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Biggest Brother: The Life Of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led The Band of Brothers [Kindle Edition]

Larry Alexander
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“Excellent.…Anyone who has read Band of Brothers will want to read this.”ARMY Magazine

“A great job…extremely readable.”—The Topeka Capital-Journal

“[A] straightforward study of the best sort of small-unit leader.”—Publishers Weekly


In every band of brothers, there is always one who looks out for the others.…

They were Easy Company, 101st Army Airborne—the World War II fighting unit legendary for their bravery against nearly insurmountable odds and their loyalty to one another in the face of death. Every soldier in this band of brothers looked to one man for leadership, devotion to duty, and the embodiment of courage: Major Dick Winters.

This is the riveting story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero. After he enlisted in the army’s arduous new Airborne division, Winters’s natural combat leadership helped him rise through the ranks, but he was never far from his men. Decades later, Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers made him famous around the world.

Full of never-before-published photographs, interviews, and Winters’s candid insights, Biggest Brother is the fascinating, inspirational story of a man who became a soldier, a leader, and a living testament to the valor of the human spirit—and of America.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 967 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 340 Seiten
  • Verlag: NAL; Auflage: Reprint (2. Mai 2006)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B001R9DHUS
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #294.605 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Biggest Brother 10. Juni 2007
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Ausgezeichnetes Buch, fesselnd geschrieben und für Interressierte eine hervorragende Ergänzung zur HBO-Miniserie.

Stellt besonders deutlich die vielen unterschiedlichen Charaktere und deren Motivation dar, mit denen sich ein Vorgesetzter dieser Ebene auseinandersetzen muss.

Am Schluss steht für den Leser deutlich fest, Führung muss vorleben, Verantwortung tragen und das Wissen darum das man Menschen führt heißen.

Dieses Buch ist für jeden militärisch interressierten, jeden Soldaten und jeden Vorgesetzten empfehlenswert.

Die Leitsätze zu Leadership des Majors Richard D. Winters sollte sich jeder der berufsmäßig damit zu tun hat hinter den Spiegel klemmen.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Gute Ergänzungslektüre... 11. Januar 2012
Von fhrank
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Larry Alexanders Biografie des legendären Easy Company Offiziers Major Richard Winters ist eine gute Ergänzungslektüre für die, die Stephen Ambroses Band of Brothers und Richard Winters Beyond Band of Brothers - War Memories gelesen haben.
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260 von 263 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Fills In the Blanks 26. April 2005
Von Michael H. Frederick - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is the right book for those of us who want to know more about the most famous infantry officer of World War II. While covering a lot of the same territory that was told in "Band of Brothers," "The Biggest Brother" goes further and illuminates what Dick Winters was thinking and experiencing as a teetotalling, Bible reading, conscientious company and battalion commander during some of the worst combat in the European Theater. The author has obtained a treasure trove of a resource in that he got hold of a pile of letters that Winters wrote to a girlfriend/pen pal during his Army career. His thoughts and reactions to events of more than sixty years ago were recorded for this woman and it provides the backbone for this well-written work, along with interviews and solid research.

While Easy Company's story is told in more detail, I was particularly interested in what happened to Dick Winters after the war. Too often we're left hanging as to how the catalysts of these stories coped with what they went through. "The Biggest Brother" shows that, like many, many veterans, Winters struggled at first, wound tight as a drum and having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. His stint with his friend Nixon's company didn't help matters. Nixon and his father, both raging alcoholics, more or less left Winters on his own at their company headquarters. Basically he had to learn about the business world through intense study, trial and error and strength of will, much like his rise through the ranks in the Army. His eventual success as an animal feed salesman was accomplished through years and years of hard work. We later generations sometimes forget (or never knew) that the "Greatest Generation" built modern America with their own blood, sweat, tears and a very tough work ethic.

In addition, assuming what Alexander has written is true, many of the episodes of the HBO mini-series had major inaccuries in them. Hopefully this book will set the record straight once and for all. For example, Private Blithe, the trooper who suffered from "hysterical blindess" was indeed wounded in the neck but survived, stayed in the Army and served in Korea in the 1950s. The movie stated that he died several years after his Normandy wound, lying paralyzed in an Army hospital.

Another inaccuracy is the HBO portrayal of "Wild Bill" Guarnere going berserk and shooting up a German horse-drawn column. Evidently it was another group of paratroopers who did this as Guarnere, like Winters, had lost his weapon during the jump. There are numerous examples like this, of Hollywood forsaking accuracy, as told by the men who were actually there, in favor of dramatism and blowing things out of proportion in order to make a more profitable production. I was particularly interested in the segments where Winters attempted to impress Tom Hanks and the HBO writers with the need to be accurate and not exaggerate. The overuse of the "F word" was particularly disturbing to Winters and a lot of the other Easy Company men. Usually his advice was ignored as those of us who have seen the movie know.

At 87 Dick Winters still comes across as a tough, no nonsense kind of guy. He doesn't suffer fools and likes to tell it like he sees it. I ended the book convinced he had to be one of the top, if not the absolute best, infantry officers in World War II. His concern for his men, obsession with perfecting his skill and knowledge and lack of interest in whooping it up on furlough made him an almost flawless leader. What a guy!

I would have given the book five stars (I'd like to have made it 4.5) except for a few minor complaints about grammar, missing words and, albeit it petty on my part, technical inaccuracies. The author repeatedly uses the word "insure" when he means "ensure." There's one case where the text reads "Winters and opened fire." In addition, German tank nomenclature is a bit confused. The Mark V (popularly known as the Panther) had a 75mm gun, not an 88mm. I think he means the Jagdpanzer V (dubbed the Jagdpanther) when he refers to the Jagdpanzer IV. If not he should note that the JgdPz V had an 88, the JgdPz IV a 75. He also repeatedly refers to German artillery fire as coming in from 88s. Maybe he got that from the vets who seemed to call all enemy guns "88s." In fact, German artillery covered the gamut, from 75mm to 88mm, 105mm, 150mm and 170mm.

As I said, these are minor complaints. Overall this is an excellent work telling the story of a man many are very interested in. While there must be thousands of WWII vets still out there with stories to tell, I don't think many would be as fascinating as the life of Dick Winters. "The Biggest Brother" satisfies the curiosity a lot of us had after reading Ambrose's original work and watching HBO's mini-series.
118 von 120 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Winters of our content; a man for all seasons 12. Juni 2005
Von Peter Lorenzi - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a fascinating story about a man who may have become to the World War II generation what Joshua Chamberlain was to the Civil War: A quiet, competent, personable, spiritual and serious man who shows uncommon leadership under unforgiving circumstances. And what makes Dick Winters so special is how ordinary his life has been, before and after the war.

Most of the book covers the time period, story, and even the dialogue from Stephen Ambrose's and HBO's "Band of brothers". The first twelve chapters draw heavily from the written and video record produced by Ambrose and Tom Hanks, respectively. Ambrose did the important job of making this long, dangerous journey accessible to the American public. A storyteller, Ambrose had the intuition to find the elements of a story he needed to tell, and he made Dick Winters the focal character. Hanks, riding the success of "Saving Private Ryan," saw the substance in Ambrose's book. Ambrose feared for a brief time that Hanks wanted to play Winters in the HBO miniseries; Ambrose thought Hanks would be a better Herbert Sobel, the "chickens**t" officer who drove the men of Easy Company through much of their training. Fortunately, Hanks played neither. While Ambrose wrote the story and Hanks made the miniseries, Winters made it all possible. And "Biggest brother" provides the focus and intimacy that neither of these preceding works could.

There are some additional elements worth noting. Winters' 117 letters to Annie DeEtta Almon provide some detailed, contemporaneous memories. Also, we learn that Sobel tried to commit suicide in 1971; his family thinks he was mistreated in the book and miniseries. Winters continued to show disdain for Sobel years later. The ubiquitous, alcoholic Lewis Nixon fades away after offering Winters a start in business after the war, based on their deep if inexplicable friendship during the war. Winters admires - however reluctantly -- Ronald Spiers and Bill Guarnere for their soldierly skills and leadership, while acknowledging that they killed prisoners. Winters himself admits to his deceit when he declines to send out a useless patrol, highlighted in an episode in the miniseries.

The book mentions but gives short shrift to Winters' leadership style. A three-page Appendix offers some insights, but it includes a section on how living with a family in England gave him time for reflection and self-analysis. There is much more about his leadership embedded in his book.

Winters entered the army, in part, to beat the draft in the run up to the war in August 1941. In less than four years he worked - really worked - his way from private to major. Read carefully and you'll see how. First, he had a college education and real work experience before he went into the army. He worked hard at learning the tradecraft of techniques and leadership. Reading a map, choosing a strategy, selecting cover, preparing his weapons, are reading the field manual helped make him an `expert'. He offers observations about foolhardy actions taken by men that led to their deaths, like a British tank commander who ignored Winters warning about a German tank lurking ahead. Realize that Easy Company spent twenty-three months training for eleven months of combat; they made five jumps to qualify as paratroopers and most made only two combat jumps, D-Day and Market Garden. Thorough preparation made Winters and his men combat-ready and earned Winters the respect of his men. And his personality made him a leader. Winters also knew it was critical to be seen with and to live and work with his men, without getting too close, too personal. They were his brothers in arms, close-knit colleagues, but he worked hard to not simply be one of the men. He maintained a minimal but critical separation from the men. And now, in his golden years, Winters has outlived almost all of his men, giving life to an American hero, one we can celebrate for years to come.
32 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent biography of a true hero. 5. Juni 2005
Von Kevin C. B. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I hope this book doesn't get pigeonholed into a "Band of Brothers" also ran. It's not that kind of book at all. It was never meant to be. I don't know what book the previous reviewer read, but it seems pretty obvious to me, this book is about the life of Richard Winters, before, during, and after his service in WWII and not just a recap of his WWII service.

This man has lead a meaningful, and deep life, caring about not just HIS men, but his fellow humans. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty in following his own personal sense of duty and honor, time after time. I also don't fault him with the callousness of his treatment of german civilians during WWII, simply because they deserved it. It was also interesting, that Major Winters clarified that Pvt Blithe did not die in 1948 as portrayed by the mini-series, but instead made a career of the Army and died in 1967.

How Major Winters' life progressed after WWII was also a very interesting. He had been faced with limtied options after leaving Nixon Nitric Works, but he had prevailed over time, and learned enough to start a small yet prosperous business of his own after a short time in the animal feed industry.

His response to the public in the aftermath of "Band of Brothers" has been better than most people would handle such fame, and he has also gone out of his way time and again to reply to fan mail and uninvited visitors regarding himself and his friend's time in WWII. However, it seems very obvious, that this hero is near his end. He is very tired, and he wants to spend what little time he has left, in peace, with his family and diminishing circle of close friends without all the excess attention. I hope everyone that reads this book, respects those wishes.

Finally, I wish Major Winters the best, and an "Easy" Final Jump when he sees that green light one last time.
20 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Riveting--I could not put it down 7. Januar 2007
Von Dirk J. Willard - Veröffentlicht auf
Alexander has cooperated with Richard Winters to produce a deep, sensitive biography of a truly gifted military leader. I suggest readers set aside a few days to spend with the two of them while they tell their story; I could not put it down.

Frankly, I think this should be on the reading list for all junior officers, at Annapolis, West Point, the Air Force Academy and ROTC. I doubt if one could emulate Richard Winters but you might gain insight into what goes on in the head of a leader under pressure.

The author begins with Winter's upbringing near Lancaster Pennsylvania, his experiences during the depression and college and as private in the Army just before Pearl Harbor. There are many early signs of the strong character that would keep Easy Company and 2nd Battalion together during the darkest days of WWII: an ability to size up people, a rigorous discipline and yet an acceptance of human faults and a strong work ethic. There is pride, and the unavoidable errors that result, but there is also acceptance and willingness to learn from mistakes and recover quickly. These are the properties of great leadership and they can be taught. Character is something good leaders build into their men: by example, by sharing their situation and by leading in front. Easy company was instilled with Richard Winters' character.

What cannot be taught is military tactical ability. Though Winters studied hard, he no doubt had a natural ability to formulate tactical solutions accurately and decisively. This is why so many of his tactics are still taught at West Point.

Towards the end of the war I found it interesting that Winters found fault with the military upper management who ran the war,with the exception of Colonel Sink. This was my experience in the military in general. Sink, like Winters, seemed to be one of those rare leaders that seem to know, almost instinctively, how to lead men. Thankfully, American has always been able to draw on such men.

Richard Winters seemed to have a tough time adjusting to civilian life. After his awesome responsibility in war it was hard to settle in. He did eventually, unlike many vets. As a vet myself, it is hard to understand how civilians manage to get anything done without the honor that develops between people serving in uniform.

The story behind the book and the movie were interesting but the story of Winters himself is what matters to the author.

These veterans are mostly gone now but I am glad we have the opportunity to get to know them, or at least one of them, before they take their last jump.

If this review was helpful, please vote.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A very great story, excellant tie in to the Band of Brothers series, a must have for W.W. 2 book fanatics. 6. Mai 2006
Von justaclone2 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I tried to read Band of Brothers several years ago, in like 2002. The book was just to complex for me to understand at my age of 10 or maybe it was 2003 and I was 11. All I can say is that I did not know large heaps about military yet. I did see the mini-series on T.V. though and it is still one of my favorite things to watch.

In 2005 my English teacher had us buy a biography or borrow one or something related. I was not sure who I should read about, and I thought about Band of Brothers the first thing that came to my head was Dick Winters. I remembered his character perfectly from the mini series and he was my favorite. But I did not know of any books on him. A few days later my mom, my sister and my brother all went to a media store to get some stuff. When they walked in my brother spotted this book. Immediantly he said that was what I would want to read. It was. I had the longest biography to read in my class and I had to read it in two weeks then put take a posterboard and decorate it, put five words that characteristics of the person we read about and then do a 5 minute speach explaining the characteristics.

The book was just one of those "suck you in" books that make you read late at night, and hope the ending never comes. Dick Winters lead Easy Company of the 101rst Airborne Division, in the 506th Regiment. For those of you who do not know much about the military side of things, the Airborne Division were paratroopers, they would drop out of planes, behind enemy lines and fight the enemy. Back then they were the best soldiers out there. They would be classified with the training levels that the Navy Seals have nowadays. Navy Seals have tougher training possibly but in comparision over the years they were equel. Easy company were from my point of view, the whole reason America did so great this war. And they were always put into the worst situations and they overcomed every obstacle they were thrown at. But this book does not focus on the entire Easy Company, if you are looking for a book that does that read Band of Brothers by Stephan Ambrose. This book focuses on the man who made them win, the man who encouraged them each day while in Bastogne to hang in there. The man was Dick Winters. His life story is in there, a life story that is worth putting into books.

About the 5 minute report, I went last in my class. And I had already accidently written out a page instead of just writing down things on 3x5 cards and the report lasted so long that I lead to twelve minutes long and I still did not have enough time! I went till class was over. And a few friends from my class joked about it, but what bugged me was that I never really got anyone to like it that much. I wanted people to understand what this man did for our country and I wished for the people to WANT to listen instead of just sit there and watch me talk. If I had more time I would have kept going.

My grandpa started reading this book and he could not stop for hours, he would read it for hours without breaks. My grandmother said that he never reads like that.

This book can not be described by me that good in words and if you read my other reviews you will know that I WANT to use words a lot. I hope that you will enjoy this book as much as I have.
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