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Is Band Of Brothers Based On A True Story?

When you look back at HBO's "Band of Brothers," one of the first things that stands out is the miniseries' brutal, unflinching portrayal of the horrors that occurred during World War II. The 10-episode miniseries is one of the few war stories which manages to capture the heroism of those who fought in World War II without glorifying the trauma they had to endure during said fight.

Based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Stephen E. Ambrose, the series tells the story of the United States' "Easy" Company, an infamous battalion of Parachute Infantry under the 101st Airborne Division. The series follows "Easy" Company from their first training day up until the very end of the war, never shying away from the messy details of their time served overseas. The crux of the series is the way that the members of "Easy" company bond through their shared experience within the war. The traumatic, hellish experience of the war helps create this titular "Band of Brothers," and it's clear by the series' end that these soldiers will remember each other until the day they die.

Considering the fact that so much of the series hinges on the supposed actions of the real-life "Easy" Company during World War II, one might assume that nearly everything you see in "Band of Brothers" is 100% authentic — though unfortunately, it appears that a large portion of the series was altered for dramatic effect.

Band of Brothers is based on a true story, though much of that story has changed

While "Band of Brothers" is indeed based on the exploits of the real life "Easy" Company, much of their story has been either condensed or changed for the sake of television. Some of the more egregious historical inaccuracies include the tragic death of Albert Blithe, (who actually survived World War II, and ended up serving in the Korean War in real life) and the Company's capture of Berchtesgaden and the Eagle's Nest (which historians attribute to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, rather than "Easy" Company).

That said, much and more of what you see within the series did actually occur in real life, and the showrunners took several steps to ensure that the series provided an accurate representation of what it was like to serve in "Easy" Company. This included interviewing veterans who had served in the company (including Major Richard Winters, who was portrayed by Damian Lewis within the series) as well as consulting with various historians to research the accounts laid down in Ambrose's book (via The New York Times).

The result is a series that portrays the story of "Easy" Company in striking detail, but which often ends up altering real-life events so that they play better on the screen. Still, fans ought to be heartened to know that "Band of Brothers" is based on a true story, and that the heroic actions of "Easy" Company will live on forever through their depiction in the acclaimed HBO miniseries.