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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
After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.
The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.