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Currahee
Band of Brothers episode 1
The men as they storm up Currahee mountain.

Episode:

1

Followed by:

Day of Days

Focus:

Richard Winters & Herbert Sobel

Subject:

Training for the invasion of Europe

Aired:

September 9, 2001

Directed By:

Phil Alden Robinson

Written By:

•Stephen E. Ambrose (based on the book)
•Erik Jendersen (teleplay)
•Tom Hanks (teleplay)

Captain Herbert Sobel: "What does Currahee mean?"
Easy Company: "'We stand alone!'"
Captain Herbert Sobel talking to Easy Company while running up Currahee
Currahee is the first episode of Band of Brothers. It follows the men from basic training at Camp Toccoa under the strict command of Herbert Sobel, to the preparation in England for the invasion of Normandy.

PlotEdit

In Toccoa, Ga., 1942, a disparate group of young men begins voluntary training to become members of one of America's newest military regiments - the paratroopers. Under the harsh leadership of Lt. Sobel (David Schwimmer), members of the newly formed Easy Co. go from green civilians to some of the Army's most elite soldiers. As training progresses, a rivalry flares between Sobel, whom the men despise, and Lt. Winters (Damian Lewis), a junior officer who's earned the respect and admiration of the company.

-From the official Band of Brothers episode website

Synopsis Edit

At Upottery Airfield near Aldbourne, England on June 5, 1944, Easy Company is making final preparations for Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of the Normandy province of France. Though because of the negative weather conditions, the operation is postponed.

The story flashes back two years earlier where Easy Company is led by the relentless 1st Lieutenant Herbert Sobel with his commands and punishments deemed prejudiced. Part of the men's training is running up a mountain called Curahee and run back down quickly. Sobel is promoted to Captain while 2nd Lieutenant Richard Winters is promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The men are officially paratroopers after finishing five training jumps at Fort Benning.

Easy Company is transferred to Camp Makcall for combat training. While there, Sobel displays incompetence of his strategic command during a field exercise, garnering loathing from his men. Months later, Easy Company is transferred to England by boarding a ship at New York. In England, Sobel demonstrates yet another incompetence, humiliating him. Later, Sobel attempts to punish Winters after failing to carry out an obligation by means of a sixty-day weekend pass cancel or a trial by court-martial so preventing him from leading Easy Company during the upcoming invasion. Winters chooses the trial by court-martial, surprising Sobel. Several non-commissioned officers collectively protest after learning about Winters' decision to Colonel Robert Sink, the commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Because of this controversy, Sink demotes the others to Privates, reassigning men to other units and declaring them disgraces; however, Sink decides to reassign Sobel to another unit, where his abilities can be properly utilized.

In May 1944 where the men are currently at Upottery Airfield, having a new commanding officer 1st Lieutenant Thomas Meehan III and having a new officer 2nd Lieutenant Lynn Compton. While preparing for the invasion, Sergeant William Guarnere mixes jackets with Sergeant John Martin — who just received news about Guarnere's brother's killing in Italy — and discovers the letter about his brother's death. Guarnere confronts Martin stating he had read the note.

The episode ends with Easy Company boarding their planes and flying out en route to Normandy.

Gallery Edit

Cast Edit

in alphabetical order
Robert (Popeye) E. Wynn Nicholas Aaron
Joseph D. Toye Kirk Avecedo

Alton M. More

Doug Allen

David Kenyon Webster Eion Bailey
Allington Dominic Cooper

Denver (Bull) Randleman

Michael Cudlitz

Joseph P. Domingus Marcos D' Cruze
Col. Robert F. Sink Dale Dye
Burton B. (Pat) Christenson Michael Fassbender
John W. Martin Dexter Fletcher
George Luz Rick Gomez
Wayne A. (Skinny) Sisk Philip Barrantini
Myron Mike Ranney Stephen Graham
James H. (Mo) Alley Jr. George Calil
Walter S. (Smokey) Gordon Jr. Ben Caplan
Terence C. (Salty) Harris Luke Griffin
Donald G. Malarkey Scott Grimes
Leadman Training Michael Edmiston
William J. Guarnere Frank John Hughes

Pvt. White

Tom George

Robert Van Klinken

Ezra Godden

Richard D. Winters Damian Lewis
Old Man on Bicycle James Greene
Lewis Nixon Ron Livingston
Roy W. Cobb Craig Heaney
Frank J. Perconte James Madio
Charles E. (Chuck) Grant Nolan Hemmings
Cleveland O. Petty Adam James
William H. Dukeman Jr. Mark Lawrence
Joesph D. Liebgott Ross McCall
Floyd M. (Tab) Talbert Matthew Leitch
Lynn D. (Buck) Compton Neal McDonough
F Company Trooper Laird Macintosh
Alex M. Penkala Jr. Tim Matthews
Joseph Ramirez Rene L. Moreno
Donald B. Hoobler Peter McCabe
Thomas Meehan Jason O'Mara
Maj. Robert L. Strayer Phil McKee
Allen E. Vest Kieran O'Brien
William S. Evans Simon Pegg
Fake German Harry Peacock
Herbert Sobel David Schwimmer
Rudolph R. Dittrich Dave Power
Warren H. (Skip) Muck Richard Speight Jr.
Edward J. Tipper Bart Ruspoli
Eugene G. Roe Shane Taylor
C. Carwood Lipton Donnie Wahlberg
Referee Training Ben Walden
Harry F. Welsh Rick Warden
Albert Blithe Marc Warren
Darrell C. (Shifty) Powers Peter Youngblood Hills

End QuoteEdit

"Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven for many months.

The eyes of the world upon you."

"Good luck!

And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Supreme Allied Commander

TriviaEdit

  • David Schwimmer, who played Captain Herbert Sobel was isolated from most of the other cast members during boot camp, to help generate a feeling of resentment among the men. Schwimmer joked that his only friend on set was Simon Pegg - who played Sobel's right hand man 1st Sergeant William Evans.[1]
  • Aired two days before the 9/11 attacks.[2]
  • This is the first American screen credit for Michael Fassbender, who played Private Burton Christenson.[3]
  • Private Joseph Liebgott is shown shaving another soldier's head in the beginning scene. The real Joe Liebgott was a barber by trade, and he actually did reportedly help shave the men's hair into mohawks for the jump.[3]
  • The film playing during the cinema scene was Mr. Lucky (1943) directed by H.C. Potter and stars Cary Grant and Laraine Day.
  • During one of the Currahee runs, Private Warren Muck injures his leg and Captain Herbert Sobel orders the others not to help him. In the boot camp preparation for this, David Schwimmer, Sobel's actor, injured his own knee – and had to do the scene with the injury.[1]
  • Private Frank Perconte complains about the quality of army spaghetti. Perconte's actor, James Madio played a big spaghetti lover in the sitcom USA High.[1]
  • The part where 1st Lieutenant Richard Winters is reprimanding 2nd Lieutenant Lynn Compton for gambling with the men. Captain Herbert Sobel's actor, David Schwimmer had taken the time one night to play poker with the actors when he was supposed to be segregating himself from them.[3]

ErrorsEdit

Anachronisms Edit

  • 1st Lieutenant Herbert Sobel examines the "rusty bayonet" of Private Joseph Liebgott. This was 1942, the bayonet was a Model M1. This bayonet was not manufactured until after March 1943. It had a ten-inch blade. The bayonets that should have been used in 1942, were the Model 1905 or the 1905/42 both of which had 16-inch blades. After March of 1943, all the long Garand bayonets were ordered to be cut down to ten inches and became the 1905E-1 and new 10 inch bayonets (the M1 bayonet) were manufactured for the rest of the war.[4]
  • In the mess hall scene, when Easy Company men are eating the "...army noodles with ketchup." You can see a vintage Coca-Cola machine in the background between the tables. The coke machine is unmistakably a Vendo 39, stand up, coin-operated vending machine, which was not manufactured until 1949.[4]
  • The scene where Easy Company is receiving a lecture, there are various German weapons on the wall. One of them is an StG 44, not used in combat until 1944. Thus, it is impossible that the Americans had captured one in 1942-43.[4]
  • In the scene at the end of the episode where the aircraft are taking off on June 5, 1944, as the camera pulls out to show the many aircraft rolling down the tarmac, the first aircraft shows the pilot wearing a pale green headset remarkably similar to a David Clark headset. However, the Clark company didn't start producing headsets until after the war.[5]

Continuity mistake Edit

Crew or equipment visible Edit

Factual errorEdit

  • Private David Webster is shown running Currahee and undergoing jump training with E Company. But Webster, while an original Toccoa man and member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment was originally with Headquarters Company, and it was with HQ that he underwent training and jumped into Normandy; it was after the D-Day invasion (and thus not within the timeline of the episode) that he transferred to Easy, where he remained until the end of the war.[4]
  • 1st Lieutenant Herbert Sobel demands that Easy Company runs up Currahee mountain in 15 minutes. They describe it as "3 miles up, 3 miles back". The company could not make it up a mountain one way in 15 minutes, they would have to average 5:00 per mile.[4]
  • In the credits, Ross McCall's character's name is misspelled as "Joesph" D. Liebgott.[5]

ReferencesEdit