D-Day: Band Of Brothers: Day Of Days

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, which took place on the D-Day beach landings. The 101st Airborne job there, that day, was to land behind enemy lines and provide a secure exit off Utah beach. At the start of the episode, we all see the Allied troops encounter quite powerful enemy fire and several planes explode everywhere around them. Stressed air crews were forced to find another route and they also had to let their men jump out of the aircraft too early. Because of this, paratroopers were everywhere, scattered across the landing beaches in Normandy but sometimes miles away from their objectives.

In one scene, you will see Dick Winters jumping out of his plane, straight under a rain of gunfire and explosions and right into the quiet of the French countryside, making it possible for the audience to follow the fire and the explosions in the same way that he does. These are the scenes where you can easily see what the level of confusion must have been that night in June 1944, as soldiers landed into the French countryside. They often lost their equipment and got lost in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles away from their objectives or from their comrades, which led them to joining whoever they met on their way.

This episode is mainly about Dick Winters and how he becomes the leader of the Easy Company after  1st Lieutenant Meehan looses his life during the jump. This is also the episode that best introduces to you the most important faces in the series, including Donnie Wahlberg’s Carwood Lipton, Neal McDonough’s ‘Buck’ Compton, Scott Grimes’ Donald Malarkey and Frank John Hughes’ Bill Guarnere.

The episode ends with Dick Winters and a group of men taking out some German guns. It shows exactly what makes Winters a great leader and military tactician and why his men respect him and listen to him the way they do. At the end of the episode, we learn that the taking of guns is still used during training at West Point military academy when learning how to proceed during an assault on a fixed position, the Den Of Geek reports.

In the end, Winters gives us a final piece of narrative, as he thanks for surviving the day: “That night, I took time to thank God for seeing me through that day of days and prayed I would make it through D plus 1. And if, somehow, I managed to get home again, I promised God and myself that I would find a quiet piece of land someplace and spend the rest of my life in peace.”


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE