Texas Tech and Band of Brothers

Submitted by Topher on January 2nd, 2010 at 2:53 PM

For those of you who read or watched the fantastic "Band of Brothers" book/HBO series, the recent unpleasantness in Lubbock reminds me of a particularly acrimonious incident early in the book/films.

Capt. Sobel was the commanding officer of Easy Company (506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division) during training for the Normandy invasion, a petty and unfair martinet who was widely disliked for leading through fear and leveraging grudges through the disciplinary system. He was never satisfied and produced a well-trained unit, but also lacked field command competence which threatened to get the company killed in battle.

Lt. Winters was a tough, courageous officer with great field sense and intuitive leadership abilities. He worked closely with Sobel but silently questioned his leadership methods and worried it would eventually hurt the unit.

In England for training, Sobel sanctioned Winters for failing to instruct an enlistee in the duties of latrine inspection, after having suddenly changed the time of inspection to trap Winters. He suggested Winters take a meaningless weekend punishment (he never went on leave anyway) but Winters had had enough.

He refused to take the punishment and requested a trial by court martial to mock the pettiness of the incident. After a short uncertainty which included a near-mutiny by the non-commissioned offices who feared the loss of Winters' protection from Sobel, the colonel who ran the regiment saw the writing on the wall and replaced Sobel as CO. This was also amid a mutiny (Winters became company commander on D-Day when the new company CO was killed in the Normandy drop.)

I will let the reader decide if s/he thinks the administration is Herbert Sobel and Mike Leach is Dick Winters, or Leach is Sobel and Adam James is Dick Winters, or the athletic director is an herb and Craig James is a dick.



January 2nd, 2010 at 3:41 PM ^

PTSD became a big deal after Vietnam, but a large percentage of WWII vets had it too and it's been somewhat forgotten as a part of postwar life.

They were raised differently (not to talk to talk about it) and there was also not a big anti-war movement that leveraged it to showcase the horror of war.