Is Band of Brothers based on a book?

Chris Tilly
Leading cast of Band of BrothersHBO

The classic WWII drama, Band of Brothers, is now available for streaming on Netflix. Curious if this action-packed and emotionally charged series is adapted from a book? Here are the details.

Band of Brothers helped make stars of its young cast, with the likes of Michael Fassbender, Simon Pegg, and Tom Hardy all appearing in small roles, while lead Damian Lewis used it as a springboard to a successful film and TV career.

Inspired by the reception of Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced the series, with the likes of Erik Jendresen, John Orloff, E. Max Frye, Graham Yost, Bruce C. McKenna, Erik Bork, and Hanks himself writing.

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But were their scripts based on a book? Read on for full details about the inspiration behind Band of Brothers.

Is Band of Brothers based on a book?

Yes, Band of Brothers is based on a book. The show is a loose adaptation of Stephen E. Ambrose’s non-fiction tome of the same name, which was published in 1992.

Here’s the official synopsis of the book: “In Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose pays tribute to the men of Easy Company, a crack rifle company in the US Army. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the dangerous parachute landings on D-Day and their triumphant capture of Hitler’s ‘Eagle’s Nest’ in Berchtesgaden, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. Repeatedly sent on the toughest missions, these brave men fought, went hungry, froze, and died in the service of their country.”

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The title comes from the St. Crispin’s Day speech in William Shakespeare’s Henry V, with that passage appearing on the book’s first page, and in the series, where it’s said by Carwood Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg).

The book was re-released in 2017 to celebrate its 25th anniversary, with a foreword by Tom Hanks.

Further Band of Brothers inspirations

As well as the Ambrose book, Band of Brothers took inspiration from other historical works, most notably ‘Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper’s Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich’ by Easy Company’s David Kenyon Webster, which was published in 1994.

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The show also uses letters and diary entries from the soldiers portrayed in the show. Many of those who survived the war appear as talking heads in the series, recounting memories and anecdotes from the time.

Band of Brothers is now streaming on Netflix and check our hub here. Click here to find out more about the show’s incredible cast. While you can head here to read our list of the 13 greatest war films.

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About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: