Beyond Band of Brothers – Book Review
Book Review: Beyond Band of Brothers, The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters
As the title says, this book goes beyond “Band of Brothers” Stephen Ambrose’s book and the miniseries based on the book. This book goes into the mind of Maj. Winters from just before his enlistment, to his life well after World War 2.
Major Winters dissects his wartime experiences in detail to the reader, and puts the reader in his jump boots with him. He goes into more detail about Easy Company and how it was to command a Company (later a regiment) of tough paratroops during WW2. Unlike “Band of Brothers” this book focuses primarily on Major Winters and his thought processes and why and how he came to choices/decisions he made in each battle. He puts forth a lot of wisdom on how any officers in charge of any troops should conduct themselves whether in battle or not. Personally, I believe his book should be read by anyone he takes the oath of officer. His insights on leadership are hardcore and proven. The last page of the book is Major Winters’10 rules of leadership. He calls them “Leadership at the point of the Bayonet, Ten principles for success.” I found them to be very true to what I would expect of a commander who would lead me into battle. And, as many said about Major Winters, while in his command they would “have followed him to the gates of Hell.”
On the whole, the book is well written and held my interest as a person interested in history. I finished it in a week’s time, and probably would have read it through if given the time. I would recommend it to anyone with further interest in more about Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. I would also recommend this to be read by current service members who are in command of troops or may be in command one day, from fire team leaders all the way up to Generals. Major Winters’ leadership abilities were one of a kind and underrated at the time, but much could be learned from his experiences. I believe he may have written the book for two reasons, to share what he and his men experienced in the Second World War, and to be used as a tool for others to learn from before they lead young soldiers into battle.
I have to say that the last few chapters of the book for me, was quite emotional. One chapter went into the lives of Easy Company men after the war and since the “Band of Brothers” book and mini series. Sadly to say, a lot of those brave heroes, (and yes, I’ll use the term heroes here, even though each and every one believed themselves not to be) has passed on. And his “Reflections” chapter is a basic instruction manual on leadership, and how it was so successful for Easy Company.
As you all know, we are losing our World War 2 veterans at a rate of 1000 a day here in the United States. I would imagine it’s the same for all the other countries who sent their citizens to fight the good fight. If you know a Veteran of the war, and can encourage him to talk, get your own private stories. Because soon all we will have is the books and tapes of the words of this Gallant generation of people.
“Beyond Band of Brothers, The war memoirs of Major Dick Winters” was written by Major Dick Winters with Colonel Cole C. Kingseed. It has 293 pages with index and has 16 pages of photographs. I do recommend this book.
Discuss this review in our forums!