Band of Brothers : Is this pro-USA?

Is this pro-USA?

I'm just asking.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

I never understand this question. It's a dramatization of a true story about American soldiers, written and told from an American perspective. Is it a gung-ho, flag-waving propaganda film? Not in any way, shape or form. It illustrates the horrors of war even as it showcases its subjects' heroism, but since I don't understand your criteria for what constitutes a "pro-USA" film, maybe I can't answer your question properly.

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Thanks, my english is not very good. What I mean was if it was a propaganda film.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

"Band of Brothers" is definitely not anti-USA, but it does make it clear that sometimes certain members of the American armed forces (from private to colonel) have shown poor judgement and made serious mistakes. In this respect, BOB presents a more realistic portrait of the US military than seen in many American films.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Again that word...is it supposed to encourage us to make war on Germany again or something?




Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?

No, but there are several films that shows USA as the heroes and everybody else as the "bad guys", and I'm very tired of that.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

And they're set during WW2? Please enlighten.



Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Were the Germans not the "bad guys" in WWII? They are really the only ones shown in a negative light in this series, and even they get cut some slack (the regular Wermacht anyway, not the SS, who don't deserve any slack). It is fully acknowledged in the series that most German soldiers were just regular guys doing what they felt was their duty to their country, much like the Americans.

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

Re: Is this pro-USA?


(the regular Wermacht anyway, not the SS, who don't deserve any slack)



Believe it or not but even the Waffen SS conscripted young men against their will. My friends grandfather was one of them. At aged 16 he was drafted into the Waffen SS and sent to Hungary in early 1945 with the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. He was terrified and didn't want to be there anymore than I would have. And not all Waffen SS were fanatical baby eaters. In fact the majority of the Waffen SS front line soldiers didn't even commit any war crimes, contrary to the myth.

Also, and this is very interesting, a lot of young men actually joined the Waffen SS when the Waffen SS expanded into full panzer divisions in early 1943 because they were seen as the glamorous elite. Rather like the US Marines or the Paratroopers were seen as elite in the USA.

Ever since the Battle of Kharkov in Feb/March 1943 when the newly formed Waffen SS Panzer Korps (1st SS Panzer Division, 2nd SS Panzer Division and 3rd SS Panzer Division)were seen as largely responsible for saving the entire southern front in the east, right after the disaster at Stalingrad (no SS involved at Stalingrad) when these Waffen SS Panzer Divisions re-took Kharkov from the Red Army and put Germany in the position to go on the attack again, these Waffen SS Panzer Divisions started getting all the attention and glory in the German newsreels back in Germany. They were seen as heroes. Not for committing war crimes and massacring Jews but they were seen as heroes for sticking it to the Red Army in front line combat operations. It increased even more after The Battle of Kursk in summer 1943. The newsreels in the cinemas, with their propagandist spin on things, glamorised and gave prominence to the elite superpowers of the Waffen SS Panzer Divisions to such as extent that the poor ol' army units were usually left out, even when many army units did equally as well as the Waffen SS.

Many young men, who expected to be conscripted anyway, were swayed into joining the Waffen SS purely because of it's elite status and their belief that the Waffen SS had the best equipment and had the best chance of success. Let's face it, when the newsreels are showing Waffen SS panzergrenadiers and Tiger tanks overcoming the Red Army its got to have an impact. Before 1943 the Waffen SS wasn't a particularly huge organisation. It became much bigger in 1943 and then through 1944 when it's premier divisions became full Panzer Divisions.

The Wehrmacht (Heer =army) were not all innocent of war crimes just as the Waffen SS were not all guilty of war crimes.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Great post. My grandfather and uncles were ethnic Germans (or more properly, descendants of Austrians living south of Lemberg/Lviv) who all fought in the Polish army, and after that war was lost, they and their families were relocated to Posen/Poznan, and since they were all officers (my grandfather had fought against the attempted Russian invasion of Europe in 1920), they were given the choice of joining the Heer, or being handed over to the Communists (where they would have surely been killed, as likely would have my dad, his brothers and sisters, mom, aunties, and cousins).

Later in the war, again because they weren't proper Deutsch, they were transferred to several Waffen SS regiments. My grandfather died, as did one of my uncles (who won quite a few medals first before being killed in Romania), and one survived the war. None of their correspondence home, photographs, or areas where they fought in reported any war crimes, but who knows I guess? But membership in the Waffen SS shouldn't be considered automatically that you were a war criminal.

The Estonian film "1944" is quite instructive/edifying towards this topic.

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Re: Is this pro-USA?

Hey Chuck. As a general rule the enemies are the "bad guys", so how about you stop watching American movies? That will solve your "tiredness" problem.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

lol almost all US films show US as heroes and everybody else are bad guys

Re: Is this pro-USA?

I know. It is a shame that no other country has film industries which could make movies that make their citizens look like hero's.

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Re: Is this pro-USA?

No, but there are several films that shows USA as the heroes and everybody else as the "bad guys", and I'm very tired of that.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Yeah here is the horrible anti German screed from this show in it's entirety:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh4AE-NjGBk

and here is another horrible anti German scene:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K397NmwGxg






Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?

I haven't watched the show that was why I was asking. Those clips seem very interesting. Thanks for posting them.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Read the book, and you'll have your answer. Stephen Ambrose did a fantastic job of researching and getting the stories, not only from the experience of the "common" soldier, but from both sides. Some of the true stories, as told by American, British, and German troops are quite astounding.

Re: Is this pro-USA?


Stephen Ambrose did a fantastic job of researching and getting the stories, not only from the experience of the "common" soldier, but from both sides. Some of the true stories, as told by American, British, and German troops are quite astounding.


Some of the events told in Ambrose's book are incorrect at times when dealing with the British during Market Garden. Here is an example.


Band of Brothers Pages 135-137:


"Sink ordered Lieutenant Colonel Strayer to have 2d Battalion make an end run, a flanking move to the left. It would be supported by British Sherman tanks. There was a wood of young pine trees along the left (east) side of the highway to provide a screen for the flanking movement. Company E (Easy) led the way for the battalion...Winters ran back to the tanks. He climbed onto the lead tank 'to talk nose to nose with the commander'. He pointed out that there was a Tiger Royal dug in on the far side of the road. 'if you pull up behind the bank on the edge of the woods, you will be hull-defillade, and you can get a shot at him.' Winters climbed down, that tank and the one to its left cranked up and began plowing straight through that stand of trees, knocking them down.
As the first tank got to the side of the woods, it wheeled left to line up for a shot at the Tiger. Wham! The Tiger laid into it. The shot hit the cannon barrel and glanced off the hull. Evidentally the German commander had fired blind , lining up on the falling tops of the trees.
The British tank commander threw his tank in reverse., but before he could back out, the Tiger put a second round dead center through the turret. It penetrated the armor. The commander's hands were blown off. He tried to pull himself up through the hatch with his arms, but then his own ammunition began to explode. The blast killed him and blew his body up and out. The remainder of the crew died inside...The Tiger turned its 88 on the second tank and knocked it out with one shot."


So much wrong with this 'version' of events as written by Ambrose.

1. Not only was the German AFV not a Royal Tiger and instead was a Jagdpanther of Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 559 but Worley's pathetically armed Sherman 75mm of Number 4 Troop 44th Royal Tank Regiment was over 600 yards away from it and would have had zero chance of penetrating the Jagdpanther from that range so Winter's advice was of no use. The Sherman 75 had to move forward and close in to be able to penetrate. Clearly Winters didn't understand the limitations of the 75mm's armour piercing.

2. There are no knocked down trees in the picture of Worley's knocked out tank and the picture clearly shown Worley's direction of travel with the woods behind him and all trees fully standing.

3. There is no evidence from the pictures that a shot hit the Sherman's barrel and glanced off the hull. There are no marks on either in the pictures.

4. The Sherman was not thrown in reverse. It moved forwards and continued to move forward until it hit the embankment at the road. The picture shows Worley's tank abutting the road embankment.

5. The crew were not all killed. Three were killed. Walter Worley, Frank Harman and Walter Robinson. The other two crew members survived and escaped the burning tank.

6. There were no other Shermans of Number 4 Troop knocked out there at that spot by the same Jagdpanther. Walter Worley's Sherman was the only tank knocked out there. No others were.

7. There was another Sherman of Number 5 Troop knocked out later in a different area by another Jagdpanther but this was after a flanking attempt to the east was started. This was the Sherman 75mm of Lance Sgt Tom Newman. Advancing round a corner in a wood it came face to face with another Jagdpanther. The Sherman fired at the Jagdpanther at very close range and scored a direct hit on the front glacis....but the shot bounced off and the Sherman tried to reverse into cover. The Jagdpanther then quickly fired 3 times, all 3 shots which penetrated and Newman and two of his crew (troopers Huggings and Hollis) were killed. Two other crew members were wounded but escaped and survived.

Pictures of Worley's tank and of the terrain and the graves of the 6 tankers of 44th Royal Tank Regiment who died that day can be found on page 559 of Market Garden Then and Now by Karel Magry. Also here. This is Walter Worley's actual tank knocked out:

http://www.ww2incolor.com/dramatic/Sherman+Tank+Of+XXX+Corps+Supporting+the+101st+Airborne+Division_+506th+Parachute+Infantry+Regiment.html

Anyone wanting to read a proper telling of the events south of Koevering on 25th September 1944 should ditch Band of Brothers by Ambrose and read Market Garden Then and Now by Magry instead. Ambrose didn't even research the British unit nor the names of the dead British tankers.

Re: Is this pro-USA?


by spasek
Read the book, and you'll have your answer. Stephen Ambrose did a fantastic job of researching and getting the stories, not only from the experience of the "common" soldier, but from both sides. Some of the true stories, as told by American, British, and German troops are quite astounding.

"Stephen Ambrose did a fantastic job..."

No, he didn't. Most or all of his books are riven with inaccuracies due to sloppy or no research. Not only were former British Airborne members irritated by fallacies in his books but American veterans too.
Ambrose was a poor historian who rarely checked his facts and worse, injected massive amounts of his own bias into his supposed "history" books.
I simply refuse to recognise his books as a valid source of the history on any of these events.

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Absolutely Hotrodder. Now I don't know to what extent Ambrose pissed of American vets but I know he was cack handed and incompetent with the British events.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Hot I've always found Ambrose's stuff poorly researched by secondary or tertiary sources...that being said, I found this series one of the best things I've seen on the screen (Much better than the book: in some ways he's like James Mitchner: awesome descriptive material & weak & flabby action sequences)--

With the work that went into building the characters, the script & screenwriters did a much better job 'fleshing' out these people-you got to know then & then it's awful to see them get blown to shreds, maimed, crippled or mentally broken.

AND...given reality was probably much more boring or mundane, I am 'OK' with issues/events/characters being being combined/altered for dramatic effect.





Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?


I am 'OK' with issues/events/characters being being combined/altered for dramatic effect.


I'm not when it belittles British troops, Nick. As I said before, the British tank unit wrongly depicted in Episode 4 was an extremely battle hardened veteran armoured unit with 3 years combat experience (starting in North Africa including Gazala and El Alamein, then Sicily then Italy and then all through Normandy), compared to Easy Company's 3 months. Yet you wouldn't know that judging by the way they are portrayed, which wasn't accurate at all and in fact quite insulting to their memory.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

And more to the point the British tanks and their crews in that episode were made the scapegoats in order to make the heroes of BoB look less fallible- an old screenplay writers trick (to make someone else the villains/scapregoats to make the hero look even more heroic) but unforgivable when it claimed to be a representation of real events.
The British armoured units actually had performed well, even heroically that day but you would't know that from Episode 4 as the episode deliberately makes them look both foolish and incompetent.
Ambrose's version of events were utterly wrong and by condensing those events the TV episode makes it even more inaccurate.
Buddy's right- it's an insult to the British tank troops who fought and died that day.

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Yes it is Hotrodder especially as that day the British tankers, with the help of the 101st Airborne, actually removed Panzer Brigade 107 as a threat to the Eindhoven and Son areas. After the fighting at Neunen and earlier at Son, Panzer Brigade 107 suffered enough casualties that it had to withdraw from the area and though it later fought days later further up Hells Highway, it never again threatened the Eindhoven area or the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal. The day's fighting on the 20th September was actually a success for British tanks. Though they withdrew from Nuenen after the ambush, they did enough for Panzer Brigade 107 to pull back from Eindhoven, badly mauled.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

"Battle hardened" vets can be a mixed blessing. After three years that tank unit knew all the ways a fellow could get killed & acted accordingly. Another author (was it Michael Reynolds of 'Steel Inferno'?) wrote that Monty was often frustrated by some of his 'desert Vets' because they tended to be 'overly cautious'.

I am reminded of Iron Major's defense of the episode as he was a 'tread head', had been to the battlefield & had read every scrap of info on the tank actions of market/garden.




Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?




I am reminded of Iron Major's defense of the episode as he was a 'tread head', had been to the battlefield & had read every scrap of info on the tank actions of market/garden.



Were was this Nick? Where is his defence? I'd love to tackle that. I too have been to the battlefields (my friend's parents live not far away over the border in Uedem, Germany, site of the Hochwald battles) and I've done cycle trips around the Market Garden battlefields and know the layout of the land well. I've also read every scrap of info on the tank actions there...but there is no way I can defend the awful misrepresentation of events in Episode 4, especially as a Brit. They really are skewed and an insult to the British tankers.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

I remember IronHorseMajor's defence of that episode, Nick, and his arguments were frankly rubbish. It was obvious to me that he hadn't read that much about the incidents described in both the book and condensed for Episode 4 or he would know that they were a gross misrepresentation of the true facts.
Ambrose got almost everything wrong and then the TV episode made it even worse, deliberately manipulating events to make the British tankers look like total chumps.
Here is the thread concerned, Nick- read it again. Buddy initiated the thread and I later included both quotes from Ambrose's book and a description of the episode and compared them to the actual recorded events- corroborated by both the British and German combat histories.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185906/board/thread/229470608?p=1

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

To quote me!:

"The events shown regarding the British tanks and Easy Co in Episode 4 are essentially based on three seperate sections in Ambrose's book.

The chapter we need to refer to is Chapter 8: Hell's Highway, beginning on Page 123. To quote from the book Pages 127-128:

"Sept 19th. A squadron of Cromwell tanks from the Hussars accompanied Easy. Some if the men rode on the backs of the Cromwells...' Webster heard Pvt Jack Matthews call out 'Kr*ut tanks!'...107th Panzerbrigade...was attacking...with some fifty tanks...Sgt Martin saw a German tank almost hidden in a fence row about 100 meters away. A British tank was coming up. Martin ran back to it, climbed aboard, and told the commander there was an enemy tank just below and to the right. The tank continued to move forward. Martin cautioned the commander that if he continued his forward movement the German tank would soon see him.'I caunt see him, old boy,,' the commander replied, 'and if I caunt see him, I caunt very well shoot at him.'
'You'll see him damn soon,' Martin shouted as he jumped down.
The German tank fired. The shell penetrated the British tank's armor. Flame erupted. The crew came flying out of the hatch. The gunner pulled himself out last; he had lost his legs. The tank now a flaming inferno, continued to roll forward on it's own, forcing Bull Randleman to move in the direction of the enemy to avoid it. A second British tank came forward. It too got blasted. Altogether four of the British tanks were knocked out by the German 88s. The remaining two tanks turned back into Nuenen. Easy Co fell back with them."

So much wrong with this. 15th/19th King's Royal Hussars (referred henceforth as 15th/19th KRH) war diaries (based on the daily combat reports by the men involved) show only a few casualties (men only- no tanks were lost) on Sept 19th and that 15th/19th KRH actually locked horns in combat with the 107th Panzerbrigade on the 20th September, not the 19th. 107th Panzerbrigade had 36 Panthers and 11 Jagdpanzer IVs, not fifty and all weren't available/servicable. More to the point, 15th/19th KRH's war diaries say that they lost no Cromwells that day - indeed no Cromwells were lost at all 19th-21st Sept.
So just who was this commander who ignored Martin and died along with his crew then if no 15th/19th KRH tanks were lost? And the other tanks Ambrose says were lost but weren't? Clearly Martin's story seems to lack validity. Ambrose's abilities as a historian definately do.
Lastly 107th Panzerbrigade's war diaries back up the British version of events. The British claimed four Panthers destroyed, the German records say two Panthers destroyed and two disabled. A successful day for 15th/19th KRH, driving the Germans back- hardly what Ambrose claims at all. Also the Germans did not claim any Cromwells destroyed.
So Ambrose's account is simply false and Sgt Martin's testimony either mistaken due to memory or a falsehood.

Getting back to Ambrose now, Page 129:
"Sgt Martin (there's that man again!) went over to a Cromwell, hiding behind a building. He pointed out the church steeple and asked the commander to take it out, as the Germans were using it as an observation post. 'So sorry, old man, we can't do it,' the commander replied.'We have orders not to destroy too much property. Friendly country you know.'"

Again we are asked to take one man's version of events with no corroberation- showing Ambrose to be a poor historian yet again. Oddly googling whether there was any such order almost always takes you to the Band Of Brothers. I haven't managed to find such an order in my books on Market Garden or the 'net itself. Did such an order exist? In any case the destruction wrought during Market-Garden to the towns involved hardly showed it being demonstrated that it did exist! In any case any tank commander worth his salt is going to take out an enemy position if he can.

Getting back to Ambrose again. Pages 135-137:

"Sink ordered Lieutenant Colonel Strayer to have 2d Battalion make an end run, a flanking move to the left. It would be supported by British Sherman tanks. There was a wood of young pine trees along the left (east) side of the highway to provide a screen for the flanking movement. Company E (Easy) led the way for the battalion...Winters ran back to the tanks. He climbed onto the lead tank 'to talk nose to nose with the commander'. He pointed out that there was a Tiger Royal dug in on the far side of the road. 'if you pull up behind the bank on the edge of the woods, you will be hull-defillade, and you can get a shot at him.' Winters climbed down, that tank and the one to its left cranked up and began plowing straight through that stand of trees, knocking them down.
As the first tank got to the side of the woods, it wheeled left to line up for a shot at the Tiger. Wham! The Tiger laid into it. The shot hit the cannon barrel and glanced off the hull. Evidentally the German commander had fired blind , lining up on the falling tops of the trees.
The British tank commander threw his tank in reverse., but before he could back out, the Tiger put a second round dead center through the turret. It penetrated the armor. The commander's hands were blown off. He tried to pull himself up through the hatch with his arms, but then his own ammunition began to explode. The blast killed him and blew his body up and out. The remainder of the crew died inside...The Tiger turned its 88 on the second tank and knocked it out with one shot."

Fairly close to reality for once, with the obvious fact that 44th Royal Tank Regt had knocked two Jagdpanzers out earlier in the same action and that 107th Panzerbrigade eventually withdrew. Not quite the debacle Ambrose paints it all up to be. The misidentification of a Jagdpanther by Winters as a King Tiger is understandable. Although why Ambrose keeps calling them 'Tiger Royals' is not. That the British tank commander was told he was facing a Royal Tiger and still tried to carry out his duty shows him as a very brave man, not a fool. He was there to do his job and he tried to mount an attack on an enemy tank knowing he was outgunned (and outarmoured if it was a Royal Tiger). Only two Shermans were lost in total in reality.

But does anyone get a sense of deja vu here though? According to Ambrose on two seperate occasions a member of Easy Co sees a dug in German tank, runs to a British tank, climbs onto it and talks to the commander, who then subsequently gets killed with his crew- to paraphrase John McClane- "How can the same sh!t happen to Easy Co twice?"! Both even have one crew member attempting to climb out minus various limbs- the stories are almost identical. The only one that seemed to have actually happened was with Winters and the 44th RTR so I surmise the other story is actually a memory of this action somehow transplanted to the other. Very rum! Don't think we can quite trust Sgt Martin's decades old memories!

Finally to the episode itself.
We first see Easy Company riding on three Cromwells and three Shermans all carrying the markings of the Armoured Recce Regt (15th/19th KRH) of 11th Armoured Div (a white 45 on a green and blue square)- which didn't use Shermans, it used Cromwells and a few Challengers. They then enter Neunen- the 15th/19th KRH's action was actually outside Neunen to the Northwest. However the 44th RTR did enter Neunen. They come under fire. Sgt Martin of Easy Co. sees a camouflaged German tank. He runs to the lead Sherman and speaks to the commander saying there is a Kr*at tank hidden behind the building and to put a couple of shells into the building so he can see it.
'I can't,' says the British commander, 'My orders are no unnecessary destruction of property.' Sgt Martin: 'I'm telling you he's right there!' British tanker: 'I believe you, but if I can't see the bugger I can't bloody well shoot him can I?'

Thankfully the director decided not to make the tank commander sound like Terry-Thomas on gas but the screenwriter also decides to shoehorn in the bit of dialogue from a completely different incident, apparently just to make the British tank commander look a complete berk. That any tankie would refuse to open fire on an enemy held building in the middle of a battle is patently absurd anyway.

Sgt Martin jumps off and departs with a sour 'He's gonna see you real soon!'. The Sherman moves forward, the commander trying to see what's happening. Bull Randleman helpfully says 'What the hell is he doing?' to reinforce more pointedly that the tank commander is behaving like a total prat. A Tiger 1 opens fire and destroys the following Cromwell and then moves forward firing at Easy Co. A Jagdpanther then appears and destroys the lead Sherman. The Sherman rolls forward on fire making Bull Randleman scramble forward to escape it. Easy fall back. The Jagdpanther destroys another Sherman. Stug III appears and destroys yet another Sherman. The remaining British tanks reverse out of Neunen and Easy Co withdraws. The Germans win the day. Bully for them!

So the episode is an amalgam of three different incidents from Ambrose's book, but written in such a way to show the British tankers as inept and ineffectual when in reality that wasn't the case at all- as I've clearly demonstrated above.
It's an old film trick that if you want your protaganists to look good you include someone else looking or behaving badly or foolishly. The British won that particular booby prize this time. Note also that Winters didn't claim that the tank commander spoke to him in some damn silly upper class accent either, unlike Sgt Martin's story about his apparently fictional tank commander. The first part of Ambrose's history- the bit concerning 15th/19th KRH- is largely fiction- 15th/19th did not lose 4 Cromwells at all. Ambrose didn't seem to even bother to consult primary sources as any repuable historian should- in this case the war diaries of 15th/19th KRH and 107th Panzerbrigade. Hell, he obviously didn't even read Easy Company war diaries either otherwise his narration wouldn't be so faulty. And Episode 4 is therefore mostly derived from very bad writing indeed and is certainly not based on fact. Some facts but not that much.

Finally, it's all from Easy Co's perspective is it? How can it be when both Ambrose's and the TV episode bear only little relation to the real events? The episode shows Easy Co arriving in Holland, getting an enthusiastic welcome then hob-nobbing with the natives and then making for their target- the bridges. The bridges are then completely (and conveniently) forgotten about and events switch forward. Why wasn't this bit included from Ambrose's book:
"When the lead American elements (including Easy Co) were 25 meters from the (Son) bridge, it blew in their faces.There was a hail of debris of wood and stone. Winters, with Nixon beside him, hit the ground, big pieces of timber and large rocks raining around them. Winters thought to himself, What a hell of a way to die in combat!"

So obviously Easy Co. witnessed the bridge's loss and their failure to capture it didn't they? So why wasn't that shown if it supposed to be from their "perspective"? The very reason they'd been dropped into Holland in the first bloody place- to capture the bridges! Instead we get the British acting like total turkeys instead."

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Well can't say for sure but IronHorseMajor is...a treadhead (and an officer to boot); gotta go back thru the old posts & find his siggie...

http://www.imdb.com/user/ur57826529/boards/




Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?

I'm not a squaddieworshipper, Nick. Just because someone is military or ex-military doesn't mean his opinion is sacrosanct, especially if they belonged to the modern military. The recorded facts clearly demonstrate that both Ambrose and the TV series portrayed these events wrongly. Episode 4 deliberately and falsely
shows the British armoured troops acting in a foolish incompetent way that simply didn't happen.

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

But as a tanker and a guy who had to study the battles during M/G AND had to 'walk the battlefield' his opinion of things is probably more valuable than say, an armchair history buff like me.

Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Yes but nick, we are getting our info from people who actually fought in the battles and not somebody 70 years later. The fact of the matter is that the events in Episode 4 are not accurate and are in fact a mishmash of cherry picked incidents cobbled together in a haphazard manner. Even the recollections of some Easy Company troops have been proven incorrect by the photos. They have mixed certain events up. Episode 4 shows more British tanks getting knocked out than reality and Episode 4 doesn't show any German tanks getting knocked out. In reality the battle for Nuenen was an evenly fought contest in tanks. The British tank unit lost fewer tanks than Ambrose claimed. Episode 4 doesn't show the British tanks knocking out 2 Jagdpanzer IVs just prior to entering Neunen, which they did in reality. In Karel Magry's Market Garden book it also shows Panthers knocked out in the Nederwetten and Nuenen area, where Easy Company and 44th RTR worked together. Neither the book nor the t.v series mention this....yet the photos are clear as day.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

Yes but still...if the problem is with BoB it's 'no secondary research' & 'dramatic confluence'...it's only a Ten part series & only one or two parts centered on Holland-and the shuttling of the Red Devil Survivors seemed well organized & crisp.
See I never read ALL of the original book & I don't think I read any of the other soldier's memoirs either. Some people complain that Liebgott wasn't Jewish, Blythe wasn't a coward & Cobb wasn't a loudmouthed A-hole but that doesn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the series.






Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Is this pro-USA?


Some people complain that Liebgott wasn't Jewish, Blythe wasn't a coward & Cobb wasn't a loudmouthed A-hole but that doesn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the series.

I was thinking something similar to this. The miniseries, as much as I love it, isn't even faithful to the memories of some of the men it portrayed, such as Cobb, Blithe, Liebgott and also Ed Shames and David Webster. Do I feel that it was unfair? Absolutely. Some regulars on this board may be aware of my admiration for Webster, but I didn't develop that admiration until I read his book, because the picture of him that the series painted was different than the reality. So while the portrayal of the British in the series may be inaccurate and, if so, also unfair, the unfairness is not limited to the British, and a series that mis-portrays some of the real people who were principal characters, it probably shouldn't be overly surprising that it would do the same to others. I do NOT, however, think that the portrayal of the British was meant in a xenophobic manner.

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

Re: Is this pro-USA?


So while the portrayal of the British in the series may be inaccurate and, if so, also unfair, the unfairness is not limited to the British, and a series that mis-portrays some of the real people who were principal characters, it probably shouldn't be overly surprising that it would do the same to others.


I am aware of that as that has been criticised as well by others. No need for me to do that. Myself and Hotrodder will stick to the misrepresentation of the Brits as that is our speciality and we'll let others with more knowledge about the individual Easy Company soldiers do the same, if they wish to, or don't wish to.


I do NOT, however, think that the portrayal of the British was meant in a xenophobic manner.


There is some evidence to suggest that Ambrose was somewhat like that. Also there were some downright false claims such as the British stopping for tea at 10.00, 2.00 and 4.00 like clockwork every day no matter what. The British advance on Nuenen (with Easy Company) on the 20th actually got under-way at 9.30 a.m and did not stop for tea LOL.

Re: Is this pro-USA?

By the time he wrote Band Of Brothers Ambrose was clearly virulently anti-British. It seems it was his egotistic response to getting criticised by British Airborne veterans for inaccuracies in his earlier books. He obviously went into an almighty huff which lasted for years.
So not surprisingly this has filtered over into the TV series. I was initially pleasantly surprised at first seeing pictures of British tanks in the series but disappointed at their portrayal. This is one of the few times that British soldiers are shown and they're shown as complete ass holes. Not a fair thing to do but so typical of Hollywood these days in its frequent derogatory portrayals of the British. So one of the few times the British are shown in BoB they're shown as total pillocks. So yes, I have an issue with that.
The tea drinking claims are nonsense. EVERY soldier, British, American or German took sustenance whenever they could- a lull in the action or whatever- but you don't hear the Americans or the Germans getting knocked for pausing for coffee at times- which they certainly did.

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Is this pro-USA?


Yes but still...if the problem is with BoB it's 'no secondary research' & 'dramatic confluence'..


Yes Nick but it's a stand out problem to those who know the facts. Obviously not a problem to those who don't and who only have Band of Brothers as a source, as these people aren't aware there are any major inaccuracies or misrepresentations so they don't know anything was awry.


it's only a Ten part series & only one or two parts centered on Holland


True mate, but the events in Episode 4 are very much cherry picked and are misrepresented. We never are shown Easy doing much or anything wrong. We are never shown them failing to capture the Wilhelmina Canal bridge as that major part of the operation is ignored and we are shown that the only reason Easy was forced back was because the British tankers were useless and didn't listen to Easy's advise and got a one sided pasting vs German armour instead. This didn't happen in reality. The Easy troopers don't look to have done anything wrong in Episode 4 at Nuenen. Not so the British tankers who are shown acting like headless chickens.


See I never read ALL of the original book & I don't think I read any of the other soldier's memoirs either. Some people complain that Liebgott wasn't Jewish, Blythe wasn't a coward & Cobb wasn't a loudmouthed A-hole but that doesn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the series.


But those aspects have been criticised in many places. Here on IMDB I'm pointing out to people who don't know that the British tankers were shown inaccurately and were misrepresented and that the real life events didn't happen as portrayed in Ambrose's book and in Episode 4.

Don't forget, it was in response to this post here:


Read the book, and you'll have your answer. Stephen Ambrose did a fantastic job of researching and getting the stories, not only from the experience of the "common" soldier, but from both sides. Some of the true stories, as told by American, British, and German troops are quite astounding.

The Big Difference Is…

The misconceptions about Blithe, Shames, Cobb and Webster were dramatic inventions created specifically for the miniseries; they weren't corroborated by any Easy Company veteran or by Ambrose; as for Liebgott, there was a mistaken perception about him he either wasn't aware of or couldn't be bothered to correct. But as for Easy's dealings with British forces during Market Garden and the Island, Easy Company vets all agreed the Anglo-American partnership of 1944 was often strained, with British soldiers doing things that sometimes "amazed" them. But Easy also admired the British for their sacrifices, perseverance and steadfast opposition to Hitler.

All of which comes across in episodes 4 and 5 - at least, to those who aren't DETERMINED to see it their own way. And no one has to take Ambrose's word for it; Winters' dealings with the British (including one tank commander) are discussed in detail in his biography "Biggest Brother" and autobiography "Beyond Band of Brothers," and Johnny Martin's encounter with another British tank commander can be found in Marcus Brotherton's "A Company of Heroes."

And for all of Buddy's talk about Easy Company's "failure" to capture the bridge at Son, the truth is Easy's paratroopers were dropped a considerable distance from the Wilhelmina Canal, and it took them over 7 hours to get there - giving the Germans more than enough time to blow it up. This event was already dramatized in "A Bridge Too Far" and wouldn't have impacted the overall tone of the episode, which dealt with Easy's experiences in an ultimately unsuccessful military campaign.

Re: The Big Difference Is…


But Easy also admired the British for their sacrifices, perseverance and steadfast opposition to Hitler.


ESPECIALLY their fellow paras, The Red Devils, if Donald Burgett's memoirs are any indication.


As an aside, you said the blowing up of the Bridge at Son was dramatized in 'Bridge Too Far'; I had heard that the Elliott Gould character was 'inspired' by Colonel Sink; my mind boggles at that.





Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

First, the incorrect Winters account to be dismissed.


And no one has to take Ambrose's word for it; Winters' dealings with the British (including one tank commander) are discussed in detail in his biography "Biggest Brother" and autobiography "Beyond Band of Brothers," and Johnny Martin's encounter with another British tank commander can be found in Marcus Brotherton's "A Company of Heroes."


Do they repeat the same claptrap and incorrect nonsense as written in Band of Brothers? In Band of Brothers pages 135-137 it is claimed:


"Sink ordered Lieutenant Colonel Strayer to have 2d Battalion make an end run, a flanking move to the left. It would be supported by British Sherman tanks. There was a wood of young pine trees along the left (east) side of the highway to provide a screen for the flanking movement. Company E (Easy) led the way for the battalion...Winters ran back to the tanks. He climbed onto the lead tank 'to talk nose to nose with the commander'. He pointed out that there was a Tiger Royal dug in on the far side of the road. 'if you pull up behind the bank on the edge of the woods, you will be hull-defillade, and you can get a shot at him.' Winters climbed down, that tank and the one to its left cranked up and began plowing straight through that stand of trees, knocking them down.
As the first tank got to the side of the woods, it wheeled left to line up for a shot at the Tiger. Wham! The Tiger laid into it. The shot hit the cannon barrel and glanced off the hull. Evidentally the German commander had fired blind , lining up on the falling tops of the trees.
The British tank commander threw his tank in reverse., but before he could back out, the Tiger put a second round dead center through the turret. It penetrated the armor. The commander's hands were blown off. He tried to pull himself up through the hatch with his arms, but then his own ammunition began to explode. The blast killed him and blew his body up and out. The remainder of the crew died inside...The Tiger turned its 88 on the second tank and knocked it out with one shot."


Winters' account in Band of Brothers, as describe by Ambrose, doesn't tally up to reality.

So much wrong with this 'version' of events.

1. Not only was the German AFV not a Royal Tiger and instead was a Jagdpanther of Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 559 but Worley's pathetically armed Sherman 75mm of Number 4 Troop 44th Royal Tank Regiment was over 600 yards away from it and would have had zero chance of penetrating the Jagdpanther from that range so Winter's advice was of no use. The Sherman 75 had to move forward very quickly and close in to be able to penetrate. Clearly Winters didn't understand the limitations of the 75mm's armour piercing.

2. There are no knocked down trees in the picture of Worley's knocked out tank and the picture clearly shown Worley's direction of travel with the 'woods' (actually an orchard not a wood) behind him and all trees fully standing.

3. There is no evidence from the pictures that a shot hit the Sherman's barrel and glanced off the hull. There are no marks on either in the pictures.

4. The Sherman was not thrown in reverse. It moved forwards and continued to move forward until it hit the embankment at the road. The picture shows Worley's tank abutting the road embankment.

5. The crew were not all killed. Three were killed. Walter Worley, Frank Harman and Walter Robinson. The other two crew members survived and escaped the burning tank.

6. There were no other Shermans of Number 4 Troop knocked out there at that spot by the same Jagdpanther. Walter Worley's Sherman was the only Number 4 Troops tank knocked out there. No others were.


Pictures of Worley's tank and of the terrain and the graves of the 3 tankers of 44th Royal Tank Regiment who died at that spot can be found on page 559 of Market Garden Then and Now by Karel Magry. Anyone wanting to read a proper telling of the events south of Koevering on 25th September 1944 should ditch Band of Brothers by Ambrose and read Market Garden Then and Now by Magry instead. The truth is always better than misrepresented nonsense.

Picture of Walter Worley's knocked out Sherman.

http://albumwar2.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/38557-728x592.jpg

Second, the incorrect Martin account to be dismissed.


And no one has to take Ambrose's word for it; Johnny Martin's encounter with another British tank commander can be found in Marcus Brotherton's "A Company of Heroes.


Is is the same incorrect claptrap as claimed in Band of Brothers? In Band of Brothers pages 127-128 Ambrose writes:


"Sept 19th. A squadron of Cromwell tanks from the Hussars accompanied Easy. Some if the men rode on the backs of the Cromwells...' Webster heard Pvt Jack Matthews call out 'Kr*ut tanks!'...107th Panzerbrigade...was attacking...with some fifty tanks...Sgt Martin saw a German tank almost hidden in a fence row about 100 meters away. A British tank was coming up. Martin ran back to it, climbed aboard, and told the commander there was an enemy tank just below and to the right. The tank continued to move forward. Martin cautioned the commander that if he continued his forward movement the German tank would soon see him.'I caunt see him, old boy,,' the commander replied, 'and if I caunt see him, I caunt very well shoot at him.'
'You'll see him damn soon,' Martin shouted as he jumped down.
The German tank fired. The shell penetrated the British tank's armor. Flame erupted. The crew came flying out of the hatch. The gunner pulled himself out last; he had lost his legs. The tank now a flaming inferno, continued to roll forward on it's own, forcing Bull Randleman to move in the direction of the enemy to avoid it. A second British tank came forward. It too got blasted. Altogether four of the British tanks were knocked out by the German 88s. The remaining two tanks turned back into Nuenen. Easy Co fell back with them.""


So much wrong with this version of events too.

1. No Hussars tanks were lost on the 19th and nor were they even at Nuenen. The Hussars were at Geldrop and Mierloo.

2. It was the 44th Royal Tank Regiment, to be exactly B Squadron, that accompanied Easy and the attack on Nuenen was on the 20th. And they only had Shermans, not Cromwells.

3. The lead tank commanded by Lt Benton did not continue to roll forwards. It was hit and stopped soon after. A second quick shot blew it's turret completely off. There is a clear picture of Benton's lead Sherman with it's turret blown clean off on page 533 of Market garden Then and Now by Karel Magry.

4. The 44th RTR had already despatched 2 Jagdpanzer IVs a few minutes before in Opwetten, just a few hundred yards before Nuenen.

5. Only 2 British tanks were lost at Nuenen, both Shermans from the 44th RTR, not 4 Cromwells of the Hussars as claimed by Ambrose. There were also no 88s at Nuenen. Panzer Brigade 107 had Panthers and Jagdpanzer IVs, both armed with the 75mm L/70.

Prove It

The moment you can produce film footage that actually disproves what Winters and Martin have stated, you'll have made a convincing case. You still haven't done that.

Otherwise, stop getting your panties in a wad over Stephen Ambrose. Outside of a nominal producing credit, he had nothing to do with the 2001 miniseries. And try to remember it's not a documentary; it's a dramatic work that rightly focuses on Easy Company, and not the 44th RTR.

In the meantime, nothing is stopping you from raising 150 million pounds sterling and making your own miniseries. Have fun!

Re: Prove It

Truth be told Murph, if they DO produce a miniseries about 44th RTR I WILL Watch it because I'm sure they have a hell of a story to tell.


Anyway, I am sure the memories of the American Airborne soldiers will be fond: I am currently reading 'By Tank Into Normandy' a war memoir of Stuart Hills, a fellow who commanded Shermans with 'XXX (Thirty) Corp'; it includes a lengthy section on Holland. the Brits admired the 101st & 82nd Paras' boldness & daring in combat & in turn, the Yanks took great delight in his regiment's (Nottinghamshire Sherwood Rangers) 'flamboyant' style...anyway, they performed far better than the 84th Railsplitters infantry division with it's rather plodding & indecisive leadership.






Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

Re: Prove It

I can access the actual war records of 15th/19th Kings Royal Hussars if you want. Their regimental museum is a mere 8 miles from me. Their war dailies clearly show that Ambrose's version of events is WRONG. The German records back the British ones up. The TV series Band Of Brothers is BASED on Ambrose's book Band Of Brothers FFS (the title of the TV series is a bit of a giveaway- it's, um, Band Of Brothers) and repeats many of Ambrose's mistakes, it actually even elaborates on those mistakes and makes even more of it's very own.
I will say it again for the stupid- ie you, Murph- Ambrose claims that 15th/19th KRH lost four tanks on 19th September. The very records of 15th/19th KRH state they had no tank losses from the 19th-21st September but instead had knocked out four enemy tanks. The German records state they lost four tanks- two destroyed and two disabled. The disabled ones were presumably recovered later. The German records therefore tally with the British ones.
You can believe all you like that Winters and Martin were completely infallible but any decent historian knows that soldiers memories are faulty or they were mistaken and therefore needs corroberating evidence. The corroborating evidence shows that they were either wrong lor mistaken whether you like it or not.
YOU provide film footage to show I'm wrong then, Murph. Until that point STFU.

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Re: Prove It


I will say it again for the stupid- ie you, Murph- Ambrose claims that 15th/19th KRH lost four tanks on 19th September.

Misery loves company, so here's what Buddy Love wrote:


Only 2 British tanks were lost at Nuenen, both Shermans from the 44th RTR, not 4 Cromwells of the Hussars as claimed by Ambrose.

And I'll gladly say it again for the stupid and bigoted Brits who have clotted cream for brains (ie, Hotrodder and Buddy Love): Watch episode 4 again. To assist you, I'll give you a hint - that's the one after episode 3, but before episode 5. During the entire Nuenen sequence, only TWO British tanks are hit. TWO. That's all. The first one is hit at 32:57, and the second at 33:57. No more. So why are you getting your panties in a wad?

You want to complain about Ambrose's lack of accuracy and fact-checking? Join the club of Americans who already HAVE. But the point is, this is a message board for the miniseries, not Stephen Ambrose. However, if you want to discuss sources, the events in episode 4 have been already been fully corroborated; not by Ambrose, of course, but by the Easy Company soldiers who discussed them in their memoirs and various Easy Company histories. I've discussed them thoroughly before, but I'll happily repost those sources now -


When it comes to Nuenen, what the viewer sees is a simplified and streamlined version of events that Easy experienced. And as most of us (except the exceeding dense) already realize, "Band of Brothers" is a dramatic work that needs to compress episodes in the company's history to present the fullest possible picture of the period from 1942 to 1945. Episode 4 is no exception; it has to examine Captain Sobel's now-strained relationship with his ex-company, filter in the replacements joining Easy for Operation Market Garden, then include the events surrounding the jump itself, the almost diametrically opposed experiences of Eindhoven and Nuenen for Easy Company soldiers, the fate of Dutch civilians who cooperated with the Germans, the disappearance of Denver "Bull" Randleman & the search for him, plus the growing awareness that "Market Garden" was a failure - and with 7 minutes of the episode's 59 minute running time turned over to interviews and opening & closing credits, that leaves only 52 minutes for dramatization. 14 of those minutes are devoted to Nuenen; obviously that wasn't enough to present the viewer with an exhaustive, blow-by-blow account of combat operations there. On the other hand, what WAS shown accurately reflected what can be found in the memoirs, journals and biographies of Easy Company's soldiers.

In "Beyond Band Of Brothers," Dick Winters describes his time in Nuenen for Colonel Strayer in the following way: "Sir, I had fifteen casualties today and took a hell of a licking." Miller and Van Klinken were among the soldiers who were killed, and Bull Randleman was MIA. Winters took no solace in the fact that the Germans were unable to secure Nuenen; his company had been through a miserable, hellacious experience - and that is exactly what the viewer sees. What's interesting is how much of it can be found in Easy Company reference material.

1) Webster's confusion over a Dutch citizen's shouts of "Away!" (and what that actually meant) can be found in his memoir "Parachute Infantry."

2) Johnny Martin's encounter with a British tank commander is described by Babe Heffron in the memoir "Brothers In Battle, Best Of Friends," and a more thorough recounting can be found in Marcus Brotherton's "A Company Of Heroes" (in the chapter on Burton "Pat" Christenson).

3) The deaths of Robert Van Klinken and James Miller are discussed in numerous books, though "A Company Of Heroes" and the memoirs of Webster and Heffron offer the most vivid accounts.

4) Lieutenant Peacock's cluelessness in the midst of combat is also discussed in the Burton "Pat" Christenson chapter of "A Company Of Heroes."

5) The wounding of Buck Compton, and the use of a door to carry him to safety, is described by Babe Heffron in "Brothers In Battle, Best Of Friends."

6) David Webster discusses the shattering effect that Nuenen on Roy Cobb in "Parachute Infantry."

7) Lewis Nixon's close encounter with an enemy bullet (which left a hole in his helmet) is mentioned in the Dick Winters memoir "Beyond Band Of Brothers" - even though it happened during Easy's experiences in Uden and Veghel, and not outside Nuenen.

From a dramatic standpoint, the filmmakers decided the wounding of Lieutenant Brewer would work more effectively as Easy approached Nuenen - not Eindhoven, where it actually took place. One can debate whether this was a good idea or not, but this is the nature of filmmaking. And I hope this doesn't shock anyone, but you'll also find dramatic liberties being taken in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai". Once again, dramatic works are not documentaries. But anyone who takes the time to read the memoirs, journals and biographies written by & about Easy Company soldiers will see that the events recounted in Episode 4 are not as misleading and/or inaccurate as some (two in particular) would have you believe.

So stop wasting everyone's time with your irrelevant "My sources say THIS" line of idiocy. If you're calling Winters and Martin liars, then prove it. Back in 1973 Nixon & his entire staff said John Dean was lying about Watergate - that is, until actual tape recorded evidence proved he'd been telling the truth all along.

Therefore, if you want everyone to believe that all those Easy Company soldiers are liars, PROVE THAT THEY ARE. Show everyone the film footage and play the audio recordings. Until then, STFU.

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Re: Prove It

If you want to convince anyone that Dick Winters and Johnny Martin were lying, you'll have to do better than that. You've presented no film footage and no audio recordings.

Case not proven. Court adjourned!

Re: Prove It

Who said I was saying they were lying? Not me, I said Winters was mistaken in identifying a Jagdpanther as a King Tiger- that makes him wrong in that his ID was wrong. And that is verifiable fact as we know the position of every single King Tiger at that time and none were near Neunen. I consider Martin's story to be the result of either faulty memory or that he was relating a story he had heard- a thing soldiers do all the time. So as usual you accuse me of things I didn't say yet again, Murph. You really are a pathetic little toad aren't you?

Martin claimed it was a Cromwell of 15th/19th KRH that was subsequently destroyed after the commander was told of a German tank. Winters himself told the commander of a Sherman tank about a "Tiger Royal" which was similarly emplaced. The Winters story is verifiable- not least as we know the identity of the commander of the Sherman and have photos of it destroyed.
No Cromwells of 15th/19th KRH were lost on the dates that Martin claims them to be. It is clear to me that Martin was relating the incident with Winters and the Sherman and somehow got them confused with 15th/19th KRH's Cromwells from an entirely separate battle. As I said Martin obviously suffered from a faulty memory- why is that a surprise? At the time of relating it to Ambrose the incident was some 40 years ago and the confusion of an elderly man is understandable .

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.
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