Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

by Stephen E. Ambrose


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Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501179402
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 17,858
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than thirty books. Among his New York Times bestsellers are Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage. Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History.

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1936

Date of Death:

October 13, 2002

Place of Birth:

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi


B.A., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Louisiana State University, 1958; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1963

Read an Excerpt

Band of Brothers

  • AS THE RED-LETTER VERSION of the Gospels puts extra attention on those certain passages most important to that story, Band of Brothers shows Stephen Ambrose’s high regard for, and his faith in, the words of the brothers themselves. The historical record of Easy Company of the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division is written neither in the grand tactics of military planning nor in the collective events across the nations-wide fronts of World War II. Rather, the saga of Easy Company is meted out in the days, even the hours, from the formation of the outfit at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, through the horrible months begun in Normandy, and not completed until they took the Eagle’s Nest; in the memories told by the likes of men named Carwood, Buck, and Wild Bill.

    There is no question of Stephen’s bona fides as a historian. Band of Brothers holds its own on the Ambrose shelf of books. In it, he shows himself to be, again, a great chronicler of history, a teller of authoritative, intuitive, and heartrending stories. Magnificently, Ambrose demonstrates the most important quality for any scholar or writer—as a listener.

    I found it impossible to be a distant observer of the lives of the men of Easy Company as heard and written by Stephen Ambrose. Their stories—the history they witnessed, the history they made—are the redlettered memories of the days of their youth, words that landed in the golden ears of a great writer who knew wheat from chaff.


    March 2, 2017

  • Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: "We Wanted Those Wings"
    Camp Toccoa, July-December 1942 ..... 13
    Chapter 2: "Stand Up and Hook Up"
    Benning, Mackall, Bragg, Shanks, December 1942-September 1943 ..... 28
    Chapter 3: "Duties of the Latrine Orderly"
    Aldbourne, September 1943-March 1944 ..... 41
    Chapter 4: "Look Out Hitler! Here We Come!"
    Slapton Sands, Uppottery, April 1-June 5, 1944 ..... 55
    Chapter 5: "Follow Me"
    Normandy, June 6, 1944 ..... 70
    Chapter 6: "Move Out!"
    Carentan, June 7-July 12, 1944 ..... 89
    Chapter 7: Healing Wounds and Scrubbed Missions
    Aldbourne, July 13-September 16, 1944 ..... 108
    Chapter 8: "Hell's Highway"
    Holland, September 17-October 1, 1944 ..... 124
    Chapter 9: The Island; Holland
    October 2-November 25, 1944 ..... 143
    Chapter 10: Resting, Recovering, and Refitting
    Mourmelon-le-Grand, November 26-December 18, 1944 ..... 168
    Chapter 11: "They Got Us Surrounded--the Poor Bastards"
    Bastogne, December 19-31, 1944 ..... 182
    Chapter 12: The Breaking Point
    Bastogne, January 1-13, 1945 ..... 199
    Chapter 13: Attack
    Noville, January 14-17, 1945 ..... 218
    Chapter 14: The Patrol
    Haguenau, January 18-February 23, 1945 ..... 229
    Chapter 15: "The Best Feeling in the World"
    Mourmelon, February 25-April 2, 1945 ..... 245
    Chapter 16: Getting to Know the Enemy
    Germany, April 2-30, 1945 ..... 255
    Chapter 17: Drinking Hitler's Champagne
    Berchtesgaden, May 1-8, 1945 ..... 271
    Chapter 18: The Soldier's Dream Life
    Austria, May 8-July 31, 1945 ..... 282
    Chapter 19: Postwar Careers
    1945-1991 ..... 300

    Acknowledgments and Sources ..... 317
    Index ..... 321

    Customer Reviews

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    Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 410 reviews.
    Steve_EugeneOR More than 1 year ago
    Please be aware that the publisher has chosen to delete from the nook book electronic file the photographs previously included in their hardcopy editions.
    Larreatri More than 1 year ago
    A very readable book about military training, comradeship, and combat but the ebook formatting (i.e., formatting for the Nook) is sloppy. Font size changes erratically as does line-spacing. Annoying. Also, the maps and photographs included in the print version are missing from the ebook edition. These should be included in the e-version or there should be a warning that this version is abridged. Had I known they were missing I would not have bought the Nook version.
    Lee_Ahlstrom More than 1 year ago
    The story the book tells of E Company is a fascinating and inspiring read and I would highly recommend it. The story gets 5 stars. However, I cannot recommend the Nook version, which I would have to give 1 star. This is actually my first Nook book and I must say I am incredibly disappointed. Not only is the photographic material removed, the book formatting is absolutely atrocious. Fonts change size and type 2 or 3 times on a single page making the experience of reading the book a chore. Not sure if other Nook books are like this, but I don't think there's an excuse for this. Perhaps it's because I'm using the Nook app on the iPad, but even that is the latest version. Skip the Nook version and choose the hardback or paperback!
    JustinM More than 1 year ago
    From the books forward to the acknowledgements Stephen Ambrose succeeds in taking the world's greatest battles of world war two and putting them into the perspective of the young eager men of Easy Company in the 506th paratroopers' division. Most often the story's point of view comes from 1st Lt. Richard Winters the leader of Easy Co, in which Ambrose manages to record every memory that Winters and other members still have of their escapade throughout Europe and put them into great detail. His research through company records, plus his worldwide searches and interviews of the still living members help him to compile amazingly accurate details of their experience through the war which gives the reader a near perfect visualization of what they went through. Perhaps the most intriguing quality of Ambrose's biography is how he managed to include so much detail into even the most casual scenes. He not only covers the main events that occur, but also includes personal information about the men, and how they acted not only towards the Germans but each other. At first sight the reader may think that because this book is about world war two that it will only be serious and historical, and although that may be true in most cases, Ambrose's version is quiet the opposite as he manages to include very interesting details and many of the funnier, behind the scene moments that occurred to the men. Of course since this book is over such a real and serious event it's hard to include many comical scenes, but Ambrose, thanks to his excellent background work, includes multiple laugh out loud scenes. One such example would be in the beginning of the book when the men were having one of their first practice jumps out of the C-47's and Sgt. Bull Randleman, at the end of the jump line, gets air sick and vomits into his helmet, which caused the man next to him to do the same, resulting in a chain reaction all the way up the line until it got to the final man at the door. I nearly fell over in laughter. But the more interesting parts of the story seem to come into play while the men are in battle, under fire, and doing anything they can to not only stay alive but save the lives of their comrades. Ambrose squeezes every single fact and detail that he can find into the action scenes. The amazingly informative details that are included seem to put the reader right behind the soldier you're following making it seem like you're a soldier yourself. Perhaps the most heroic scene in the book would be when Winters and his men were trying to take a town called Carentan which has only one main road into it, thus forcing the platoon to enter under no cover. After a machine gun opens up on the men the platoon is instantly cut in half, some of the men trapped up the road as the rest fall for cover in the ditches. Winters, knowing the men up ahead would be killed if the didn't get help stayed right in the middle of the road, yelling at his men, screaming at them to get moving, all the while bullets were flying all around him. Winters ended up taking the town with few casualties and won the Distinguished Service Cross. Scenes like this one and many more help attach the reader to the men and you soon begin to become a member of Easy Co yourself. These men, now old and some gone, have told their stories, and now it's our turn to listen to them.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This book is a must-have for anyone interested in WWII, the Allies, and what it took to win the war against the Nazis. Well-written Ambrose makes you forget you're reading history!
    Meagan_TraverMT More than 1 year ago
    Meagan Traver April 24, 2012 Honors Humanities Band of Brothers Book Review The novel Band of Brothers is a non-fiction piece of excellence that describes the journey and hardships of the young men in E company who braved WWII at the full front. With commanding captain Sobel having a death grip on the soldiers in training, 506th regiment becomes an unstoppable force. The book maps the horrific journey the unit travelled in the rugged terrain and deep battle zones through the European country side. Their compelling tales of nights in war truly demonstrate the extent of what today is referred to as the greatest generation. The repetitive themes found in the book are survival at all costs, along with the importance of hard work and pride in our nation. There is no main character throughout the course of the book because every soldier is faced with a life changing moment almost every chapter and is forced to make snap decisions to literally mean the difference of dying and making it back to camp. I found myself riveted with the attention to detail that many soldiers were able to recall so many years later. To have the strength to remember the painful memories is inspiring and makes any American proud to be in this country. A hero is seen in this book as a common man who decided to die for his country and fight for the freedom of others. There is no fluff or Hollywood happiness woven in the book, just the raw truth to create a masterpiece of writing. This book is one of the most important works of WWII literature and should never be forgotten by generations to come. If you enjoy this book as much as I did, I would recommend the following novels that give off the same realistic and inspiring touch of history; The Diary of Anne Frank, My War by Andy Rooney, or The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. This book was an impeccable story documented with a shining 5 star quality. It is a longer read but the pages fly as war climaxes to its fatal ending for the Germans and the United States triumphs in victory; but most importantly seeing the troops return home forever changed.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Most people who think about buying this book do so based either on friends recommendations or the popularity of the Mini-series (also excellent). The book was fun to read and I definitely blew through it. However, it's not a 'history' book, it's a collection of abridged memoirs designed to give the read the sense of 'what it was like' not how or why it happened. Ambrose does a good job of making the characters interesting, but I feel there must have been some sacrifice of accuracy. Sobel in particular is heavily demonized (maybe rightly) to give the series a "villain." All in all, it was fun and I'd recommend it to a friend.
    Jeremy Holden More than 1 year ago
    Working off of interviews from the men of Easy Company, Ambrose gives the reader an amazing account of the war. This is easily my favorite book.
    ISAVELA More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Now i know what my cousin went through in the 82 nd air borne RIP sergeant Currie!
    Pastor_Ron More than 1 year ago
    Better than the mini-series, this book tells stories that are so incredible that they can only be true. I find Stephen Amborse's writing style to be warm and engaging and he handles complex issues in such a way that they can be easily understood. If you know nothing about infantry combat in Europe in WWII than this is a good place to start.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I dont rate five stars often but this book was worth every one of them. Great read. Was bummed that the pictures were not included in eBook.
    derek02 More than 1 year ago
    If you have seen the movie Band of Brothers then you know the fascinating story that lies ahead of you, but if this story amazing war story is something new to you then you are in for a treat. Stephen E. Ambrose used the compelling stories from each paratrooper and turned it in to a compelling story of what they had gone through each and every day in Europe during the war. In this story Ambrose does a terrific job at explaining what is going on and describes how each character deals with the struggle of war by creating small stories that blend perfectly with the overall feeling of the story. I found this book to be fascinating. Most books that I have read about the war are usually dull and hard to read, but this book keeps you entertained with the plot and the attitudes of each of the soldiers. Another thing that Ambrose did a great job at was showing the realistic views that the soldiers have on war. They were drinking whenever they had the chance, or talking about how stupid the war is, and it makes you get a feel of the truth. I don¿t picture soldiers being tough guys who love killing and don¿t have families, and after reading this book you¿ll see that Ambrose doesn¿t either. You can tell that Ambrose did a lot of research and wanted to present all of us with an interesting story. So if you like stories that do a great job at describing and illustrating what is going on, then I don¿t think there is a better book out there than this. Every battle scene is described by each soldier without becoming repetitive, which I think is one of the main reasons Ambrose is such a great writer. So if you are someone who likes stories from the past or just an all around great book, I would definitely suggest this to anyone.
    DrWhoReads More than 1 year ago
    Very informative about a group of soldiers from the beginnings of boot camp to the jump behind enemy lines at Normandy, all the way to Hitler's secret bunker. A very good Stephen Ambrose book that everyone should read to get a perspective on WWII.
    Raul Torrens More than 1 year ago
    Enoyed this book thoroughly . Ambrose does a wonderful job of giving us insight into the men of Easy Company while providing action scenes so vivid that it seems that you can visualize what they actually experienced. Just an outstanding book that really makes one appreciate even more the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made for this great country!
    graysong5 More than 1 year ago
    It was good to get more detail information. Good book I would recommend.
    Randall Rouse More than 1 year ago
    Stephen Ambrose is a great military writter. I have read some of his other books and this is bar far his best! He not only tells the military side of the story with the military terminology, he also tells the story of the men of easy company. You are with them from start to finish. From their first days at Camp Toccoa and "Currahee" to their last at Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. If you have seen the HBO miniseries and liked it you will love the book. I did!
    sdb57 More than 1 year ago
    Very good! Hard to put down.
    Sed_Kat More than 1 year ago
    I've watched the movie, and a lot of it did not make sense to me, but in reading this book it filled in all the gaps of the movie, I plan on reading this a few more times, it is so great to read, it is a mixture of laughter, sadness, anger and frustration mixed all in one book I would give it a 10 if I could
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A magnificent book. As the child of a WW II veteran who recently passed away, I wish it were possible for us as individuals and as a nation to adequately thank these men for what they did. I think about my father, a 17 year old Army Air Corps "boot" at the time of Pearl Harbor. He was like many of the men of Easy Company -- he had never been far from his small home town and had never imagined that he would one day serve on the island of Fiji in the South Pacific during a global war. After seeing and experiencing the worst that 20th century warfare could dish out, these young men put down their weapons, came home, went to work and raised families. They not only saved the world from tyranny and despotism between 1941 and 1945, they made our country into the greatest peacetime nation in the history of the world. To the day they die, they insist the survivors are not the heroes, but how can they be considered anything less than heroes for what they did with their lives and for the contributions they made with those lives?
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    yeremenko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This was the book Ambrose was born to write. He is best when he takes a smaller peice of the battlefield and fewer men to tell their story. This is his masterpiece.His earlier work looking at history at grand scale is weak since he is clearly only interested in the Americans. As a Canadian I find his writing on D-day, when he takes a broad look, insulting to the Canadians. But that is because (understandably) he identifies with American soldiers. I have to laugh each time he justifies the debacle of the Normandy airborne operations by stating the US paprtroopers did great things because they were all over the place miles off target. Ambrose takes a romantic view of the young warriors he shows us in this book, but the title makes that clear from the start. He is not going to give an objective view with the good and the bad. These are his heroes and he writes an apt tribute.At times the way he sweeps aside the looting with "everyone loots" and his negative portrayal of the British get a bit tiresome.
    apelph on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Excellent book, very similar to the movie.
    meegeekai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This has to be Ambroses best work. My copy has the "soon to be a miniseries..." tag on it. This was the third Ambrose book I read, right after D-Day.