No matter how many times you watch the opening theme from HBO's 2001 TV series "Band of Brothers," it's impossible not to get a lump in your throat. Sadly, many of these American heroes are no longer with us, and without a doubt, each and every one of them is a hero. Our freedom today is only from their selfless acts during a time of mayhem. Because that is what war is ... total mayhem. And although they received some of the best training in the world, nothing could prepare them for what they would see on the battlefield. Even their entrance to the battlefield was unique! Jumping out of a plane, deep in enemy territory where you could only rely on yourself and the comrade on your left and right.
"Band of Brothers" is certainly one of those TV series that you can never tire from watching. And if you love it just as much, we would guess that you know a fair amount about the brave men portrayed in it. With this quiz, we aim to see just how much you do know! It includes a range of questions about the series itself, the events it depicts, the heroes shown and the actors who portray them.
Good luck, trooper!
Historian Stephen E. Ambrose wrote the nonfictional book "Band of Brothers" which was published in 1992. Ambrose had interviewed a number of veterans from the 101st Airborne Division and was inspired by the strong ties that had developed between the men.
Easy Company was one of the companies that formed the 506th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. Others included Dog, Charlie and Able Companies.
Pre-production certainly was no walk in the park. Each actor portraying a soldier in Easy Company did 10 days of basic training. This was done in full gear, and they had to stay in character at all times.
With the pounding their bodies took running up and down Currahee Mountain, Easy Company took the name as their motto. The fact that it mean "we stand alone" fit in perfectly with the plight of a paratrooper dropped behind enemy lines as well.
Formed in 1918, the 101st Airborne Division was part of the organized reserve of the US Army from 1921 to 1942 but was then mobilized for war in Europe. This light infantry unit is specifically trained for airborne assault.
As with most U.S. military divisions, the 101st Airborne Division had a nickname. They were called the Screaming Eagles, inspired by one of their uniform patches that showed an eagle.
Herbert Sobel was the first commander of Easy Company and supervised their training in 1942. Although he was not liked by the men, a fact seen in the "Band of Brothers" TV series, they would later acknowledge that the fact that he pushed them so hard did help them while battling their way toward Germany.
The run up Currahee is mentioned in both the book and TV miniseries. Captain Sobel had his men do the run many times during training, and although they hated it, it brought them closer together.
After Tom Hanks starred in 1999 film "Saving Private Ryan," which was directed by Steven Spielberg, the two moved on to "Band of Brothers." They followed that up with "The Pacific," a 10-part series telling the stories of U.S. Marines fighting the Japanese during World War II.
Ronald Speirs was a leader of both B and D Company in the early part of the drive to Berlin but eventually came to Easy Company later in the war. He remained with the army after the war and made combat jumps during the Korean War in the early 1950s.
Lewis Nixon saw extended action with Easy Company and was a close friend of Dick Winters. Nixon never fired a single shot in combat despite the fact that he was on the front lines on many occasions.
A private with Easy Company, Edward "Babe" Heffron was best friends with William "Wild Bill" Guarnere. In fact, the two, together with journalist Robin Laing, told the story of their friendship in the book "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers"
The role of C. Carwood Lipton is played by Donnie Wahlberg in the "Band of Brothers" TV series. Lipton was promoted to first lieutenant during his time in Europe with Easy Company.
With his intense hatred of Germans and his last name, his fellow soldiers thought that Joe Liebgott was Jewish. In fact, he was of Austrian descent and a Roman Catholic. He never told anyone.
Situated near Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, Berghof was one of Hitler's residences. The Führer spent much of his time here, and it was filled with treasures despite the fact that the retreating Germans tried to burn it to the ground.
Robert Sink served with the United States Army from 1927 to 1961. He was the overall commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during their time in England and during the push to Berlin.
Around 14,000 rounds of blank ammunition were required for days on which heavy action sequences were filmed. That's a lot of shooting!
Tom Hanks produced the "Band of Brothers" TV series along with Steven Spielberg. He also wrote one episode, penning the first in the series, "Currahee," along with Erik Jendresen.
A noncommissioned officer with Easy Company, Robert Wynn served from 1942 to 1945 where he attained the rank of sergeant. Wynn was wounded just after D-Day and spent time in hospital in England. He returned to serve with Easy and with his high school friend, Darrell C. "Shifty" Powers.
Released in 2010, the miniseries "The Pacific" tells the story of Marines fighting through the Pacific Islands against the Japanese during World War II. It stars Joseph Mazzello, amongst others.
Used between 1941 and 1945, Camp Toccoa in Georgia was used to train United States paratroopers during World War II. The camp closed after the end of the war and later served as a prison.
Snow for the winter scenes in "Band of Brothers" was made from tiny bits of recycled paper. In fact, 330,000 pounds were needed to make the snow look real! The snow set took four weeks to prepare.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain, also known as the Douglas DC-3 Dakota, was a true workhorse of the Allied air forces of World War II. It was not only a transport aircraft but also the main way in which paratroopers were dropped into battle.
As HBO were involved in the production of the show, it goes without saying that it would first air on HBO. The miniseries premiered on September 9, 2001. In the United Kingdom, the show first aired on BBC 2.
Lewis Nixon jumped with the rest of Easy Company on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He performed two other combat jumps, one of which was forced when on March 24, 1945, a plane he was observing another paratrooper deployment in was hit by enemy fire.
The "Band of Brothers" TV series was critically acclaimed. It was nominated for 20 Emmys and was awarded 7, including Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries.
The Allied invasion of Europe took place on the morning of June 6, 1944. The paratroopers of 101st Airborne, including Easy Company, jumped behind enemy lines in the early hours of that morning.
An incredible $120 million was spent on the filming of the TV series, for an average of more than $12 million dollars spent on each episode. The promotional campaign for the show cost an additional $15 million.
Yes, blink and you would have missed him. Jimmy Fallon appeared in just one episode of "Band of Brothers," in which he played 2nd Lt. George C. Rice. He appears in the fifth episode of the series, "Crossroads."
Although episode 9 in the series, entitled "Why We Fight," shows Easy Company help liberate a concentration camp, in real life, they did not. The producers, in an effort to show the horrors of war, brought in stories from other U.S. units that did have this experience.
"Band of Brothers" brought the brilliant acting skills of Damian Lewis to the fore for viewers around the world. Lewis had the hard task of portraying Easy Company commander Maj. Richard D. Winters, a truly exceptional war hero. He carried it off with aplomb. Lewis went on to star in the series "Homeland" as well as many others.
Easy Company fought in the Bastogne area during the Battle of the Bulge. This took place in the freezing European winter and saw Easy Company and others heroically holding a line against a German onslaught with very few provisions.
Not only was he one of the producers of the series; Tom Hanks was also responsible for directing an episode. The Academy Award winner was in control behind the camera for episode 5 of the series, titled "Crossroads."
In 2002, "Band of Brothers" picked up the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston were both nominated for acting Golden Globes but didn't win.
The part of Herbert Sobel was played by David Schwimmer. Schwimmer is best known as the lead character Ross in the comedy series, Friends. He appeared in three episodes of "Band of Brothers."