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.
Ambrose ( Pegasus Bridge ) narrates in vivid detail the adventures, misadventures, triumphs and tragedies of a single U.S. Army infantry company over its span of organizational life. Formed in July 1944 and deactivated in November 1945, E Company was one of the most successful light infantry units in the European theater. Its troops saw their first action on D-Day behind the Normandy beachhead, took part in Operation Market Garden in Holland, held the perimeter around Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and were the first to reach Hitler's Bavarian outpost at Berchtesgaden. The book is enlivened with pertinent comments by veterans of ``Easy Company,'' who recall not only the combat action but their relations with their officers (one company commander was a petty tyrant of the worst type, but his oppressive ways had much to do with the unit's impressive esprit de corps ) and their impressions of the countries through which they campaigned (hated the French, loved the Germans). This is a terrific read for WW II actions buffs. Photos. Military Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate.
this book rocks
read the book right before i sawthe series lov it