Throwback Thursday: Three Major Historical Errors in ‘Band of Brothers’

Even the best shows get it wrong sometimes

Paul Combs
2 min readJun 13, 2024

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Credit: HBO

We celebrated the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy last week, the event that turned the tide of World War II and began the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany. It was a pivotal moment in world history that has been immortalized in films from The Longest Day to Saving Private Ryan. It, and the events that followed, also inspired one of the greatest television miniseries ever: HBO’s Band of Brothers.

The 2001 collaboration of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg three years after they teamed up for Saving Private Ryan set the bar for historical television programs, a bar that many have attempted but few have reached over the 23 years since. It has some historical errors that historians and WWII buffs will recognize immediately, but most are of the type that do not impact the story in any way (like the C-47 pilots on D-Day wearing headsets that were not produced until 1975). These types of errors happen in any historical film.

However, there are three errors that can’t simply be dismissed, especially as the miniseries experiences a surge in both new and repeat viewers following the coverage of the D-Day anniversary. For my first Throwback Thursday article of the summer, I am sharing a story from…

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Paul Combs

Writer, bookseller, would-be roadie for the E Street Band. My ultimate goal is to make books as popular in Texas as high school football...it may take a while.