Last Episode Tonight!
Posted 03 June 2002 - 05:20 PM
Thank you from the entire Guarnere family.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 06:24 PM
As an appetizer for "Points," I offer this excerpt from a book I just finished,
another WWII memoir, a story of being a tank gunner for the last month of the war. “Another River, Another Town, A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age In Combat –1945.” John P. Irwin arrived at the front in late March, 1945, just as my father was leaving it with his million-dollar wound. Irwin served in the Third Armored Division, an outfit that the 9th Infantry often fought with. The Third Armored provided most of Dad’s transportation between Falaise and the Hurrtgen Forest in August and September, 1944. Irwin tells a very good story, even with a relatively short combat career to work with. It may be the only first-person account I’ve read from a tanker. He started out in a Sherman and then upgraded to a brand-new Pershing in the last couple of weeks of the war.
I’m posting here because Irwin includes a classic scene recounting the speech in which his battalion exec, a Colonel from Mississippi, first breaks the news of the point system.
“After the racket quieted down somewhat, Colonel Marsh stood up again and continued.
‘Now, men, I know how anxious y’all are to git home, but there’s a sticker in the horse’s butt. We goin’ to have to put up with a point system. We can’t all go home at the same time.’
A huge groan swelled through the mess hall.
‘Now don’t I know it! He sympathized. ‘But that’s how it’s gotta be. We don’t have many details yet, but it seems we all gonna get points for all sorts of things, like bein’ in a combat zone ---’
A great cheer, lasting nearly a minute.
‘—the longer you been here, the sooner you go home.’
Another cheer, not entirely unanimous.
‘And you get points for bein’ married ---’
A loud whoop from the married men.
‘—and points for each of your kiddies---’
Crescendo! Lots of daddies in this bunch.
‘—points for each service star ---’
‘points for yo’ Purple Heart ---’
‘Yo!’ ‘Whoopee!’ ‘Worth more than a million dollars!”
---points for yo’ Good Conduct Medal, which most all of you don’ deserve ---‘
Lots of laughter.
‘—an’ points fo’ bein’ handsome which none o’ you gonna get!’
Colonel Marsh’s Mississippi humor was the right touch for the occasion. While most men didn’t know him, he was instantly popular. He could probably have run for president and these men would have elected him in a landslide.”
Another River, Another Town, at 166-167.
Can’t you just hear Dale Dye doin’ that scene?
Posted 03 June 2002 - 09:04 PM
If anyone can find it, they should copy it to this thread.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 09:10 PM
Regarding tonight's episode, I just wanted to say how sad it is that this series has (once again) come to an end. For the first half of the episode I had a big smile on my face because I was so happy for the guys that the war was nearing its end, and they were at the Eagle's Nest. But by the time of the "roll-call" at the end I started feeling very sad, and when Damian Lewis mentioned what happened to Nixon, the tears welled up in my eyes. You could really hear the happiness in Damian Lewis' voice when he mentioned how Nixon's life came together when he married Grace (I hope I got the name right), but then when he mentioned Nixon's death, and then the simplistic happiness of his Winter's life, it was too much. Very emotional.
I just had to get that off my chest now, I'll post some more tangible comments tomorrow after I get over this sadness.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 09:15 PM
" a book, the unit history of the 1st Armored Division, that gave the details of how this Score was calculated.
Advanced Service Rating Score
+1 Point for each month of service (between 16 Sept 1940 - 12 May 1945)
+1 Point for each month overseas (between 16 Sept 1940 - 12 May 1945)
+5 Points for first & each award received: DSC, LM, SS, DFC, SM, BS, AM, PH
+5 Campaign stars worn on theater ribbons
+12 Points for each child(< 18 yrs) up to a limit of 3 children.
So a GI who had who had been in service for 3 years wiht 2 years overseas in combat could expect to receive 36 points + 24 points or a total of only 60 pts. Then if he also had received a Purple Heart and had one child his score would be:
36 + 24 + 12 + 5 = 79
Close to the required 85 points needed to be sent home!
The problem with the ASR score is that it rewarded the rear echelon troops who had been overseas a long time even though they had never seen combat."
Posted 03 June 2002 - 09:22 PM
I'd like to know what happened to Grant after the war if anyone could tell me.
I loved Nix's facial expression when he sees the wine cellar. I thought I read in Webster's book that it was Hitler's cellar, not Goehring. In any case, did it really matter to them
There are alot more observations but I'll yield the floor.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 09:36 PM
Leibgott's translation of the surrendering German General's farewell to his troops:
"Men, It's been a long war, it's been a tough war. You have fought bravely, proudly for your country. You are a special group. We've found in one another a bond that exists only in combat among brothers who've shared foxholes, held each other in dire moments, have seen death and suffered together. I'm proud to have served with each and every one of you. You deserve long and happy lives in peace."
Alan O'Reilly's post quoting Nathan Bedford Forrest bears another look:
Posted 03 June 2002 - 09:44 PM
The second half...oh boy.Not sure when I started crying,so many things get to me.Poor Shifty trying to put what he's seen in words and not finding ANY words for it.
The speech by the German General and the looks on Liebgott's and Winter's faces as he translates.
Winters words at the end as he tells about each man's life after the war.Especially about his friend Lew.
SUCH a powerful and emotional episode.
I DON'T WANT IT TO END!
Posted 03 June 2002 - 10:36 PM
I'll copy my posts from the HBO boards on the themes of justice, injustice, and arbitrary fate. But, for now, I just want to wallow in the depictions of the men and their relationships. Nix and Winters. It is SO great to know that they had a lifelong friendship. As did Winters and Harry Welsh.
Some of our favorites get a star turn as they say goodbye. Shifty. Who we have seen talking 'bout as fluidly as a Cajun in the production (Ep. 7: "Oh, I'm not a good shot. Now my father, HE was a good shot, he could shoot the wings off a fly . . .") and in the prologues ("We coulda been good friends with those Germans if we'd met outside the war; they probably like to fish and hunt . . .".) But this silver-tongued mountain man becomes tongue-tied in trying to tell Maj. Winters how he feels about him, and in trying to come to terms with how he'll deal with peacetime. Shifty, the sharpshooter and hunter, commutes the sentence of a stag who would make any hunter salivate, and who would have been a welcome addition to the Company larder. Shifty, for whom the "lottery" is rigged, to the total approval of the company. Ya just gotta love him. And, this second time around, I have appreciated the portrayal of Shifty WAY much more. Very affecting acting.
Lipton, humbly accepting the dream assignment to Paris to review the air show. "I'll try to do a good job." Yeah, right. Sergeant, Easy has had a good leader for a long time, and now we are acknowledging that by giving him the biggest plum assignment in the ETO. Virtue rewarded. Most awfully sweet.
Malark, batallion. No heavy lifting. Sweet.
Gotta take a break. But there is so much more to say about Ep 10.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 10:40 PM
Wouldn't be surprised.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 11:14 PM
And to agree again, Shifty was always one of my favorites (fellow Virginian), always quiet, unassuming, calm and deadly when required. I've known alot of guys with that same demeanor.
How about what happened to the real Grant? I must have missed something if he was mentioned previously.
I hate to see this series end.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 11:16 PM
Thank you for making this forum available and sharing your grandfather with us. I think what Band of Brothers has helped ignite is a renewed interest in what one generation did to sacrifice for humanity. I think it is fitting that the series came out when we most need examples of hero's in our country.
As we get to the end of the second airing of Band of Brothers, I wanted to start this forum off by thanking everyone for their insightful posts and opinions over the last few months. This is truly one of the finest communities on the internet!
Thank you from the entire Guarnere family.
Posted 04 June 2002 - 12:04 AM
I barely registered Shifty the first time through, partly because he is soft-spoken and partly because he speaks in the kind of Southern that doesn't pause for breath. My kind of Southern. I have appreciated him the second time much, much more, partly because BK helped focus him for me.
Much distance between Tidewater Virginia and Shifty's roots on the West Virginia border, geographically and culturallly. But, I'd say that Shifty does a fine job of upholding the gentlemanliness that Virginia claims as its signature characteristic. Justifiably. Wahoo-wah, Doug
Posted 04 June 2002 - 12:46 AM
appell8 - 07:17PM Nov 04, 2001 (516 of 877)
JO, BCMck, Yost, KidNap, Currahee, et al.
After ep 10: set, set, set, set, set, SPIKE, SPIKE, SPIKE, SPIKE, SPIKE . . .
I'm still bawling. Doug
appell8 - 08:48AM Nov 05, 2001 (532 of 877)
I've started to absorb the theme. Points. Justice. Merit and reward, sin and punishment, imperfectly judged. It's the St. Peter episode, but St. Peter isn't in charge.
The point system. A bureaucratic attempt to reward merit. But it's imprecise. Shifty's been a great soldier and had some of the longest continous service, but he's outpointed in part because he hasn't been wounded and gotten a purple heart.
In Shify's case, deus ex machina. Fate (or contrivance) intervenes to work justice. But not for the other deserving GI's like Shifty.
Sweet justice. Easy gets to take Bertchesgaden. Of all of the troops in all of the armies of all of the Allied powers, EASY gets to defile the Nazi Valhalla. Propaganda has featured what will happen when we get our hands on those guys. Popular songs have been sung. "Hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line," indeed. And our guys are the ones to put up their boots on Hitler's balcony, and to get frist crack at Goering's wine cellar. What a psychological payoff!
But it wasn't a lottery. Easy got the job because the High Command had forecast a fight to the death againt the SS guarding the (fictional) "National Redoubt." Easy were going to be put at risk when everyone else in the ETO was standing down. The intell was wrong. So Easy gets its reward precisely because they were an elite unit that could be counted on to do the dirty work. That's how justice is supposed to work.
No justice for Grant and Janovic. No matter how many points they had. The world turns arbitrary.
Justice for the [alleged] camp commandant hunted down in his home? Too complex for my pay grade.
Justice for Sobel? Oh yes, yes, yes. The martinet hoist upon the petard of military courtesy. Winters strikes a blow for the victims of petty tyranny everywhere. And he does it by using the system rather than bucking it, as he had in England, by pressing Sobel for a court martial. Unlike Bligh and Queeg, there has been no mutiny, and thus there can be no courtroom redemption.
But it's justice that has a harsh side. We know its lingering effect on Sobel. Harsh.
There's justice tempered with grace. Winters permits the punctilious surrendering offizier to keep his sidearm (the cherished luger!). Echoes Grants similar permission to Lee for his officers to keep their sidearms. Grace.
The German commander permitted to address his men for the last time. The relationship he describes applies with equal force to Winters and Easy. Grace.
Easy gets to keep Winters for the duration. The commanding general decides that Easy has earned him, thus overriding Winters' sense of duty and whatever use the Army could have made of Winters in the PTO. Grace.
There's so much more. For the umpteenth time, y'all, simply magnificent job. Thanks, Doug Jordan
appell8 - 11:01PM Nov 10, 2001 (11 of 80)
Upon third viewing, a couple of thoughts.
Shifty Powers, sniper extraordinaire, takes a pass on a multipointed stag [geez, is Shifty now being outpointed by antlers?] in his sights. Grace.
Nix, it turns out, after a few divorces, finds a keeper wife. "Grace."
The power of the German General's farewell speech to his men grows upon each viewing. As does the way it is filtered through Liebgott, Lipton, Speirs, Nix and Winters. Grace.
[I am still transfixed by Liebgott and Speirs during that speech. How do they absorb this? What do they make of it?]
The REAL Carwood Lipton, in the afterword, reciting, comfortably and self-effacingly, a piece of King Henry's St. Crispin's Day speech . . . the one that has the phrase "band of brothers," ... y'all, it just don't get any better than that.
My respects to the veterans on their day.
Hornpipe - 10:55PM Nov 05, 2001 (572 of 877)
Thank you all for your mighty kind words and your exquisite attention to the story of Easy Company.
That this tale has now been told means more to the surviving members of the Company and their families than ever will be known.
And it's been a gift for those of us involved in this adventure to read your considered responses, heartfelt criticisms and comments.
So...thank you...each and every one of you.
And...uhm...GvB...a special thanks for prompting J. Orloff and B. McKenna to write from the heart. It's what they do best.
Standing up and hooked up...
Hornpipe - 08:57PM Nov 06, 2001 (608 of 877)
All right, gang.
I was the first writer to come aboard - three years ago.
I was entrusted by Major Winters with his personal journals and all of the original material used by Prof. Ambrose. Major Winters' personal archive had grown considerably since the publication of Band of Brothers
(many of the veterans had been inspired to correspond with one another) and I was gifted with an embarrassment of riches.
With Tom's blessing I wrote the series bible - a roughly 270 page history of the company from a dramatist's perspective rather than a historian's. This book was designed as a tool - the ultimate reference source for the writers and the rest of the production; it broke down the tale of Easy Company into thirteen episodes (later to be collapsed into ten) and featured considerable appendices in an attempt to track each and every one of the members of the Company through the ETO.
This could only be accomplished through extensive interviews with the Major.
Our relationship developed into a profound friendship.
Major Winters' willingness and ability to plumb his memory and emotion, to re-live even that which he had chosen to forget, to settle for nothing less than fact-positive history was astonishing. At stake for him was...everything: He knew that we had one shot at this thing - one opportunity to tell the story of his comrades in arms - and so he went with me to the nth degree. His number one priority was to serve the memories and accomplishments of these men and he simply gave his all. The bible was our collaboration.
I also began interviewing and establishing relationships with other members of the Company with a view toward producing a reference work that was definitive and as complete as possible. Jake Powers, archivist and trusted friend of the Company, opened his heart and resources to me.
John Orloff came aboard.
And Graham Yost.
I would write episodes 1, 5 and 10 and become a "supervising producer".
And what these men - these writers - proceeded to effect was, well, remarkable. There developed between us a comradeship that was matched only by that of our subject matter.
And a collaborative, egoless process of storytelling that I've never even heard of in Hollywood.
John and Bruce broke new ground with the veterans who were the subjects of their episodes - developed relationships via telephone and in person - uncovered long forgotten facts and details and used them to remarkable effect.
John, Bruce, Max and Graham applied themselves to serving the men of Easy Company - to telling the truth - with a dedication and integrity that was a tonic to us all.
The men of the Company had lived this story nearly sixty years ago. Tom, Steven and HBO had provided the means to translate it to the screen. The "Band of Writers" were gifted with the opportunity to interpret it dramatically, to design it for the screen. We stood alone, together.
I think I can speak for all of us when I assert that, as writers, these last three have been the best years of our lives.
Posted 04 June 2002 - 01:06 AM
I noticed Hornpipe is a member here a couple of days ago.I sure hope he drops in for a visit sometime.
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