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

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Tim Jerome

12 Hours 55 Minutes

Simon & Schuster Audio

February 2012

Audio Book Summary

Stephen E. Ambrose’s classic New York Times bestseller and inspiration for the acclaimed HBO series about Easy Company, the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers at the frontlines of the war's most critical moments. Featuring a foreword from Tom Hanks.

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.

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  • Roger A.

    Excellent book, added so much extra to the tv series which in it self was brilliant

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  • Mark hughes

    Great book. I could listen to it again. Highly recommend!

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  • Paul C

    Great site!

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  • Tim Bolduc

    Great book! The unabridged is the best version. Dick Winters book is great too!

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  • Connie

    I really dislike 'abridged' books, they always seems choppy to me, and I feel like I've missed something. To hear more about the development of characters of this Band of Brothers, would have been a good thing. However the book was a good reminder of what our men endured during this war.

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  • Bruce Curson

    I hate abridged versions but this was all that was available ... and after listedning, my opinion on abridged work still remains solidly intact. There is no doubt that the story and characters would have been much more developed for the listener if the whole book wasn't crammed into 5 CD's. In this "abridged review", I admit that I got the jist of the story and am sure this version did not give the Mr. Ambrose's full work its due justice.

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  • Anthony

    Fascinating and riveting. A terrific story, well researched and well read. I foolishly listened to the abridged version, and it seemed too short. Highly recommended, but savor the unabridged version.

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  • Anonymous

    Highly recommended! Well written and researched this book tells a story everone who didn't live through World War Two should read.Mr. Ambrose effectively and movingly tells the stories of true American hereoes.

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  • Janice Church

    Dramatic - difficult to stop listening. Vivid descriptions of being in the front lines of WWII in France, Holland, Germany. Interesting how France and US competed to get to Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berechtesgaden first so they could plunder first. Some things never change. Glad that Easy Company at least got some of Hitler's silverware -- small reward for so much death and suffering. I highly recommend if you want to experience firsthand like it really was for Easy Company.

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  • Anonymous

    Maybe it's because it was abridged, maybe it's because I am a girl... but I was disappointed in this book - and I never even saw the mini-series. They were a "Band of Brothers," but the author spent most of the time describing the battles and not developing the relationships between the soldiers that made one feel they were actually brothers. I am in the Navy, so could appreciate the horrors of war I will never have to face; but there are plenty of books that describe war. I was hoping for more character development.

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