I read Beyond Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters & Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, the World War II memoir of Major Dick Winters this week. I just finished reading it. I borrowed it from The Colony, Texas Public Library. While reading Band of Brothers is note required before reading Beyond Band of Brothers, I highly recommend reading Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brother’s first. Why? Beyond Band of Brothers reminds me of watching a DVD listening to the director’s or producer’s commentary. You have the story, but you get the commentary behind the story. This is the story of Dick Winters who served as a platoon leader, executive office, and company commander in Easy Company, 2 Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division and then as executive officer and battalion commander of, 2 Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
On D-Day, Dick Winters parachuted into France and assumed leadership of the Band of Brothers when their company commander was killed. He led them through the taking out the artillery on D-Day that was pounding the causeways on Utah Beach, Market Garden, through the Battle of the Bulge, the attack on Foyand Noville, and into Germany, and to Haguenau. They liberated a death camp and captured Berchtesgaden and the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s alpine retreat, and served as occupation forces in Austria. Briefly, on active duty during the Korean War, Winters then lived on a small Pennsylvania farm and was a highly successful businessperson. Beyond Band of Brothers is Winters’s memoir, based on his wartime diary, but it also includes his comrades’ untold stories. Most of this material is being released for the first time. He explains the cohesion behind the Band of Brothers and the comradeship that is war’s only redeeming quality, the debilitating effect of combat, the horror of seeing friends killed and wounded, and the key qualities that have made him a role model of cool-headed leadership under fire and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross. Dick Winters gives a good talk on leadership in his chapter “Reflections.”
Beyond Band of Brothers is a moving tribute to the human spirit by a man who earned the love and respect of the men of Easy Company. Read by Jimmie A. Kepler