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Why 'The Pacific' Is Legions Better Than 'Band Of Brothers'
Band Of Brothers is an iconic series. It has great action, compelling story arcs, and, most importantly, all-American characters fighting a morally justified war. Yes, bad things happen, and it isn't all sunshine, but the prevailing sentiment of the show can perhaps best be described as "inspired."As in: It often inspires people to contact their nearest U.S. Army recruiter.
The Pacific, on the other hand, has no such effect. Quite the opposite, really. Which is why it's a more important and all around better series. Just hear me out.
While Band Of Brothers tends to leave viewers awash in a glowing aura of American exceptionalism, its spiritual sequel evokes more complicated feelings. The war depicted in The Pacific is downright hellish, replete with deep emotional trauma and random acts of brutality, sometimes carried out by the protagonists themselves.
In Band of Brothers, the best mankind has to offer is on display. In The Pacific, the worst takes center stage. Like the scene of Pfc. Shelton (Rami Malek) tossing rocks into a half-destroyed human skull, for example. Audiences might find that a bit less uplifting than, say, French soldiers executing German prisoners.
Rami Malek was amazing as 'Snafu'HBO
Major differences in how the war was fought and experienced by American troops in the two theaters may have a lot to do with it.
Unlike in Europe, the traditional laws of armed conflict were very rarely adhered to in the Pacific. That isn’t to say that atrocities weren't committed by both Axis and Allied troops on the battlefields of Europe, it's just that in the Pacific theater, war crimes seemed the norm — at least according to The Pacific, which reminds us of war's dehumanizing effects early and often.
When a Japanese soldier is toyed with by machine gun fire after a failed assault on Marine positions and then unceremoniously executed, the point gets nailed home that this isn’t going to be a trip to Disneyland. The show’s very soul is dark, and the crawl towards greater meaning is much slower than in Band of Brothers. That is probably why it had a significantly smaller audience share during its premiere run on HBO compared to the original Tom Hanks-led juggernaut.
Ultimately, The Pacific achieves a momentum that its more popular companion piece never achieves, even during the much-beloved Bastogne episode. Despite The Pacific's accomplishments, it appears that this 250 million dollar production became a footnote in military history. Just like some of the island battles it depicts.
Jungle warfare never looked and sounded so good.HBO
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, piña colada may be familiar cocktails to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.