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The Patrol
Band of Brothers episode 8

Episode:

8

Preceded by:

"The Breaking Point"

Followed by:

"Why We Fight"

Focus:

David Webster

Subject:

Patrol at Hagenau

"The Patrol" is the 8th Episode of Band of Brothers. It follows the perspective of Private Webster as he recounts this episode of how the members of Easy Company, who have had a psychological toll at Bastogne, go on a patrol at Hagenau for POWs.

SynopsisEdit

David Webster has finally returned to the field after being injured in Holland. However, his fellow soldiers have suffered a great deal without him and resent him for failing to return sooner like other soldiers did. Another soldier, Lieutenant Jones, is also struggling to be accepted, quickly prevented from taking part in what may be the last field operation for the company. Using the officer, Webster may be able to rekindle his lost friendships and grant the replacement officer's wish of seeing combat.

PlotEdit

The episode opens with Pvt. David Webster returning to Easy in the French town of Hagenau following a lengthy respite after his wounding at the crossroads battle in Belgium. The other members of Easy, having fought in Bastogne and Foy, act coldly toward him, resentful of his non-participation in those two key battles. Their attitudes hint at Web's long stay in the hospital & his making no effort to return quickly & rejoin the company.Webster then recognizes T/4. Kevin Macken, but Macken doesn't remember Webster at the first sight.

Webster then walks over to his old outfit, Easy Company's 1st Platoon, but Lieutenant Jack E. Foley didn't know who Webster is, so he explains. Webster wonders where Cpl. Donald B. Hoobler, his old friend, is. Webster isn't given any answer. Then PFC. Roy W. Cobb and SSgt. John W. Martin tells Webster to go and report to the 2nd Platoon and finds T/5. Joseph T. "Joe" Liebgott, SSgt. Donald G. Malarkey and Private Eugene Jackson on the 2nd Platoon truck.

Liebgott says that Malarkey is going to be promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, but he means 1st Sgt. Carwood Lipton. Webster is setting himself on the truck, and Liebgott thinks Webster loved his hospital because the 101st Airborne Division left Holland four months ago.

Webster says he was at the replacement depot, and Liebgott says that he surely tried to help them at Bastogne, which Webster don't know how he possibly could have done that. Liebgott says that PFC. Robert E. "Popeye" Wynn found a way from the hospital and SSgt. William J. "Bill" Guarnere. "Yeah, where is Guarnere? Is he still your platoon sergeant?" Webster asks. "No", Jackson answers, "he got hit". The truck stops and they have arrived at Hagenau, and Jackson explains to Webster that Guarnere's foot was blown off at Foy.

A patrol is planned for the evening: a platoon will cross a nearby river to capture German soldiers for intelligence retrieval. Joining the company is a young 2nd lieutenant, Jones, who is a West Point graduate; winning acceptance from Easy members is just as hard for the young lieutenant as Web's attempts to rejoin them are.

Webster begins to show diplomatic skill as he convinces both Capt. Winters & Capt. Spiers to allow the combat inexperienced Lt. Jones to join the patrol & the burned out Sgt. Malarkey to be replaced. Webster also is able to negotiate for Joe Liebgott to remain on the Allied side of the river & provide cover fire.

The patrol crosses the river in inflatable boats; one capsizes. As they approach the building where German soldiers are camped out, a young private, Jackson, rushes into the building too soon after throwing a grenade and is seriously wounded. The rest of the platoon rushes the building & captures three Germans. As they retreat with their prisoners, the remaining German forces open fire. One of the prisoners is hit & is left on the riverbank. Arriving on the opposite side, the platoon takes Jackson & the prisoners to the basement of battalion headquarters. Several of the men, still feeling the adrenaline effects of the mission, are ready to kill the prisoners in retaliation for Jackson, who dies while being treated by Doc Roe. Lt. Jones is able to restore order.

The next morning, Winters & Spiers observe the demolition of the building by explosives planted during the patrol. Lt. Col. Sink reports that another patrol is scheduled for that night & will involve going deeper into the enemy encampment for more prisoners. Capt. Winters meets with the men later & tells them that they will not go on another patrol, but he will report that they did. The men are relieved & grateful for Web's successful diplomacy of the day before and welcome him back into Easy as they leave Hagenau.

TriviaEdit

  • Forrest Guth's role in the patrol as the interpreter in Hagenau was replaced by David Kenyon Webster. In reality, Webster was not on that patrol but was involved in the patrol assigned to cover the patrol from across the river with an M1919 Browning.

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