Though it first aired in 2001, HBO's Band of Brothers remains an extremely popular series, with fans across the internet attesting to multiple rewatches throughout the years. Intimately familiar with the World War II drama, these fans enjoy sharing various details they've picked up from their latest binge sessions.
Check out these Band of Brothers details that Redditors have shared over the years, and vote up the ones that strike you as the most significant.
- 11,608 VOTES
Cobb Is Dishonorably Discharged
From Redditor u/DiegoLapadula10:
Is that Cobb been escorted by the PM? I Remember that the night before he was drunk and arguing with Lt Jones. So I wonder if he got punished or something. The episode is "The Last Patrol."
Redditor u/miles_playvis answered:
Private Roy Cobb was dishonorably discharged from service for assaulting his platoon leader, Lt. Jack Foley, whilst drunk on schnapps. Handing in the court martial papers, Colonel Robert Sink remarked, "Foley, you could have saved us all a lot of trouble. You should have shot him.”
- 21,201 VOTES
Nixon Alludes To His Role In Operation Varsity
Redditor u/JokingKamil asked,
In the episode "Why We Fight," Nixon says that he and his squad were flying over Germany when some of them got shot down. I tried to find more information on this but can't find anything about Nixon flying over Germany or any Airborne jumps right near the end of the war. Could someone fill me up on the info. I rewatched the series over three times and I still don't know how they ended up there.
Redditor u/Cross-Country replied,
That was Operation: Varsity on March 24th, 1945. The 17th Airborne Division, with the 13th Airborne Division in reserve (which included the veteran 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team) jumped over the Rhine to aid in securing a crossing following the collapse of the bridge at Remagen.
It was an overcompensation for the failure of Operation: Market-Garden. Rather than have the paratroopers seize and hold distant objectives, they jumped just across the Rhine with every AA gun on the Rhine pointed straight at them. The ground forces were so close that it has since been mostly regarded as a pointless waste of life for the paratroopers who served little to no meaningful role in the crossing.
- 31,652 VOTES
The Real Soldiers Who Are Interviewed Are Not Named Until The Final Episode
From Redditor u/mymousu:
Rewatching on Hulu and I’m noticing that none of the real (old) soldiers have their names shown on the screen.
I couldn’t sworn they used to label the interviews so you know who was talking. This is driving me crazy! I can only remember the real Winters and Guarnere
From Redditor u/SEMHFreya:
Apparently the idea was so that the viewer wouldn't know "who made it through the war." If they labeled Dick Winters, Bill Guarnere, etc., then initially the viewer would know that they survived the war. By removing their names, they wanted the viewer to have the feeling that they wouldn't know who would make it through the war, much like the men.
From Redditor u/Astronaut-Bread:
I think it was more powerful to make you wait to see who was who until the end. Their words carried no less weight when I first saw their real faces in those early episode interviews.
And at the end, finally matching up the "characters" we all got to know through the series with the words the real people were saying at the start of each episode all along made much more of an impact, I think. You got to apply context to what they were saying now. You saw what they went through instead of just hearing them talk about it.
- 42,091 VOTES
A Soldier On The D-Day Jump May Be Colorblind
From Redditor u/cokevanillazero:
Early on, a soldier who is leading one of the jumps on D-Day tells another soldier to tap him on the shoulder when the jump light goes from red to green.
It only took me like 15 years to figure out that he was colorblind and lied to join the service.
- 51,096 VOTES
Winters Keeps A Compass On Him
Redditor u/Cookie4634 asked:
What did winters use in Episode 2 as a compass with the map and how does it work?
Redditor u/timehathnomatter answered:
Pretty sure it's a compass. I'm sure I remember in the book he had a compass sewn into the lining of his trousers. It was tiny. In addition he had a map I think sewn into his fatigues somewhere - there's a decent documentary on YouTube with Winters where he explains the stuff in his home office, and he mentions the map in there.
Memory is patchy, but yeah, pretty sure it's just a compass.
Redditor u/Restless_native answered:
Allied servicemen often [or] typically had a button on their uniform which contained a small compass hidden under a screw cap; that’s what he was using. Once you triangulate your position from visible landmarks you can use your hidden compass to help you evade the tens of thousands of heavily armed [Germans] who’re looking for you!
Both my grandfathers (1 RAF & 1 Black Watch) told me about their respective “escape & evasion” kits, and button compasses were a main component, along with maps printed on silk which were hidden in paperwork or wallets, etc. Hope that’s what you were meaning
- 6883 VOTES
'Why We Fight' Intertwines The Personal Narrative With The Grander Story Of WWII
From Redditor u/Rosenwinkel92:
So I re-watch Band of Brothers every couple of years, and each time I pick up on different things. This time around I was struck by just how much is going on in Episode 9, "Why We Fight." I've always thought it was the best episode in a series that doesn't really have any bad parts, but it's impressive to me how it blends the personal struggles and doubts of some of the soldiers (especially Captain Nixon, the main focus of the episode) with Easy Company's journey into Germany and their discovery of the concentration camp at Landsberg. Nixon, and many of the other men, express their frustration with the war, being stuck in it, and openly question why it's being fought in the first place, with Webster's outburst at the retreating German soldiers probably the most explicit.
Conversely, throughout the episode we see scenes of German soldiers and civilians responding to the American soldiers with indignation, arrogance, and maybe even spite. Winters' remark about the retreating Germans "still marching with pride" sticks out, as does the baker's angry tirade at his store being cleaned out (at least until Webster shuts him up), but most impactful I think is the scene where Nixon breaks into an upscale house in search of a specific kind of whisky. He's confronted by the house's mistress after he breaks the portrait of a German officer (presumably her husband), who glares at him smugly without a word, as if to say, "How dare you break into my house, young man, and destroy the photograph of my beloved husband? Have you no respect? Have you no shame?" Nixon leaves, unable to maintain eye contact with the woman.
This, of course, all changes when Easy Company discovers the concentration camp. And for many of the men, suddenly the question of "Why are we here?" doesn't seem all that hard to answer anymore. The penultimate scene shows Nixon (no longer giving a damn what kind of whisky he drinks) entering the camp and observing the local German citizens, who have been ordered by marshal law to clear away the [cadavers], forcing them to confront the evil done by their government. Here, none of the Germans are able to keep Nixon's gaze, and he finally comes to the proud woman from before who also averts her eyes from him in shame.
Why did so many soldiers of Easy Company give the last full measure of devotion as they fought their way across Europe? To defeat evil, that's why. To me, that's I think what this episode is trying to say. That it was worth it; that they were there to defeat what Churchill called "a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalog of human crime."
On a final side note: it's interesting to me that this episode is one that doesn't feature narration. I think it's a good choice, but I've gotta do some more thinking on it until I fully figure out why.