Historically incurrate ww2 series?

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Ron

FNG / Fresh Meat
Feb 9, 2006
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Hey i've got a question for someone who's very farmiliar with ww2 in europe primarily the western front. Recently i have watched the first few epsiodes of the band of brothers series and i was shocked at how one sided the infantry combat was portrayed in favour of the americans. Frequenltly of the episodes i've watched that is the infantry engagements took this line american and german forces engage, the americans kill or capture 20 or more mainly kill and the americans might take 2 or 3 cuasulties. Were the americans that much more combat effective surely they werent. Also you also get the impression from watching this series that the germans outnumbered the americans. I was of the information and view that it was the germans who were outnumberd but were better soldiers due to experience and better training. Maybe i havent watched enough of the series?
 

Bolt

FNG / Fresh Meat
Feb 2, 2006
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In the steppes of Crimea
I've only watched 1st movie from BoB, so far so good.
But to answer your question: those are Airborn, they were dropped (more likely misdropped) behind enemy lines, so they were outnumbered, yes.
 

Deathsai

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 24, 2005
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Ron said:
Hey i've got a question for someone who's very farmiliar with ww2 in europe primarily the western front. Recently i have watched the first few epsiodes of the band of brothers series and i was shocked at how one sided the infantry combat was portrayed in favour of the americans. Frequenltly of the episodes i've watched that is the infantry engagements took this line american and german forces engage, the americans kill or capture 20 or more mainly kill and the americans might take 2 or 3 cuasulties. Were the americans that much more combat effective surely they werent. Also you also get the impression from watching this series that the germans outnumbered the americans. I was of the information and view that it was the germans who were outnumberd but were better soldiers due to experience and better training. Maybe i havent watched enough of the series?

Many of the Germans on the western front were untrained and underequipped conscripts, very young or very old. The 101st Airborne, in Band of Brothers, though, was an elite division, with possibly the best training that could be given to a light infantry unit.
 

{YBBS}Sage

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 15, 2006
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Dunno what episodes he's been watching.. the Americans took an awful lot of casualties in 3 and 4.
 

DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
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You have to remember that this series is about:

1. An elite unit.
2. An elite unit that had a great leader.
3. An elite unit that had a great reputation, even in an elite unit.
4. No one writes a book or makes a mini-series about a unit that got themselve shot to hell every battle they were in.
 

Jack

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 24, 2005
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DingBat said:
You have to remember that this series is about:

1. An elite unit.
2. An elite unit that had a great leader.
3. An elite unit that had a great reputation, even in an elite unit.
4. No one writes a book or makes a mini-series about a unit that got themselve shot to hell every battle they were in.


I always wondered why the 101st gets this "elite" status during the Normandy campaign.

When you think about it, Normandy was their first combat. All they had was several years of training up to that point.


Personally, I would have preferred a series that followed the 82nd. The 82nd saw combat way back in the African campaign, so were already combat experienced by Normandy.


The 82nd participated in all the major airborne operations. Just becaues of Bastogne and the aura surrounding it the 101st is held as if they were gods or something.


Don't get me wrong, they were great soldiers, obviously, but they were just good light infantry, like a lot of units in the war.






In regads to the topic poster: this series was as historically accurate as you will probably find on TV. Winters did all of those small unit actions and yes, did make the Germans not look too great. Especially with the Brecourt Manor mission, which was executed flawlessly.
 

Zbojnik

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 30, 2006
670
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Chicago
Ron said:
Hey i've got a question for someone who's very farmiliar with ww2 in europe primarily the western front. Recently i have watched the first few epsiodes of the band of brothers series and i was shocked at how one sided the infantry combat was portrayed in favour of the americans. Frequenltly of the episodes i've watched that is the infantry engagements took this line american and german forces engage, the americans kill or capture 20 or more mainly kill and the americans might take 2 or 3 cuasulties. Were the americans that much more combat effective surely they werent. Also you also get the impression from watching this series that the germans outnumbered the americans. I was of the information and view that it was the germans who were outnumberd but were better soldiers due to experience and better training. Maybe i havent watched enough of the series?

In 1944 most of the German soldiers on the Western Front were low quality soldiers with little training. Mostly conscripts. The 101st Airborne unit shown in Band of Brothers is elite. They recieved the best training light infantry could recieve and then some(Especially the boys of E Company, with Sobel as their commanding officer). You must also remember that their leader Lt. Richard Winters was very able and one of the best officers the Army has ever had. He knew how to command his men. What you watched was the Br
 

Oberst Freitag

FNG / Fresh Meat
Feb 19, 2006
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Jack said:
I always wondered why the 101st gets this "elite" status during the Normandy campaign.

When you think about it, Normandy was their first combat. All they had was several years of training up to that point.


Personally, I would have preferred a series that followed the 82nd. The 82nd saw combat way back in the African campaign, so were already combat experienced by Normandy.


The 82nd participated in all the major airborne operations. Just becaues of Bastogne and the aura surrounding it the 101st is held as if they were gods or something.


Don't get me wrong, they were great soldiers, obviously, but they were just good light infantry, like a lot of units in the war.






In regads to the topic poster: this series was as historically accurate as you will probably find on TV. Winters did all of those small unit actions and yes, did make the Germans not look too great. Especially with the Brecourt Manor mission, which was executed flawlessly.
i think you're pretty damn elite when you attack a platoon of entrenched Fallshirmjaegers with 12 men and wipe out the platoon, destroy 4 guns, and only lose 1 killed

But yeah...read the book, Ambrose got all the info straight from the horses mouth and the series followed it more closely than anyother book to movie/series with the exception of plays. So if you have a problem with the "inaccracy," take it up with the guys who were in easy company 2/506th
 

Jack

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 24, 2005
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I didn't mean the 101st wasn't capable.

What I meant was that on Normandy, by definiton they were a "Green" unit, with no combat. It is only after their extensive record did they earn elite status.

No unit ever starts off "elite." For that matter, the Iraqi Republican Guard was "elite," with all the Soviet advisor training and equipment...then look at how they performed.
 

DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
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Jack said:
I didn't mean the 101st wasn't capable.

What I meant was that on Normandy, by definiton they were a "Green" unit, with no combat. It is only after their extensive record did they earn elite status.

No unit ever starts off "elite." For that matter, the Iraqi Republican Guard was "elite," with all the Soviet advisor training and equipment...then look at how they performed.

Paratroopers, by virtue of the fact that they would actually jump out of an airplane, were considered elite by default. You have to admit, it's hard to argue that logic.

There are other examples: The 1st Air Cav, by virtue of having a totally new approach to warfare, new tactics, etc, was considered an elite unit even before it had fired a shot in anger.

In the end, "elite" is just a tag. I'm pretty sure none of the men in the actual units ever referred to themselves as elite. And, as history shows, even elite units can meet their Waterloo.
 

Jack

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 24, 2005
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Yes.


Also the factor of unit size. Many truly elite units are quite small, due to extremely rigorous qualification standards, like the SEALS or SAS.


With paratroopers, you have entire divisions of them, with men rotating in and out on a constant basis. They were doing something that was unique for the time period, but their actualy combat training was not substantially more advanced than that given to any other infantry, although they were in training for far longer.


The method of insertion was very different, but once on the ground their weapons, tactics, and organization were not really any different from a regular infantry division. Especially when you consider that many of the members of the unit later in the war had not even participated in a combat jump.
 

Musketeer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 21, 2006
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You also have to remember the paras were all VOLUNTEERS. These guys volunteered to jump out of airplanes, behind enemy lines, where they wouldhave only limited medical support (what they brought with them), no armor and a couple mortars for arty.

They did train longer and harder than other units. The physical requirements were more demanding. Finally you add in the morale benifit of having all volunteers and you wind up with a unit that, although unblooded, is at a significantly higher level than the norm. As one of those vets said in an interview, he wanted to know that the guys on either side of him had volunteered to be there along with him and were not there just because they were drafted. That type of comradaire and esprit de corps counts for alot.

E Company of the 101 was technically "Green" when they dropped into France. One day later (two perhaps?) they conducted the Br
 

{YBBS}Sage

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 15, 2006
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Jack said:
No unit ever starts off "elite." For that matter, the Iraqi Republican Guard was "elite," with all the Soviet advisor training and equipment...then look at how they performed.

They were elite... for the Iraqi army... Our military was no more experienced in combat than theirs (less, maybe, since the Iran-Iraq war had only ended about 3 years before Desert Storm.)

The word "elite" is a tag, it's mainly applied to units who have exacting guidelines for who can join and usually means the training goes beyond regular military training, but doesn't always mean a unit is particularly well-trained or even good at kicking ass. The Republican Guard was elite from the standpoint that they got all the good equipment.
 

Jack

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 24, 2005
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Or elite by way that the media trumped them up, hence making our victory all the more triumphant.


This too has been a factor going on for millenia. Whether it be Casear multiplying the number of Gauls he faced by several magnitudes, or CNN news getting everyone freaked out about the Republican Guard, victory is all the sweeter when you beat "elite" units.
 

KrazyKraut

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
1,848
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Beer capital of the world
Sclass12 said:
Read the book.
I did. And Ambrose is pretty "selective" when it comes to facts. It's a good novel but people take it like it's unvarnished truth which is not the case. There's a lot of critizism for him on the net and I think for a reason.
 

Jack

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 24, 2005
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Well a lot of the criticism also stems from his large use of ghost writers. This was only exposed relatively late in the game, but we should have all been suspicious when he was churning out a new book every month.