- Retired Command Sergeant Major Lamont Christian analyzes the accuracy of the boot camp scenes in Band of Brothers, awarding the scenes an eight out of 10 for accuracy.
- David Schwimmer’s character’s treatment of Easy Company is deemed to be too harmful to morale, particularly his order for soldiers to not help their comrades, which goes against the “warrior ethos.”
- Although Band of Brothers fudges history in many respects, it is overall an accurate and moving portrait of one company’s journey through World War II.
Band of Brothers‘ boot camp scenes get analyzed and graded for accuracy by a retired U.S. Army officer. Released in 2001, the World War II HBO miniseries hails from co-creators Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Band of Brothers remains one of the channel’s most acclaimed shows, with a 10-episode run that chronicles Easy Company’s journey from training through to the end of the war.
In a recent video for Insider, retired Command Sergeant Major Lamont Christian assesses just how accurate Band of Brothers‘ bootcamp scenes are.
The scenes in question feature David Schwimmer’s Captain Sobel, giving the different members of Easy Company a particularly rough time during training, and Christian reveals that not every aspect of this is accurate. Check out Christian’s full comment below:
“During that time in our military, not many people were married and everybody was always looking for a two-day or three-day pass. The stuff that they’re being inspected on, like this parade-level stuff, and they’re out there in their combat gear, I could see where he’s going by trying to instil discipline. I’m sure morale is not going to be too high.
“We ran this mountain a couple of times, Currahee Mountain. Yeah, it’s no joke. What I noticed here though, he was telling them to leave that guy. Not leaving our fallen comrades, that was a part of the warrior ethos, and never quitting. Leaving somebody behind would be something that we wouldn’t do.
“That would be a 10 [out of 10] for running up that hill, and for World War II, it would probably be about an eight for realism.”
How Accurate Is Band Of Brothers?
As with any TV show or movie based on real events or people, Band of Brothers is a blend of both fact and fiction. Easy Company was indeed a real company in the 506th Infantry Regiment, and the real-life figures the show is depicting are even included in talking head segments, further connecting the show to real history. But, the show also sometimes prioritize entertainment value or narrative convenience over a 100% accurate retelling of the facts.
One element of Band of Brothers that has been deemed inaccurate, for example, is the show’s depiction of British forces. One scene sees a member of Easy Company telling a British tank commander to shoot at a tank through a farmhouse, but the tank commander refuses, citing a reluctance to destroy property and orders not to fire unnecessarily. Historian James Holland has deemed this scene “nonsense.” Another aspect of the show that bends history is Easy Company’s discovery of a concentration camp, with the “Screaming Eagle” unit and 12th Armored Division having gotten there first in reality.
Despite this, however, Band of Brothers‘ historical accuracy still remains one of its greatest strengths. While details throughout the show may be wrong, the show is still, as a whole, considered an accurate portrayal of the wartime experience for soldiers, much in the same way that Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan was upon its release in 1998.
Source: Insider/ YouTube
Band of Brothers
- Release Date:
- Kirk Acevedo, Eion Bailey, Michael Cudlitz, Dale Dye, Scott Grimes, Frank John Hughes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, James Madio, Neal McDonough, David Schwimmer, Richard Speight Jr., Donnie Wahlberg, Matthew Settle, Rick Warden, Marc Warren, Dexter Fletcher, Colin Hanks, Ross McCall
- Drama, History
- Band of Brothers tells the dramatized story of World War II’s “Easy” company, as they go through training together, participate in major wartime events in Europe, all the way until the end of the war.
- Erik Jendresen, Tom Hanks, John Orloff, E. Max Frye, Graham Yost, Bruce C. McKenna
- HBO Max
- Streaming Service(s):
- Hulu, HBO Max
- Richard Loncraine, David Nutter, Tom Hanks, David Frankel, Phil Alden Robinson, Mikael Salomon
- Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks