Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Infantry has kept me fascinated ever since I saw the HBO series Band of Brothers. I have wanted to learn as much as possible about them. About 5 years ago, I listen to Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters of Major Dick Winters as an audiobook. There were many lessons that I wanted to keep in front of me so I decided to buy a printed copy. It’s one of the first books I read in 2018.
Major Dick Winters provided his perspective as the commander of Easy Company and later became the battalion commander. His book adds stories that were not part of Stephen Ambrose’s book nor part of the Band of Brothers series. I found it interesting to read about Winters’ mindset during each of the major campaigns that Easy Company participated in. He addressed concerns and how he prepared to overcome those concerns.
Beyond Band of Brothers is 304 pages long and arranged in four major parts:
- Band of Brothers
- In the Time of Achilles
- In Wars Dark Crucible
- Finding Peace After a Lifetime of War
Each part has four chapters.
Winters’ memories of serving with Easy Company do not stray far from what Ambrose reflected in the Band of Brothers series and his book. The reason for this is that Winters had collected a significant amount of material from that period. This material included battle reports, diaries, and letters from various members of Easy Company. This information fueled both Ambrose’s book and Winters’ book.
What is clear by reading his book is that he was proud of the men of Easy Company and what they were able to do. In most cases, he had nothing but positive things to say about each man. There were some exceptions, which Ambrose also reflected in the miniseries and book. One individual comes to mind and that is Captain Sobel. Winters references him many times in the book. But to Winters’ credit, he gives Sobel recognition for making Easy Company the outstanding company that it was.
What I also took away from the book was how Winters wanted to be as a man. He spoke in detail about the character and person he was trying to be a leader of Easy Company. This book has to do as much about leadership as it does on the reflections of a company commander. If you are a leader of any organization, I would recommend learning from what Major Dick Winters has to share.Strive to be a leader of character, confidence, and courage. ~ Major Dick WintersClick To Tweet
At the end of his book, Winters shares 10 principles for success. While I will not share all of them, there are some that I wish to highlight.
1. Strive to be a leader of character, confidence, and courage.
2. Lead from the front. Say, “Follow me!” and then lead the way.
3. Stay in top physical shape physical stamina is the root of mental toughness.
4. Develop your team. If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead-by-example, you will develop teamwork.
8. Take a moment of self-reflection. Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best.
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. It provided me with a different look into Easy Company and its accomplishments. If you’re interested in history or leadership, I recommend that you check out Beyond Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters.
Related Reading and Viewing
- Book Review – Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
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