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Band of Brothers and The Pacific on Kindle

Updated: Mar 14

Author Note: If after reading, you found this Blog Post to be beneficial and are going to buy from Amazon anyway, you might consider using one of my Amazon Affiliate links below. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases and I may receive some sort of credit for the time spent researching and writing this Post should you decide to purchase. You can also buy the Hardback and Paperback versions of these books if you wish. I have also recently added Masters of the Air.


Introduction, Band of Brothers and The Pacific on Kindle

Many of the war movies we have seen over the years were inspired in part or all by books written by those who have been in the thick of the action during conflicts. Anyone who has seen Band of Brothers or the Pacific may or may not be surprised that they are in fact based on several books written by men who saw action with the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and accounts from Marines of the 1st, 5th & 7th Regiments of the 1st Marine Division who saw combat in the Pacific. I sought out some of these books for my Kindle and thought I'd share some of these titles with you as you may not be aware of them. I initially wanted to add a whole load of war films but realised that the Post would be massive altogether. Instead, I will write a second Post with the films on their own.



World War 2 in Amazon Kindle Books
World War 2 in Books


Band of Brothers by Stephen E Ambrose

Written by Stephen E Ambrose this book follows Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, from their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.


Band of Brothers is the account of the men of this remarkable unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers' journals and letters, Stephen Ambrose tell the stories - often in the men's own words - of these American heroes. This book accounts for the bulk of what you see in the series. You can buy the Kindle/ Book version here Band of Brothers Amazon UK. Or check it out Band of Brothers Amazon USA.


Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

Damian Lewis grabbed everyone's attention and respect during the Band of Brothers series but Dick Winters was real and this is his account of his time in action with Easy Company. He includes many details and untold stories beyond what Stephen E Ambrose wrote.


Starting with an account of the gruelling training designed to make the 506th the most elite unit in the US Army, Beyond Band of Brothers is fascinating account of one man's experience of commanding Easy Company from D-Day, to the Battle of the Bulge and into Germany. Dick Winters gives real insight into leadership under the most difficult conditions - every man in the company had been injured by the time they reached Germany - and tells the real story of the Allies' final defeat of Hitler, from the point of view of someone who was really there. Check out Beyond Band of Brothers on Amazon UK. Or check it out Beyond Band of Brothers on Amazon USA.


Parachute Infantry by David Kenyon Webster

You probably remember this character in the background for most of the series but was featured prominently in the episode 8 The Last Patrol. He was with Easy Company from the beginning and jumped into the chaos of occupied Europe on D-Day, fighting his way through Holland and finally capturing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. He was the only member of Easy Company to write down his experiences as soon as he came home from war.


Webster records with visceral and sometimes brutal detail what it is like to take a bullet in the leg, to fight pitched battles capturing enemy towns, and to endure long periods of boredom punctuated by sudden moments of terror. But most of all, Parachute Infantry shows how a group of comrades entered the furnace of war and came out brothers.



You'll Be Sor-ree!: A Guadalcanal Marine Remembers the Pacific War

A mortarman with H-2-1 of the legendary 1st Marine Division, Sid was only seventeen years old when he entered combat with the Japanese. Some two years later, when he returned home, the island fighting on Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester had turned Sid into an "Old Timer" by Marine standards, and more: he left as a boy, but came home a man.


These are his memoirs, the humble and candid tales that Sid collected during a Pacific odyssey spanning half the globe, from the grueling boot camp at Parris Island, to the coconut groves of Guadalcanal, to the romantic respite of Australia. Sid recalls his encounters with icons like Chesty Puller, General Vandergrift, Eleanor Roosevelt, and his boyhood friend, Eugene Sledge. He remembers the rain of steel from Japanese bombers and battleships, the brutality of the tropical elements, and the haunting notion of being expendable.

This is the story of how Sid stood shoulder to shoulder with his Marine brothers to discover the inner strength and deep faith necessary to survive the dark, early days, of World War II in the Pacific.



Honourable Mentions

I have chosen Autobiographies mainly for this Post with the exception being Stephen E Ambrose due to the importance of his book towards the series. There are a few more which I found and will add them when I get a chance.

Honourable mentions go to;

Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the Legendary Sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers.


Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers. About Buck Compton






The Pacific

The Pacific is based primarily on the memoirs of two US Marines; With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie. It also draws on Sledge's memoir China Marine and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside John Basilone at Iwo Jima. Personally, I find the Pacific to be a better series than Band of Brothers after rewatching them both many times but it suffers from slow sections in the middle of the series which are important to the story but affect the momentum. Band of Brothers on the other hand is intense up to the last 2 episodes and then slows.


With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge

You probably remember Joseph Mazzello' convincing portrayal as Private Eugene Sledge 'Sledgehammer' from the series. Eugene Sledge had a very difficult time adjusting back into civilian life after the horrors that he witnessed during his service but eventually managed to write a book with the help of little notes he made in his pocket bible. Described as one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war, With the Old Breed tells with compassion and honesty of the cruelty, bravery and deaths of the men he fought alongside, and of his own journey from patriotic innocence to battle-scarred veteran.


'Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed. He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific - the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary - into terms we mortals can grasp' Tom Hanks



Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie

James Badge Dale portrayed a lovable rogue in The Pacific who like many others suffered during his time in combat. His memoir Helmet for my Pillow is one of the most riveting first-person accounts to ever come out of World War 2. Robert Leckie was 21 when he enlisted in the US Marine Corps in January 1942. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his journey, from boot camp on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war's fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifice of war, painting an unsentimental portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and all too often die in the defence of their country.



From the live-for-today rowdiness of Marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what it's really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow tells the gripping true story of an ordinary soldier fighting in extraordinary conditions. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.




China Marine by Eugene Sledge

China Marine is the long-awaited sequel to E. B. Sledge’s critically acclaimed memoir, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. Picking up where his previous memoir leaves off, Sledge, a young marine in the First Division, traces his company’s movements and charts his own difficult passage to peace following his horrific experiences in the Pacific.


He reflects on his duty in the ancient city of Peiping (now Beijing) and recounts the difficulty of returning to his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, and resuming civilian life haunted by the shadows of close combat. If you want to complete the story by Eugene Sledge then you must read this one too.


The series barely mentions the clean up duties that Eugene and many other Marines had to do following the cessation of hostilities and instead focuses on his journey home. There is quite a lot of detail that is missed before that happened making this well worth a read.






Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum

You may remember this guy as being the unlucky one of two Marine recruits that John Basilone took out training before any of the rest of the platoon arrived at Camp Pendleton.


When Chuck Tatum began Marine boot camp, he was just a smart-aleck teenager eager to serve his country. Little did he know that he would be training under a living legend of the Corps—Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone, who had almost single-handedly fought off a Japanese force of three thousand on Guadalcanal.


It was from Basilone and other sergeants that Tatum would learn how to fight like a Marine and act like a man—skills he would need when he hit the black sand of Iwo Jima with thirty thousand other Marines.


Red Blood, Black Sand is the story of Chuck’s two weeks in hell, where he would watch his hero, Basilone, fall, where the enemy stalked the night, where snipers haunted the day, and where Chuck would see his friends whittled away in an eardrum-shattering, earth-shaking, meat grinder of a battle. This is the island, the heroes, and the tragedy of Iwo Jima—through the eyes of one who survived it.



Masters of the Air: How the Bomber Boys Broke Down the Nazi War Machine by Donald L. Miller

I had to add this as it is another release from the creators of Band of Brothers and the Pacific. I am currently waiting to watch the series in one go once the last episode has aired.

Now a major television event from Apple TV and Steven Spielberg (starring Austin Butler, Callum Turner and Anthony Boyle) and companion to Band of Brothers and The Pacific.


‘Seconds after Brady’s plane was hit, the Hundredth’s entire formation was broken up and scattered by swarms of single-engine planes, and by rockets launched by twin-engine planes that flew parallel’


Meet the Flying Fortresses of the American Eighth Air Force, Britain’s Lancaster comrades, who helped to bring down the Nazis


Historian and World War II expert Donald Miller brings us the story of the bomber boys who brought the war to Hitler's doorstep. Unlike ground soldiers they slept on clean beds, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of the travelling Air Force bands. But they were also an elite group of fighters who put their lives on the line in the most dangerous role of all.


Miller takes readers from the adrenaline filled battles in the sky, to the air bases across England, the German prison camps, and onto the ground to understand the devastation faced by civilians.


Drawn from interviews, oral histories, and American, British and German archives, Masters of the Air is the authoritative, deeply moving and important account of the world's first and only bomber war.


Conclusion

If you enjoyed Band of Brothers and The Pacific and want to know the full story behind the characters then the above titles are an absolute must. I couldn't believe the difference between the screen and what actually happened these guys in real life. It's true that Hollywood has to embellish and make their stories entertaining with a good consistent continuity but that sometimes comes with a cost where actual fact is concerned. I have no problem with small inaccuracies but I have issues where it is blatant. Read the books and come to your own conclusion.




About the Post Author

I am a Self Employed Woodturner from the West of Ireland. Outside of my work I have a passion for Movies and TV Shows and I have always had an interest in Military subjects. I write this and more Blog Posts to further my business reach and because I have actually started to enjoy writing over the last 12 months. If you follow one of my Affiliate Links above and make a purchase I get a small percentage which gives me a little something back for taking the time to research and write this Post. I would appreciate your support. If you have no intention of following the links, maybe I can entice you to come to one of my Woodturning Tuition Classes or Woodturning Experiences. Follow the suggested Posts below.


Thanks for reading! David



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