Is ‘Band Of Brothers’ The Greatest War Story Ever Told?

David Hookstead | Contributor

There are often debates about the greatest war movie or series ever created, but one always seems to stand out among the rest.

“Band of Brothers” tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. The HBO mini-series is based off the Stephen Ambrose book of the same name.

There are plenty of great war movies and mini-series. “The Great Escape,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Black Hawk Down,” and “Lone Survivor” just to name a few. However, it is almost always “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers” that stand alone in this argument, so I threw the question out to my Twitter followers.

“Band of Brothers” currently holds a slight lead.

Here’s the reason that “Band of Brothers” is the best: it’s a true story of epic proportions. Now, the mini-series took some liberties from the book, but it’s still incredible. Richard Winters, Ronald Speirs, Lewis Nixon, Bill Guarnere and the rest of guys in the series are based off the actual men, who speak before every one of the ten episodes.

It is a brutal look at the horrors of war. It doesn’t romanticize anything, it doesn’t make the battlefield look like a glorious place and it truly shows what hell on Earth looks like.

For example, the Battle of Bastogne is one of the most horrifying parts of the series. Men are doing their best not to freeze to death, and at the same time, German artillery rains death from the sky. Some men were blown to bits, some were shot down in the snow and others lost limbs. Despite all of that, the men held the line and fought like hell until they broke through to Foy.

The scenes during D-Day and the days that followed are so realistic that it puts “Saving Private Ryan” to shame.

The series also didn’t shy away from when men make cold decisions, and it included the moment when Speirs allegedly gunned down roughly 30 unarmed German POWs.

And who could ever forget the famous concentration camp scene, and the bewildered look on the American soldiers’ faces as they walked into the camp.

Finally, it draws the viewers into the point to where it’s rattling to watch some of them die or get injured. When the cameras finishing rolling the viewer is left watching Winters give a voiceover of what became of the famous unit.

The story of Easy Company is one of the most American stories ever told, and it’s a shame my generation seems to have forgotten about “Band of Brothers.” Young men picked up weapons and crossed the ocean to enter Hell.

It’s ten episodes long and worth every second of it.

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David Hookstead

Contributor

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