Winters was in charge. With less than 100 men assembled in the battalion, its Commander could only afford to send Easy Company to...