"'There was a time when the world asked ordinary men to do extraordinary things..' How true, how true."
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
This is going to be a long one. Almost akin to episodic thoughts with more info than usual. Therefore the content may load a bit more slower than usual.
Not a movie (ignore the left title) but a 10 part mini series produced by Dreamworks SKG (Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg), in collaboration with HBO. The most expensive TV mini series ever made and why not? Though the set looks dirty, all the dirt are really very expensive! By the way, based on a book which is based on real events including real people, many of whom are still alive like Winters, Compton, Lipton, etc.
War in WWII.
About 1942-1945, 3 years till the end of WWII from France to Germany, Austria to Hitler's holiday mansion.
Americans, paratroopers specifically Easy Company - 2nd Battalion - 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment - 101st Airborne Division
The ones in bold are those you will see from Part 1 until Part 10
Damian Lewis .... Major Richard Winters
Ron Livingston .... Captain Lewis Nixon
Donnie Wahlberg .... Lieutenant Carwood Lipton
Rick Gomez .... Sergeant George Luz
Michael Cudlitz .... Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman
Frank John Hughes .... Staff Sergeant William J 'Wild Bill' Guarnere
Neal McDonough .... Lieutenant Lynn 'Buck' Compton -
Matthew Settle .... Captain Ronald Speirs
Rick Warden .... Lieutenant Harry Welsh
Scott Grimes .... Sergeant Donald Malarkey
James Madio .... Sergeant Frank Perconte
Eion Bailey .... Pfc David Kenyon Webster
Shane Taylor .... Corporal Eugene Roe, medic
Dexter Fletcher .... Staff Sergeant John Martin
Ross McCall .... Corporal Joseph Liebgott
Peter McCabe .... Corporal Donald Hoobler
Matthew Leitch .... First Sergeant Floyd Talbert
Kirk Acevedo .... Staff Sergeant Joseph D Toye
Richard Speight Jr. .... Sergeant Warren 'Skip' Muck
Craig Heaney .... Pfc Roy Cobb
Dale Dye .... Colonel Robert F Sink
David Schwimmer .... Captain Herbert Sobel
Marc Warren .... Pfc Albert Blithe
Peter Youngblood Hills .... Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers
Robin Laing .... Private Edward "Babe" Heffron
Doug Allen .... Private Alton More
Adam James .... Private Cleveland Petty
Colin Hanks .... First Lieutenant Henry Jones
Douglas Spain .... Private Antonio 'Tony' Garcia
Mark Huberman .... Private Lester Hashey
Ben Caplan .... Private Walter 'Smokey' Gordon
Nicholas Aaron .... Private Robert "Popeye" Wynn
Rene L. Moreno .... Private Joseph Ramirez
Jamie Bamber .... Lieutenant Jack Foley
Michael Fassbender .... Private Burton Christenson
Nolan Hemmings .... Sergeant Charles Grant
Mark Lawrence .... Corporal William Dukeman
George Calil .... Private James "Mo" Alley
Simon Schatzberger .... Private Joseph Lesniewski
Matt Hickey .... Private Patrick O'Keefe
Peter O'Meara .... Lieutenant Norman Dike
Phil Barantini .... Private Wayne "Skinny" Sisk
Rocky Marshall .... Private Earl McClung
Andrew Scott .... Private John "Cowboy" Hall
Ezra Godden .... Private Robert Van Klinken
Bart Ruspoli .... Private Edward Tipper
James McAvoy .... Private James Miller
Tom Hardy .... Private John Janovec
Andrew Lee-Potts .... Private Eugene Jackson
Stephen Graham .... Private Myron "Mike" Ranney
Iain Robertson .... Private George Smith
Simon Pegg .... Sergeant William Evans
Tim Matthews .... Private Alex Penkala
Luke Griffin .... Sergeant Terence "Salty" Harris
Jimmy Fallon .... Lieutenant George Rice
Dave Power .... Private Dietrich
Jason O'Mara .... Lieutenant Thomas Meehan
Tony Devlin .... Private Ralph Spina, Medic
Simon Fenton .... Private Gerald Lorraine
Matthew Duquenoy .... Pilot
Michael Edmiston .... Jumpmaster
Diana Kent .... Mrs. Lamb, laundress
Josefien Hendriks .... Young Dutch Girl (part four) (as Josefine Hendriks)
Wil Röttgen .... Rommel
Ben Peyton .... Warrant Officer Andrew Hill
William Tapley .... Captain Paige, British Tank Commander
Ian Virgo .... Soldier
Jack Wouterse .... Dutch farmer in barn
Dan van Husen .... Alleged Commandant
Doug Cockle .... Father John Maloney
David Crow .... Corporal Nicksons
Ben Montague .... Private Matt McDowell
Phil McKee .... Lieutenant Colonel Robert L Strayer
Laird Macintosh .... Jeep Driver (Part 6)
Corey Johnson .... Major Kent
Andrew Howard .... Capt. Clarence Hester
Jamie Harding .... French Boy
Isabella Seibert .... German Girl in Bed
Lucie Jeanne .... Renee Lemaire
Nigel Hoyle .... Leo D. Boyle
Stephen McCole .... First Lieutenant Frederick T 'Moose' Heyliger
Kieran O'Brien .... Allen E. Vest
Wolf Kahler .... German General
Marcos D'Cruze .... Joseph P. Domingus
Tom Hanks .... British officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically
David Nicolle .... Lt. Thomas A. Peacock
Luke Roberts .... Herbert J. Suerth
Alex Sabga .... Francis J. Mellet
They were ordinary young men who had ordinary lives until in came WWII and the Germans and off they went for training to become a para-trooper, those soldiers that will jump from the plane into the war zone. Specifically, this series narrows down the vast number of regiments and concentrated 100% on a well known American army named Easy Company. 101st Airborne Division was a very big division and Easy Company was one of the smaller group, consisted of around hundreds of young men, each headed by a Sergeant who reports to the Lieutenant who reports to the Captain who reports to the Major who reports to the General who reports to someone else who reports to the President of the United States. The year the series was set is 1942 and follow about 3 years of their lives from their training camp in Georgia to France to Germany to victory and to a very nice ending. You'll see deaths after deaths in the most horrific fashion, each episodes will talk about one specific subject, beginning with an interview with real life war veterans from WWII D-Day in Normandy or somewhere else and will end with a note on the success or failure of the mission. At the end of the 10th episode, you will meet the real Easy Company men, where you'll discover that this series is based on a book which is based on factual events and real life people who once lived and is probably still alive right now. We will follow them from their fresh faced and eagerness to kill Germans to being very wary of the war and question the purpose of the war until they stumbled upon the reason why they fought this bloody war. In the end, this series truly illustrates to us how ordinary men could be heroes in the worst and most extraordinary times and you will probably feel more respect for these men and wish there aren't any wars at all.
The Episode Guide
I took the following summaries as well as pictures from http://www.bbc.co.uk/bandofbrothers/.
"The first episode was dry and didn't really impress me."
Episode 1: "Currahee"
Written By: Erik Jendresen & Bruce C. McKenna
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson
In Toccoa, Ga., 1942, a disparate group of young men begins voluntary training to become members of one of America's newest military regiments - the paratroopers. Under the harsh leadership of Lt. Sobel (David Schwimmer), members of the newly formed Easy Company go from green civilians to some of the Army's most elite soldiers. As training progresses, a rivalry flares between Sobel, whom the men despise, and Lt. Winters (Damian Lewis), a junior officer who's earned the respect and admiration of Easy Company.
(More than half of the episode was re-shot after an extensive re-write, that was actually commissioned before Steven Spielberg saw the rough cut)
The first episode was dry and didn't really impress me. But it did made me sit up because of David Schwimmer as a wimp, but a harsh wimp of a leader. He was funny because he always led his men the wrong way and kept saying "there isn't supposed to be a fence here!", too dependant on maps you see and a text book kinda guy. Contrast that to the ever understanding Lt Winters whom all Easy Company respected. Me too because he rarely spoke, but you know he is there watching and looking after their interests.
"It was very realistic and from thereon I could see nothing but blood and gore."
Episode 2: "Day of Days"
Written By: John Orloff
Directed By: Richard Loncraine
Planes carrying thousands of paratroopers cross the English Channel into French airspace, where German flak causes the pilots to drop them in a less than safe and organized fashion. Lt. WINTERS lands alone in a field, soon joined by a Pvt.
JOHN HALL (Andrew Scott) from another company. Having lost his rifle in the jump, Winters leads the anxious Hall off to find their units, carrying only a knife. They link up with a few more Easy Company men and ambush a German horse-drawn supply convoy. In a nearby town, Winters finds Easy's Lt. "BUCK" COMPTON (Neal McDonough), who tells him 90% of the company is unaccounted for, including their commander -- which puts Winters in charge. Winters is then asked to lead an attack on a cluster of German artillery pieces nearby, which are probably firing onto the seaborne infantry trying to take Utah Beach. Winters deploys his small group on the entrenched enemy positions and eventually takes four artillery pieces in succession, disabling them with TNT. The euphoria is tempered, however, when Winters finds Pvt. Hall dead, killed by machine gun fire. The mission is successful, but Winters has lost his first man as acting company commander.
I feel bad after watching this episode. You see, I was hoping for war, blood, deaths, bomb, Germans, and so far I had only trainings. So when they flew to France and being paratroopers, they must jump into enemy territory, I was thinking easy job. Late at night and no Germans. This episode was scary because even before they could jump, bombs were hurled at them by the sly Germans and half the planes were gone. And when they do jump, some got shot whilst landing, some shot when landed, some never landed at all, and when you landed, you have to run into hiding. I really feel bad. It was very realistic and from thereon I could see nothing but blood and gore. One of the better episodes.
"You can't hesitate in war, as this episode clearly shows."
Episode 3 :"Carentan"
Written By: E.Max Frye
Directed By: Mikael Saloman
After regrouping in the town of Angoville-au-Plain, Easy Company tries to capture the town of Carentan.
Two days after D-day, some members of Easy Company are still lost and alone in Normandy, including Pvt. ALBERT BLITHE (Marc Warren). He finds the rest of the unit just in time to help them take the town of Carentan, which Allied armor from Utah and Omaha beaches need in order to link up.
During the successful fight for the town, Easy suffers several casualties, including a minor leg wound to Lt. WINTERS, and a case of "hysterical blindness" for Blithe. The company moves out to set up a defensive position and runs into a German counterattack on the way. They engage in a lengthy firefight, which eventually includes German and then American tanks. Blithe, after getting advice and encouragement from Lts. HARRY WELSH (Rick Warden), RONALD SPIERS (Matthew Settle), and Winters, screws up his courage enough to stand up in his foxhole and fire his rifle at the enemy, eventually killing a German. But the next day, on a patrol, Blithe is shot in the neck by a sniper, a wound he will never recover from. The company returns to England after 36 days in Normandy, but their celebrations are short-lived, as news comes that they will be moving out again.
This episode is about the fear of shooting other people, or perhaps more accurately the fear of fear itself. You can't hesitate in war, as this episode clearly shows. Plenty of deaths, legs gone, eyes gone, bullets zig zagging everywhere, I notice you must be a sprinter in other to survive. Anyway, not a very good episode and almost got bored with the endless shooting and screaming and the headache of a camera style ala NYPD Blue. Annoying as its best and bloody irritating as its worst!
"Losing my interest as I was watching this one because frankly, Bull Randelman is not a very interesting character to watch, and the situation he was in, though scary was not very interesting either."
Written By: Graham Yost & Bruce C. McKenna
Directed By: David Nutter
A group of fresh replacements joins Easy Company in time for a massive paradrop into German-occupied Holland.
The Dutch townspeople of Eindhoven welcome them as liberators. But when Easy and a cluster of British tanks move into a nearby town, they are met by a superior German force and must retreat after suffering many casualties.
One of these is Sgt. "BULL" RANDLEMAN (Michael Cudlitz), who hides out overnight in a barn. A Dutch farmer and his daughter tend to him, and eventually he has to bayonet and bury a German soldier who wanders in.
Meanwhile, Randleman's friends and the members of the squad he leads fear him dead, and finally decide to head back into the town to try to find him. He escapes the barn and meets them on the way, finally returning to the company and getting a warm welcome.
As they move onto another assignment in Holland, Capt. WINTERS laments having to retreat, and Capt. NIXON tells him the ambitious allied operation in Holland looks to have failed.
Not a very good episode either. I do notice the acting a bit restrained in this mini series and why not? You can't be over emotional in war of not you will be too busy crying and you won't be able to shoot. Losing my interest as I was watching this one because frankly, Bull Randelman is not a very interesting character to watch, and the situation he was in, though scary was not very interesting either. Again, tired of all the shootings and bombings and the camera work.
"Would you be able to shoot? I may not be able to do so and would have gone through the same dilemma as Winters did."
Episode 5: "The Crossroads"
Written By: Erik Jendresen
Directed By: Tom Hanks
Capt. WINTERS leads a contingent of Easy Company men on a risky mission over a Dutch dike that results in a "turkey shoot" of fleeing German soldiers.
Afterwards, Col. SINK promotes him to Battalion Executive Officer, leaving Easy Co. in the hands of Lt. "MOOSE" HEYLIGER (Stephen McCole). As Winters labors over a report on the dike mission, Heyliger leads a rescue of some British soldiers escaping from the besieged town of Arnhem. Winters is dissatisfied by his new, largely administrative job. He worries about Easy, now one of three companies he helps command, especially after Heyliger is shot and seriously wounded by a nervous sentry.
After moving back off the line to France, Lt. NIXON insists that Winters take a break and see Paris. Winters is haunted there by the memory of a young German solider he killed at close range on the dike. As he returns to the company at Mourmelon, news comes in of a massive German counterattack in the Ardennes Forest. Winters helps Easy race there to hold the line, his men ill-equipped for the cold weather and the battle ahead.
Quite a good episode which focuses on the near breakdown of Winters, emotionally as he kept seeing his dead comrades. But rather unemotional acting at times but as I have said above, why not? Can't be too emotional when you have seen so much deaths, horrifying ones. And one good scene had him running and then he stopped and he was face to face with a young German soldier. The German soldier was defenseless, or perhaps he had a gun, I really can't remember and Winters looked at him for the longest of time. I mean that boy, a young man could have been his brother, nothing sets them apart except for their nationalities and having hesitated too long, he finally shot the boy. Great show of conflicting emotions. Would you be able to shoot? I may not be able to do so and would have gone through the same dilemma as Winters did.
"Frankly, a boring episode."
Written By: Bruce C McKenna
Directed By: David Leland
Easy Company digs foxholes in the snow around the Belgian town of Bastogne. They are woefully under-manned and under-supplied to hold the line against the inevitable German armored attack.
Medic EUGENE ROE (Shane Taylor) scrounges morphine and other much-needed medical supplies to treat the various ailments and wounds of the men, who are bitterly cold and, in many cases, stricken with trench foot. His travels take him to a cut-off Aid Station in the surrounded, besieged town of Bastogne. There he meets a beautiful Belgian nurse named RENEE LEMAIRE (Lucie Jeanne) ministering to the horrible suffering of wounded American soldiers.
Easy loses two men on an ill-fated patrol but are congratulated on Christmas Day for holding the line by Col. SINK. He reads aloud their commanding general's concise, defiant response to a German surrender demand: "Nuts!" With no sign of relief in sight, the men celebrate a miserable holiday together in their foxholes. The Germans bomb Bastogne, hitting the Aid Station and killing Renee, whose body Roe discovers.
This episode focuses on the medic named Roe. Young medical students perhaps because they don't look old enough to be doctors at all. Dedicated bunch, who will have to run into the line of fire to bandage the wounded. But usually they can't do much, except for morphine (I assume it is this drug) and bandages and then they're carried off to make shift hospitals. This episode focuses on Roe's strange relationship with a foreign nurse and she died in the end, when the hospital was bombed. I think Roe dies as well though I am not quite sure. Frankly, a boring episode.
"This is one episode that illustrates great leadership and in my opinion, the best of the 10 episodes."
Episode 7:"The Breaking Point"
Written By: Graham Yost & Bruce C. McKenna
Directed By: David Frankel
Easy Company have successfully held off German attempts to take over Bastogne and are now preparing to take control of the nearby town of Foy.
During the attack on Foy, the Company undergo severe artillery bombardments from the enemy. Despite every effort by Sergeant Lipton to hold the group together the attack is fierce and several Easy Company veterans are killed or maimed in the battle.
The Company is at breaking point and morale is low. Sergeants Toye and Guarnere have each lost a leg in the attack, and the rest of the company must come to terms with such an horrendous blow to their camp.
It all proves a little too much for Lt. Compton, who suffers an emotional breakdown and is forced to leave the line before the moral of the camp is further destroyed.
The incompetence of their commander, Lieutenant Dike, further compounds the already disastrous situation when he freezes up at a crucial moment during the battle, leaving the rest of the company open to attack. Sgt. Lipton had previously warned Capt. Winters about Dike’s emotional condition, but both were unable to do anything about him until it was too late. Lt Speirs of Dog Company is sent to relieve a distraught Lipton, and successfully leads the company to victory.
The battle of Foy is a bittersweet victory for Easy Company. The town is successfully taken, but at an enormous cost to the camp.
The best of all the 10 episodes. This story talks about leadership, narrated and seen through the eyes of Donnie Wahlberg's Lipton. You see every regiment has a commanding officer. Winters is the Captain now who receives orders from the General. He in turn gives orders to the Lt, who in turns commands his Sgt who in turns carry out the orders to his men. In this episode, Lipton was caught in a dilemma. It was quite a thing to have a leader who is barking mad, screaming at you all the time but the worst would be having a leader who is never there to make any concrete decisions. Dike was such a leader and he was in his position because of his family connections. Winters thought about replacing him with Buck Compton but Buck was getting more and more disillusioned about the war, and so the once brave Buck went home to rest. Lipton couldn't stand the fact that Dike always disappears and gives him orders like "You take over now" and so he complained to Winters, which is a big no-no in military to complain about your superior, as witnessed in Episode One. During one operation, they were all stuck in cross fires between Germans and their own men and Dike panicked. Lipton couldn't just command his men as he was not an officer. Winters having no choice replaced Dike with the legendary Speirs, a man so feared by Easy Company for one reason; it was rumoured that he offered some German POWs some cigarettes and thereafter shot them all dead. The rumours were not true but it was funny how the men refused his offering of a cigarette. Anyway, Speirs being an officer ran to Lipton, gave some orders and to the amazement of Lipton and Germans, he ran across German stronghold to his men to give further orders which won the battle at the end of the day. The Germans were too shocked to fire at him. Anyway, the real life Speirs said that it was less dramatic than was shown on screen. That day Lipton who was thinking about the many losses and deaths realised they gained a good leader. But Speirs told him Lipton was to be promoted as an officer (Lt) and as such the real good leader was him. This is one episode that illustrates great leadership and in my opinion, the best of the 10 episodes.
"Another really good episode and a gem to watch for great leadership in Winters."
Episode 8: "The Last Patrol"
Written By: Erik Bork & Bruce C. McKenna
Directed By: Tony To
There are signs that the war may be coming to an end. Easy Company have settled down in a town close to the German border and the men, although still on the front line, are finally able to sleep in houses. Just across the river are the German troops who are also relishing the same creature comforts.
Easy Company receive orders to cross into enemy territory to take prisoners. Most of the troops are hoping they will not be picked to carry out the assignment.
But orders must be obeyed and Sgt. Malarkey is given the call to lead the 2nd platoon across the river. Still mourning for the death of his friends at Bastogne, Malarkey is relieved when Lt. Jones asks to go in his place. Jones has just arrived in the camp from West Point and is eager to put his combat skills into practice. The move is okayed by Capt. Winters and the troop move into position.
Also receiving the call to go is Pvt. Webster. Webster, having just returned to the Company after an absence to treat a relatively minor wound, is finding it hard to regain the acceptance of his old buddies.
The company are able to retrieve two prisoners, but unfortunately lose a man in battle. Winters, weighing up the death of yet another man decides to disobey orders to send a second troop into the German camp.
Another really good episode and a gem to watch for great leadership in Winters. You see, after returning from the mission with one dead and two German POWs, the mission of blasting the tower and kidnapping 3 POWs failed. So the General ordered them to go back there and finish the job but Winters decided otherwise. And unassuming man, he walked in, gave the General's orders and reminded them to have a good night sleep and that all Germans were dead. The next day the tower finally fell and they found out that Winters filed in a false report about the second mission. Quite an amazing leader who places the interest and lives of his men above all else and very admirable. So it is of no great wonder he became Major so soon.
"Episode 7 was simple and yet poignant but this one questions ones own faith in humanity."
Episode 9: "Why We Fight"
Written By: John Orloff
Directed By: David Frankel
It has been a long hard battle but Easy Company have finally managed to enter Germany where surprisingly, they face little resistance from the local residents. In fact their so called ‘enemies’ are so industrious that the Company begin to relax and even fraternise with the local people.
Captain Nixon returns from a combat jump that unfortunately took a disastrous turn for the worse. He has now become disillusioned and cynical about the war and turns to the bottle. A worried Major Winters voices his concerns about the emotional state of his friend.
Easy Company receive news that President Roosevelt has died and decide to head to another German town. Near to the town is a small forest, Winters sends a small patrol in to explore. Inside the forests the patrol are shocked and horrified to discover an abandoned concentration camp with hundreds of people still imprisoned. The Nazis have long deserted the camp leaving the mostly Jewish captives to starve. As a result many corpses now litter the prison cells.
The patrol begin to free the prisoners, but are ordered to herd them back to the concentration camp so that their recovery can be more easily monitored.
The rest of the Company cannot believe that the local citizens did nothing to help the prisoners, and decide that the locals should be the ones to clean up the camp and remove the many corpses. The locals comply, but maintain that they knew nothing of the camp and it’s residents.
Whilst supervising the clean up, the Company receive news that Hitler has commited suicide.
One of the best and perhaps the most disturbing of all. Many men of Easy Company were already questioning why are they fighting this war, dragged by Germans out of their cozy beds to die in a foreign land, far away from their loved one. They couldn't see the reason though one newspaper columnist said the reason was because "Germans are bad, really bad". And one day, as they marched into Germany and into German houses and helping themselves to the food and wines as well as taking the cultlery and all, they found their reason. A few men were scouting the jungle and one man ran back to Winters who came to see what was so indescribable. He was shocked because he was looking at a concentration camp. At this point I must voice out my ignorance. I always thought they knew about the oppression of Jews and other minorities and then of course we must remember they were fighting in jungles and all, never having access to newspapers or perhaps they knew but not so horrible. Some things you have to see to believe the evil that men are capable of. Charlie Chaplin and Sir Winston Churchill warned the Brits and the Americans about the potential of evil thanks to Nazi regime but nobody believed until in came WWII and concentration camps. The classic was that Winters didn't quite understand why the people were there, half dead and very dirty. He asked, "Criminals?" and a Jew answered, "Ordinary men" from all professions like Gypsies, bakers, etc and finally in a near whisper he said "Jews" then Winters finally got the message. It was horrible to see so many bodies. When Winters ordered for food and drinks to be given to them, his men broke into German bakeries and took all they could. The baker was screaming but one angry man took a gun to his head and screamed and questioned that perhaps he knew of the atrocities. By this time Nixon was having a mid life crisis as he was an alcoholic and earlier, we saw him going into a Nazi's house. When the wife came out, she looked at him accusingly and he seemed apologetic. The next day, they ordered for Germans to come and bury the bodies and all of them dressed in their fur coats came. Nixon saw the same lady who was trying to pull a body from a big pile of bodies and then for a moment they looked at each other. This time his eyes were accusing her and she was ashamed to look at him. Frankly, they must have known, the smell and all. Sadder events though; the General ordered for the Jews and fellow victims to be locked into the bunkers again because he didn't want them to run around whilst he was finding a place to relocate them. A young Jewish American cried whilst he translated the General's order.
This was perhaps one of the most powerful episodes amongst the 10 episodes, though it is second to my most favourite which is episode 7. Episode 7 was simple and yet poignant but this one questions ones own faith in humanity. Why they fight? They found their reason in those half starving Jews and minorities. To stop evil. Very though provoking though the Jews weren't thin enough and there was not a scene of the women and children.
Nixon when told by Winters that the Russians found a bigger camp, with stoves and all, he couldn't believe his ears. Horrors of war, this was the Nazi's answer to the Jewish question. For a better perspective, do watch Schindler's List and Life Is Beautiful though this one episode was horrifying enough for me.
"One that illustrates that war may be able to make men crazy, but when the war ends, men could go haywire up there with nothing to do."
Episode 10: "Points"
Written By: Erik Jendresen
Directed By: Mikael Saloman
Having heard that Hitler is now dead, Easy Company enter Berchtesgaden a Bavarian town that once housed the top officers of Hitler’s Third Reich. Their objective is to capture Hitler’s mountain fortress known as Eagle’s Nest.
The Company make their attack. They overcome the German forces who surrender the Eagle’s Nest fortress. Celebrations erupt throughout the camp as the men realise that the war is almost at an end and they will soon return home to their families.
A victorious Easy Company travel to Austria, but their elation is short lived as they soon learn only the few men who have earned enough 'points' will be going home. The rest of the Division will be redeployed to the Pacific Theatre, where they must await official orders to leave Europe. Major Winters applies for a transfer to a unit that is moving out immediately, but his request is denied.
Sergeant Chuck Grant is critically wounded by a drunken trooper from another Company. Captain Spiers is called to deal with it. Despite having enough points to go home Spiers decides he will stay on as Company Commander. Major Winters however decides he does not want to make a career out of the army and accepts Captain Nixon's offer of a job with his family’s company when they return home from the war.
The Japanese surrender signals the end of a long, hard, gruesome war. Winters gives the momentous news to Easy Company. Hitler is dead, the war is over and a Victorious Easy Company celebrate the end of a war in which they fought hard and won.
A closing vignette tells what happened to the men of Easy Company after they returned home.
A very good episode. One that illustrates that war may be able to make men crazy, but when the war ends, men could go haywire up there with nothing to do. They were in Austria and they even occupied the Eagle's Nest, codename for Hitler's very extravagant birthday present on top of the mountain, reachable by elevator of course. Funny though, as Winters narrated this last episode, Hitler was scared of heights! Anyway, you must admire the Germans for having a great fashion sense (they never really iron their uniforms!) and knowing how to enjoy whilst fighting war. The sceneries were amazing, snowy mountains, wines and wines and more wines. But the men were worried because the war with Japan was still ongoing. Winters volunteered to fight the Japanese but his superior rejected his request, asking him to just stay in Austria and rest. And so he stayed, contemplating his future. He was given an offer to stay in the military but later we knew he refused and worked for Nixon, who was a rich industrialist's son. Anyway, there were madness when one drunk soldier shot a fellow soldier on the head and the men were frantically looking for neurosurgeons and they found an able one in a German who kept pleading for them to put the gun away. The guy was saved, the one who shot that poor guy was beaten half to death but nobody had the nerve to kill him, because they had enough of killings perhaps. None can go home because they have yet to earn 85 points to go home, disturbing really. And then of course we have a good leader in Winters who used all the excuses to assign his men to various duties, to keep their sanity. One was Lipton who was ordered to look after some surrendered German POWs. Winters even saluted the General who in turn saluted him. He addressed his fellow German soldiers and we were told that the general praised them for their fighting spirit and asked them never to give up hope. In that one scene, we as well as them kinda realised Germans were like them, they were soldiers, pure and simple. They were not SS officers of course. Cruel people. And then there were a few gems where we were shown how they became friends with German soldiers who were watching the border, how one German soldier who lost his one leg came hopping home...I guess for the entirety of the series we did not see the German perspective and now that they have shown it, they gave us a more human side of the German.
And the ending? Lipton became a successful executive, Buck Compton became a prosecutor, Spiers remained in the military and became really successful and high ranking and the rest went back to taxi driving, farming, usual jobs. At least they were not disillusioned. The Vietnam War veterans had it bad because somehow those nitwits during that period can't differentiate between the war and the soldiers. All soldiers should have a hero's welcome. Anyway, all lead good lives and most are still alive. Nixon is dead though, diabetes I think, one who died had 16,000 guests at his funeral. All still very close even today, and they have reunions. All are either in their 70's or 80's. Turbulent youth but simple old age. You know, those that comes back from war usually leads a very quiet life. A pity Winters did not remain in the military though he did went back to train soldiers for the Korean War. He had integrity and the military could have used a talent like him. Anyway, he is now living on a farm. For more scroll down.
Overall : Final Comments
For a moment I thought both Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks were obsessed about WWII! And so they were!..
Truth be told, I didn't know the name of the characters until almost the end at about Episode 7. Most of the time, they were all referred to as Major, Captain, Sergeant...no names or anything which was very difficult to follow, for me at least.
This series started out rather bland. the first episode talked about the training and how the men disliked their leader, a Captain Herbert Sobel who was a very poor leader who depended too much on rules and map, whilst most men admired his assistant, the gentle and reasonable with an even more mild temperament, Major Dick Winters (he wasn't a Major then but was promoted to Captain during the war when most leaders died and at the end of the series, he was a Major) who was assisted by his ever faithful sidekick, Captain Lewis Nixon (who wasn't a Captain then as well but was promoted during the war). After much has happened, we get to see how Captain Sobel was ousted and rightly so and Winters moved up the ladder and led the men in France to Germany. I was actually getting more and more impatient, waiting for deaths and wars and Germans being killed. Of course I was as you should know very juvenile. You see I thought I wanted to see an exciting war series and I got more than that in this series. When they were on the planes and were ready to jump into the war zone, I thought easy job. Just jump! But wait, there were bombs that blasted away more than half the planes that was deployed and men who jumped would probably be shot before they reached ground or when they reached the ground they would be shot. At the end of the day, not many survived the jumping of the plane, and they have yet to start to shoot one German! I was like those troopers, like Lipton, Guarnere , Malarkey and everybody else who thought well, war, no big deal. It was a scary and yet spectacular scene. When they reached the ground, each episode we will see how they ran from bullets fired everywhere, how they hid under the ground but was still killed by a bomb, how they lost their eyes, legs, hands, lives, you get to see them in full gory details. You will know each character's thoughts, though you may not know their names. Episodes 4-6 were rather tedious and quite a headache to watch thanks to the dizzy camera work and more and more people die. You get sick of it all, as those men in the series. As the soldiers, such as Winters and gang from Easy Company grow more and more wary and resentful towards war, so do we. But the best of the whole series would be Episode 7 which highlighted how brave men could be better leaders.
The tagline for this series is..
"There was a time when the world asked ordinary men to do extraordinary things.."
How true, how true.
HBO has this poll where you could vote for your favourite hero in their website. I like the character of Carwood Lipton, very brave and very noble. Speirs too as well as Buck and Bull. But they are not my favourite though Lipton came close to being one.
The one I really admire and really like and is my most favourite character, who is still alive by the way is Major Dick Winters. If he was as depicted in the series, he must have been an extraordinary leader. Giving, cared for his men, always his men, his brothers are first priority, he had integrity of steel, he never answered back at people and keep his opinion to himself but will never hesitate to offer his suggestions and views. I don't remember seeing his shout at all, never at his men and the only time he pulled his rank was when he saw that coward Captain Sobel who just walked by and gave a weak salute and he said in a harsh but polite voice; "Salute the rank, not the man" and only then Sobel gave a proper salute. In fact he hardly pulled his rank at all. His men could just sit lazily whilst he gave orders, and he never really give orders, but politely tell them to do such and such things. Most men could never refuse him because they all respected and liked him. More than once he saved his men who were his friends, he could be joked with and his subordinates could even take the German cutleries right before his eyes and he would say nothing. He even gave his friend, Nixon the first choice to the many wines and alcohols they found in a Nazi house! I could respect such a leader. He was not a wuss, nor was he weak but he understood the need of his men. I wouldn't say he was the most heroic character but certainly he is one with the most integrity and care for his men, more so when he is the leader. A very responsible leader and one unforgettable character.
War scenes. You must admire the details, the gory details, hands, blood and bullets, the uniforms (stylish, but they still can't beat the Germans in terms of style), the soundtrack and the sound effects. The actors looked really worn out by the end of the series, some even lost weight and I was told that they carried the same weight as the soldiers had back then. They ran a lot, very fit and really dirty looking. Spectacular scenes!
There was one really scary scene. Lipton (I think it was him) was encouraged by two fellow comrades to crawl to the fox hole and he crawled and crawled. About a few meters before he reached the fox hole, a bomb dropped into the box hole. The two died and he lives, shocked. At the meantime Winters and Nixon were both in a fox hole and a bomb dropped next to them. It didn't go off, luckily for them.
I like the heroism part of this series. I think it was Guarnere who went to aid his friend who was in between cross fires and had his legs blown off and the whilst he was dragging his friend to safety, a bomb dropped nearby and even Guarnere lost a leg. But he was ever cheerful, telling his friend never to give up and they would be home soon. Very positive fella and I will always remember this name because he was nicknamed Gonorrhea.
There was one really good one. Winters never pulled his rank, but when he was Major and there was Sobel, still a Captain and everybody hated (there was a time he wanted to pin a blame on Winters for something he didn't do) him. He walked passed Winters, never looking at Winters probably because of shame and he just simply salute and Winters raised his voice as said; "Salute the rank, not the man". And only then he did it properly. Very good scene because well, I myself disliked this Sobel guy.
The heroism, leadership, loyalty, bravery and friendship as well as brotherhood aspect. Very uplifting, though you see deaths all over. The fact that the actors' faces changed towards the end of the movie, looking tired, worn out, not so young and eager anymore and some even lost weight! I mean they had to carry the same gears as the veterans did!
The Austria scenes, breathtaking sceneries.
Do not miss the beginning scenes where the veterans talk about their experiences, some even had tears. But the best was the final episode where we will meet the real war heroes seen in this series.
The one sidedness of the story (read below) and the dizzy camera work.
Did Easy Company do ALL THAT?! I mean, wouldn't they be taking too much glory? But apparently they did. But then where are the English? The Russians? The French? Or even the Germans? You don't get to see their side of the story or even know a few men from these countries. Germans were the evil one, always shooting and all but we never see one concrete personality from there. Very one sided story if you ask me but well, this is a series about Easy Company. Kinda lonely to watch just the Americans you know...Moreover, the focus of this series is American soldiers, specifically Easy Company, more specifically those few guys....
There wasn't one spectacularly great performance since not all characters were given equal amount of time to shine but all were just as good, giving very good but emotionally restrained performances. Amongst the really good ones are..
Neal McDonough as Lieutenant Lynn 'Buck' Compton
The blonde hair guy.
Ron Livingston as Captain Lewis Nixon
Quite ok though I thought episode 10 was bit strange since I never knew he had a problem at all!
Frank John Hughes as Staff Sergeant William J 'Wild Bill' Guarnere
Very good as the loudmouthed guy.
Scott Grimes as Sergeant Donald Malarkey
A rather tired looking performance because his character is tired of the war. A good one.
Donnie Wahlberg as Lieutenant Carwood Lipton
Big brother of Mark Wahlberg, less hair than his NKOTB days. Frankly, I saw him in The Sitxh Sense and thought he was quite effective in those few scenes. In this series he gave a very restrained performance but his eyes says it all. I always felt his brother, Mark Wahlberg as overrated and has really boring roles. He is pretentious, at least in my opinion. But Donnie has matured as an actor in this series, given a very poignant portrayal of a man who didn't know what to do, in Episode 7, my favourite episode amongst all. I really like him in here and I hope to see him in more breakthrough performances. I think he perhaps has more chance at an Emmy or an Oscar than his brother. I do think he is the more talented one between the two, though he is fast losing his hair.
Damian Lewis as Major Richard Winters
The best performance in here. Did some digging, for his name and he is called Damian Lewis and shocking shocking fact..HE IS BRITISH!! More shocking fact, he is only about 30 years old!! He looks so mature and yet he is so young! And he has red red hair!! (in this series, they mentioned he has red hair but frankly, it looked brown to me) Fair fair skin! (Ok, not so shocking). BUT BRITISH? The final justice my friend, for all the roles Gwyneth Paltrow and Renee Zellweger took from the English girls, we now have a Brit acting as an American. And his accent was excellent. Never ever imagined him as British, couldn't! Amazing! Anyway, great performance, very unassuming, not very "I must be in front!!" type of acting, very restrained and very quiet, rarely speaks which I guess is how the real Dick Winters must be, never shouts, never barks, never orders people around, a traditional hero of a leader. He has an honourable face, those good old fashioned honest and a face with integrity and he was perfect in this role. You must look out for this guy. Very very good with lots of charisma and screen presence even though he may have just walked by. Great performance!
David Schwimmer .... Captain Herbert Sobel
I was very surprised to see this actor in here but after the surprise subsided, I thought he gave a very good performance of the strict trainer who was also a wuss if you ask me. Horrible character but wonderful performance. By the way, the real guy looked like this...
A MUST WATCH. The most expensive mini series mind you ($120m)! Very realistic, very grand, lots of stylish uniforms (they should bring back the jacket, if it is no longer here), ignore the one sidedness of this story and just enjoy the horrifying battle scenes. Tom Hanks had a brief scene as a Brit officer. Couldn't see him, maybe you could. If HBO is screening this again, remember to catch it, just for the props, the battle scenes and of course Damian Lewis and Donnie Wahlberg. Don't be frustrated if you do not know their characters' names, not important anyway. ENJOY!
Even the ugliest guy on Earth will look good in a military uniform, or navy uniform, any uniform, except for China's of course. Not those green coloured ones that you see Americans wearing to war but the official uniform. But Navy costume the best don't you think? I do think the best uniform that was ever designed was the Germans, especially those high ranking ones. But can't wear them know unless you want a few common folks dying of a heart attack!
No need lar! This review is like a lecture already! I am sure you know what...just remember poverty and ambition in a way created WWI & WWII, Adolf Hitler who from a nobody became a great big somebody, Nazis, SS officers, great fashion sense, concentration camps, oppression of Jews, murder of more than 6 million Jews and other ethnic minority, clever Albert Einstein ran before the "cleansing" began, there was a WWI, United Nations was formed thereafter (Churchill, FDR & Stalin), Italians the bad guys, Germans the really bad ones, how the Queen of England then a young girl joined the army as a mechanic, her sister selling cookies, how they all begged the King and Queen to leave but they refused and stayed with the citizens (which is why Brits today is a bit reluctant to remove the royal family because they were there with the people when it all happened and when London was bombed out of shape where Churchill, in a rather pompous but positive attitude asked the world to give them ammunitions and they're finish off the enemy, if I am not mistaken), America was late in joining the war and yet became the hero and the super power (that was how the great America, big brother was born), Brits were the one who broke the many secret codes of the Germans, Japanese Imperialist army had nothing better to do and they created their own war in Asia, how the Thais opened door for them to come into Malaya, how Malayan Sultans kinda welcomed them, how they took over Singapore by bicycling there thus shocking the Brits who were expecting them to attack by sea, how Churchill was so disappointed at the fall of Singapore and Malaya, also loved to "cleanse" Chinese, raped plenty of women, did many awful stuff that makes me hate them till today for refusing to pay compensation (which is why Japanese Imperial family still has yet to have a son as an heir, retribution I think) and apologise, even erased the real history from the books and Americans forgave the Japs for doing what they did to us Chinese (see the connection?), older generation will testify to the hardships, younger generation will idolise the young Japanese stars because the past is the past (I do agree), Hitler killing himself with his wife, etc etc etc. Until now, the Germans are still paying for the war debts. Japanese aren't.
Articles, Bios and some Interviews
Yes, they are still alive. Do read this small intro on the various names you'll hear in this series. Wouldn't know if they looked the same though. Interesting read. Took them from;
I feel a need to put the actors' pictures in here, since they are ALL NEWBIES, except for Donnie Wahlberg of course. Surely you remember him?! Anyway here are some info, not all though.
The Real Easy Company
Get ready with your magnifying glass.
British actor Damian Lewis says he was told from the outset that Maj. Dick Winters was "a difficult man to impress," a man who "distrusts Hollywood and what it is going to do with his story." So it probably didn't surprise him when Winters — Easy Company's esteemed leader and a key collaborator for Stephen E. Ambrose's best-selling book, Band of Brothers (Simon & Schuster), on which the HBO miniseries is based — pointed out an inaccuracy after viewing rough cuts of the first two episodes. In one scene "we showed Winters as being hesitant and uncertain of what Easy Company was about to go through," says Lewis, 30. "We thought it was an interesting character arc for him." But Winters, who lives with his wife, Ethel, on a farm near Hershey, Pennsylvania, didn't agree. "I never would have stopped," he told Lewis, and the scene was changed. While Lewis says Winters was always "generous and supportive," he also admits they never really got close. "[Dick] is someone who has successfully buttoned down his emotions," he says. Winters did let his guard down a little during documentary-style interviews with veterans that lead into each episode. "It was very emotional," says Winters, 80. "My wife, our children and all the cameramen stood up and started clapping [when it was over]." Of the entire series, Winters gave his implicit endorsement when he told Hanks that he "put [the tapes] in a safety-deposit box."
Note : I read somewhere that the real Winters was only 26 when he was in the war.
Ron Livingston (Lewis Nixon)
In episode 10, the men of Easy Company pack up Third Reich treasures in Berchtesgaden, the Bavarian town where much of the loot collected by the Nazis was kept. Intelligence officer Lewis Nixon, however, is led to his cherished prize — thousands of bottles of the finest liquors and wines — by his good friend Dick Winters. "There are two things about Lewis Nixon that are inescapable," says Ron Livingston, 33, who joins The Practice this fall. "He was unbelievably intelligent, and he drank like a fish." Nixon, who died of complications from diabetes in 1995, came from an incredibly wealthy family (his father owned a successful industrial company). "The other men would get packages of cookies from home," says Nixon's widow, Grace. "[His mother] sent him fur-lined slippers and cashmere underwear. He just threw it away."
Donnie Wahlberg (C. Carwood Lipton)
To prepare for his role as Lt. Carwood Lipton, Donnie Wahlberg talked to the Easy Company veteran almost every day by phone. "I was extremely intimidated the first time I called," says Wahlberg (The Sixth Sense). "My respect for him is limitless. He was able to process all of the pain and fear and psychological difficulties that go on in war and turn it around and have a wonderful life." Although Lipton, a retired glass company executive living in North Carolina, was only 20 when he entered the war, he says the 32-year-old Wahlberg is "perfect for the part" and that he is "quite pleased" with his portrayal. And while he finds Band of Brothers to be more accurate than other war movies, Lipton says, "[the filmmakers] want to show more emotion, but in combat you don't show sorrow. You don't show shock. You don't show fear. You just don't show emotions."
So guessed who he is? Before Mark Wahlberg was Mark Wahlberg the actor, he was Marky Mark, the white rapper. I still remember him. But his brother, this guy was a bigger success as a singer with the teen idol group, New Kids On The Block. He was very charismatic, the energy of the group (you know, Joe McIntyre, Jordan Knight?). Anyway, a very capable actor, I feel. Forget Mark, remember Donnie.
Scott Grimes (Donald Malarkey)
As Easy Company attempted to take Brécourt Manor following D-Day, Sgt. Donald G. Malarkey ran into German lines in a brazen effort to take a Luger from a dead soldier. But what he thought was a handgun turned out to be just a black leather case, and Malarkey dodged enemy fire while trying to get back to his foxhole. "How those dumb Germans didn't hit me I don't know," he recalls. Malarkey, 80, who now lives in Oregon, continued searching for the handgun throughout the war. "I asked him why he wanted this Luger," says 30-year-old Scott Grimes (Party of Five). "He said it was because then he would have something to take home to people. It is like this mental thing that if I have it, that means I have to show it to people, which means I have to get home to show it to people. That was how he dealt with [the pressures of war]."
Frank John Hughes (William Guarnere )
During a production break last year, Frank John Hughes showed up at Heathrow Airport in full 101st Airborne dress uniform to greet Sgt. Bill Guarnere, who lost a leg during the Battle of the Bulge. "Bill came flying down on his crutches at what seemed like 90 miles per hour. 'Hiya, kid. Good to meet you.' Boom, he was gone," Hughes recalls. "He was outside the place, having a cigarette." The Bronx-born Hughes, 33, adopted a distinctive South Philly accent to play Guarnere, who earned the nickname "Wild Bill," in part for his relentless combat tactics. "This is life and death, and you can't be John Wayne," says Guarnere, 78, who still lives in South Philadelphia and coordinates many Easy Company reunions. "That is the way it was. When I see [Hughes], I see me."
Matthew Settle (Ronald Speirs)
Matthew Settle didn't meet Lt. Ronald Speirs until after production on Band of Brothers ended. Settle was worried: Throughout the series, soldiers talk about the "legend" of Speirs — that he came upon a group of German prisoners, gave them cigarettes, then gunned them down. "He asked me how much time they give to 'the story,'" says Settle, 31. "I told him, 'The series exonerates you.' He was sort of satisfied with that." Another scene shows Speirs bravely running like a quarterback straight into German lines at Foy, Belgium, dodging fire. Other veterans say that although the incident wasn't quite that dramatic, it did happen. Speirs, 81 — succinct in his words but cordial and charming — stayed in the military after the war. He now lives in Montana and says of his portrayal, rumors and all, "I didn't have a problem with it."
Trivia & Fun Facts
Taken from imdb.com. For more info and reviews, do go to imdb.com.
Almost all the main actors were cast because of their close physical resemblance to the real-life soldiers they were portraying.
Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Stephen Ambrose showed each of the scripts around to real-life soldiers of Easy Company to guarantee authenticity.
UK Prime Minister 'Tony Blair' personally met 'Steven Spielberg' to request that the series be filmed in the UK. In return Spielberg gave Blair's son, Euan Blair, a job as a runner in the production.
More than 2,000 extras worked on the miniseries during the course of production
Around 700 authentic weapons and almost 400 rubber prop weapons were used in production
A heavy day of filming required up to 14,000 rounds of ammunition
The Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, previously host to part of the Saving Private Ryan (1998) shoot, became the principal location, and sets of the English, Dutch and French sites, including a river and massive dykes, were created there.
Hatfield offered 1,000 acres of open space as well as empty airplane hangars - perfect for indoor sets and construction needs - as well as office space.
The actors endured a grueling two-week boot camp where they learned the basics, from how to wear a uniform and stand at attention, to sophisticated field tactics and parachute jump training. The average day was 16 hours long, beginning at 5:00 a.m., rain or shine, with strenuous calisthenics and a three-to-five-mile run, followed by hours of tactical training, including weapons handling and jump preparation.
The village (Carentan), which became 11 different European cities and villages, was 12 acres - the size of nine American football fields.
By the third episode of shooting, the special effects department had used more pyrotechnics than were used in the entire production of Saving Private Ryan (1998).
The art department reconstructed four World War II-era tanks, using the frames of Soviet T-34 tanks from WW II and British Army Personnel Carriers as the foundations.
The wardrobe department hired the Corcoran Boot Co. to manufacture 500 pairs of paratrooper jump boots to the original Army specifications.
2,000 German and American uniforms were purchased or manufactured.
All of the 1,200 civilian costumes were authentic vintage clothing.
All of the insignia are either originals or exact replicas, down to an identical stitch count on the "screaming eagle" patch, and "wings" pins cast from original molds.
The forest set, recreating the Bois Jacques in Bastogne, was built in an airplane hanger using real trees, as well as 250 trees created by the special effects department.
One-third of a million pounds of recycled paper were used to create the snow for the forest set - the largest ever used in a production
and it took four weeks to dress the entire set. The total budget for the miniseries was $120,000,000. Of that, construction costs were $17,000,000.
The 10-part miniseries features 500 speaking roles.
One important special effects innovation was the use of human dummies on electromagnetic bases, which could be posed in any position, holding weapons and gear.
The dummies were modeled after auto crash test dummies, so they had the proper weight and dimensions, and their joints behaved like human joints. When the dummy took a hit, the electromagnet was released and the dummy crumpled as a human would.
Five kitchens ran simultaneously to feed the concurrent film units.
Several innovations involved the use and firing of squibs, the small charges that cause the bullet holes in costumes and sets. The special effects team came up with a firing mechanism using compressed air, instead of the traditional pyrotechnics, so that actors could be much closer together when a squib went off without the dangers inherent in conventional squibs. They also invented a new firing system, whereby an actor was pre-wired with up to eight hits, controlled by a button he activated that was hidden in the sleeve of his costume.
There were two soundstages, measuring 50,000 square feet each.
The backlot measured 1100 acres.
Fifty "special ability" extras worked throughout the course of the production. These extras were trained in weapons handling and served as both German and British soldiers.
The title of the series (and of Stephen Ambrose's book) is from William Shakespeare's "Henry V": "This story[of the battle] shall the good man teach his son, And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by From this day to the ending of the world But we in it shall be remembered We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition."
The series was previewed for the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University several weeks prior to its air date.
"Currahee" is the American aboriginal Cherokee Indian equivalent for "Stands Alone". The original members of the 506th were trained at Currahee Mountain Georgia. "Currahee" was the cry of the 506th paratroopers as they cleared the door on their first jump, and it continued to be their cry when in combat.
In "Day Of Days" when the company first attacks the German gun position at Brecourt, there appears to be some kind of cinematic error when it looks as though an American soldier throws a grenade and it explodes upon hitting a fleeing German soldier. Grenades don't explode on contact; they have timed fuses. However, this actually happened: 'Buck Compton' had been an All-American catcher for UCLA and threw that grenade at the enemy with no arc and it exploded as soon as it struck.
The hard shock that many of the paratroopers spoke of when they jumped at Normandy--causing them to lose their leg bags, helmets, and other equipment--was caused by the parachute the troopers were using (not the type shown in the film). That parachute was called a T-1, and as it deployed out of its pack the canopy came out first, then the suspension lines and finally the risers connected to the harness. With this design, by the time all of the lines are fully deployed the canopy has completely filled with air, acting as a brake for the lines, causing the paratrooper to come to an abrupt stop at the end of the deployment. The heavier the paratrooper and the more equipment he was carrying, the more sudden the stop or shock. Current design parachutes deploy in the completely opposite way (lines first, then canopy), greatly reducing the opening shock.
The white "PT gear" (physical training) tee-shirts worn in the first episode and seen again in the closing scenes of the last episode with the parachutist and the legend "U.S. Paratroops - Camp Toccoa, GA". are exact reproductions of the ones worn during training. The Stephens County museum in Toccoa has an original on display as well as uniforms, Normandy maps, and other Airborne exhibits. The originals were printed with black ink, while reproductions sold at the museum as a fund-raiser are in a very dark blue and have a small copyright legend at the bottom right of the design.
The site of the actual Camp Toccoa is now partly occupied by an industrial plant near the highway above Toccoa, Georgia, with the remaining areas now overgrown by a pine forest. A flagpole and monument are located by the highway at what was once the camp's main gate. Locations of former camp streets are denoted by street signs named for personnel and terminology of the paratroops (Curahee Street, for instance) but have a tendency to disappear to souvenir hunters. The winding trail up Mount Curahee is named for Colonel Sink. It is accessible but the last few hundred feet are extremely rough and part of it passes over a bare rock outcropping. Not recommended driving for low-slung vehicles. Communications antennas surmount the crest of Curahee.
During the liberation of Eindhoven in episode 4, the real Pvt. Edward "Babe" Heffron can be seen in one of the shots. He is sitting down and waving an American flag.