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Stephen E. Ambrose's iconic history of ordinary men who became the most extraordinary soldiers of World War II: Easy Company, 506th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.
They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, attracted by Airborne's monthly $ 50 bonus and a desire to be better than the other. And at its peak – in Holland and the Ardennes – Easy Company was just as good a rifle company as any other in the world.
From hard training in Georgia in 1942 to dissolution in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In battle, the reward for a well-done job is the next hard task, and when they came through Europe, Easy's men always got the tough job.
They flew to France in the early morning of D-Day and launched a battery of four 105-mm guns that looked down Utah Beach. they fell off during the Arnhem campaign in Holland; they were the battered bastards of the bastion Bastogne, who were brought in to keep the line, though they were surrounded in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they led the counter-offensive. Finally, they conquered Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his eagle's nest in Berchtesgaden.
They were tough guys, shaken by depression, suspicious and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, plundered 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 men who loved life would give their lives for them in the war.
This is the story of the men who fought, the Martinet who hated them, who trained them well, and the captain whom they loved, who led them. E Company was a society of men starving, petrified and dying for one another, a company that suffered 150 percent losses, a company in which the Purple Heart was not a medal – it was a badge of the office. Simon Schuster